Hitter Regression | April 29 to May 5 | Big City Nights

Hitter Regression | April 29 to May 5 | Big City Nights

With most of the free world’s attention turned to Game of Thrones, this article will instead quote the Scorpions:

  “Big city, big city nights, you keep me burning, big city, big city nights, always yearning…”

For the younger crowd, 1980’s metal bands definitely carved their niche. Just like Matt Adams of the Nationals. He’s a solid bench hitter who can fill in for spurts of production when needed. Oft injured Ryan Zimmerman landed on the injured list with Plantar Fasciitis forcing Adams into the lineup against a left-handed pitcher on Sunday. Although Adams did not fare well against Joey Lucchesi, he did hit a walk-off home run for the win, versus right-handed reliever Matt Wisler leading off the bottom of the 11th inning.

Prior to Sunday’s action, Adams entered the game with only one home run this season in 33 at-bats. However, since the start of 2017, Adams averages a home run every 15.15 at-bats against right-handed pitchers. Within this sample, he’s slashing .267/.325/.520 with a .253 isolated power in 576 at-bats. Zimmerman’s out and Washington will face a full slate of right-handed starters, four from St. Louis, his former team, along with three on a trip to Philadelphia. In his 2019 limited sample, Adams increased his average exit velocity to 91.3 MPH, up almost three MPH compared to last year. His launch angle’s down so far, but if yesterday’s home run provides a sneak preview of coming events, get on board the aptly named Big City. Adams dinger on Sunday left the bat at 108 MPH with a launch angle of 35 degrees traveling 423 feet.

For a sweetener, Adams owned a hard hit rate of 50 percent before Sunday’s game action with a .557 expected slugging percentage. Given a full run of at-bats this coming week along with favorable match-ups, keep Adams in mind when filling out daily lineups in the days ahead, his price should make him attractive as should the outcomes.

Mitch Moreland, Boston Red Sox

  • Three games versus Oakland, Four games at Chicago White Sox

With seven home runs through his first 96 plate appearances, Moreland’s certainly flashing some power, especially given his .302 isolated power. However, he should start seeing some hits fall in. Entering game play on Sunday, Moreland owned a .217 average with a .264 expected one according to Statcast. He’s also lagging a bit on power with a .570 expected slugging compared to a .530 actual. On tap for him this week, Frankie Montas, Aaron Brooks and Mike Fiers in three home games, not exactly a shutdown staff coming to town. Plus, he will head to a plus hitter park in Guaranteed Rate Field. Although the average may not move to the expected levels, the power surge gets reinforced by his expected slugging and Moreland should be able to jack at least three more over the wall this week, especially with his 94.5 MPH average exit velocity against fastballs.

Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Four games against southpaws this week

Although the venues could suppress power, Turner’s due for some positive regression against left-handed pitching. Between 2016-through-2018, Turner slashed .300/.402/.524 with 20 home runs in 433 at-bats against them with 68 walks against 69 (nice) strikeouts. Not solely versus lefties, Turner’s off to a slow start with an expected average 17 points over his actual, but with a power outage. Turner’s slugging percentage of .302 resides 127 points under his .429 expected slugging and his expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA) sits 59 points his present weighted on-base average (wOBA). As evidenced by Turner’s strong second half, he can get hot at a moment’s notice and there would be no better week for him to do so than with a bevy of southpaws on tap in four of the Dodgers six games this week. This also bodes well for teammates Chris Taylor and David Freese, for those seeking cheap mini-stacks in good spots.

Adam Frazier, Pittsburgh

  • Two games in Texas, three at home against Oakland

Remember the benefits of facing the A’s for Moreland, same goes for Adam Frazier. Plus, Frazier gets a two-day foray into Texas. Now, since Frazier’s been in this column before, last year’s second half will not be revisited. However, Frazier’s due for some luck as well. Before Sunday’s action, Frazier’s .265 average falls well short of his .316 expected one. His power also could benefit from regression with his slugging at .361 but his expected slugging at .465 with May on the horizon. With Jung-Ho Kang struggling, Colin Moran should get an opportunity against four right-handed pitchers to work towards his .503 expected slugging percentage which resides 63 points over his actual number.

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