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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 Boston Red Sox, who will be looking for someone to step up after trading away Mookie Betts in the offseason.
|Jackie Bradley Jr.||.240||-115||-115|
Benintendi seemed due for a breakout in 2019 after hitting .290 the year before. Instead, he saw his average dip to .266 over a lackluster campaign. Which was the anomaly? He's bested .275 just once in his three full seasons (200+ PA), and his contact rate that year was well above his career mean. Under is the safer play.
It's been four years since Martinez didn't bat at least .300, and his plate discipline has steadily improved over those seasons. What's not to like about him going over again on a reasonable number? We'll ride the over until he gives us a reason not to.
It seems like the bat may never come around for Bradley, who's now hit below .240 for two straight seasons and is projected to bat at or below that number by every major projection system. Regression near the end of the 2019 season doesn't give much reason for optimism, either.
Will a move to Boston really boost Pillar's numbers by this much? The veteran outfielder is a career .307 hitter at Fenway Park, but he's batted .270 just once over his seven-year career (2015), and the Red Sox certainly didn't sign him to a one-year deal for his offense. It could be close, but we'll err on the conservative side.
Moreland showed some pop near the end of 2019, batting .279 over the final three months after a poor start to the campaign. He hasn't hit .250 since his career year in 2015 (.278), but signs are pointing up for the 10-year vet.
How much will Betts' departure hurt Devers, who batted .334 from the two-hole last year with the former regularly leading off? Likely not much - the versatile infielder hit .300 or better from five different spots in the order in his breakout 2019 campaign. He was one of baseball's hottest hitters to end the year and is primed for another impressive line.
With Betts gone, the pressure is on Bogaerts to replicate his stellar production from 2018 (.288) and 2019 (.309). Those efforts coincided with an elevated launch angle and harder hit rate, both of which project favorably for Bogaerts heading into 2020. He's gone over this mark in four of the last five years, and he's a strong buy to do it again.
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.