Daily Intel – 7/9/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • OF Steven Souza and 3B Jake Lamb both went 0-for-7 in yesterday’s 16-inning loss to the Padres, with Souza striking out twice and Lamb four times.
  • SP Zack Greinke only lasted 4 1/3 innings on the mound, allowing six hits, three walks, and two earned runs on 94 pitches, but he did steal a base for the second time in three starts and third time this season. He also struck out five.

Atlanta Braves

  • OF Ender Inciarte was pulled from yesterday’s game after his third at-bat due to “not hustling” during his at-bat in the fifth inning, where he popped up to shortstop…only the shortstop didn’t catch it, and Inciarte was thrown out. OF Ronald Acuna entered the game for Inciarte, and we’ll see if this impacts if he continues leading off this week.
  • SP Sean Newcomb had control problems for the second consecutive outing – after walking five in 2 2/3 innings on Tuesday against the Yankees, he walked four yesterday in 3 2/3 innings yesterday against the Brewers, also allowing five hits and five runs to take his second consecutive loss.

Baltimore Orioles

  • 1B Chris Davis hit another home run yesterday, having his quintessential day by combining that homer with two strikeouts.
  • SP Alex Cobb left yesterday’s game after five innings with a blister. We’re sure that’s the only reason he gave up four earned runs and lost his 11th game of the season.

Boston Red Sox

  • 1B/OF Steve Pearce stayed in the lineup at designated hitter with 1B Mitch Moreland returning to play first base, and Pearce continued to produce by getting on base in all four of his plate appearances – two singles, two walks, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • SP Rick Porcello went seven solid innings yesterday for his 11th win, allowing nine hits, a walk, and three runs, striking out nine.

Chicago Cubs

  • RP Brandon Morrow blew his second save of the season yesterday, allowing a leadoff home run in the top of the ninth to Reds OF Adam Duvall.
  • SP Jon Lester was mediocre for the third straight outing, allowing six hits, three walks, and four runs in 6 1/3 innings, only striking out two. That ended his run of seven straight starts with a win. After a 27-inning run in June where he allowed just two earned runs, Lester has now allowed eight earned runs over his last 16 1/3 innings, only striking out 11 and walking seven.

Chicago White Sox

  • OF Avisail Garcia left yesterday’s game with tightness in the same left hamstring that had him on the disabled list for most of the season. The word after the game was that Garcia is day-to-day, but there won’t be clarity on that until today.

Cincinnati Reds

  • OF Billy Hamilton capped a great weekend with two more steals yesterday, giving him five over the last two games of the Reds three-game set with the Cubs. He went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and two runs scored.

Cleveland Indians

  • SP Shane Bieber took his first loss in the majors yesterday, giving up eight hits and a walk over six innings, which led to four runs. He struck out seven. Bieber has taken a familiar pattern in most of his starts – he’s walked exactly one batter in all of them, he’s gone either 5 2/3 or six innings in five of his six starts, and he usually allows a hit an inning and a little more than strikeout an inning. He’s a solid mixed league option moving forward.

Colorado Rockies 

  • SS Trevor Story was back in the lineup yesterday after missing Saturday’s game with a bruised right foot. He hit cleanup and went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run.

Detroit Tigers

  • SP Michael Fulmer recovered from a rough first two innings yesterday, pitching five shutout innings from the third to the seventh after giving up three runs (two earned) in the first an second frames. For the game, Fulmer allowed five hits and three walks, striking out six. He threw first-pitch strikes to 23 of the 28 batters he faced and was able to get more than 14 percent swinging strikes. Fulmer has posted two of his highest swinging strike rates of the season in his last two starts and we like him as a buy-low option if you can get him.

Houston Astros

  • SP Dallas Keuchel seems to have normalized after his rough late May/early June stretch, going seven innings yesterday for the second start in a row after not reaching that threshold for eight starts. The White Sox were only able to put together a double, six singles, three walks, and a run on Keuchel, who did only strike out two batters. Nevertheless, Keuchel looks comfortable on the mound and should be started in all formats this week for his start at home against Detroit.

Kansas City Royals

  • OF Jorge Bonifacio went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI yesterday. He’s getting on a bit of a roll with hits in six of his last eight games, and four of those 10 hits have gone for extra bases.
  • 2B/OF Whit Merrifield went 5-for-5 with two doubles, and RBI, and a run scored. He lifted his batting average over .300 for the first time this season and is now sitting at .303 with an .800 OPS.

Los Angeles Angels

  • SP Andrew Heaney overcame a three-run home run allowed to Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig in the second inning to strike out 10 batters for the second consecutive start. Heaney went seven innings total and kept the Dodgers scoreless other than the Puig home run, allowing a total of three hits and three walks.
  • DH Shohei Ohtani didn’t start yesterday after fouling a ball off his knee on Saturday, but he came in to pinch-hit and cranked a solo home run, his first since coming off the disabled list.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • SP Walker Buehler will make his first start since June 8 next weekend when the Dodgers host the Angels for the second half of the Freeway Series.

Miami Marlins

  • SS JT Riddle has been under-the-radar hot over the last month – after yesterday’s 3-for-6 game that included a run scored and two RBI, Riddle has now hit .287 over the last 30 games, a span of 101 at-bats that included four homers, 13 runs scored, 18 RBI, and a .515 slugging percentage.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • OF Lorenzo Cain was back from the disabled list yesterday, but 1B/OF Ryan Braun found his way back on it with a back strain, his second time this season that he’s been on the disabled list. Cain started in center field and hit third, going 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored.
  • 1B Jesus Aguilar homered twice yesterday and 1B/OF Eric Thames hit a pinch-hit home run.

Minnesota Twins

  • 2B Brian Dozier hit a three-run home run yesterday and also added a double and a second run scored. Dozier has slugged .646 and .591 after the All-Star Break in the last two seasons, so there’s hope for him to still return the top-40 value he was drafted for in the spring.

New York Mets

  • 1B Dominic Smith has hit a rough patch, striking out in all three of his at-bats yesterday. He’s got one hit in his last 18 plate appearances, with no walks and 10 strikeouts.

New York Yankees

  • RP Aroldis Chapman was unavailable yesterday, so RP David Robertson worked the tenth inning with the Yankees holding a 2-1 lead. He threw 12 pitches, nine for strikes, and got a clean inning for his second save of the year.

Oakland A’s

  • SP Brett Anderson was very good in his first start since May 18, shutting out the Indians for five innings and allowing only three hits and two walks. He struck out three. Anderson was a little wild, especially with his sinker, which was a ball 17 of the 29 times he threw it, but he made enough out pitches to produce a solid start. Anderson is an intriguing deep mixed league option in the second half as he builds up his pitch count and gets more starts at his pitcher-friendly home park.
  • OF Khris Davis went 3-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored yesterday.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • C Andrew Knapp entered yesterday’s game with a .405 on-base percentage and 1.225 OPS over his last 13 games, and with 2B Cesar Hernandez out again with a right foot issue, the Phillies decided to put Knapp in the leadoff spot. He went 0-for-4 with a strikeout, but it says something about the value the Phillies see in Knapp and how he could be a fantasy factor in the near future.
  • Hernandez, it is worth noting, should be back in the lineup for one of the Phillies’ two games today against the Mets.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • RP Felipe Vazquez struck out multiple batters for the seventh straight appearance and 12th time in his last 14 appearances. He struck out the side with a 4-1 lead in the ninth, picking up his 18th save of the year.
  • SP Nick Kingham bounced back nicely after a rough start earlier in the week, striking out five over six innings and holding the Phillies to a run on four hits and a walk.

San Diego Padres

  • A day after hitting three home runs, OF/1B Wil Myers not only hit another one – a solo shot in the 16th inning that served as the game winner – but he also stole two bases after reaching three times in eight plate appearances. If Myers stays healthy, he could have a huge second half at the plate and on the bases.

San Francisco Giants

  • The Giants dumped OF Austin Jackson yesterday and called up OF Steven Duggar from Triple-A, immediately inserting him in center field and in the leadoff spot. Duggar, who was .272 with four homers, 21 RBI, 11 steals and 52 runs scored at Triple-A, went 2-for-6 in his debut with a double and a run scored. He also struck out twice, not a surprise since he already had 103 Ks in Triple-A this year in 316 at-bats.

Seattle Mariners

  • 1B/3B Ryon Healy went 2-for-5 yesterday with a home run and five RBI. Healy has become an all-or-nothing guy – 18 of his 69 hits have been home runs, but he’s also struck out 68 times in 289 plate appearances with just 11 walks.
  • RP Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth yesterday for his 35th save of the season. He’s on pace to tie the single-season saves record of 62.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • OF Tommy Pham went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts yesterday, then left the game with a left ankle contusion. There should be news today on whether there’s anything to this injury.
  • The bad RP Greg Holland returned yesterday, allowing five earned runs on four hits and two walks in just 2/3 of an inning. After getting his ERA down from 8.79 to 6.30 in two weeks, this outing pushed it right back up to 8.27.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • SP Nathan Eovaldi was dominant again yesterday, facing the minimum 21 batters over seven shutout innings and striking out nine of them. He allowed a hit to start the seventh inning that ended a perfect game bid, the third time this season Eovaldi has made it past the fifth inning with a no-hitter or perfect game. What’s most impressive is that he only needed 79 pitches to get through his seven innings, getting ahead in the count on 15 batters and generating weak contact when the Mets were able to put the ball in play. He finishes out the first half, and maybe his time as a Ray, with a road start this weekend at Minnesota. He’s a must-start in all formats.
  • 1B/OF Jake Bauers went 2-for-3 with a double and an upper-deck solo home run yesterday. He walked two times and scored three times, now carrying a .832 OPS on the season.

Texas Rangers

  • SS/OF Jurickson Profar went 1-for-5 with a solo home run yesterday. It was Profar’s first home run since June 17, but he’s been improving steadily throughout the year – his .247 average after yesterday’s game was the highest it has been since May 1, and his .769 OPS is the second-highest number he’s been at so far this year (he ended the June 6 game at .774).

Toronto Blue Jays

  • SP Ryan Borucki had another impressive start yesterday in a tough spot against the Yankees, allowing only a double, six singles, and two walks in seven innings, limiting one of the best offenses in baseball to a run. He struck out five. Borucki had superb command in this game, with not one pitch being higher than the upper 10 percent of the strike zone, according to Baseball Savant’s pitch tracker. Borucki has shown an advanced approach on the mound and may be worth speculating on if you’re in a mixed league looking to make up some ground with high-risk, high-reward pitchers.
  • DH Kendrys Morales homered again yesterday, his 10th of the year and fifth since June 20.

Washington Nationals

  • If you need a roster spot to take a risk on a starter, we’re totally fine with dumping SP Tanner Roark, who couldn’t recover yesterday from his recent down stretch despite having an A+ matchup at home against the Marlins. Roark only last four innings and gave up 10 hits and three walks; despite that, he was lucky to get out with just four earned runs allowed, as the Marlins managed to leave 17 men on base as a team in the game. If you’re holding on to Roark, bench him for his last start of the first half against the Mets in New York on Friday.

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