Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 6/4/24

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

Brandon Lowe (TBR): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, BB.

Lowe Chicka Wow Wow

The first 10 weeks of the season have not been kind to Brandon Lowe. The Rays’ slugging second baseman has already missed over a month of action with an oblique strain and has hit just .203 in his 75 plate appearances.

Despite the rough start, things may be turning around for Lowe after his big showing last night. He roughed up Jesús Luzardo for two extra-base hits, finishing 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, BB. His biggest blow was a fourth-inning three-run bomb that brought the Rays back into the game and knotted things up at three a piece. In his next at-bat, he knocked Luzardo out of the game after lacing a 107 mph double off the base of the right-center field wall to plate two more runners.

The Rays are well known for the mix-and-max approach they bring to their roster, but Lowe is one of the few exceptions. He’s started 17 of the 22 games he’s been healthy for this year and owns a place near the top of the lineup. His .203/.320/.406 slash line doesn’t look overly impressive, but it’s still good for a 111 wRC+.

If your fantasy baseball team could use a thumper in the middle infield, Lowe’s a great option. He blasted 21 home runs last season and 39 back in 2021. With an 11.1% barrel rate, 44.4% flyball rate, and 37.8% pull rate, the power will come as he finally gets settled in at the plate. Lowe is surprisingly available in 97% of ESPN and 80% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Tuesday:

Bobby Witt Jr. (KCR): 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

I covered Witt a lot more in-depth a few weeks ago, but he just keeps looking better and better the plate. He launched both his home runs against Triston McKenzie last night and they were each crush jobs. The first traveled an impressive 434 feet but he bested it shortly thereafter with a 454-footer. His 3.7 fWAR entering play yesterday was the fourth most in the bigs, placing him firmly in the MVP race. It’ll be fun to see who wins out between Witt and Gunnar Henderson for the starting shortstop job on the AL All-Star Team.

Ryan Mountcastle (BAL): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI.

The Orioles lineup is chock full of great bats so it feels like every single day one of them puts together a big game. Last night it was Mountcastle, bopping two big flys against Bowden Francis in the O’s 10-1 dismantling of the division rival Blue Jays. Mountcastle’s home runs could not have been more different. His first was a 92.9 mph, 350-foot wall scraper he eked out just fair down the left field line. His second was a mammoth blast: a 108.1 mph, 443-foot shot to center. Mountcastle’s up to 10 home runs on the year and is slashing .286/.325/.512. His 138 wRC+ would be the best of his career.

Ozzie Albies (ATL): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

If the Braves are going to catch up to the Phillies without Acuña in the lineup, they’ll need some more days like this one from Albies. It’s been a rough go of it so far for the 27-year-old second baseman. His .275/.339/.410 batting line comes out to a 115 wRC+, but his four homers have been disappointing after he launched 33 last season. His xwOBA and xSLG are some of the worst of his career. To get back on track, Albies will need to bump up his 21st-percentile barrel rate and 12th-percentile hard-hit rate.

Zach McKinstry (DET): 2-4, 3B, HR, R, 2 RBI.

McKinstry has been utilityman-extraordinaire in Detroit this season, appearing at five different positions already for the Tigers. Unfortunately, his batting stats have been a little bit more ordinary, sitting at .200/.274/.306. Last night, McKinstry took a Dane Dunning cutter 359 feet for his first home run of the season and later added a triple against the Rangers’ starter. McKinstry’s barrel rate has fallen to 1.8% this season, by far the lowest mark of his career.

Yainer Diaz (HOU): 1-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.

After a 23-homer breakout showing in 2023, Diaz was a trendy catcher pick in fantasy drafts this spring, but he’s failed to live up to the hype so far, although that may be changing. He got the better of Andre Pallante last night for his second home run in as many games. Diaz is still slashing just .249/.277/.383 on the season, but now’s your chance to grab him if you believe he’ll bounce back. His plate discipline numbers have only gotten better since last season. Diaz has improved each of his strikeout, walk, and swinging-strike rates. He’s barreling the ball less often and hitting the ball on the ground more often, but his hard-hit rate is still 89th percentile among hitters. That looks like a hitter just an adjustment away from putting it all together again. If you need catcher help and he’s out there on your wire, he’s worth a spec add.

Harrison Bader (NYM): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

It feels like about once a year Bader makes some noise at the plate and makes me buy back into the idea that he could be an impact player both in the batter’s box and in centerfield. I don’t think we’ve quite hit that point this year, but his home run and two hard hits last night may signal he’s on his way to that annual hot streak. He’s now hitting .271 with three home runs and eight steals making him worth a roster spot in deep fantasy formats.

Royce Lewis (MIN): 1-1, HR, R, RBI, 2 BB.

Lewis made his long-awaited return from the IL last night after severely straining his quad on Opening Day. He wasted no time making an impact, rocketing a 110.1 mph homer against Tommy Kahnle in the eighth to plate the lone Twins’ run of the game. Lewis now has five plate appearances this year and has yet to make an out. We can only hope that Lewis can stay healthy the rest of the way. He’s one of the most electric talents in the game and could single-handedly alter the AL playoff picture.

Josh Bell (MIA): 2-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, RBI.

Someone needs to heat-check Bell because he can’t be stopped right now. He’s riding a seven-game hitting streak and has hits in 22 of his last 27 contests. While he’s been crushing it lately, the hot streak shows just how cold he was at the beginning of the season because he’s still at just a .311 wOBA and 101 wRC+ overall. Miami’s lackluster lineup hurts Bell’s upside, but in 15-teamers and NL-Only leagues he should be rostered.

Lenyn Sosa (CHW): 2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB.

One of my favorite parts of writing these daily Batter’s Box articles is highlighting hitters you’d otherwise never think much about, and Sosa is today’s entry in that department. He was recalled from Triple-A on Friday and has started three of Chicago’s four games since. The playing time might be there for fantasy relevancy, but his track record doesn’t spark much excitement. In 257 career plate appearances, he’s slashing just .180/.206/.303. If there was ever a time for him to get an extended run to see what he can do, it’d be right now on this White Sox team. You can safely avoid him in every fantasy league until he starts showing legit production at the plate.

Alec Burleson (STL): 2-4, HR, R, RBI, BB.

Burleson’s earned consistent at-bats for the Cardinals this year with his .276/.308/.448 slash line. You’d love to see him walk more often hitting out of the two-hole, but the Cardinals have to be happy with his .330 wOBA and eight home runs. Burleson’s first-inning homer off of Spencer Arrighetti marked his third straight game with a long ball. His 91st-percentile strikeout rate makes him especially intriguing in points leagues.


Mark Steubinger

Mark loves everything talking and writing about baseball - from every fantasy league format you can imagine to the unending greatness of Mike Trout. Mark has a degree in Sports Communication from Bradley University and works in radio production. He lives in central Illinois where his TV is permanently tuned to Chicago Cubs games.

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