Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 5/6/24

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games.

Morel Boost

Christopher Morel (CHC): 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB.

Christopher Morel is often the poster child for streaky players, with his hot streaks being just as rewarding as his cold streaks are infuriating. After an ice-cold few weeks during April, patient fantasy managers have been rewarded over the past week, as Morel hit his fifth home run and collected his third stolen base during that time frame after posting a line of 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB during Monday night’s loss to the Padres.

On a surface level, you know what you’re getting with Morel: a streaky player with tantalizing power upside that can win you your week when he’s on but bring you down when he’s cold, especially by zapping your ratios. But let’s look under the hood: is this the same Morel we’ve known over the past couple of seasons?

In short, the answer is a surprising no. Morel’s biggest knock has always been his strikeout rate, especially during his notorious cold streaks. During his first two years in the majors, Morel posted strikeout rates above 30%, a number that has dropped to 21.3% in 2024. Coupled with a career-high walk rate of 12.1%, the 24-year-old is maturing as a hitter and improving his approach at the plate. And the best news? He’s maintaining this approach even during those cold streaks instead of chasing and pumping up his strikeout rate. During his home run drought from April 10th through the 28th, Morel maintained a walk rate of 12.1% and kept his strikeout rate just below 30%, a number that previously would have climbed to 35% and above.

There’s even more to be excited about with Morel: his .270 xBA is 50 points higher than his current average, suggesting that he’s making quality contact and should be rewarded with more hits in the future. Additionally, his fourth stolen base of the season on Monday puts him just two behind last year’s total. There’s upside here for a 30/20 season or better, especially in the power department, if he can just maintain this level of patience and swing selection throughout the season. If an impatient owner drops him the next time his bat goes cold, keep an eye on his plate discipline and pick him up if he keeps up this approach–you’ll be rewarded.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Monday:

Edward Olivares (PIT): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI.

Olivares was the source of all of Pittsburgh’s runs on Monday night, launching a grand slam off of Tyler Anderson in the third inning to put the Pirates up 4-0. Olivares is firmly behind Jack Suwinski on the depth chart for now but has displayed ample power with four home runs in just 85 plate appearances in 2024. His xBA is also over 100 points higher than his current average of .218, suggesting that he’s faced a bit of bad luck to start the season. Olivares should remain on waivers for now but might be worth an add if a route opens up for more playing time in the future.


Shohei Ohtani (LAD): 2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 SB.

The baseball world is getting the answer to the terrifying question “What if we allowed Shohei Ohtani to focus on just hitting for an entire season?” Ohtani hit a titanic moon blast in the first inning for his league-leading 11th home run of the year and also stole two more bags to bring his season total to nine. He unsurprisingly leads the MLB in OPS with 1.139. What else is there to say here? We’re truly witnessing greatness.


Harold Ramírez (TBR): 4-4, 2B, 3 R, RBI, SB.

A player that contributes well in batting average but not much else, Harold Ramírez posted his first four-hit performance of the year on Monday while also adding his fourth steal, bringing him one short of his career high already. Ramírez most commonly functions as the Rays’ DH and sprinkles in a few outfield appearances here and there, but not enough to earn position eligibility quite yet. He can function as a deep-league or AL-only streamer if you need help specifically with batting average, but it’s hard to find a lot of value beyond the surface level.


Nick Castellanos (PHI): 2-2, 2B, R, RBI, 2 BB.

Don’t look now, but Nick Castellanos looks to finally be heating up after a dismal start to the season. Over the past week of action, Castellanos is slashing .318/.375/.500 after reaching base in all four of his plate appearances on Monday. Though he’s been brutal thus far, he remains entrenched in one of baseball’s most productive offenses and has the track record to show he can produce at any time. If any owners are looking to jump ship (or already have), he’s a solid buy-low.


Michael Massey (KCR): 1-3, HR, R, RBI.

Massey hit his third home run of the season in just 51 at-bats on Monday night and owns a respectable slash line of .294/.308/.529 while riding a nine-game hitting streak. Massey most frequently hits fifth in the order, giving him plenty of opportunities for RBI behind teammates like Bobby Witt Jr. and Salvador Perez. He’s a good stream the rest of the week with a couple of games against the Brewers and a four-game series against the Angels, but he and the rest of the Royals will have their work cut out for them next week when they travel to Seattle. It’s worth riding the hot hand for now, especially with how tough the middle infield positions can be to fill.


Jazz Chisholm Jr. (MIA): 2-4, 2B, R, SB.

The most notable development for Jazz Chisholm Jr. as of late is that he’s been hitting leadoff against righties since the departure of Luis Arraez. This should give a slight boost to Chisholm’s fantasy value as he looks to heat up after his second straight multi-hit performance on Monday, during which he collected his eighth steal of the season. Playing for the Marlins means that Jazz won’t contribute as much as we’d like in some counting stats, but his speed-power combo is worth the investment as long as he can stay on the field.


Josh Lowe (TBR): 2-5, 2B.

In his first action of the season after starting the year on the IL with oblique and hamstring injuries, Josh Lowe notched two hits against the White Sox on Monday, including a double. In his first full season of action in 2023, Lowe posted an .835 OPS with 20 homers and 32 steals. If he’s flown under the radar in your league and is still sitting on waivers for whatever reason, make sure you grab him. He could be just the jolt that your offense (and the Rays) need to get things going.


José Fermín (STL): 2-4, R.

The Cardinals offense is struggling mightily thus far in 2024, meaning they’ve reached the experimentation phase of trying to get things going. One such experiment was allowing José Fermín to hit leadoff on Monday, and the 25-year-old responded with his first multi-hit game of the season. It’s unlikely that this trend will stick, especially when facing righties, but it’s worth keeping an eye on the situation to see if he pushes Nolan Gorman for more playing time. Something has to work for this offense.


Corey Seager (TEX): 1-5, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Seager hit his third home run of the season on Monday night, a three-run blast that gave the Texas Rangers the lead and eventual win over the Athletics. Seager is riding a modest four-game hitting streak as he looks to get things going in what’s been a disappointing 2024 thus far. Let this serve as a reminder that he’ll be just fine.

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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