Third baseman Nolan Arenado crept closer to the 40-homer plateau on Wednesday afternoon, belting a grand slam in the second inning off of Luke Weaver, boosting the Rockies’ lead to 6-1. It’s number 39 on the year for Arenado, who is also hitting .294 with a .935 OPS and 128 RBI. The grand slam was Arenado’s first of the season and the fourth of his career.
Arenado’s traditional stats are terrific, but when it comes to the National League Most Valuable Player Award race, he falls back a little bit when one accounts for his home ballpark. Coors Field, of course, is notorious for inflating Rockies’ players’ offensive stats as well as their pitchers’ ERA. Indeed, Arenado came into Wednesday with a 1.018 OPS at home and .832 away. That’s still great, he’s just not an otherworldly hitter in other ballparks.
Arenado’s OPS would be seventh-best in the National League, but his 125 wRC+ (Weighted Runs Created, adjusted for park factors) ranks 15th. He bumps back up in Wins Above Replacement, however, due to his superb defense. Only a handful of players have been better defensively at any position than Arenado has been at third.