When it comes time to set your lineup each week, a large amount of focus is often placed on maximizing pitching matchups. Now, there is nothing wrong with it, and I wrote a whole article about Fantasy Baseball Two Start pitchers, but let us give some respect to the bats as well. Hitters can have both good and bad matchups and situations as well, and exploiting that could ultimately serve to be a wise strategy. With that being said, let us take a look at Five Hitters to Str
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Five Hitters to Stream
Michael Harris, OF, Atlanta Braves
Now, let me be clear, Harris is going to be rostered in all formats after being off the board by the end of the third round in drafts this past off-season, but the sophomore outfielder has been a huge disappointment. Sure, an injury did not help, but when he has been on the field so far in 2023, things have not gone according to plan either.
Following action on Saturday, Harris is hitting just .177 but he did hit his second home run of the season on Friday. While you do not want to take the easy way out and blame things on BABIP, Harris’ BABIP is sitting at .214, so even if you are not a true believer in what he did last season, things have to get better. What does give me some comfort though is that his exit velocity and hard-hit data are quite similar to where it was in 2022, so it really just a matter of time for Harris.
Jake McCarthy, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Talk about another early-season disappointment, we do not need to look much further than McCarthy. His early season struggles earned him a trip back to Triple-A as a .138 batting average in 73 plate appearances simply was not getting it done. It is not like a truly high average was expected out of the Arizona outfielder, but when you are being drafted in the early stages of drafts, there is an expectation of stolen bases, and that cannot happen without first reaching first base.
The stint in Triple-A has seemed to benefit McCarthy though as he hit .322 with four home runs, 17 RBI, and 17 runs scored while stealing four bases in 22 games to earn a return trip to Arizona. Upon his return, McCarthy stole a base in his first game after walking and picked up a double the next day. Arizona promoted McCarthy to play him, and at this point, the investment is minimal in the quest for stolen bases.
Matt McLain, SS, Cincinnati Reds
The Reds promoted McLain to play him, and they have certainly done that, so we are good from that standpoint. What is even better though, is the fact that McLain has made things easy for Cincinnati by hitting.
The shortstop is currently in the midst of a six-game hitting streak, with three of his last four games being multi-hit efforts, to bring his average through 11 games to .333 with two home runs, seven RBI, and 12 runs scored. Strikeouts will be something to watch and coupled with his .242 BABIP, I am not ready to go all in on McLain, but for the purposes of the upcoming week, let us ride the early wave of success.
Jake Burger, 3B, Chicago White Sox
A stint on the Injured List did not appear to slow Burger down as he returned a few weeks ago with three straight multi-hit games. After a few hitless games, Burger bounced back and he is quickly proving to be an integral part of Chicago’s lineup.
This is evidenced by his placement in the second spot of the batter order last week as well as the fact that the White Sox are having him take groundballs at second base to increase the ways they can get his bat in the lineup. In the longer term, picking up the additional eligibility will only serve as a plus for Burger’s value. With 10 home runs in 115 at-bats, there are no illusions about what we are after and it is pretty tough to ignore his 20.5% barrel rate and 52.6% hard hit rate.
Luis Urias, IF, Milwaukee Brewers
If you play in just one game prior to hitting the 60-Day Injured List, it might be pretty easy to be forgotten. The good news for Urias is that his hamstring appears to be healed as he is taking part in rehab games at Triple-A and could very well be on track for activation on Tuesday. Given the concussion suffered by Willy Adames, this could be the perfect opportunity for Urias to hit the ground running in the lineup and his multi-positional eligibility could help you plug a few holes in your lineup for the upcoming week.