Joey Votto improbably keeps finding ways to improve, even at age 33. In 2017 he finished second in NL MVP voting, narrowly losing to Giancarlo Stanton following a .320/.454/.578 season. Votto struck out a career-low 11.7 percent of the time after making that a point of emphasis in the offseason. As long as he remains healthy, and he played every inning of 2017, you can take a .300 BA and .400 OBP to the bank, and with the Reds' offense on the rise, perhaps his counting stats will come along for the ride. The bigger question is how early do you take him? First base is such a deep position, and his stolen bases continue to decline -- chances are he'll land in the second round in mixed leagues even with his remarkable consistency. Don't worry about a potential trade away from the Reds -- he has a complete no-trade clause and has consistently expressed a desire to stay in Cincinnati.
Votto went 2-for-4 with a homer, two RBI and two runs against the Brewers on Wednesday. He got this game started off on the right note, hitting a first-inning solo shot that turned out to be all the offense the Reds would need -- though they added more. With four games left in his season, Votto now has 36 homers, one shy of his career best, and he needs just one more RBI to hit 100 for the first time since 2011. Oh, he also has a ridiculous 133:80 BB:K, by far the best ratio in the majors.
Votto went 2-for-3 with a double, a solo homer and a walk Friday against the Pirates. Votto crushed his 35th homer of the season to put the Reds on the board in the first inning of a winning effort. Although he's had a fantastic batting average this month, this was his first bomb and fourth extra-base hit of the month for a player who's been an amazing fantasy producer for the entire season.
Votto went 2-for-5 with a three-run home run during Thursday's win over the Cubs. The first baseman just continues to pad his fantasy stats and boasts an elite .316/.448/.601 slash line with 32 homers, 86 RBI and 84 runs. Votto's final numbers might fall short of his dominant 2010 showing when he won the National League Most Valuable Player Award, but this has been his best season since earning that honor.
Votto went 0-for-2 with three walks and a run scored in Tuesday's win over the Cubs. Votto has now reached base twice in 20 straight games, tying Barry Bonds and Pete Rose for the second-longest such streak of the modern era. Ted Williams holds the record with 21. The 33-year-old is also just six homers off his career-high mark of 37 -- he recently told Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer that his power surge is the result of a changing strike zone and more inside pitches.
Votto went 1-for-2 with a solo home run, three walks and two runs scored in Thursday's win over the Padres. He continues to hit and get on base at an elite clip -- Votto has hit safely in 15 straight games, with 16 walks over that stretch -- and he's hitting for more power than ever before in his age-33 season. Votto's 1.051 OPS is the best in baseball.