Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 5/13/24

Breaking down notable hitting performances from last night's games.

Bregging for Mercy

Alex Bregman (HOU): 3-3, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, BB.

It’s no secret in the fantasy baseball community that Alex Bregman is notorious as a slow starter when it comes to production, but few could have foreseen the lack of production we’ve observed so far in 2024. In April, Bregman slashed a paltry .218/.281/.299 with just one home run and has been demoted to the bottom half of the lineup as the Astros continue to struggle out of the gate. We may be starting to see things turn around just a little bit for the former MVP runner-up, as Bregman had by far his best night of the season on Monday by turning in a line of 3-3, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, BB. Yes, this means he tripled his home run total on the year.

So, how does this slow start compare to years prior? If we look at the past two seasons, we can see that things have been even more difficult for the veteran in 2024 than we’re used to seeing. In 2023 and 2022, Bregman had an OPS of .737 and .790 in April, respectively, compared to just .580 this season. The power has been all but invisible until last night for Bregman, as has his ability to get on base, which has been one of his most consistent skills across his career.

Still, there’s reason to believe Bregman can turn things around before it’s too late. His strikeout rate is still in line with his career mark at an impressive 12.6%, implying that he’s just looking for a better quality of contact when he puts the ball in play. Over the past week, Bregman has a modest five-game hitting streak and is slashing .286/.310/.571, so there are signs of life for the third baseman in the early goings of May. Bregman still has a lot going for him: he’s only 30 years old, he plays in what should be a dynamic offense, and he’s playing in a contract year, so there’s plenty of incentive for him to perform well as the season progresses. With a track record as good as his, Bregman could still be worth a buy-low in most leagues if his owner isn’t convinced by last night’s showing.


Let’s See How the Other Hitters Did Monday:

Bryan Reynolds (PIT): 5-5, 2 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Speaking of veterans who have struggled as of late, Bryan Reynolds broke out of a slump of his own in a big way on Monday night in Milwaukee by recording five hits, including a clutch home run in the ninth inning to give the Pirates some insurance on the road. It was Reynolds’ first home run since April 27th, and the performance brought his season OPS from .710 to .778. Though he’s scuffled a bit as of late, Reynolds is a rock-solid outfield option that will produce all year hitting second for the Pirates.


Adley Rutschman (BAL): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

That’s three home runs in the past two games for Adley Rutschman, who took José Berríos deep twice for his first multi-homer performance of 2024. Rutschman broke out in a big way in 2023 during his first season as an All-Star, but he’s improved in several areas of his game this season and could push for 25-30 homers. If there’s any area of his game he can improve, it’s that Rutschman needs to hit righties better; his .642 OPS against right-handed pitching pales in comparison to his 1.165 OPS against southpaws. Two homers off a righty in Berrios last night is certainly a good start.


Luke Raley (SEA): 3-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, SB.

In the offseason, Luke Raley was traded while on his honeymoon from Tampa Bay to Seattle in exchange for José Caballero, and he got off to a slow start in a platoon role, posting a .505 OPS through April. Things have heated up substantially for Raley in May, as he’s recorded two home runs, six RBI, and seven runs through nine games this month with an 1.131 OPS. Raley rarely sees the lineup against lefties, so his plate appearances have a slight cap on them, but he could be a solid stream in deeper leagues as long as he’s riding this hot streak.


Amed Rosario (TBR): 2-4, 2B, 3B, R, 3 RBI.

Speaking of players on new teams in 2024, we have Amed Rosario, who got to Kutter Crawford early with a two-run triple that just bounced off of a diving Ceddanne Rafaela’s glove. To say Rosario’s power numbers are modest would be an understatement, as he only has 62 to his name across eight seasons, but he has a respectable .296 average and should get plenty of chances to drive in runners hitting in the heart of Tampa Bay’s lineup. Much like in real life, he’s a decent utility option with eligibility at several positions, so he can act as a fill-in on short game days or with good matchups. Just don’t get your hopes up in the power department.


J.D. Martinez (NYM): 3-4, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI, BB.

Is it possible we’re overlooking the upside of J.D. Martinez? In 2023, the perennial All-Star posted an OPS of .893, albeit with a far superior Dodgers lineup, and he’s hitting above .300 in his first 16 games with the Mets in 2024. Given the small sample size, Monday’s three-hit performance boosted Martinez’s OPS by over 100 points (from .675 to .785), but the 36-year-old had one of his best offensive seasons just last year and should still have plenty of pop left in his bat. The counting stats won’t be as widely available in the Mets’ lineup, so don’t expect a return to 100+ RBI, but if you can afford a swap at your DH spot, Martinez could provide some stability to your lineup. He’s available in almost 90% of ESPN leagues.


Jackson Merrill (SDP): 2-3, HR, R, RBI, BB.

The rookie continues to fly under the radar, posting another multi-hit performance on Monday to bring his season slash line to .291/.342/.403. Perhaps it’s because the power numbers haven’t been much to sneeze at, but Merrill is contributing solid and steady production in the Padres’ lineup, and his expected stats back up his numbers thus far (.295 xBA and .453 xSLG). Merrill probably doesn’t have the power to quite push for a 20/20 season, but his positional versatility, solid ratios, and opportunity for counting stats mean he should be owned almost everywhere.


Kevin Newman (ARI): 4-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI.

Newman! The Diamondbacks’ shortstop was the hero on Monday night, lacing a two-run single to right field to walk off the Cincinnati Reds in the series opener. It was Newman’s third straight multi-hit performance. You probably shouldn’t be rushing to grab him unless you’re in a very deep or NL-only league, but it’s worth noting that Newman has been playing as Arizona’s primary shortstop over Blaze Alexander as of late. Geraldo Perdomo should return sometime in the next month, but Newman will continue to get the lion’s share of opportunities at the position until that time, especially if he continues to swing a hot bat.


Spencer Torkelson (DET): 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Don’t look now, but that’s back-to-back games with a home run for Torkelson, who took until May 13th to hit his first long ball of the year. It’s been a long wait for Torkelson owners to see any kind of production, but he’s now riding an eight-game hit streak into Tuesday and seems to be finding his groove. As a friendly reminder, Tork only had four home runs at the end of May in 2023 and finished the season with 31, so there’s a precedent (albeit an odd one) for the former No. 1 pick to turn things around. He’s worth a speculative add if his previous owner ran out of patience.


Jake Bauers (MIL): 2-4, HR, R, 4 RBI.

We’ll wrap things up with Jake Bauers, who played the almost-hero for Milwaukee last night by hitting a Grand Slam in the bottom of the eighth to bring the Brewers within one run. Bauers has some power upside but has a couple of things working against him–he seldom plays against lefties, and he “boasts” a strikeout rate of 37.5%. He’s best viewed as a matchup-based streamer in daily leagues.

Christian Otteman

Christian Otteman is a hopelessly optimistic Cubs fan living in Milwaukee just looking to share his love of this beautiful game with others. He is especially a fan of the wild and weird things that only a game like baseball can produce. While he's not watching baseball, Christian is playing golf, hosting trivia, and working on his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Marquette University.

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