MLB Hitter Power Rankings: June Edition

Recently I saw this post by MLB on Twitter that inspired me to create my own method of power rankings for hitters. There’s so much talent and data available to us today, which allows someone like me to come up with a reasonable confirmation of who is the best hitter in baseball right now.

My Top Ten

  1. Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees
  2. Mike Trout, OF, Angels
  3. Yordan Alvarez, DH, Astros
  4. Bryce Harper, DH, Phillies
  5. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Cardinals
  6. Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox
  7. Kyle Schwarber, 1B/OF, Phillies
  8. Pete Alonso, 1B, Mets
  9. Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Yankees
  10. Jose Ramirez, 3B, Guardians

Which MLB Hitter Has Been the ‘Best’ in Recent Years? MLB Research Question

In baseball, there are dozens of statistics that are used to measure a players overall performance. Rather than joining the never ending conversation of which ones matter vs. which ones don’t, I set out to answer my own question based on my own criteria. The question is – which MLB player has been the best hitter for the past three seasons? When I say ‘best’, I mean who gives their team the best chance to win by hitting the ball. For the sake of this research question, the four stats I will be analyzing are wOBA, runs produced (RBI + R scored), hard hit percentage and average exit velocity.

Here is my reasoning and brief explanation for each:

  • wOBA (weighted on base average) is my favorite offensive statistic in sports. It does a precise job of measuring players’ and teams’ ability to be productive, as it assigns different weighted scores to different results of an at bat. wOBA has the highest correlation of any offensive stat to runs scored, meaning the better the wOBA, the higher the runs scored will be.
  • Runs produced (RBI + R) captures the availability and the effectiveness of a player within the lineup he plays in. The entire defense of 9 players is doing all they can to prevent runs from crossing the plate, so that should indicate the importance of a stat like this. This obviously helps guys in the lineup every day, but that’s something that is a pre requisite to be the best hitter in the game.
  • Hard hit percentage measures how often a player ends an at bat with a hard hit ball in fair territory. From youth sports all the way to the professional leagues, hitting a ball hard is always the first goal for hitters because it; breeds confidence, increases chances of getting a hit/on base, and also is a really simple goal to have for each plate appearance.
  • Average exit velocity is very similar to hard hit percentage, but it differs because it really works to measure the raw power in each player rather than how often that player reaches that raw power. Larger built guys score better here, but the reality is that they are able to generate more force behind the baseball which is what drives extra base hits and tough defensive plays.

TOP TEN HITTERS 2019-2021

  1. Mookie Betts
  2. Vlad Guerrero Jr.
  3. Manny Machado
  4. Matt Olson
  5. Nelson Cruz Jr.
  6. Rafael Devers
  7. Bryce Harper
  8. Jose Abreu
  9. Freddie Freeman
  10. Juan Soto

Winning a batting title is something most professional players will never feel the joy of winning. But, does winning a batting title necessarily mean they are one of the better offensive players in the sport? Here’s a look at the past three batting title winners and a summary of their stats for those years:

As you will see, placing more weight on certain statistics of a player will provide a clearer image for who really has been the best. So, batting average doesn’t really indicate the best offensive player; after the final calculations, Turner ranks as the 13th best hitter, LaMahieu 11th and Anderson 37th over the past three seasons (2019, 2020, 2021).

The Analysis

I began this process by gathering the relevant statistics from trusted open sites such as Baseball Savant and Baseball Reference. After cleaning and importing the data to work with, I broke it down into three sections for each year in question.

For each year the same methods of calculation were used; each recorded stat is measured up against the rest of the qualified hitters for that season, by utilizing a formula that requires a Most Desirable (maximum value) and a Least Desirable (minimum value) score. This score is referenced as the scaled score.

In this case the highest number for each stat was the most desirable, but it may be the case (like pitching statistics) where least desirable is actually the lowest number.

Next, the scaled score is multiplied by a pre-determined weight for each category. The total weight between all categories must equal 100, and since there are four categories I used, I think they are all equally important so I weigh them at 25 (out of 100) each. This results in the actual score.

Once the actual score is gathered for each of the categories, the sum of those actual scores results in a players final score for that season.

This process occurred for all three seasons, and the final score at the end of every season was used in sum to get the FINAL rankings for the previous three years.

Conclusion

The hitters that rank higher in these calculations are those that take good swings at the plate and make the most of their opportunities on a routine basis. So, if I had to start a MLB team with one offensive player, I would start with Juan Soto.

2022 MLB Future Bets: Best Odds, Picks and Charts for EVERY Team

Not long ago, it seemed like professional baseball being played this spring was a long shot. After both sides agreed to something, the great sport of baseball is almost back in full swing (pun intended), only awaiting the first pitch of the season, scheduled to be Thursday, April 7th.

Each team has a winning total set by various sports books in my state, so we’ll start with team win totals, then move on to division winners, player props and finally league awards bets. All of this work was done by @All_TimeBets & @DailyCFBCBB on Twitter, both of those pages are shown at the end of this page to get a feel for what they provide.

Italicized bets are @DailyCFBCBB picks

Bold bets are agreed upon by both parties

Regular font are @All_TimeBets picks

A.L. Central

  • Chicago White Sox // Over 91.5 (+100)
  • Cleveland Guardians // Under 76.5 (-110)
  • Detroit Tigers // Over 77.5 (-110)
  • Kansas City Royals // Over 74.5 (-110)
  • Minnesota Twins // Under 81.5 (-110)

A.L. East

You would have to bet every team (other than the Orioles) to win 90+ games to cash in their over prop within the division this season.
  • Baltimore Orioles // Under 62.5 (-110)
  • Boston Red Sox // Under 85.5 (-110)
  • New York Yankees // Under 91.5 (-110)
  • Tampa Bay Rays // Over 89.5 (-115)
  • Toronto Blue Jays // Over 92.5 (-110)

A.L. West

Make it six straight years for the Astros to be the favorite of the division. Meanwhile other teams like Seattle and Texas have not been able to sustain the edge they had for a few seasons.
  • Houston Astros // Under 92.5 (-110)
  • Los Angeles Angels // Under 84.5 (-110)
  • Oakland Athletics // Under 69.5 (-110)
  • Seattle Mariners // Under 84.5 (-110)
  • Texas Rangers // Over 74.5 (-110)

N.L. East

For the first time since 2016, the Mets have the highest win total listed in the division.

  • Atlanta Braves // Under 91.5 (-110)
  • Miami Marlins // Over 76.5 (-110)
  • New York Mets // Under 88.5 (-110)
  • Philadelphia Phillies // Under 86.5 (-105)
  • Washington Nationals // Under 71.5 (-110)

N.L. Central

The Pittsburgh Pirates weren’t always irrelevant, but them and the Chicago Cubs have opened the door for Milwaukee and St. Louis to fight for the division.

  • Chicago Cubs // Under 75.5 (-110)
  • Cincinnati Reds // Under 74.5 (-110)
  • Milwaukee Brewers // Over 89.5 (-110)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates // Under 65.5 (-115)
  • St. Louis Cardinals // Over 84.5 (-110)

N.L. West

Arizona and Colorado are set up to watch the Dodgers prey all over the division… again.

  • Arizona Diamondbacks // Over 67.5 (-115)
  • Colorado Rockies // Under 68.5 (-115)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers // Over 98.5 (-105)
  • San Diego Padres // Over 90.5 (-110)
  • San Francisco Giants // Under 86.5 (-115)

Division Winners

AL Central: White Sox (-195) & Detroit Tigers (+800)

AL East: Blue Jays (+170)

AL West: Mariners (+450)

NL Central: Cardinals (+215)

NL East: Braves (+115)

NL West: Dodgers (-235)

Player Props

Home Runs
  • A. Meadows u28.5 home runs (-110)
  • A. Judge u36.5 home runs (-110)
  • C. Seager o26.5 home runs (-110)
  • H. Renfroe o31.5 home runs (-110)
  • T. Story u26.5 home runs (-110)
  • J. Soto u34.5 home runs (-110)
  • R. Devers o37.5 home runs (-105)
RBI’s
  • T. Hernandez o99.5 runs batted in (-110)
  • E. Suarez u98.5 runs batted in (-110)
Strikeouts
  • A. Manoah o152.5 strikeouts (-105)
  • C. Morton u185.5 strikeouts (-110)
  • N. Eovaldi o185.5 strikeouts (-110)
  • S. Bieber o235.5 strikeouts (-110)
Matchbets

Season Awards

MVP

S. Ohtani (+350)

K. Tucker (+2500)

Y. Alvarez (+3000)

X. Bogaerts (+4500)

R. Acuna Jr (+700)

F. Freeman (+1200)

M. Olson (+2200)

Cy Young

S. Bieber (+700)

Jose Berrios (+2000)

C. Burnes (+750)

W. Buehler (+900)

M. Fried (+2200)

A. DeSclafani (+9000)

Rookie of the Year

S. Torkelson (+450)

J. Rodriguez (+500)

R. Greene (+1500)

S. Suzuki (+380)

H. Greene (+750)

S. Sanchez (+1300)

Keep in mind the best strategy is not to bet on everything you see written here, and to always do your own research. For consistent quality sports betting content and a welcoming community, follow the Twitter accounts that contributed to this post:

@DailyCFBCBB

@All_TimeBets

Odds by FanDuel Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook and BetMGM.

08/26 MLB Bets

Dodgers vs. Padres

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Under 7.5 (-102). After last nights thrilling game, these two teams have got to be exhausted and will be stuck facing two of the best strikeout guys in league history throughout their careers. Both pitchers have a K rate higher than 33.3% against the respective rosters, and both offenses rank outside the top 20 for wOBA, wRC+ and BABIP the past two weeks. These are how well the starting pitchers have been in the past month:

StatScherzerDarvish
wOBA allowed.259.334
K%32.1%36.9%
WHIP0.991.15
FIP2.954.83
xFIP3.212.26

It may look like the immediate upper hand goes to Scherzer and the Dodgers, but Darvish’ career numbers against the Dodgers lineup are good enough to do a double take, and feel confident taking the under in this game. See for yourself:

Baseball Savant

Nationals vs. Marlins

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

WSH tto3.5 (-110). Both pitchers have relatively good stats against the current opposing rosters, which is probably why this total is set low. However, RHP Hernandez has a pretty high 6.57 FIP in the past month, and I’m not convinced he will hold the Nationals at bay like he did with much weaker offenses in CHC & PIT in his earlier starts this year. WSH has a patient offense, ranking second in BB rate at 11.3% the last two weeks, but also rank 10th in wOBA at .335 and 11th in wRC+ in that same time frame. WSH averages 4.57 runs per game on the road this year, this is a good number for bettors!

Giants vs. Mets

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Giants ML (-118). Nothing wrong with betting the favorite when this favorite happens to be the best team at winning games, like I have mentioned before! RHP Carrasco owns a 1.65 WHIP, 5.68 FIP and a .411 wOBA against him in the past month of action. He doesn’t have a single quality start all year, and the Giants will probably get to him early and often, despite his career success against the current roster. LHP Wood has been good against this Mets roster in his career as well, but he comes into this matchup with a 1.39 WHIP, 3.43 FIP and a .322 wOBA against him in the past month giving him the slight recency edge for starting pitching. The Mets are one of the worst teams at hitting lefties this year, their wOBA is .249 (27th) against LHP, and they only have a wRC+ of 53 (27th).

Diamondbacks vs. Phillies

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Diamondbacks F5 ML (+118). I like the juice enough here to trust the numbers. Certain numbers would indicate that this PHI offense is the worst in baseball as of late. In the past two weeks, they are second to last in wRC+, wOBA, and dead last in runs scored with 38. On the other hand, ARI ranks seventh in wRC+, fourth in wOBA and 10th in runs scored with 63 during that same time frame. RHP Eflin is making his first start after coming back from injury, and his career success against the ARI lineup might not be enough to rely on for this matchup. RHP Gallen has an incredibly high 28.2% K rate the past month in addition to an above average .311 wOBA against him. There is enough to trust this underdog play.

08/24 MLB Bets

Diamondbacks vs. Pirates

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Diamondbacks -1.5 (+130). Say what you want about these two teams and how I might regret betting on either one of them, but this is a pretty good payout for a team that should have no problem winning this game. LHP Bumgarner has gone seven straight starts without giving up more than two earned runs, and in the past month he has a great FIP of 3.42 and wOBA against him at just .258. The Pirates offense is the leagues worst in the past month with only 58 wRC+ and the worst wOBA at .256. The Dbacks on the other hand are top ten in most offensive categories the past month, a .350 wOBA (5th), 118 wRC+ (6th), and 65 runs total (9th). I am even more confident betting against RHP Brubaker, who posts a 7.46 FIP and 10.1% BB rate in the past month. The Pirates have lost 11 of his last 12 starts, so that should tell you enough.

Nationals vs. Marlins

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Nationals ML (-105). I think this game will end with a Nationals victory. RHP Fedde has a 2.31 FIP against the Marlins lineup in his career, along with a 23.1% K rate and just a .162 wOBA allowed. LHP Luzardo has been a nightmare lately, posting a 12.4% BB rate and a 6.20 FIP in his last 36 innings. On top of that, the Nationals have the second highest walk rate in the majors the past two weeks at 11.8%, and are ninth in wOBA at .336 in the past two weeks as well.

Reds vs. Brewers

Brewers -1.5 (+105). I am looking to take advantage of RHP Burnes’ abilities in some form or another. He has been virtually impossible to score against in his last three starts, throwing 21 innings and giving up only one run. RHP Mahle has shown the ability to shut out opponents, but I believe it is more the exception than the norm, and that’s likely what he’ll have to do going toe to toe with Burnes. MIL has the best offense in baseball the past two weeks, leading the league in wRC+ with 134, wOBA with .375 and second in runs (TB) with 78. Being at the top of the league in those stats is usually enough for me to believe they can cover the run line behind an ace pitcher, who is also the best in the entire league at what he does.

Baseball Savant

08/23 MLB Bets

Rangers vs. Red Sox

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Red Sox -1.5 (-160). Maybe I’m crazy enough to take such a big favorite, but I am comfortable betting my usual price on the Red Sox to beat the Rangers by 2 runs or more this game. The Red Sox have the best hitting offense in the league the past two weeks, as they collectively own a .369 wOBA, they have scored the second most runs (Rays) in that time frame with 75, and also have the third lowest strikeout rate at just 17.7%. LHP Allard has flat out been one of the worst pitchers on the Rangers this season with a 3-10 record and a FIP of 4.76. I’ll give him credit, he has put together three straight quality starts and does look to have promise, which makes it hard to bet against his recent success. However, there was a seven game stretch in which the Rangers lost all of his starts by at least two runs. RHP Eovaldi has also been kind of a wildcard this season in terms of runs allowed, but with a 24% K rate and just a 4% BB rate in the past month, he is showing effective control amongst the best of them.

White Sox vs. Blue Jays

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Blue Jays ML (-105). This is a VERY well matched game that I’m interested in having a little bit of stake in.

StatTORCHW
K Rate17.3%22.0%
BB Rate9.6%8.5%
wOBA.338.343
wRC+113120
Past Two Weeks

RHP Lynn has been amongst the best in the past month, allowing just a .298 wOBA and striking out 27.8% of the batters he’s faced to go along with a FIP of 3.25. The White Sox have won the last five games Lynn has started, and he threw seven innings of one run baseball against TOR over two months ago. RHP Manoah has an even better wOBA in the past month at just .270 and a strikeout percentage of 23.3%. His FIP is not too far from Lynn’s at 3.68 either. He pitched six innings and allowed one earned run against CHW the last time these two pitchers went head to head. Obviously a closely matched game, but I think the edge goes to the team sleeping in their own bed the night before, and am backing the Jays in this one.

Yankees vs. Braves

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Yankees F5 ML (+120). This is yet another very well matched game that I want at least a little bit of dog in the fight.

StatNYYATL
K Rate25.9%21.3%
BB Rate12.0%11.6%
wOBA.342.346
wRC+119114
Past Two Weeks (FanGraphs)

LHP Montgomery has been good enough against the Braves lineup to show confidence in taking them as underdogs. Through 23 plate appearances, they own a .228 wOBA against him and he has just a 2.82 FIP while only allowing one extra base hit. Meanwhile on a much smaller scale, RHP Ynoa owns a 14.11 FIP and wOBA of .656 against them through 10 plate appearances against a handful of Yankees hitters (Rizzo, Gardner, Sanchez, LeMahieu, Voit).

My Personal Favorite Follow on Twitter for quickly gaining some profit:

08/21 MLB BETS

White Sox vs. Rays

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Over 9 (-115). LHP Keuchel has a 6.36 FIP and a 20.6% strikeout rate against the Rays lineup in his career, and he has already recorded as many losses in the second half of the season (3) as the first half. The Rays offense has been on a tear, ranking first in wRC+ in the past two weeks while scoring a league best 98 runs – 20 runs more than the next closest team. RHP Patino has only had one start over a 50 game score in his last seven starts, and the White Sox lineup will be ready to capitalize on any mistakes he makes today, as they rank fifth in slugging percentage the past two weeks at .468 and sixth in wRC+.

Royals vs. Cubs

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Royals ML (+108). The Cubs are just another type of bad right now, having just snapped a 12-game losing streak, and their strikeout percentage is the highest in the majors the last two weeks at 32.7%. On the flip side, the Royals have the lowest strikeout percentage in the league at just 17.8% in that same time frame. RHP Thompson has been a reliever for the Cubs all year, so in a limited role I like the chances of a tough Royals lineup to score more than enough runs against at least a few Cubs pitchers to win this game at a good moneyline price. I think the line is as close as it can get because of RHP Bubic’s last start against the Cardinals in which he gave up seven earned runs and couldn’t make it out of the second inning. Before that however, he had thrown 4 out of 5 quality starts against good divisional teams like the White Sox and Tigers.

A’s vs Giants

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Giants F5 ML (-125). The A’s are one of the better teams in baseball, but let’s not forget that they had just dropped two straight series, one to the god awful Rangers. Meanwhile the Giants ARE the best team in baseball, and they haven’t had a three game losing streak since July 1st. RHP Gausman has pitched to a 3-0 record in August, while LHP Manea is 0-2 while giving up seven runs and five runs in those two losses. He also had a start in which he couldn’t make it out of the second inning against the Indians and had already given up three earned runs.

Pirates vs. Cardinals

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cardinals -1.5 (-105). The Pirates shut out the Cards in yesterday’s game, but today is another day and I like the Cardinals here. LHP Happ is taking the mound, and since joining the Cardinals he is 2-0 without allowing more than two runs in any start. Additionally, the Pirates lineup in a small sample size only has a .325 xSLG with a wOBA of just .248 against Happ, which is among the lowest for starters going today. In the past two weeks, the Pirates have struck out the fifth most of any MLB team with a strikeout percentage of 25.7% while the Cardinals are only at 22.3%, which is the 18th highest.

Phillies vs. Padres

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Padres ML (-155). This is probably the hardest matchup for me to pick on the day. The main reason for this is RHP Nola’s dominance against the Padres lineup, allowing just a .257 wOBA with a 28.9% strikeout rate mixed with RHP Musgrove’s dominance against the Phillies, as he has a .265 wOBA with a 30.3% strikeout rate against them. The difference maker to me is the Phillies struggling offense, posting a team wOBA of .263 the past two weeks, and only scoring 33 runs, both are the second worst in the majors during that time. Musgrove is coming off a rough last start, but prior to that he had four straight quality starts and the Padres won three of those four. Meanwhile Nola hasn’t thrown more than five innings this month, and has given up four runs or more twice already.

08/19 MLB Game Bets, Picks, Predictions: Orioles vs. Rays, Brewers vs. Cardinals

Brewers vs. Cardinals

Rating: 3 out of 5.

MIL OVER 4.5 (-115). Everything about this matchup screams a series sweep for the Brewers. Their offense has the highest slugging percentage in the national league the past two weeks at .513, and also have a league best .292 batting average as a team in that time frame as well. They are facing LHP Lester, who has allowed a .389 batting average to this Brewers lineup in his career and is the owner of a 6.43 ERA in his last 21 innings of work. He’s had a harder time getting swings and misses lately, so I just don’t expect him to shut down a Brewers lineup the way that I expect RHP Woodruff to shut down a Cardinals lineup that hits just .178 against him in their careers. Because it is a divisional opponent, I feel safer betting on the Brewers offense to back me up rather than relying solely on Woodruff to cover a run line or under total. Riding with all favorites isn’t typically the way to go, but I think there’s enough juice here today for both of these to reign true.

Phillies vs. Diamondbacks

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Diamondbacks F5 ML (+146). LHP Bumgarner has dialed the time machine back to when he carried his team to a world series. In his past five starts the team has gone 4-1 and he has pitched to a 2.03 ERA, and hasn’t given up more than two runs in six straight starts. Meanwhile, RHP Wheeler has allowed four runs in five of his last seven starts and is pitching to a lineup that surprisingly isn’t as bad as even the Phillies lineup has been. In the past week, the Phillies are dead last in the national league with 17 runs scored, while the Diamondbacks are modest at 17th with 31 runs scored. The Diamondbacks are actually hitting the ball better as well, posting a top five slugging percentage in the past week at .505 compared to the Phillies of .313, which is good for dead last in all of baseball. I am hoping that the Diamondbacks can pull of a somewhat shocking series sweep, as they will be taking the field with their best pitcher as of late and an offense that is hitting much better than the counterpart.

08/18 MLB Game Bets, Picks, Predictions: Red Sox vs. Yankees, Padres vs. Rockies

Red Sox vs. Yankees

Red Sox F5 ML (-105). These two teams have offenses that are playing very well, as the Red Sox lead the majors with 54 runs in the past week while the Yankees are ninth with 34. A doubleheader sweep was a wake up call for the Red Sox, who have seen their grip on the AL East be threatened. However, the Yankees are sending LHP Heaney to the mound, and in his last two starts he has posted a 6.43 ERA and has some serious home/road splits, with a 5.37 ERA at home compared to just 3.09 on the road. Meanwhile, RHP Pivetta has thrown the ball much better as of late, with a 3.38 ERA and a .169 BAA in his last 21 and one third innings. I like the chances of the Red Sox offense springing on Heaney and Pivetta to continue his strong performances.

Padres vs. Rockies

Rockies F5 ML (+118), OVER 14 (-105). A nice little underdog play, but the Rockies have actually had the Padres number this year, going 10-8 against them while outscoring them 71-63. The Rockies are going for the series sweep after covering the alternating spread in the first two games. The Rockies are much better at home than on the road, going 40-21 in Colorado this season, and given that they already roughed up Arrieta once this year in Colorado, I like their chances to do it again and secure yet another home win over their division rival. Over the past two weeks, the Rockies have the third highest slugging percentage in the national league at .491, and we all know how a game can go with a hot offense in Colorado. I am taking the Rockies to get to Arrieta like everyone else has this year.

This is the highest over total I have ever taken, but there’s many reasons to do so. The Rockies are averaging 8.5 runs per game in their last eight home games, and that’s without facing Arrieta who has a 13.50 ERA in his last 14 innings pitched, and will be making the first start for his new team in a park that he has a career 10.13 ERA in, during 18 and two thirds innings of work over the years resulting in an 0-3 record. Also, the Padres still have a very above average lineup. With Tatis Jr, Machado, Frazier, and more, there’s always a threat to score multiple runs quickly. To help with that confidence, Gonzalez’ last four starts have all went over 12 runs, and the last ones have both gone 14 runs total or more. This might be an 8-7 game that the Rockies squeeze out.

Angels vs. Tigers

Angels -1.5 (+130). RHP Ohtani has given up two earned runs or less in five straight starts, and has recorded the win in four of those games. The Tigers have just a .379 slugging in the past week, good for 21st in the league while the Angels are even lower at .341. LHP Skubal has put it together in his last two starts, not allowing a single earned run while the Tigers covered both spreads. However, he had been very shaky prior to those two starts, and over his career he hasn’t shown the ability to continue great streaks like he is currently on. I expect a low scoring affair capped off with an Angels win.

All odds taken from DraftKings official sportsbook: https://sportsbook.draftkings.com/leagues/baseball/88670847?category=game-lines&subcategory=game.

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