Daily Intel – 6/15/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • OF David Peralta hit two solo home runs last night and now has 14 bombs on the season, including seven this month in only 49 at-bats. What’s been most impressive about Peralta’s season is his performance at home, where many of his teammates have struggled compared to last year (the difference now being the presence of a humidor). Perlta is hitting .272 with nine homers and an .885 OPS at home, and .287 with five homers and an .819 OPS on the road, with only 12 more plate appearances at home. The breakout season looks real, but unfortunately he’s not going to be more than a top-25 or top-30 guy because his teammates aren’t giving him enough RBI or run-scoring opportunities.

Atlanta Braves

  • SP Anibal Sanchez took advantage of a matchup against a bad San Diego lineup last night, shutting them out for seven innings with just four hits allowed. He struck out six. Sanchez has been very good over his last three starts, which has coincided with his fastball velocity ticking up from 88-89 mph in April to 91 mph in June. His slider has also been a valuable pitch in this stretch, which makes us wonder if the Braves will shift Sanchez to the bullpen now since they will have six starters when SP Julio Teheran returns on Sunday. Sanchez could be a very valuable long reliever with a heavy fastball/slider mix.

Baltimore Orioles

  • It looks like SP Andrew Cashner may only miss one start, with the potential for him to return next Friday against the Nationals.

Boston Red Sox

  • SS Xander Bogaerts went 2-for-4 yesterday with a solo home run. Bogaerts had an up-and-down May and was striking out way too much, but he’s made some adjustments in June and is hitting about 60 points better in batting average and more than 115 points better in OPS. It’s hard to forget he’s only 25 because he’s played almost 700 major league games already, but Bogaerts is still a growth stock at the plate both for this season and long-term.

Chicago Cubs

  • SP Yu Darvish will throw his second bullpen session of the week today, at which point there should be a much clearer path on his return date as the Cubs look to set a rehab assignment starting point.

Chicago White Sox

  • A decent second start back in a tough matchup for SP Carlos Rodon. He needed 100 pitches to get through five innings, but he did limit the Indians to two runs on two hits and three walks while striking out four. He’ll face Cleveland again next week, this time on the road – it’s tough to trust Rodon when a lineup this good is getting a second consecutive look at him, so we’d probably sit him in all mixed formats but start him in AL-only leagues.

Cincinnati Reds

  • SP Matt Harvey starts tonight, trying to avoid a fourth-straight outing of four runs or more allowed. SP Homer Bailey has struggled on his rehab assignment, but we still wonder if Harvey has much rope left if he can’t get on track with this game against the Pirates.

Cleveland Indians

  • SS Francisco Lindor hit a leadoff home run and stole another base, his ninth of the season and third in the last five games.
  • Not surprisingly, RP Cody Allen was great yesterday after getting a few days off, striking out three and allowing just a single to close out the ninth inning for his 13th save.

Colorado Rockies 

  • RP Adam Ottavino was activated from the disabled list after missing a couple of weeks with an oblique issue. Ottavino should settle back in as one of the four or five best non-closing relievers in fantasy.
  • We whiffed on recommending SP German Marquez for yesterday’s road start. It was probably only a matter of time before he stopped pitching like a Cy Young-candidate strictly on the road, and the Phillies pounded him for six runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings. Marquez did strike out eight, though, and manager Bud Black allows him to work deep in to games even when he’s allowing runs, so he should continue to be a strikeout-per-inning guy moving forward. Marquez gets two home starts next week against the Mets and Marlins.

Detroit Tigers

  • SP Michael Fulmer limited the Twins to five hits, a walk, and a run in seven innings, striking out four. His slider picked up three of those strikeouts, all swinging, and it was the key weapon in keeping the Twins off balance most of the day. Fulmer has to pitch his next outing in hitter-friendly Cincinnati, but we’d still start him in all formats. He gets a two-start week after that at home against the A’s and on the road against Toronto.

Houston Astros

  • INF/OF Marwin Gonzalez is emerging from a season-long slump with a hot June – yesterday was his fifth multi-hit game in his last seven starts, and for the month he’s now 12-for-27 with six extra bases hits.

Kansas City Royals

  • OF Jorge Bonifacio began his rehab assignment in Triple-A on Wednesday, and he should be activated immediately on June 27 when he’s eligible to return from an 80-game PED suspension.

Los Angeles Angels

  • Both SP Garrett Richards and SS/3B Zack Cozart underwent further tests on their respective injuries yesterday, so there should be news today about their status moving forward.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • SP Rich Hill made a rehab start at High-A last night and looked good according to all accounts, striking out 10 in 4 2/3 innings on 75 pitches. Kyle Glaser of Baseball America tweeted that Hill’s velocity held up throughout the start and that the curveball was “a swing and miss pitch all the way through,” so everything sounds like he’s on track to return to the Dodgers next week.

Miami Marlins

  • After his last start went poorly on Saturday, we recommended shallow mixed leagues owners drop SP Dan Straily, despite his next two games being good matchups against San Francisco. He didn’t do great on the front end of that back-to-back, allowing two home runs early in the game and lasting only five innings. He did strikeout seven, and he kept his WHIP low with only three hits and a walk allowed. He’ll face the Giants on the road in a one-start week next week, then get two starts at home the following week against Arizona and the Mets.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • SP Zach Davies completed a bullpen session on Wednesday, and will probably need another month before being able to return to the rotation.

Minnesota Twins

  • With a .203 batting average and a terrible strikeout rate, the Twins decided the best course of action to fix 3B Miguel Sano was to demote him to High-A Fort Myers. Sano was apparently good with this move, as it will allow him to have access to the Twins’ spring training facility, so it is fair to assume that Sano is going to be gone until at least after the All-Star Break. He can be cut in all 10- and 12-team mixed leagues.

New York Mets

  • OFs Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto both hit solo home runs last night, their ninth and eighth homers of the season, respectively. After starting off June 2-for-31 and hearing talk of a potential Triple-A demotion, Conforto has reached base twice in the last two games.

New York Yankees

  • 1B Tyler Austin started at DH and hit seventh last night, but he was demoted to Triple-A after the game to make room for SP Jonathan Loaisiga, who will start tonight’s game against Tampa Bay.

Oakland A’s

  • It took a few days, but SP Trevor Cahill was put on the disabled list yesterday with a strained right Achilles. SP Chris Bassitt is back and will start in Cahill’s place tonight.
  • SP Frankie Montas’ first tough test in opposition didn’t end well for him, as the Astros banged out 11 hits and seven runs (five earned) over 5 1/3 innings. Montas didn’t help himself with poor command, throwing first-pitch strikes to only 13 of the 30 hitters he faced, which ultimately led to four walks. Montas does get a great matchup in his one start next week though at San Diego.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • 1B/OF Rhys Hoskins has been producing since coming off the disabled list last weekend – he went 3-for-5 yesterday with a homer, and in his five games back he’s 6-for-17 with three walks, eight RBI, and four runs scored.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Jon Morosi of MLB.com wrote yesterday that the Pirates are likely to be sellers at the trade deadline, specifically mentioning these fantasy-relevant players: C Francisco Cervelli, OF Corey Dickerson, 2B/3B Josh Harrison, and SP Ivan Nova. 

San Diego Padres

  • We’re always quick to mention for starters what a good matchup the Padres are, but that’s no fault of 1B Eric Hosmer, who is having an under-the-radar season that has him ranked fifth among first basemen in roto formats right now. He went 1-for-4 yesterday with a two-run double, and he’s now 16-for-50 (.320) this month with three homers, nine RBI, and six runs scored.

San Francisco Giants

  • 2B Joe Panik hasn’t done much at the top of the Giants’ lineup over the last week-plus. He went 0-for-6 yesterday with a walk and a strikeout and is now 3-for-36 in his last nine games.
  • 3B Evan Longoria was hit by a pitch on the hand in the fourth inning of yesterday’s game and left before the bottom half of the inning. It was initially considered precautionary, but X-rays revealed a broken finger that will keep Longo out indefinitely, with surgery an option. 2B/OF Alen Hanson replaced him and went 3-for-5 with two doubles.

Seattle Mariners

  • SP Felix Hernandez had another good start at home, limiting the Red Sox to two runs in seven innings last night. He allowed eight hits, a walk, and struck out six. Hernandez carries a 3.83 ERA over 49 1/3 innings at home, and a 7.71 ERA over 35 innings on the road. He also had a major home/road split in his last full, good season in 2015, so we’re willing to put a little bit of stock in this in labeling Hernandez as a matchups play in mixed leagues when he’s got a positive matchup at Safeco Field.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • 1B Jose Martinez will be on the paternity list for this weekend’s series against the Cubs, with 1B Luke Voit replacing him on the roster. This should mean locked in playing time this weekend for both 2B Kolten Wong and SS/3B Jedd Gyorko. 

Tampa Bay Rays

  • 1B C.J. Cron is in a bit of slump right now – last night’s four-strikeout game gave him 10 strikeouts in his last 12 plate appearances, and he is just 5-for-40 in June, though three of those five were home runs.
  • 3B Matt Duffy’s batting average is now at .316 after a two-hit night against the Yankees yesterday that included a leadoff homer. Duffy’s bat-to-ball skills are elite, and there are probably no other options on the waiver wire that can boost you in that category like he can over a month or so.

Texas Rangers

  • SP Yohander Mendez is ending the long national nightmare of SP Matt Moore getting starts every fifth day. Mendez will start tonight in Moore’s spot and Moore shifts to the bullpen. Mendez isn’t worth considering unless you need a matchups play in AL-only leagues.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • SP Marcus Stroman allowed two earned runs, a hit, and four walks in his rehab start at High-A on Wednesday, working 4 1/3 innings. Only 34 of his 60 pitches went for strikes. It sounds like the target is for him to return during the homestand that runs from June 29 to July 8.

Washington Nationals

  • Mark Zuckerman of MASN tweeted some injury updates before the Nats’ game Wednesday: 1B Ryan Zimmerman is still in the “doing activity” stage of his rehab and isn’t close to game action; SP Jeremy Hellickson is in a similar boat, having just started throwing “a little bit;” and SP Stephen Strasburg is receiving treatment and hasn’t started throwing yet.

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