Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 5/18/2024

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

A Matos of Time


The Giants have gotten off to a disappointing 22-25 start to the season. Even though San Francisco sits in third place in the NL West, Giants fans were hoping for more after an offseason that included a managerial change and the acquisition of some big-name free agents.

It is still too early to judge Bob Melvin’s performance as manager. However, this season, the Giants haven’t gotten much from their free-agent acquisitions. Matt Chapman has struggled at the plate, and Nick Ahmed, Blake Snell, and Jung Hoo Lee have all been affected by injury, with Lee’s shoulder injury so severe that he will miss the remainder of the 2024 season.

In the wake of Lee’s injury, the Giants have turned to Matos, who has made the most of his return to the Majors this season.

In seven games and 26 plate appearances, Matos is hitting .385 with a 1.116 OPS and two home runs. He has also been an RBI machine, collecting 17 RBI, including 11 in the past two games against the Rockies alone. On Saturday against Colorado, he hit his second home run of the year, had three hits, and collected six RBI.

The Statcast metrics seem encouraging for Matos, though he’s far from a sure thing. His barrel rate is up 5.7% from a year ago, and his hard-hit rate is also up by 7.5%. His LA Sweet-Spot% is also up 3.7%, and he hasn’t struck out in 2024. All these numbers show that Matos isn’t just making more contact in his sophomore season at the Major League level, but he’s making more quality contact, too.

The Giants will need hitters from within the system to help them with the injuries that have affected their current roster. Marco Luciano will also be expected to step up with Ahmed on the IL.

So far, Matos and the young Giants may be helping San Francisco stay in the NL postseason race.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Saturday.


Juan Soto (NYY): 4-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.

Soto had a banner day in a banner debut season in the Bronx. Against the lowly White Sox, Soto had four hits, hit two home runs, and collected three RBI in the Yankees’ 6-1 win. For the season, Soto has 11 home runs, 37 RBI, and is hitting .375 with a .975 OPS in 215 plate appearances. Undoubtedly, the 25-year-old outfielder has proven himself as one of the early favorites for the AL MVP award.


Tyler Freeman (CLE): 4-4, 2B, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB, SB.

It’s been an up-and-down season for Freeman, but Saturday showed why the Guardians think so highly of him. Against division rival Minnesota, Freeman had four hits, three RBI, and a stolen base. For the year, the 24-year-old utility player has an intriguing profile. His barrel rate (6.4%) and hard-hit rate (42.2%) are higher than ever, and his 0.54 BB/K ratio would also be a career-high if the season ended today. With multiple-position eligibility on Yahoo (2B, 3B, SS, OF), Freeman should be a target of fantasy managers looking for bench help.


Jazz Chisholm Jr. (MIA): 3-5, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI.

The Marlins continue to struggle, but they’re at least showing some fight as of late. They made a dramatic comeback against Mets closer Edwin Diaz in the bottom of the ninth in Saturday’s game, which included scoring four runs to tie it. Chisholm was a catalyst in the Marlins’ win, as he collected three hits, three RBI, scored three runs, and hit his sixth home run of the year. Despite the Marlins’ rough start, the 26-year-old centerfielder has demonstrated signs of improvement in 2024. His barrel rate is up, his walk rate is up, and his K rate is down from a year ago.


José Ramírez (CLE): 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.

On May 4, Ramirez was hitting .227 with a .667 OPS. After so many years of positive production, many Guardians fans wondered if this would be the start of the third baseman’s decline. Since then, however, he has raised his average to .258 and his OPS to .797, punctuated by a Saturday performance that included three hits, three RBI, and his 11th home run. Safe to say, the rumblings of Ramirez’s decline may have been exaggerated.


Jake Meyers (HOU): 3-4, HR, 2 R, RBI.

It’s been a rough year for the Astros, but Meyers has been one of the few bright spots. The Houston centerfielder has always been known for his glove, but his bat has left much to be desired. However, he is hitting .286 with a .894 OPS in 102 plate appearances, which includes two stolen bases and five home runs, his latest coming on Saturday against the Brewers. With the Astros likely out of the playoff hunt (for now), Meyers will continue getting opportunities in Houston to prove he can be a long-term option.


Nolan Gorman (STL): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

After a promising 27-home run season in 2023, Gorman has struggled in 2024, much like the Cardinals team. His OPS is down from .806 last season to .689 OPS this year. A big issue for Gorman has been a massive decline in hard-hit rate, down 11.6% from a year ago. On Saturday, Gorman hit his seventh home run of the year, so hopefully, he’s making strides in the right direction to turn that hard-hit rate around.


Javier Báez (DET): 3-4, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI.

Báez has been a disaster since coming to Detroit. Since joining the Tigers in 2022, his OPS has gone from .671 to .592 in 2023 to .525 this season. On a positive note, though, his hard-hit rate is 41.3% (an improvement from the last two years), his K rate is down 2.8%, and his average exit velocity and LA Sweet-Spot% are up from last year. From a fantasy perspective, it’s hard to overthink Báez’s outlook, but he has a 42-point difference between his wOBA and xwOBA, so better days may be ahead for Báez.


Kody Clemens (PHI): 2-2, HR, R, RBI.

Clemens has failed to do much in his MLB tenure thus far, with a career average of .201 and a .627 OPS in 116 games. This season, though, he’s finally showing some of the potential he once had as a prospect in the Tigers system. He is hitting .304 with a 1.159 OPS in 24 plate appearances, and he hit his third home run of the year in Saturday’s win over the Nationals. It will be hard for Clemens to get consistent playing time, but he can play multiple positions, so he could get more at-bats if he keeps this hitting up.


Kyle Isbel (KCR): 1-3, HR, R, RBI.

Isbel hit his fourth home run of the year, which puts him one away from his total from a year ago. That said, he hit five home runs in 313 plate appearances in 2023, while he has four home runs in 127 plate appearances this season. It’s hard to think Isbel is a rosterable player in traditional fantasy formats. However, he could be an intriguing option in deep leagues and AL-only formats, especially with a barrel rate of up 1.5% from a year ago and .310 xwOBA that would be a career-high if the season ended today.


Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien is a high school educator and baseball blogger based in the Kansas City metro area. In addition to writing for Pitcher List, he writes about the Kansas City Royals at his own blog, the Royals Reporter, which can be found at royalsreporter.com.

2 responses to “Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 5/18/2024”

  1. Giuseppe says:

    Kevin – Please put some time on the calendar for us next week. I’d like to show you how to bold the batting line of the featured hitter so I don’t need to scan through paragraphs to see what he actually did yesterday.

  2. Travis Brown says:

    The Astros are like 5 games back from the division, 4 in the wild card, and it’s not even the All Star break. Let’s pump the brakes on the “out of the playoffs” talk

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