Daily Intel – 7/5/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • OF Jarrod Dyson left yesterday’s game with a right groin injury. OF Steven Souza is just about set to return, so this injury will probably end Dyson’s mixed-league relevance for now.

Atlanta Braves

  • SP Julio Teheran struck out 10 in five innings against the Yankees yesterday, an impressive feat, but he made one mistake pitch to OF Giancarlo Stanton in an 0-2 count with two outs in the third inning, and the resulting three-run home run blew up Teheran’s line. He finished with five earned runs allowed on five hits and four walks, losing for the sixth time this year. Teheran has 31 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings in four starts since coming off the disabled list – prior to the injury, he only had 56 strikeouts in 70 innings.

Baltimore Orioles

  • SP Dylan Bundy made it through his Tuesday bullpen session without any problems, and he’ll return to the rotation tomorrow night against the Twins after spending the minimum 10 days on the disabled list with an ankle sprain.

Boston Red Sox

  • 3B Rafael Devers went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored, bouncing back after going 12 plate appearances without a hit.
  • 2B/3B Eduardo Nunez has hits in eight of his last nine starts, including consecutive multi-hit games after going 2-for-4 on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Chicago Cubs

  • SP Jose Quintana allowed a solo home runs in the first and third innings yesterday, but he was solid besides that over his six innings, striking out four without allowing another run (though he did give up three more hits and three walks). Quintana has settled in with a lower-than-normal swinging strike rate and a little too much hard contact to be completely comfortable with, but unless he’s starting against a top-five offense, he shouldn’t be benched.
  • 2B/SS Javier Baez did not get his tenth game at third base yesterday, but he did go 1-for-4 with two stolen bases, including a steal of home, which gave him his lone run scored on the day. Baez is arguably the most fun individual player to watch in baseball this season.

Chicago White Sox

  • 2B Yoan Moncada went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run in the Sox’ loss to Cincinnati. Even though Moncada finished June with a .197 batting average for the month, he did have six hits in his final 27 at-bats for the month, and he has six hits in 19 July at-bats so far. He hasn’t had any miserably-long power droughts and the speed has translated to nine stolen bases. Moncada is another type of player that you should target if you’re trying to go for broke in the second half.

Cincinnati Reds

  • OF Jesse Winker went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI, and a run scored yesterday. Over the last 15 days, Winker is hitting .421 with a 1.271 OPSs, having walked 12 times compared to just six strikeouts. We’ll keep saying it – Winker needs to be owned everywhere in advance of a potential second half breakout.

Cleveland Indians

  • 2B/3B Jose Ramirez and SS Francisco Lindor each stole bases in last night’s 3-2 win against the Royals. Ramirez stole two and now has six in his last 10 games and 17 on the season. Lindor, who went on a five-week stretch in late April to early June with only one stolen base attempt, has now gone 5-for-6 on the bases since June 10 and has 11 bags on the season.

Colorado Rockies 

  • SP Tyler Anderson pitched what may be the best individual start at Coors Field by anyone this season, going eight shutout innings to beat the Giants and allowing only two singles and two walks while striking out nine. Anderson has struck out 22 in his last 19 1/3 innings at home, with a 50/50 split on ground balls and fly balls allowed. He’s made strides there to support his strong road performance – 3.48 ERA in 54 1/3 innings – and is making the case to be owned in 12-team mixed leagues. Anderson gets two starts at home next week against Arizona and Seattle, and he’s an interesting play for owners who want to take a risk with strikeout upside.

Detroit Tigers

  • C James McCann went 0-for-4 yesterday; he’s got two hits in 16 July at-bats so far, continuing an awful June where he hit .150 with a .344 OPS over 60 at-bats. McCann isn’t even worth rostering in two-catcher leagues right now.

Houston Astros

  • SP/RP Collin McHugh threw three one-hit innings in relief yesterday, earning his fourth win of the year. He struck out one. McHugh’s slider has been as good this year as it was in his career-best 2014 season when he posted a 2.73 ERA over 154 2/3 innings. For this season, he now has an ERA of .90 in 40 innings, with 52 strikeouts and nine walks. If you’re in a dynasty league, we really like McHugh because the odds are good that he won’t be in a bullpen role next year, whether that’s in Houston or somewhere else.

Kansas City Royals

  • RP Wily Peralta hasn’t had a save chance since last Wednesday, but he did appear in back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday against Cleveland, throwing scoreless innings in each with three hits allowed total. Peralta is the only arm to own in KC’s bullpen right now. The Royals have lost 25 of their last 30 games, and while they are a bad team, they aren’t this bad – they should be a little better in the second half, giving Peralta some save chances.

Los Angeles Angels

  • SP Garrett Richards returned after missing three weeks with a hamstring, picking up his first win since May 4 by going 5 1/3 solid innings, striking out eight. He did allow two solo home runs, but besides that the Mariners were only able to muster two hits and a walk. Richards’ velocity was on track with all four of his offerings, so he’s safe to re-insert in to all lineups and start without worry. He gets two starts to close out the first half next week at home for Seattle and the Dodgers.
  • SP Tyler Skaggs was placed on the disabled list with an adductor strain – essentially a hip/thigh/groin issue when it comes to pitching. There was no timeframe given, but it would be surprising to see Skaggs back in the majors this month. SP Jaime Barria will start in his place today against Seattle.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • If you’ve ever owned SP Rich Hill, you know the feeling of looking at his box score and seeing a low pitch count in an otherwise solid effort and immediately thinking “how did he get hurt this time?” Last night, it was on a headfirst slide in to home plate after an admittedly-impressive dash around the bases after reaching on a bunt single (his first hit of the year). Hill left with neck tightness after five innings, having allowed four hits, a walk, two runs, and striking out five. If Hill doesn’t miss a start, he’ll get two starts next week at San Diego and home for the Angels.

Miami Marlins

  • SP Jose Ureña was good in his first start off the disabled list after missing two weeks with a right shoulder issue. He went 78 pitches and five shutout innings, holding the Rays to three hits and two walks, striking out six. The Rays had less than 13 hours between games, so that may have had something to do with it, but Ureña looked good enough to be worth a deep-league look next week with two starts at home against Milwaukee and Philadelphia.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • SP Chase Anderson allowed just one earned run for the third consecutive start, limiting the Twins to three hits and a walk over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five. Anderson continues to display improved velocity with his four-seam fastball, topping out at 96 mph yesterday, but his command has been inconsistent, which is why yesterday was just his third quality start in his last eight outings. Anderson has an elite two-start week lined up next week with outings at Miami and Pittsburgh. He should be started and owned in all formats for the last week leading up to the All-Star Break.

Minnesota Twins

  • 3B Eduardo Escobar snapped out of a mini-slump yesterday, going 2-for-4 with a solo home run and a single. Escobar only had two hits in his previous 25 at-bats prior to yesterday, and with SS Jorge Polanco back and INF/C Willians Astudillo on the roster, there’s more of an immediate threat to playing time than there was when Escobar was on fire in early and mid-June.

New York Mets

  • SP Noah Syndergaard is locked in for a rehab start on Sunday at Low-A Brooklyn, at least leaving some hope for a start in the majors before the All-Star Break.

New York Yankees

  • We said yesterday that 2B/3B Gleyber Torres would likely sit out yesterday’s game to give him consecutive days off with the Yankees not playing today. Well, the Yankees tried starting him and he only lasted four innings before leaving the game and ultimately being placed on the disabled list after the game with a right hip strain.

Oakland A’s

  • OF Khris Davis still hasn’t homered in 17 games, but after going 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored yesterday, he’s now got hits in seven straight games, with only four strikeouts over that 23 at-bat span, a 17.4 percent rate that is well below his season-long rate of 28.7 percent. We expect Davis to hit a home run before the end of the week, and wouldn’t be surprised if that kicked off a multi-game stretch of homers.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • OF Odubel Herrera went 0-for-4 yesterday, and he’s now on a stretch of 38 plate appearances where he’s only reached base three times – a walk, a single, and a solo home run.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • C Elias Diaz has now hit cleanup in the last three games, with hits in eight of his last night starts, including a single last night. C Francisco Cervelli is nearing a rehab assignment, but Diaz has performed like a top-12 catcher in mixed league formats this season, so the Pirates will likely try to find ways to get him in regularly even when Cervelli returns.

San Diego Padres

  • 3B Christian Villanueva went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs yesterday. It was just his second home run since June 1.

San Francisco Giants

  • With rotation spots in flux as SPs Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija return over the next few days, SP Andrew Suarez staked his claim to a job with an incredibly impressive performance at Coors Field, allowing only a solo home run, a double, and three singles over seven innings while striking out six. Suarez is succeeding right now because his four-seam fastball has improved drastically in the last month.

Seattle Mariners

  • C Mike Zunino didn’t get the start yesterday, so of course it ended up being his first game reaching base twice in almost two weeks, as he went 1-for-1 with a walk in his two plate appearances after entering as a pinch-hitter. Zunino was hitting .077 with a .319 OPS over his previous 12 games, so we’ll take any sign of improvement in Zunino, who is still in a rare class of catchers (him, Evan Gattis, Gary Sanchez) that can put together power streaks that can rival the best hitters in the game.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • OF Tommy Pham went 3-for-5 with a double, three RBI, and a run scored yesterday, getting his season-long batting average back over .250.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • OF Carlos Gomez went 0-for-3 with a strikeout yesterday. He also had a meltdown in the dugout, destroying a water cooler with his bat. Gomez hasn’t homered since June 1 and only has three doubles since then. The Rays have to be running out of patience with Gomez, whose presence in the lineup is preventing more deserving options from having guaranteed every day playing time.

Texas Rangers

  • C Robinson Chirinos went 1-for-4 with a double, a walk, and an RBI yesterday. We like Chirinos as a speculative pick to threaten the catcher leaderboard over the second half of the season – he’s got 11 hits over his last seven starts, including seven for extra-bases. The increasingly hot weather in Arlington will only help fuel any power streak he can put together.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • SP Marcus Stroman had his first rough outing since returning from the disabled list on June 23, allowing six runs over 4 2/3 innings to the Mets, who had six hits and four walks against the righty. Stroman had just two strikeouts on the night, and the slider remains his main problem – as his number two pitch, it has only been a positive value pitch according to FanGraphs in two of Stroman’s 10 starts this year, and yesterday the Mets put it in play six times, four of which went for hits.

Washington Nationals

  • SP Erick Fedde only last an inning yesterday before leaving with a shoulder injury, for which an MRI came back negative. Fedde was in the rotation in place of SP Stephen Strasburg, who will throw a sim game this weekend, a likely rehab start next week, and then be on track to return after the All-Star Break. Fedde said he believes he’ll be fine after a couple of days of rest, but this may be the last time we’ll see him in the rotation this season, barring another injury.

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