Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 7/4/24

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

Jesús Sánchez (MIA): 3-5, 2B, 3B, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Jesus Sanchez brought the drama and showcased his power on Thursday in Miami against the Red Sox. Sanchez first broke up Nick Pivetta’s no-hitter in the seventh with a triple that almost left the yard. He then crushed an 84 mph Zack Kelly changeup for a home run in the bottom of the 11th to tie the game 4-4. He was a single away from hitting for the cycle.

While Sanchez’s heroics were ultimately not enough to secure the win for the Marlins, he has been on a roll lately, hitting .296/.356/.667 with five homers and 10 RBI over the last two weeks. Is it time for fantasy managers to pay attention to Sanchez, who is rostered in only 2% of Yahoo! leagues?

Open up Sanchez’s Statcast and you immediately see bright red. A 96th percentile Average Exit Velocity, which is higher than Yordan Alvarez. A 98th percentile Max EV. A 94th percentile HardHit%, up from 46.3% in 2023 to 51.4% in 2024. That’s higher than Bobby Witt Jr., Christian Walker, and Bryce Harper. Sanchez is also striking out less this season. He has a 23.3% K% in 2024 compared to a 26.6% K% in 2023.

He’s also been terribly unlucky. Compare his .497 xSLG to his .409 SLG, or his .247 BA to his .275 xBA. His 1.064 OPS over the last 14 days has helped close the gap between his actual stats and his expected stats.

So why is his ownership so low? 

The fantasy community seems to be content with branding Sanchez a streaky player, one who will give managers headaches and heartaches more than homers and wins. Another knock is that he sits against lefties frequently. Looking under the hood, it might be wise to give Sanchez a chance in the second half given the improvements he’s made in his game and how unlucky he’s been this season. He’s also been hitting cleanup for Miami and started 12 of his last 14 games. At the very least, stick Sanchez at the end of your bench, but start him in weekly matchups when the Marlins face a righty-heavy schedule.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Thursday.


Ian Happ (CHC): 4-4, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI.

Ian Happ celebrated the Fourth of July in style by hitting two three-run shots at Wrigley against the Phillies. I probably would have led with Happ’s performance today if it wasn’t for the fact that I led with Happ in my Batter’s Box article last Friday. Hopefully, you started him this week as I recommended and reaped the benefits today. The switch-hitting slugger homered from both sides of the plate Thursday, and both of his home runs were bombs. Happ is hitting .381/.536/1.095 over the last seven days and is well on his way to a 25-home run season.


Christian Walker (ARI): 2-3, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB.

Speaking of double dongs, Christian Walker continued to launch home runs with ease in Chavez Ravine, with his second two-home run game in a row against the Dodgers. That’s five home runs in three games for Walker. Walker now has 19 home runs in 42 games at Dodger Stadium, including five games in a row with a homer. If you’re facing Walker in fantasy the week, I’m sorry. At least you can take the weekend off from setting your lineup.


Julio Rodríguez (SEA): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, SB.

Juilo was pumped up after taking Baltimore ace Corbin Burnes deep on Thursday for his eighth home run of the 2024 season, most likely because it was his first homer since June 15. Let’s face it. Julio is having a terrible season and has been a bust for those who drafted him. His expected stats do give us some hope that this season isn’t completely lost, as his xSLG (.437) is just over 100 points higher than his actual SLG (.336). Still, his Barrel% is down 3.3% from 2023, and his HardHit% is down 4.7% from last year. He’s also been hitting as low as seventh recently in the Mariners lineup. Yikes. Here’s hoping for a second-half resurgence. Check out Justin Perri’s analysis of Julio’s 2024 in his Patience or Panic piece from July 3.


Jose Miranda (MIN): 5-5, 3 2B, 4 R, 3 RBI.

Miranda was perfect at the plate on Thursday, going 5-for-5 with three hard-hit doubles. Miranda has bounced between the bigs and Triple-A but looks to finally be entrenched on a Twins team that will need all the offense it can get with Royce Lewis (shockingly) going on the IL with another injury. Miranda is having a career season, fueled by a 3.1% increase in Barrel%, a 91st percentile K%, and a .335 BABIP. He hit cleanup for the Twins on Thursday and could continue to see a high spot in the order, especially given he has an eight-game hitting streak. Is he legit? I think so, but check out Mark Steubinger’s take in his recent Is It Legit? article.


Spencer Steer (CIN): 1-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.

Steer was snubbed from my Batter’s Box article last week but thankfully he earned one of today’s illustrious 10 spots due to another solid performance for the Reds on Thursday in New York. Steer smacked a three-run opposite-field homer off Marcus Stroman, which was his 11th of the season. Steer hits from the three or four spot every night and while his ratios might be lagging behind last year’s numbers, he is a constant offensive threat in the heart of the Reds’ order and on pace to match or beat his HR total of 23.


Jonathan India (CIN): 3-5, HR, 3 R, RBI.

It’s been a tale of two seasons for Jonathan India. Coming into the season in the leadoff spot, India sought to take advantage of injuries within the Reds’ organization to show that he still has what it takes to be an MLB starter. After a slow start, many fantasy owners cut bait. While India was slashing .208/.320/.279 as recently as May 23, he is hitting .369/.451/.583 over the last 30 days, including hitting his sixth homer of the season on Thursday against the Yankees. Those who found India on the wire couldn’t be happier with his recent play.


Ben Rice (NYY): 1-5, HR, R, RBI.

Ben Rice hit the first home run of his young career, a 407-foot blast in the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium off Reds pitcher Frankie Montas. Rice, who made his MLB debut on June 18, is hitting .262/.360/.405 in 50 plate appearances with the Yankees. His expected stats are even better, with a .313 xBA, a .508 xSLG, and a .396 xwOBA. His 15.6% BB% would be Top 10 in the league if he had enough PAs to qualify. Well, he might get a lot more soon because the Yankees hit Rice out of the leadoff spot on Thursday, dropping Anthony Volpe to sixth in the order. With the plate skills he’s shown so far, it wouldn’t be crazy to see Rice stick around the one-hole and hit in front of Aaron Judge and Juan Soto. Oh, and he’s catcher-eligible in most leagues. Go check your waiver wire. I’ll wait.


Brandon Lowe (TBR): 3-5, 2B, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB.

Brandon Lowe hit his third home run in four games, helping the Rays defeat the Royals 10-8 in Kansas City. Lowe hasn’t been able to get into a rhythm this season as he has battled injuries and also sits regularly as a member of Tampa Bay’s platoon-happy offense. Maybe the past few games are something he and his 14.6% Barrel% and .252 ISO, both his best since 2021, can build on.


Lenyn Sosa (CHW): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

There was a Sosa who plays for a Chicago baseball team who hit a home run on Thursday. No, it’s not 1998 and his first name isn’t Sammy. Lenyn Sosa has been a bright spot lately for the White Sox, and he’s doing it all under the radar. Sosa started off the year hitting a measly .132/.154/.184 and was optioned to Triple-A on April 21. On May 31 he returned to the big leagues and managed to raise his slash line to .252/.287/.392. In his last seven games, Sosa has hit two of his four homers this season and is slashing an impressive .407/.429/.741. He also has two hits or more in five consecutive games. Hot streak or not, Sosa is getting it done and is only owned in 2% of Yahoo! leagues.


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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