Daily Intel – 7/16/2018

NOTE: Fantasy Baseball Now will be taking a break from the regular format during the four-day All-Star Break, so no 30-team coverage tomorrow (7/17) through Friday (7/20), but we will have a post each day on a trend, theme, or player to help you with your second half. 

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • SP Patrick Corbin was done in by one bad inning yesterday, allowing all four of his earned runs and five of his six hits to the Braves in the bottom of third. Otherwise, he had three perfect innings out of his six, and he induced 10 ground balls, making it three of his last four starts where he’s generated at least nine ground balls.

Atlanta Braves

  • It wasn’t a save situation with the Braves entering the top of the eighth inning up 4-0, but their bullpen usage pattern went with RP Dan Winkler working the eighth to set up RP A.J. Minter working the ninth. Winkler allowed a solo home run and Minter worked a perfect inning, and neither pitcher had a strikeout.

Baltimore Orioles

  • RP Zach Britton picked a good time to have his best week since returning from injury, picking up his third save of the week yesterday to go along with a win in his four appearances. He pitched four scoreless innings in those games and struck out five, and he looks like a good candidate to be traded to a team that would actually continue to use him as a closer.

Boston Red Sox

  • Manager Alex Cora announced yesterday that SP Eduardo Rodriguez has “serious damage” to his ankle after a collision on Saturday. He’ll be in a boot for two weeks before even getting another evaluation, and while they haven’t ruled him out for the season, we think it is safe to drop him in all leagues, including AL-only.

Chicago Cubs

  • 1B Anthony Rizzo had another good game out of the leadoff spot yesterday, going 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and RBI, and two runs scored.
  • 3B Kris Bryant got his fourth start and eighth game overall in the outfield yesterday, putting him only two games away in most league setups from gaining outfield eligibility. 3B David Bote got the start at third base.

Chicago White Sox

  • SP Lucas Giolito had his best start of the season yesterday, taking advantage of a weak Kansas City lineup to go six shutout innings, allowing just a double, a single, and three walks. He struck out six. His 6.18 ERA is as low as it has been since April 12 after his third start of the year.

Cincinnati Reds

  • OF Scott Schebler sat out yesterday after suffering a shoulder injury on Saturday, but the injury shouldn’t require a disabled list stint and he should be able to start Friday when the Reds begin their second half.

Cleveland Indians

  • SP Trevor Bauer was shaky early yesterday against the Yankees, allowing seven baserunners and two runs in the first four innings, but he recovered to allow only one baserunner over his final three innings on the day, striking out seven and finishing the first half with a 2.24 ERA.

Colorado Rockies 

  • SP Tyler Anderson had his third consecutive great start at home, going six innings yesterday against Seattle and allowing only two runs on five hits and a walk, striking out five. Anderson closed his first half with five of his last six starts at home and only allowed 10 earned runs over 31 1/3 innings, good for a 2.87 ERA.

Detroit Tigers

  • SP Francisco Liriano worked three innings yesterday before leaving his start with back tightness. He is not scheduled to pitch in the Tigers’ first series back this weekend against Boston, so he shouldn’t require a disabled list stint.
  • 2B/SS/OF Niko Goodrum went 1-for-4 with a solo home run yesterday, and he enters the Break with a July where he’s hit .351 with nine extra-base hits.

Houston Astros

  • SP Justin Verlander had one of his more odd outings of the year, allowing six hits and no walks in six innings and striking out 12. But of those six hits, four were home runs, so Verlander ended up giving up six runs (five earned) and taking his fifth loss of the year.

Kansas City Royals

  • SS Adalberto Mondesi went 2-for-3 with a solo home run and a double yesterday. He has two doubles and two homers in his last six games and is showing some signs of emerging power that is worth tracking early on after the All-Star Break.

Los Angeles Angels

  • 1B Jeffrey Marte went 2-for-3 with a three-run home run off Dodgers’ ace SP Clayton Kershaw. If the Angels fall completely out of the wild card race, it’ll be interesting to see how they handle the 27-year-old Marte’s playing time balanced against DH Albert Pujols. 

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • C Yasmani Grandal, who was pretty awful in May and June with a .171 batting average in 140 at-bats over those two months, is recovering nicely in July. After going 3-for-3 with a solo homer yesterday, he’s 14-for-34 (.412) in the month with more walks (10) than strikeouts (8) and a 1.310 OPS buoyed by seven extra-base hits.

Miami Marlins

  • OF Cameron Maybin went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and a stolen base. Maybin has multi-hit games in three of his last six starts, and he’s stolen five bases in that time.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • RP Corey Knebel allowed three hits, two walks, and two runs in 1 1/3 innings yesterday, blowing his third save of the year. In his last five outings, Knebel has allowed runs in three of them and has only two strikeouts compared to three walks and eight hits.

Minnesota Twins

  • 2B Brian Dozier hit a walk-off grand slam yesterday and also added an RBI single and a second run scored. He goes in to the All-Star Break having gone 9-for-26 (.346) over the last week with a 1.207 OPS.

New York Mets

  • SP Corey Oswalt has now been good in two straight starts. He struck out seven in six innings on Monday, allowing only a hit and three walks, and yesterday he only allowed a run and two baserunners in five innings. Oswalt could realistically have some value in deep mixed leagues moving forward, as he limits fly balls and has enough diversity in his pitch mix to keep hitters off balance as teams start to write the scouting book on him.

New York Yankees

  • OF Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-4 yesterday with his first stolen base since May 8. He closed the first half with hits in 14 of his last 16 games started, with half of those games being multi-hit outings. Stanton had a league-winning second half last year, and if we had to pick one player in the majors that could do that again this year, it would probably be Stanton again.

Oakland A’s

  • SP Sean Manaea went six innings yesterday and limited the Giants to five hits, a walk, and two earned runs, winning his ninth game of the season. But Manaea only struck out one batter and has just eight Ks in his last four starts, a span of 23 innings.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • SP Enyel De Los Santos was not as impressive in his second start as he was in his first, getting beat up for seven hits, a walk, and five runs by the Marlins’ poor lineup over 4 1/3 innings.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • OF Corey Dickerson went 2-for-5 with a double, a home run, two runs scored and two RBI yesterday. He’s been solid in July, hitting .354 (17-for-49) with an OPS close to 1.000 thanks to eight extra-base hits.

San Diego Padres

  • 1B Eric Hosmer went 2-for-5 with a run scored yesterday, closing out the first half with at least some semblance of positivity after starting July with jus nt four hits in his first 50 at-bats of the month.

San Francisco Giants

  • 1B Brandon Belt went hitless in four at-bats yesterday and goes in to the All-Star Break without a home run in his last 68 plate appearances.

Seattle Mariners

  • OF Mitch Haniger went 2-for-4 with a stolen base and an RBI yesterday.
  • SP Mike Leake was better than expected in Coors Field yesterday, allowing only one earned run on six hits and two walks over six innings. He struck out four.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • Oddly enough, after discussing his potential range of outcomes in yesterday’s Intel, RP Jordan Hicks received a save opportunity against the Reds, converting it despite allowing a run on two hits.
  • OF Tommy Pham did not start, but entered the game as a pinch-runner after OF Harrison Bader got hurt, and ended up having his best game in a couple of weeks, going 2-for-2 with two RBI and a run scored.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • RP Ryan Stanek has established some potential deep mixed league value with his success as an “opener.” He went two innings yesterday and allowed two hits and a run while striking out three, but what has been impressive about Stanek this year has been his improved command. Of his 31 pitches yesterday, 21 were strikes, and in the last 30 days Stanek has thrown 16 1/3 innings to the tune of a 1.10 ERA, striking out 20 and only walking six.

Texas Rangers

  • SP Mike Minor had arguably his worst start of the season yesterday, lasting a season-low 2 2/3 innings as the Orioles lit him up for six runs (five earned) on four hits and two walks. Minor had a similarly bad start on May 15, allowing six runs in 3 1/3 innings, but in that one he struck out five. Yesterday, he only struck out one. Minor is looking like a pure matchups play in deep mixed leagues and nothing more than that.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • OF Randal Grichuk led off yesterday for the second time in four games and fifth time since June 27 (all against lefties). He went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and a run scored.
  • SP Marcus Stroman was decent yesterday in a tough matchup at Boston, only going five innings over 95 pitches and allowing three earned runs on five hits and a walk, striking out four.

Washington Nationals

  • C Matt Wieters went 0-for-3 yesterday and has only two singles in 16 plate appearances since returning last Monday from his two-month disabled list stint.

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