Daily Intel – 6/20/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • C John Ryan Murphy was dropped to seventh in the lineup yesterday, having entered the game without an extra-base hit since June 1. He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Atlanta Braves

  • SP Mike Foltynewicz is on track to return from the disabled list and start this Sunday, pending the result of a side session today or tomorrow.
  • SS/3B Johan Camargo went 4-for-5 with an RBI single and a grand slam yesterday.

Baltimore Orioles

  • C Caleb Joseph got the start behind the plate in his first game back since being called up from Triple-A to replace C Chance Sisco. He went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Boston Red Sox

  • It feels like we’ve been mentioning 3B Rafael Devers a bunch over the last week, but he is hitting pretty well – his home run yesterday was his third in seven games, and that goes along with two steals, 10 hits, and seven RBI over that same period.

Chicago Cubs

  • SS Addison Russell started both ends of a doubleheader yesterday and had a very good day, going 3-for-7 with two walks and a run scored.
  • SP Mike Montgomery overcame spotty control to put together a quality outing in game two of the doubleheader, allowing five hits and four walks, but only one run over six innings. He struck out five. That is the fourth consecutive start for Montgomery allowing exactly one run in exactly six innings of work. He’s a must-start in all formats this weekend at Cincinnati.

Chicago White Sox

  • We liked last night’s start from SP Carlos Rodon, as he allowed only five singles and two walks over six innings, but some unfortunate timing with a wild pitch and a hit by pitch in the second inning turned those limited baserunners in to four runs over 6 1/3 innings. Rodon threw 62 strikes on 98 pitches and struck out five, with his slider generating swings and misses more than 20 percent of the time and only being put in play once.

Cincinnati Reds

  • OF Billy Hamilton had another good game yesterday, going 2-for-4 with a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored.
  • SS Jose Peraza led off, despite OF Jesse Winker’s presence in the lineup, and went 1-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored.

Cleveland Indians

  • 1B Edwin Encarnacion went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk yesterday, another mediocre day in an awful stretch – in the last 15 days, Encarnacion has an OPS under .350, and he hasn’t homered since June 3 and he hasn’t had an extra-base hit since June 5.

Colorado Rockies 

  • OF Carlos Gonzalez went 2-for-5 with a solo home run yesterday, continuing his strong performance this month. He’s got hits in nine of his last 11 games, including six extra-base hits.
  • SS Trevor Story’s red-hot June continued yesterday with a 2-for-5 performance that included a solo home run and two RBI. He’s hitting over .350 this month with 13 extra-base hits.

Detroit Tigers

  • SS Jose Iglesias has 12 stolen bases this year after stealing a bag last night as part of a 2-for-4 effort that included a run scored.
  • 2B Niko Goodrum hit cleanup yesterday and went 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.

Houston Astros

  • 2B Jose Altuve got a day off yesterday, and SS/3B Alex Bregman got a surprising and rare start at second base. Bregman went 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI.
  • RP Hector Rondon was brought in with two outs in the seventh inning yesterday, getting the final out in that frame and continuing on in to the eighth, where he eventually allowed two hits and a tie-breaking run that cost the Astros a 2-1 loss and their 12-game winning streak.

Kansas City Royals

  • It looks like there are no lasting effects of 2B/OF Whit Merrifield fouling a ball off his knee on Sunday – after DH’ing on Monday, he was back in the field yesterday and stole a base.

Los Angeles Angels

  • OF Kole Calhoun went 2-for-3 on Monday in his first game off the disabled list, and with a start in center field last night (OF Mike Trout got a night to rest at DH) he went 1-for-4 with his first home run since Opening Day on March 29.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • SP Clayton Kershaw will, in fact, have a minor league rehab start at Triple-A Oklahoma City this weekend before returning to the Dodgers’ rotation. He should be ready for weekly-league owners to put him in the lineup in Monday in advance of a likely start at home on Thursday against the Cubs.
  • SP Rich Hill was great in his first start back from injury, going six shutout innings and throwing 65 strikes on 90 pitches. He allowed only three hits and two walks, striking out six.

Miami Marlins

  • RP Brad Ziegler has now worked eight consecutive scoreless appearances after being removed from the closer role. Over that span, he’s worked 10 innings and allowed 11 baserunners, striking out eight. Stranger things have happened than Ziegler rebuilding his trade value and getting save opportunities later in the season for a contender.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • SP Freddy Peralta’s first start back in the majors was a success, as he dominated the Pirates for six shutout innings where he allowed just two singles and struck out seven.

Minnesota Twins

  • RP Fernando Rodney hasn’t gotten a ton of work over the past month, as his appearance yesterday was only his eighth in the last 30 days, but he’s doing good work with the chances he’s getting. He worked an inning yesterday and struck out a murderer’s row of Boston hitters – OFs Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez. Rodney is striking out more than a batter an inning and looks like one of the safer closers in fantasy baseball.

New York Mets

  • 1B/OF Jay Bruce was placed on the 10-day disabled list yesterday with his recurring back issues. 1B Dominic Smith got a surprising start in left field, batting fifth, and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

New York Yankees

  • As we said in yesterday’s Intel, OF Aaron Hicks looks ready to go on a hot streak, and he homered again last night off Mariners SP Marco Gonzales. He also added two singles and two RBI.
  • After a four-hit night on Monday against the Nationals, OF Giancarlo Stanton hit his 17th home run of the season last night. It was his lone hit in four at-bats.
  • SP Domingo German was dominant again last night, striking out nine Mariners over seven innings and allowing only two hits and one earned run. He didn’t walk a batter.

Oakland A’s

  • OF Stephen Piscotty hit a game-tying home run with two outs in the ninth off Padres star closer RP Brad Hand yesterday. He’s been very good in June, reaching base safely in all 15 games he’s played.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • SS/3B J.P. Crawford was hit on the hand by a pitch from Cardinals SP Luke Weaver and left the game early yesterday. It came out later that he has a broken left hand and will miss 4-6 weeks. Crawford has been playing over 3B Maikel Franco, so this extended absence will like put Franco back in the lineup on an everyday basis.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • SP Jameson Taillon was beat by bad luck yesterday, giving up three runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings, but two of those runs were scored after Brewers OF Lorenzo Cain hit infield singles on weak grounders. On the positive side, he limited flyballs and struck out seven – this was fifth start out of his last six where he struck out at least six.

San Diego Padres

  • OF Franchy Cordero was pulled off his rehab assignment due to issues in his elbow, and manager Andy Green said it is “highly unlikely” he’ll return anytime soon. With 1B/OF Wil Myers set to return very soon, this does make it more likely that OFs Manny Margot and Hunter Renfroe will at least retain value in NL-only leagues for the time being.

San Francisco Giants

  • RP Hunter Strickland broke his hand punching a wall, basically ending his fantasy relevance for the season. He’ll miss 6-to-8 weeks, but we can’t imagine the Giants going back to him in the closer role in late August unless RP Mark Melancon, RP Tony Watson, or RP Sam Dyson all completely flame out. In a three-run game last night, the Giants went with RP Will Smith for all three outs in the eighth and the first out in the ninth before turning it over to Dyson. Melancon worked the seventh. Strickland can be dropped in all formats except maybe NL-only leagues where you can spare the roster spot.

Seattle Mariners

  • DH Nelson Cruz was the lone source of offense for the Mariners last night, hitting a solo home run. Cruz has 18 homers on the season, including eight this month in just 58 at-bats.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • SP Luke Weaver struggled again yesterday, allowing six runs, four walks, and four runs over five innings against the Phillies. He struck out four but also allowed two home runs, including one on an elevated four-seam fastball, the mistake pitch that has caused problems for him a bunch of times this season. Until Weaver can command that fastball, which he throws more than 50 percent of the time, he’s going to remain almost impossible to trust in mixed leagues.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • It was fair to have some hesitancy in anointing SP Blake Snell as an elite-level, must-start guy after seeing him struggle against a good lineup last week against the Yankees, but he bounced back nicely yesterday in an equally difficult test at the Astros. Snell went seven innings and only allowed three hits and one run while striking out six. The one negative was a flashback to the control problems Snell flashed last season, as he walked seven batters. Snell has now walked 11 in his last two starts – for comparison, in 10 starts between April 16 and June 3, Snell only walked 12 batters over 54 2/3 innings.

Texas Rangers

  • 2B Rougned Odor was benched yesterday, an apparent punishment for staying out too late the night before. Here’s the fantasy relevant item – SS/OF Jurickson Profar started at second base in Odor’s place, and he’s been the better player this season. If the team is going to demote Odor or bench him long-term because of this event and his awful performance so far this year, it ensures Profar will continue to have value in most formats even after SS Elvis Andrus returns in the next week or so.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • SP Marcus Stroman is likely to rejoin the Jays’ rotation this weekend against the Angels, replacing SP Sam Gaviglio. We wouldn’t start Stroman in this first start back.

Washington Nationals

  • 1B/OF Matt Adams was placed on the 10-day disabled list yesterday with a fractured left finger. In the short-term, 2B Daniel Murphy has a clear path to playing time at first base every day.
  • SS/OF Trea Turner was dropped to sixth in the order yesterday with OF Adam Eaton leading off and OF Juan Soto hitting second. Of course, Turner responded by going 4-for-4 with a double, a homer, and a caught stealing (not good, obviously, but it is good that he’s running).


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