While the Houston Astros‘ offense came down to Earth in the past two matchups with the Oakland A’s, there seems to be a reoccurring thing within the heart of the lineup. It doesn’t have to deal with a Yordan Alvarez home run or Alex Bregman getting on base; it is the fact that Kyle Tucker has at least one RBI in eight of his nine games this season.
Although having an RBI in six straight games, the left-hander went quiet in Thursday’s game against the A’s. This happens from time to time, but once a batting order might not matter the second or third time through, Tucker seems to find a way to drive in a run at least once a game.
Kyle Tucker has become reliable in the six hole for the Astros.
While tied fourth in MLB with 11 RBIs this season, the 24-year-old is currently leading the major leagues in sacrifice flies. Although RBIs and sacrifice fly outs or bunts are not a true statistic on overall performance, Tucker is bringing in runs to win games.
Through 41 plate appearances in April, the left-hander has hit .189/.220/.541 at the plate. The numbers are in an average slate with a small sample size, but with an OPS and OPS+ north of the league average, Tucker could look to turn it around. With four of his seven hits being a home run (tied fifth in MLB), the power and slugging is what is boosting his numbers.
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From an analytical approach, Tucker is barreling the ball well and hitting it hard, but isn’t finding the gaps or adjusting to pitches quickly. While mainly a pull hitter, the left-hander has to hit through shifts to get on base, but with Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa and Yordan Alvarez before him, it makes sense that Tucker is bringing in easy runs.
If these three plus Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley find their way on base, Tucker will continue brining runners home. After a stellar 2020, we will see how the no batting gloved right fielder will fair in 162 games. From hitting in the two hole to cleanup, the left-hander is best suited behind those that get on base. Although not having the highest of percentages, Baseball Savant shows how Tucker is hitting the ball well, but it is not falling in his favor.