Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 6/27/24

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

Ian Happ (CHC): 1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.

Ian Happ crushed a hanging slider for his 10th home run of the season on Thursday. The two-run shot in the top of the 10th inning put the Cubs ahead for good in their 5-3 victory over the Giants in San Francisco.

A quick look at Happ’s overall slash line of .228/.339/.408 tells us that he’s not having the greatest of seasons. He probably ended up on many waiver wires in 12-team leagues. However, his start to the year was so bad that it’s overshadowing what Happ has been doing over the last 30 days.

Coming into May 26, Happ had only two home runs on the season and was slashing .216/.327/.322. Yikes. That night, Happ hit two home runs against the Cardinals. Since then he’s been hitting .245/.355/.549, hitting eight home runs, including the two against St. Louis. His eight home runs in the last month are top 10 in MLB. Happ has always had pop in his bat, hitting more than 20 home runs three times in his career, including last season. He currently hits fifth in a decent Cubs offense which should only get better as home runs fly out of Wrigley much easier during the summer months than the cold Chicago nights of April and May.

While Happ might have turned a corner in 2024, there is streakiness in his game, evidenced by his .125/.276/.292 line in the past seven games. Still, Happ and his 25-homer potential should not be left on the wire. He should be rostered in most standard leagues, even as a bench bat. Make sure to start him in weekly leagues when the Cubs are at home the entire week.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Thursday.


George Springer (TOR): 3-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI.

George Springer, have a night! These are the kind of games that win fantasy managers their week. However, how many managers are still starting Springer, or even rostering him? Once an OBP king who slugged for power, Springer is a shell of himself after battling injuries over the past few seasons. His performance tonight is the hitter’s equivalence of a Birthday Party. It’s a trap!


Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Yup, Vlad is officially back. That’s four homers in his last six games. In my Batter’s Box piece last week I suggested dangling Royce Lewis for Vladito, but that buy-low window is now shut, bolted, and dry-walled over. But was Vlad ever really gone, even when he was hitting .229/.331/.347 at the end of April? The man had a beautiful Statcast page of dark red all season, and his Barrel% and HardHit% are the highest of his career. In fact, his HardHit% is third in the league behind Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani. This should be a fun second half for Vlad owners.


Byron Buxton (MIN): 3-4, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI.

Is Buxton back? To be honest, I was nervous at first to pick up Buxton from the wire after he came back from injury, thinking that I was valuing his name over his actual current skills. Suddenly, Buxton is hitting .345/.393/.673 over his last 15 games, has homered in three out of the last four games, and is doing his best Royce Lewis impression. However, his Barrel% is down to 9.2% this season compared to 14.6% in 2023, and his 4.1% BB% is the lowest BB% of his career, down from 10.1% last year. Enjoy the highs of owning Buxton, but buckle up for the lows that are sure to come as well.


Heston Kjerstad (BAL): 2-3, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.

Kjerstad is in the beginning of his second stint with the Orioles this season and this time he’s determined to stay in the big leagues. He made his mark in his third start after being called up, hitting a first-inning RBI single and following that up with a two-run shot in the third. While Baltimore has a loaded outfield, it’s refreshing to see Kjerstad hitting fifth in the lineup, and starting three of his last four games. He should be rostered in 12-teamers, even if his current playing time works better in daily leagues than in weekly leagues.


Colton Cowser (BAL): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI.

Cowser, also fighting for a starting spot in the crowded Orioles’ outfield, made his case for more playing time with a garbage time home run in the eighth inning of an 11-2 Baltimore victory over Texas. While Cowser never got sent down like Kjerstad, he has been hitting lower in the lineup lately, anywhere between sixth and ninth. He also has been settling into a platoon role, sitting against right-handed pitchers twice this week. Cowser is best left on the wire but could be streamed depending on Baltimore’s pitching matchups, even in weekly leagues.


Jake Burger (MIA): 3-5, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Burger gave the Marlins a 5-4 lead over the Phillies with a towering solo shot in the top of the eighth inning and singled in Miami’s seventh run in the ninth inning. A sought-after player in fantasy drafts this preseason, Burger has been disappointing with a .219/.259/.351 line. After many fantasy managers drooled over his potential 40-homer power, he only has eight home runs on the season. Thursday’s blast was his first in two weeks. 


Noelvi Marte (CIN): 2-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI, SB.

Back from an 80-day suspension for PEDs, Marte wasted no time getting on the scorecard in his first game of the 2024 season, ripping a double to the wall in the third inning that scored a run. While there aren’t any true league-winners in the long and arduous fantasy baseball season, Marte is as close as it comes. Go get him right now if he’s still out on your waiver wire.


Luis Robert Jr. (CHW): 2-3, HR, R, RBI.

All the White Sox needed on Thursday was Robert’s first-inning home run off Chris Sale to secure a 1-0 win over the Braves. Robert has been around for a while but is still only 26 years old. His Barrel% is a solid 17.7%, the best of his career, and would rank in the top 10 if he had more plate appearances this season. Still, Robert struggles to hit for average, as he has a puny .204 BA and .211 xBA this season. Oh, and Robert plays for a terrible team. Stay away, unless you think he’ll be traded to a contender.


Luis Rengifo (LAA): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

From one Luis on a bad team, to another. Rengifo put the Angels ahead 5-0 with a two-run shot in the sixth inning off a struggling Jack Flaherty. Not known for his power, as this was his first HR since May 24, Rengifo’s fantasy value comes from his speed (20 stolen bases), his run-potential hitting out of the two-hole (32 runs), and his quality ratios (.312/.359/.433). Even on a Mike Trout-less Angels team, Rengifo is a solid fantasy player with multi-position eligibility.


Jonny Gordon

As a native Montrealer living in Philly, Jonny bravely drives his minivan around with a Habs magnet on it and is always complimented when wearing his vintage Expos hat. Guilty of having an absurd amount of baseball-related tabs open on his browser at once, he loves sharing his fantasy baseball takes and helping his fellow fantasy athletes win some championships, as long as they're not in his home league.

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