Daily Intel – 5/27/2018 (Waiver Wire/Two-Start Pitchers Part 2 + News)

We’re back with the rest of the two-start pitchers/waiver wire outlook for the teams we didn’t cover on Friday, along with the top news items for a majority of the league.

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • 1B Paul Goldschmidt struck out three times in four plate appearances yesterday. That’s the third time in eight games that he’s struck out three times or more, and he’s now got an incredible 68 Ks in 51 games this year – a pace of 216.
  • SP Clay Buchholz was good in his second start as a Snake, going six one-run innings and limiting the A’s to two hits (a home by OF Matt Joyce on the first pitch of the game and a double by SS/OF Chad Pinder) and no walks. He struck out three. He gets the Marlins at home next and is an elite streaming option for next week in all formats.

Atlanta Braves

  • All we had to do was call out OF Ronald Acuna Jr.’s struggles in yesterday’s Intel to get him to respond with a big day – he went 3-for-5 with a solo homer and broke his 17-game streak of striking out at least once.
  • SS Dansby Swanson went 2-for-4 with a homer, two RBI, and two runs scored yesterday. He still hasn’t walked since coming off the disabled list, though, with 10 strikeouts over that seven-game period.

Baltimore Orioles

  • Two-start pitchers: SPs Alex Cobb and Dylan Bundy will get home starts against the Nationals and Yankees next week. Cobb isn’t worth talking about – bench him everywhere. Bundy gets SP Jeremy Hellickson on Tuesday and SP CC Sabathia on Sunday – it is realistic to expect one win there, and Bundy has enough upside to justify starting him in 12-team leagues and larger.
  • RP Tanner Scott is emerging as an intriguing long relief option. He struck out the side in his one inning of work yesterday – in his nine appearances this year, he’s struck out three or more four times, and he now has 17 Ks in 12 1/3 innings against just five walks.

Boston Red Sox

  • Two-start pitchers: It’ll be a home start against the Jays and a road start against the Astros for both SPs David Price and Rick Porcello. Price starts everywhere, but we could see scenarios in 10-team leagues where you’d want to sit Porcello based on his recent struggles. He’ll face SP Marco Estrada on Tuesday, a very winnable matchup, then draws undefeated SP Charlie Morton on Sunday.
  • Waiver wire: At only 60% owned, 1B Mitch Moreland should be added in most mixed leagues this week with 1B Hanley Ramirez no longer in the picture. Moreland had a good game Friday and another one yesterday, going 2-for-5 with a double, triple, two RBI and a run scored.

Chicago Cubs

  • The awful season for SP Yu Darvish reached its next logical conflict point yesterday, with Darvish going on the disabled list with right triceps tightness. He was diagnosed with a triceps injury last year and didn’t miss a start. He was also diagnosed with one in 2015 and ended up having Tommy John surgery a couple of weeks later. There’s no announced timetable on this injury, yet.
  • SP Jose Quintana was bad again yesterday – in his 4 1/3 innings, the one positive was six strikeouts, but it came with five hits, two walks, and four earned runs.

Chicago White Sox

  • Two-start pitcher: SP Dylan Covey will start twice – at Cleveland (SP Adam Plutko) and home for the Brewers (SP Brent Suter). He’s not worth starting in any format.
  • Waiver wire: SP Reynaldo Lopez (92% owned) has been better in his last two outings and is probably worthy of being owned everywhere, even with his lack of strikeouts.
  • SS Tim Anderson was moved back up in the lineup again, this time to leadoff, and he responded with his best game this month – 2-for-4 with two homers, four RBI, and three runs scored.

Cincinnati Reds

  • Two-start pitcher: SP Homer Bailey is only worth using in NL-only leagues, but that’s probably better than most weeks – he gets road starts in the pitcher-friendly parks of Arizona (SP Matt Koch) on Monday and San Diego (SP Tyson Rosson Sunday.
  • Waiver wire: RP Amir Garrett (3% owned) is the best reliever in the Reds’ bullpen with RP Raisel Iglesias yet, and is worth a short-term add due to his likely bump in innings and save opportunities while Iglesias recovers from his left biceps issue. Even though Garrett worked the seventh inning yesterday (perfectly, we might add) and RP Jared Hughes got the save (only after loading the bases on two hits and a walk), we’d still prefer adding Garrett over Hughes in the long term, unless you’re desperate for saves right now.
  • 2B Scooter Gennett went 5-for-5 with a solo homer and four singles last night, boosting his batting average to .337 and his OPS to .928.

Cleveland Indians

  • Two-start pitchers: SPs Adam Plutko and Mike Clevinger face the White Sox at home and Twins on the road. Clevinger starts everywhere. Plutko has been solid in his first two starts and draws winnable matchups against White Sox SP Dylan Covey and Minnesota SP Lance Lynn. Plutko is a nice streaming option in 12-team mixed and larger leagues.
  • RP Andrew Miller was placed back on the disabled list with a right knee issue. There is no timetable for his return. Miller can be dropped in all mixed leagues.
  • We mentioned about a week ago that SP Shane Bieber is arguably the best minor-league stash for pitchers, and on Friday he threw a no-hitter at Triple-A Columbus.

Colorado Rockies 

  • 1B Ryan McMahon was called up from Triple-A and will be the everyday second baseman moving forward. He went 2-for-4 yesterday with a strikeout. McMahon should be added in any league where you need a first baseman and/or a power source. He should have second base eligibility within two weeks (for most leagues where 10 games means eligibility at a new position).

Detroit Tigers

  • 3B Jeimer Candelario got right back in to a groove after coming off the disabled list Friday, hitting two home runs yesterday, driving in three and scoring three times.

Houston Astros

  • Two-start pitcher: SPs Justin Verlander and Charlie Morton are must-starts in all formats, even with incredibly tough matchups at the Yankees and home for Boston. Verlander will face SP Domingo German and SP David Price, with Morton drawing SP CC Sabathia and SP Rick Porcello. 

Kansas City Royals

  • Two-start pitcher: SP Jake Junis will get two home starts against Minnesota (SP Lance Lynn) and Oakland (TBD, could be a bullpen day or SPs Andrew Triggs or Brett Anderson, in the unlikely event either are healthy by then). Junis should be started in all formats.
  • SP Erik Skoglund has been bumped from the rotation, with Rule 5 pick RP Brad Keller taking his spot starting Wednesday against the Twins. Keller worked two innings in relief yesterday and allowed a run on a hit and a walk.

 Los Angeles Angels

  • Two-start pitcher: The Angels rotation is not set at all right now, and with a seven-game week coming up at Detroit for four and home for three with Texas, there are good matchups available. SP Tyler Skaggs looks most likely to get two starts and would be a must-start in all formats.
  • Waiver wire: SP Jamie Barria (17% owned) came back to start on Saturday and gave up three home runs in the first two innings, but bounced back nicely enough to get through the third, fourth, and fifth innings cleanly and finish with his fourth win of the season. Barria’s strike-throwing ability is probably going to lead to some outings where bad luck leaves him with less-than-ideal numbers, but he is pitching well beyond his age and experience right now and has a good offense backing him.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • SP Clayton Kershaw threw four innings in a simulated game yesterday and said he was ready to go for a start on Thursday, if the Dodgers need him. Manager Dave Roberts said before yesterday’s game that the team still wants to see how Kershaw feels in the next few days before deciding on his return date.
  • SP Brock Stewart and SP Kenta Maeda will open up the week for the Dodgers, putting them both in position to start twice (home for Philly, at Colorado).
  • SS/OF Chris Taylor went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and a double yesterday out of the leadoff spot. Taylor hasn’t put together any semblance of a hot streak yet and he hasn’t stolen a base since May 9, but we think he’s someone to buy low on and have confidence in.

Miami Marlins

  • SS Miguel Rojas was the first guy to get a crack at third base with 3B Martin Prado out, with 3B/OF Brian Anderson staying in the corner outfield spot he moved to when Prado first came off the disabled list.
  • RP Brad Ziegler had his second blowup in a week yesterday, giving up three runs on four hits and a walk in 2/3 of an inning and taking his fourth loss of the season. We don’t think Ziegler had the same volume as RP Alex Colome, but performances like this are why you’ll never see us bashing a team for trading a closer for what is perceived to be “too early” of a timeframe. Colome, like Ziegler, is/was prone to massive blowups like this, and it could’ve only taken one or two to sink his trade value. Ziegler is in the same spot, and we wonder if the Marlins will accelerate their hopes to deal him if he can put together a stretch of three or four drama-free appearances.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • Two-start pitcher: SP Brent Suter will face the Cardinals and SP Luke Weaver at home and the White Sox and SP Dylan Covey on the road. The latter matchup is very winnable, making Suter startable in NL-only leagues and worth consideration to stream in very deep mixed leagues.
  • 1B Jesus Aguilar went 3-for-5 yesterday with a home run – his fifth in the last eight days – two runs scored, and three RBI.
  • OF/1B Ryan Braun stole a base yesterday, his fifth of the year. It’s interesting to see Braun still running despite the plethora of leg and back injuries he’s dealt with.

Minnesota Twins

  • Two-start pitcher: SPs Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson will face off with the Royals on the road and the Indians at home. Lynn is an AL-only start against SP Jake Junis and SP Adam Plutko. We’d be fine using Gibson everywhere against SP Danny Duffy and SP Mike Clevinger.
  • Waiver wire: SS Jorge Polanco (2% owned) is only five weeks from returning to an everyday job, and now is the time to stash him in very deep mixed leagues. Shallower mixed leagues can probably wait until he begins his minor-league rehab stint of 20 games in mid-June.
  • OF Byron Buxton crashed in to the wall in Seattle trying to rob a home run by DH Nelson Cruz and left the game with a cut above his eye. He probably won’t play today.

New York Mets

  • Two-start pitcher: An eight-game week awaits the Mets with four in Atlanta and four at home with the Cubs. SP Jacob deGrom should be started everywhere against SP Brandon McCarthy and SP Tyler Chatwood. SP Steven Matz will face off with a TBD for Atlanta (either SP Luiz Gohara or SP Mike Soroka) and SP Jon Lester for the Cubs. Matz is an interesting streaming option in 12-team leagues because of his recent success in limiting runs, but we’d probably only use him in 15-team leagues and NL-only.
  • Waiver wire: OF Brandon Nimmo (16% owned) is leading off, getting on base at a major-league best clip, and has plenty of growth potential in his skills based on minor league performance and his pedigree. He homered yesterday We really like Nimmo and scored twice. if you need batting average, some steals, and runs scored.

New York Yankees

  • Something to watch with C Gary Sanchez’s defense being so awful – C Austin Romine has picked up three starts and a pinch hit appearance in the last week and has hit pretty well, with three home runs and eight RBI over that same period. Romine could be a good number two catcher in deep leagues if he can get 10-12 at-bats a week.

Oakland A’s

  • Two-start pitcher: SP Daniel Gossett and likely some sort of bullpen combination will start twice against the Rays (home) and Royals (away). Gossett could be started in AL-only leagues after his good start last Wednesday against Seattle in his return to the majors – he draws SP Chris Archer and SP Jason Hammel. 
  • Waiver wire: SP Daniel Mengden (52% owned) threw a complete game shutout yesterday, and even though it was against a presently-impotent Arizona lineup, it was a continuation of Mengden’s fantastic run over his last five starts – he’s gone 32 2/3 innings, allowed just four earned runs (1.10 ERA), and has won three times. That makes up for his lack of strikeouts in those five starts (only 19).

Philadelphia Phillies

  • RP Luis Garcia was called on to close out a 2-1 lead in the ninth yesterday, and he walked around a single to do so and earn his first save of the year. Garcia has been good over 20 2/3 innings this year, allowing less than a baserunner per inning. With RP Seranthony Dominguez continuing to work in high-leverage, non-save situations, Garcia is on the radar now for owners looking for saves.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Two-start pitcher: SPs Chad Kuhl and Ivan Nova will face the Cubs at home and Cardinals on the road. Nova has been pretty bad recently and we’d have a hard time starting him in any mixed league. He faces SP Jon Lester and SP Michael Wacha. Kuhl stands out as an under-the-radar streaming option this week when he faces a struggling starter in SP Tyler Chatwood for the Cubs. His other matchup – SP Luke Weaver for the Cardinals – is tough with Weaver pitching much better over his last three starts, but we’d give Kuhl a go in 15-team mixed leagues.
  • OF Starling Marte was activated yesterday and went 2-for-4 with a homer, but OF Austin Meadows was not demoted to make room, with 1B Jose Osuna going down instead. Meadows may not get close to everyday at-bats, but he remains worth holding on to in most mixed league formats, especially with OF Gregory Polanco still struggling to get his batting average much above the .200 mark.

San Diego Padres

  • 3B Christian Villanueva has bounced back nicely this week after a long cold stretch – he hit two home runs and drove in three yesterday, giving him five homers and 12 RBI in his last eight starts dating back to May 15.
  • SP Jordan Lyles had his first slip up since moving in to the starting rotation, with the Dodgers hanging five runs on him on seven hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings. We still love Lyles for his next start though, at home against Miami.

San Francisco Giants

  • SS Brandon Crawford hit a two-run home run yesterday to go with a double, walk, and a caught stealing. Crawford’s been hitting well for almost a month now and really should be rostered in most formats.
  • C Buster Posey sat out yesterday’s game with a sore hip and is questionable for today.

Seattle Mariners

  • Two-start pitcher: SPs Marco Gonzales and Felix Hernandez get pretty good home matchups against Texas and Tampa Bay. Gonzales is pitching well and we’d recommend him all formats – he faces SP Doug Fister and SP Chris Archer. Hernandez has been much better at home (3.99 ERA) than the road (7.03 ERA), which makes him a little bit more interesting when you add in that he’s likely to face human pitching machine SP Matt Moore on Tuesday. He gets a tougher matchup Sunday against SP Nate Eovaldi. Still, Hernandez is worth using in 15-team mixed leagues and AL-only leagues.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • SP/RP Alex Reyes will make his season debut on Wednesday against Milwaukee. He’s a must-start next week in all formats.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • Two-start pitcher: SP Chris Archer is a must-start in all formats with road starts against Oakland (SP Daniel Gossett) and Seattle (SP Marco Gonzales). SP Nate Eovaldi should also face those teams twice, with his Oakland opponent being a bullpen day and Seattle sending out SP Felix Hernandez against him. We’d be fine adding and starting Eovaldi in 12-team leagues and larger – he expect him to provide good strikeout numbers, even in what will be a limited pitch count.
  • Waiver wire: OF Johnny Field (3% owned) is in line for everyday at-bats thanks to the trade of OF Denard Span. Field has made good contact and has a history of providing double-digit home runs/steals in the minors.
  • SP/RP Anthony Banda was tremendous as the Rays’ designated “innings guy” yesterday, entering in the middle of the second inning and proceeding to limit the Orioles to three hits, a walk, and one run over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out seven. Banda is probably the best long-term starting option of the Rays’ current cavalcade of young long relievers, but he just needs to improve his curveball as a third pitch to justify a full-time rotation spot.

Texas Rangers

  • Waiver wire: We’re skipping two-start pitchers here because the Rangers rotation is awful save for SP Mike MinorSS/OF Jurickson Profar (61% owned) is going to play every day for the rest of the year unless he gets hurt, and he’s been a very good source of volume counting stats – he’s got 21 RBI over the last 30 days, eight runs in the last two weeks, and is hitting over .270 in that same period. He’s too valuable for the shallow shortstop position to be sitting on waivers in most mixed-league formats.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • Waiver wire: RP Ryan Tepera (7% owned) looks just as likely to be a long-term closing option as RP Tyler Clippard (96% owned). The ownership disparity between these two shouldn’t be this large.
  • C Russell Martin played shortstop yesterday, his first start at that position in his career.

Washington Nationals

  • OF Bryce Harper struck out four times yesterday and walked in his other plate appearance. He has nine Ks in his last three games, a span of 14 plate appearances.
  • OF Juan Soto hit fifth yesterday and went 2-for-4 with two doubles a run scored.
  • 1B Ryan Zimmerman took grounders before yesterday’s game, but meanwhile, his replacements continued to hit – after games with back-to-back homers by 1B/OF Matt Adams1B Mark Reynolds hit his fifth homer in just nine games yesteday.

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