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MLB Insider Pegs Astros Slugger as Biggest Beneficiary of 2023 Rule Changes

Devon Platana
An MLB insider has named a Houston Astros slugger as the biggest beneficiary of the 2023 rule changes.
An MLB insider has named a Houston Astros slugger as the biggest beneficiary of the 2023 rule changes. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

MLB recently announced a slew of rule changes coming to the Majors in 2023. While a 15-second pitch clock and bigger bases caught some fans' eyes, one of the biggest changes is the elimination of the shift on defense.

Many players should benefit from the shift rule change, especially as far as left-handed hitters go. The Athletic's Eno Sarris lists Houston Astros slugger Kyle Tucker as one of the biggest beneficiaries of the upcoming defensive changes.

Houston Astros News

When the 2023 MLB season begins, clubs must have two infielders on each side of second base before a pitch is thrown. Additionally, there must be at least four players with their feet on the infield dirt boundaries, which should work to Tucker's benefit.

Tucker has faced the shift in a career-high 90.4% of plate appearances in 2022, according to Baseball Savant. It's worked against him more often than not, proven by his .341 weighted on-base average (wOBA) when a shift is in effect compared to his .471 wOBA when there isn't one.

Sarris lists Tucker's batting average on ground balls up the middle at .405 — a number that should increase without the shift. Considering how the first-time All-Star has recorded 29 home runs and 102 RBIs with this shift this season, fans could get a glimpse of his full potential next year.

At the end of the day, there are still several months before those rules come into effect. In the meantime, Tuckers turns his focus towards helping the Astros win their first World Series title since 2017.

Astros World Series Odds

The Astros have a tremendous chance to win the 2022 World Series, according to FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds. Their +400 odds to win the title trail only the Los Angeles Dodgers, who sit first at +290.

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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.