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While we await news on the upcoming MLB season, we're sifting through the best player props by team to find preseason value on some of baseball's biggest names. Today, we break down the New York Yankees, who enter 2020 as the clear American League favorites after losing in the ALCS a year ago.
You might be tempted to fade Judge's average due to his reputation as a power hitter, but he's consistently hit at or above this mark over the last three years. The one time he didn't clear the bar was last year when he batted .276 from the two-hole but was 0-for-5 from all other spots combined, dropping his total average to .272. Expect the Yanks to keep their slugger where he's comfortable, and the results should follow.
Surely LeMahieu won't replicate his power numbers from 2019 when he surprisingly hit 26 home runs in his first year away from Coors Field. But his impressive batting average (.326) in his Yankees debut should come as no surprise - he's cleared at least .300 in four of the last five seasons, and he's a career .301 hitter from the leadoff spot. This number is too low and should be an easy over.
This number is just a tick below Sanchez's career .246 mark, but the catcher hit .232 last year after a dreadful .186 mark in 2018. It's a curious dip, as he's been making contact at roughly the same rate as he did early in his career, but it's hard to project a massive step forward in 2020.
After an injury-plagued 2019, during which Stanton logged just 72 plate appearances, oddsmakers are pricing this number a bit higher than what you'd expect from the four-time All-Star. Stanton hit .288 in limited action a year ago, but a sky-high .424 BABIP played a role, and he hit better than .270 just once in the four years prior.
Can Torres replicate his magic from last year's season series against the Orioles? The two-time All-Star hit .278 in 2019 but was an incredible .394 over 66 at-bats against Baltimore, his best against any team with at least 15 plate appearances.
Without those stellar outings against the O's, Torres would have hit .263 for the campaign - more in line with his .261 average over the last three months of last season. The 23-year-old shortstop is a rising star, but don't expect his average to rise from a year ago.
Can the real Miguel Andujar please stand up? After bursting onto the scene with a .297 average as a rookie in 2018, the third baseman registered just six hits in 47 at-bats (.128) a year ago. You could chalk it up to bad luck on batted balls in play (.162), though a brutal 37.8% soft contact rate points the finger back at Andujar.
Injuries cast a cloud on his entire campaign, so we'll lean on the sample size of 2018, when his contact rate was closer to what you'd expect from a hitter of Andujar's ilk. Overlook his poor slash line from 2019 and play the over on a reasonable number.
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.