- The Philadelphia Phillies landed MLB’s biggest free agent, Bryce Harper
- Harper is coming off of a season where he hit .249 with 34 home runs and 100 RBI
- With over/unders from multiple online sportsbooks, who offers the best value?
After all of that, Bryce Harper never left the NL East. He just changed uniforms.
As first reported by Jon Heyman, Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed on a 13-year deal worth $330-million. Both MLB records.
Breaking: Bryce to the Phillies
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 28, 2019
So now, with Spring Training in full swing and Harper finally ready to hit the field, attention turns to 2019. Just how will Harper’s season play out?
Bryce Harper 2019 Season Props
|Bryce Harper 2019 Props||Over Odds at Sportsbook 1||Under Odds at Sportsbook 1|
|Batting Average: .267||-120||-120|
|Home Runs: 33.5||-125||-105|
|Runs Scored: 97.5||-115||-115|
All odds taken on 02/28/19.
Bryce Harper 2019 Season Props
|Bryce Harper 2019 Props||Over Odds at Sportsbook 2||Under Odds at Sportsbook 2|
|Batting Average: .274||+100||-140|
|Home Runs: 34.5||-120||-100|
As you can see, the runs scored prop is unique to Sportsbook 1. It’s also an interesting one considering where Harper’s going, and the improvements the Phillies have made.
Sportsbook 1 has a lower O/U for batting average and home runs, but they’re on the high end when it comes to RBI.
Bryce Harper 2019 MVP Odds
|Will Bryce Harper Win MVP?||Odds at at Sportsbook 2|
Could Shortened Spring Hurt Bryce Harper?
For most free agents, we may wonder how a lengthy winter could affect their spring preparation. Bryce Harper is not most free agents.
As of his signing, Harper has missed the Phillies’ first eight spring training games. If Harper were to report and play in every game afterwards, he’d get into 25 for Philadelphia.
That’s likely not the case, but it shouldn’t alter Harper’s year too much. In the past four years, Harper has played over 20 spring games just once.
Bryce Harper Spring Training stats
|Spring Training Season||GP||AVG||HR||RBI||Runs|
Familiar Philly Should Help Bryce Harper
The big issue some free agents run into during their first season of a new deal, is new territory.
Some change divisions within their league, while others go from the AL to the NL or vice-versa.
Bryce Harper’s .564 career slugging percentage at Citizens Bank Park ranks 1st among 71 players with at least 200 plate appearances there.
Rhys Hoskins ranks 2nd on that list (.562).
— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) February 28, 2019
Harper will not have that issue. He’s staying in the NL East. He’s just changing jerseys.
And he’s never had an issue hitting in any NL East park.
Bryce Harper vs NL East Ballparks
|NL East Ballpark||Team||GP||AVG||HR||RBI||Runs|
|Citizens Bank Park||Phillies||50||.268||14||32||33|
Removing Nationals Park, Harper has enjoyed the newest stadium, SunTrust, the most. While his average is second-lowest at Citizens Bank, he’s also hit his most non-Washington home runs there.
— Daren Willman (@darenw) February 28, 2019
Over his career, Harper has averaged 67 home games a season.
Taking his career numbers in Philly, here’s how they average out over 67 games, compared to his 2018 stats in Washington.
Bryce Harper’s 2018 Home Stats vs 2019 Projection
Harper ended up playing a career-high 159 games last season, and missed just one home game. Even scaling back his home games, Harper’s trajectory would have him in line for more home runs in 2019.
If he were to play another 80 games, his home runs jump to 22.5. His RBI rise to 51 in this case, with his runs jumping to 53.
Playing in Philadelphia gives him a good head start on hitting those overs.
Career Averages Put Bryce Harper’s Totals in Perspective
While Bryce Harper has prodigious power, he has just two seasons of 30+ home runs. One was last year, and the other was his MVP season of 2015 when he led baseball with 42.
While Bryce Harper has prodigious power, he has just two seasons of 30+ home runs.
Harper began his career as a .270 hitter, but the last four years have seen wild fluctuations. He’s hit .330, .243, .319, and .249.
Bryce Harper. J.T. Realmuto. Jean Segura. The #Phillies have acquired 3 position players who were All-Stars in the previous year. I’m not sure any @MLB team in history has done that in a single offseason. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 28, 2019
If you believe in patterns, he’s in for a big year average wise. Here are his 162-game averages per Baseball Reference.
Bryce Harper career 162 game averages
Harper’s full-season averages have him split on his over/unders. The average and runs scored both go over in this case, while the homers and RBI fall to the under.
How Will Harper’s 2019 Play Out?
Harper’s yo-yoing batting average makes the .274 from at Sportsbook 2 a tough play. Even with at Sportsbook 1 setting it at .267, Harper has been boom or bust in this category. I would go UNDER here.
The OVER on both home runs and RBI for both sites is a solid play. This is where playing half of his games at Citizens Bank will come in handy.
Bryce Harper #Phillies Projection, via THE BAT
.389 wOBA (5th in MLB)
Harper is a stone cold stud. Fantastic get for Philadelphia.
— Derek Carty (@DerekCarty) February 28, 2019
Take the OVER in runs too. So long as Harper smashes 30 bombs, this should pay out. He topped 100 runs in both 30 homer seasons, and scored 95 runs with a 29 home run year in 2017.
As for the MVP award? The NL is crowded.
When Bryce Harper gets his final paycheck from the Phillies in 2031, Bobby Bonilla will still be four years away from his final paycheck from the Mets.
— Rian Watt (@rianwatt) February 28, 2019
With incumbent Christian Yelich in Milwaukee, Paul Goldschmidt in St. Louis, Nolan Arenado in Colorado, and Kris Bryant looking for a bounce-back, the field is stacked.
We’re predicting a big season from Harper here, but it won’t be good enough for him to take home the hardware.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.