Daily Intel – 6/16/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • SP Zack Godley’s bounce back continued last night with his second-straight eight-strikeout outing. He went 6 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on five hits and three walks. For Godley, it is all about the effectiveness of his knuckle curve, and last night it generated nine swinging strikes and 10 called strikes on 43 pitches, which is an elite output for a single pitch. He gets the Pirates next on the road on Thursday and then a great two-start week at Miami and San Francisco. If he was dropped in your league, no matter how shallow, we’d grab him now.

Atlanta Braves

  • RP Luiz Gohara scuffled in relief again yesterday, going two innings and allowing two runs on two hits and a walk with no strikeouts. With SP Anibal Sanchez pitching well and giving the Braves six options for their rotation, Gohara does not have any fantasy value on the horizon for this season.

Baltimore Orioles

  • Good progress for RP Zach Britton last night, as he needed only 13 pitches to get through a perfect eighth inning, striking out two.

Boston Red Sox

  • 3B Rafael Devers has hits in 10 straight games but, more interesting is the fact that he stole a base last night for the third time in six games. Devers stole 18 bases in his last full minor league season in 2016, and adding that to his game at the major league level would make him a much safer option in mixed leagues and he struggles to find his consistency at the plate.

Chicago Cubs

  • OF Albert Almora Jr.’s fantasy production is looking a lot like former teammate OF Jon Jay’s – great batting average, but no power or speed. After a 3-for-5 game last night at St. Louis, Almora is now hitting .321. But he’s still got just 19 RBI, even after driving in two last night. Combine that with only two homers and one steal, and you’ve got to balance how much you need a batting average boost before you give Almora too much run in your lineup. He is on track to score 93 runs, though, and his 4.1 percent home run rate on fly balls points to some positive regression in his future, though he’s pulling the ball much less than in previous seasons, which tempers some of that regression expectation.

Chicago White Sox

  • SP Reynaldo Lopez gave up double-digit fly balls for the third straight start after going four starts without hitting that mark, but he continues to make the formula work, limiting the Tigers to three runs despite allowing nine hits in six innings. He has been able to go at least six innings in 11 of his 14 starts this year, and he’s a solid ratios option in mixed leagues, especially if you can afford to play the matchups. He gets Cleveland next, who crushed him for seven runs in 2 2/3 innings on May 30.

Cincinnati Reds

  • OF Billy Hamilton sat out last night’s game after smashing in to the outfield wall on defense in Kansas City on Wednesday, but he did pinch-run in the ninth inning and stole second base. He should be back in the lineup today.
  • SP Matt Harvey probably did enough last night to retain his rotation spot, going five innings and limiting the Pirates to four hits, two walks, and three runs. He struck out two.

Cleveland Indians

  • C Yan Gomes went 2-for-4 last night with a two-run homer and a single. He’s been very good so far this month, going 10-for-33 (.303) with three homers, eight RBI, five runs scored, and four doubles.

Colorado Rockies 

  • We mentioned earlier this week the extreme home/road split for SS Trevor Story, but 1B/OF Ian Desmond has been the exact opposite. After his two-homer night yesterday at Texas, Desmond now has hit 11 of his 14 homers away from Coors Field. He’s hitting .170 with a .555 OPS in 115 home plate appearances and .231 with an .806 OPS in 139 PAs on the road. Desmond is a top-15 first baseman in roto leagues despite his .203 batting average and .693 OPS.

Detroit Tigers

  • C/1B John Hicks has gotten right back to hitting very well with every day playing time – he went 2-for-4 last night a solo homer and two runs scored, and he’s now 13-for-33 this month with hits in seven of his last eight games. In leagues where Hicks in catcher eligible, he should be added immediately.

Houston Astros

  • C Evan Gattis’ insane run of power continues, as he bashed a grand slam and a double last night. In June, Gattis now has seven homers, two doubles, nine runs scored, and 22 RBI, passing C Yasmani Grandal as the number one catcher in roto formats.

Kansas City Royals

  • OF Jorge Soler fractured his left foot while running the bases Friday, and will miss “awhile,” according to manager Ned Yost, who also said he did not think it was a “surgical thing.” Either way, Soler is no longer worth roster beyond AL-only leagues.

Los Angeles Angels

  • SP Tyler Skaggs has given up just one earned run over a 21-inning, three-start stretch. He limited the A’s to two unearned runs last night on seven hits and a walk, striking out eight in seven innings. Skaggs’ four- and two-seam fastball mix has been the big difference in his step forward, especially with the bump in his sinker usage now giving him four solid pitches along with his changeup and curveball. He needs to be started every time out, regardless of opponent.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • 2B Logan Forsythe went 2-for-3 with a double last night and has put together a decent month so far, using his high contact approach to go 9-for-33 (.273) with three doubles, a home run, six runs, and five RBI. Forsythe was able to put together some very strong fantasy stretches during his last full healthy season in Tampa Bay, so he’s worth keeping an eye on in 15-team mixed leagues.

Miami Marlins

  • SP Jose Urena has pitched with a lot of bad luck and lack of run support this season, but he finally got the right matchup against a terrible Orioles team to deliver an elite-level outing. He shut out the O’s for eight innings, striking out four and allowing only three hits and a walk. Urena is an under-the-radar waiver wire add for this week considering his good schedule coming up: at San Francisco next week, then home against the Diamondbacks and Mets for a two-start week beginning June 25.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • Rookie SP Freddy Peralta is being called back up to the majors and is expected to start Tuesday against Pittsburgh. Peralta had 18 strikeouts and eight walks in his first two starts with the Brewers this year, going 9 2/3 innings. Peralta should have a starting rotation spot until SP Zach Davies is healthy.
  • SP Brent Suter went a season-high seven innings last night, limiting the Phillies to six hits, a walk, and a run. He struck out three. Suter hadn’t gone longer than 5 2/3 innings in any of his 12 starts prior to yesterday, but on the positive side he’s only allowed more than three earned runs in a start once since April 10.

Minnesota Twins

  • 1B Joe Mauer returned to the lineup and led off, going 0-for-4, but the bigger news was that it pushed 2B Brian Dozier down to fifth in the lineup. Dozier was hitting second when Mauer was last healthy in mid-May, but OF Eddie Rosario and 3B Eduardo Escobar have been so good in the two and three holes, that manager Paul Molitor opted to move Dozier down. Dozier responded with making his one hit last night count, as it was a two-run homer off Cleveland ace SP Corey Kluber. He added a third RBI on a fielder’s choice later in the game.

New York Mets

  • 1B Dominic Smith went 2-for-4 with a double and a solo homer last night.
  • Not a great second start for SP Seth Lugo since moving in to the rotation last weekend, as the Diamondbacks tagged him for five runs on eight hits and a walk over five innings. Lugo did strike out seven and generated 13 swinging strikes on 100 pitches, so there are positive signs that lead us to believe in Lugo’s long-term value as a starter, especially if/when the Mets start looking to sell off for this season.

New York Yankees

  • SS Didi Gregorius went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two singles last night. He also scored two runs. It was his fourth multi-hit game already this month, and he has three homers in his last three games.
  • SP Jonathan Loaisiga was good against a cold Tampa Bay lineup, striking out six over five shutout innings. He had 17 swinging strikes, with a nice distribution between his four-seamer (five), slider (seven) and changeup (five). Loaisiga has great velocity (averaged 96 mph on his 47 fastballs) and a varied enough arsenal on those other two pitches that we could see him having some value over the next month.

Oakland A’s

  • 2B Jed Lowrie went 3-for-4 last night with a double, his fifth double of the month, but he still hasn’t homered since May 11. Lowrie’s in a real rough patch right now, but we still think there’s at least one big multi-week hot streak in him this season.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • 2B Cesar Hernandez went 3-for-3 last night with an RBI and a double. That was his first extra-base hit since May 29, a span of 65 plate appearances.
  • SP Jake Arrieta didn’t have his best command last night, hitting a batter, uncorking a wild pitch, and walking two in 3 1/3 innings. Worse, the pitches he did put in the zone were hit hard, as the Brewers tagged him for seven hits and eight runs (four earned). It’s been a problem of consistency with his sinker for Arrieta – some games it is a complete wipe out pitch, other games, like these last two starts against the Brewers, he can’t keep it down and opponents tee off.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • RP Felipe Vazquez bounced back last night to earn his 13th save of the year, allowing only a single and striking out two to preserve a 3-2 lead in the ninth.
  • OF Corey Dickerson went 0-for-3 yesterday and hasn’t had an extra-base hit since picking up a double on June 1, a span of 11 games and 38 at-bats. He also hasn’t walked once in that time.

San Diego Padres

  • 1B/OF Wil Myers went 1-for-4 with a double as he kicked off his rehab assignment at Triple-A. He won’t be ready to start next week in leagues where lineups lock on Monday, but he should be ready for the following week (beginning June 25), barring any setbacks.
  • SS Freddy Galvis went 5-for-5 with a three-run home run, a double, three singles, and four RBI yesterday. In his last seven games, Galvis has nine RBI  and five extra-base hits.

San Francisco Giants

  • 2B/OF Alen Hanson looks like the every day third baseman for now, at least until 1B Brandon Belt gets back and 3B Pablo Sandoval is able to move back to third. Hanson hit second last night and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Seattle Mariners

  • C Mike Zunino homered and drove in two yesterday, his third home run in the last nine games.
  • SP James Paxton had his worst start of the season, lasting only 2 1/3 innings and 74 pitches, allowing six runs (five earned), six hits, and a walk. He struck out four.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • OF Marcell Ozuna is starting to find his power stroke – his solo home run off Cubs SP Jon Lester last night was his sixth this month. He’s got an eight-game hitting streak and is hitting .417 (20-for-48) in June with eight runs scored and 15 RBI. After striking out 23 times in the first month of the season, Ozuna has only K’d six times in the last 30 days. He could be in for an MVP-level second half.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • SP Nate Eovaldi was very good for seven innings last night, but the Rays left him in a little bit too long and that combined with an ineffective relief appearance from RP Jonny Venters left Eovaldi was a line that didn’t fit his performance. He last 7 1/3 innings and struck out five, allowing eight hits, a walk, and five earned runs (three of them scored when Venters allowed a bases-clearing double with two outs in the eighth). Eovaldi’s fastball maintained elite velocity all night and he looks like a starter that should be owned in at least all 12-team and larger leagues. He gets two tough one-start weeks against Houston and Washington before getting an easier two-start week against Miami and the Mets in the first week of July.

Texas Rangers

  • SS/OF Jurickson Profar now has more home runs in his last nine games (four) than he had in his previous 55 games (three) after going 1-for-3 last night with a two-run homer and a walk.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • SP Aaron Sanchez still leads the American League in walks with 44, but he’s been very good for three consecutive outings now after limiting the Nationals to six hits, three runs, and two walks over six innings. He tied his season-high in strikeouts with eight and went a season-high 104 pitches. Sanchez’s four-seam fastball has been much better in this good stretch, and he’s still got an elite skill set when he is at his best, so if you are looking for a high-risk, high-reward second half option, Sanchez is probably one of the easier guys of that type to acquire.

Washington Nationals

  • SP Gio Gonzalez struggled for the second straight start, allowing two home runs and five earned runs in six innings. The Blue Jays were able to hit a season-high 14 fly balls against Gonzalez, who struggled to keep his non-changeup pitches down in the zone. Gio gets the Orioles at home on Wednesday then a two-start week at Tampa Bay and Philadelphia. We’d still trust starting him in all formats.

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