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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 Tampa Bay Rays, who are a competent lineup away from making some noise in 2020.
Meadows' 2019 season wasn't all solid - he hit .232 from June to August - but he went on a tear to end the year and finished with a .291 average, a stark improvement from his .250 mark as a rookie. His discipline at the plate suggests it's a change worth betting on heading into 2020.
Much like Meadows, Lowe took a major leap in average from 2018 (.233) to 2019 (.270). Unlike Meadows, we aren't buying it. Lowe's sky-high .377 BABIP is likely to regress in 2020, and his contact numbers aren't consistent enough to bet on another strong year at the plate.
Renfroe was a strikeout machine last year, whiffing on 31.2% of his at-bats to produce a career-worst .216 average. The good news is that he's unlikely to replicate such a poor showing, and the move away from Petco Park - where he's a career .229 hitter - could be the change of scenery he needs.
This line is spot-on for Diaz, who's eclipsed .270 just once in three years but batted .263 and .267 in the other two seasons. A glance at his advanced stats shows that his 2018 line (.312) is the outlier of the bunch, with elevated contact numbers and a favorable mark on balls in play. Without clear year-over-year progression, we'll fade Diaz in his fourth campaign.
The Rays signed Tsutsugo this offseason for his power after the lefty slugger averaged 31.2 homers over his last six seasons in Japan. But can he hit for average? He managed a sub-.300 mark in each of the last three years, which makes it tough to project immediate success as a contact hitter in the majors. Call this a tentative fade.
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.