Daily Intel – 7/21/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • OFs David Peralta and A.J. Pollock had huge games yesterday; Peralta went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and Pollock with 5-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI.

Atlanta Braves

  • OF Ronald Acuna Jr. was back in the leadoff spot last night, with OF Ender Inciarte bumped down to the seventh spot in the order. Acuna responded with a big game, going 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, a walk, two stolen bases, and three runs scored.

Baltimore Orioles

  • In the first game post-Machado, the Orioles went with SS/3B Tim Beckham at shortstop and in the leadoff spot, with 2B Jonathan Schoop moving up to second in the order and OF Adam Jones hitting third. This was Beckham’s first start at shortstop this season after starting 118 games there last year, and he should get enough time there the rest of the way to retain position eligibility for 2019.

Boston Red Sox

  • SP David Price had his first scoreless outing of the season since April 5, shutting out the Tigers for 6 1/3 innings and limiting them to four singles and a walk. He struck out five.

Chicago Cubs

  • The regression bug continues to bite SP Jon Lester hard – he couldn’t get ahead of Cardinals’ batters yesterday and generated just one swinging strike on 86 pitches. The total result was a three-inning outing where he allowed seven hits, five walks, and eight earned runs, only striking out one.

Chicago White Sox

  • SP James Shields was hit with his 11th loss of the season last night, but not due to any fault of his own. He limited the Mariners to an earned run over seven innings, allowing seven hits and a walk while striking out five. Shields has now allowed three runs or less while going at least six innings in seven of his last 10 starts.

Cincinnati Reds

  • OF Scott Schebler is on the disabled list with a shoulder sprain that has an open-ended timetable for recovery. In their first game without him, the Reds found playing time for OFs Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton, Jesse Winker, and Philip Ervin, who was called up to fill Schebler’s spot. Duvall stands to gain the most short-term value, for now, as he should move back in to a full-time, everyday role.

Cleveland Indians

  • In the first game since acquiring RP Brad Hand, manager Terry Francona decided to use Hand in the seventh inning, where he allowed a solo home run to Texas 1B/3B/OF Joey Gallo but otherwise got out of the inning without issue. Meanwhile, RP Cody Allen was asked to close out the game in the ninth was an 8-6 lead but promptly gave up back-to-back home runs to C Robinson Chirinos and Gallo. It’s worth monitoring if these roles change this weekend, because we could see it happening thanks to Allen’s shakiness.

Colorado Rockies 

  • 2B DJ LeMahieu left yesterday’s game after two at-bats due to a “side/back” injury, which is similar to the one that bothered him before the All-Star Break. It’s worth checking in on the news for him today to see if this is an issue that requires a disabled list stint to properly heal.

Detroit Tigers

  • SP Matt Boyd was a hard-luck loser last night, throwing strikes more than 65 percent of the time and allowing only a double, two singles, two walks, and a run in five innings, striking out six.
  • OF Leonys Martin returned from the disabled list and started in center field, batting seventh. He went 1-for-3 with a single.

Houston Astros

  • SP Dallas Keuchel won his fourth start in a row last night, taking a no-hitter in to the seventh inning against the Angels. He ended up going 7 2/3 innings total, allowing only two hits, one walk, and one earned run, striking out five. Keuchel now has 13 quality starts this year and six quality starts in his last seven times out.

Kansas City Royals

  • RP Wily Peralta, who has served as a de facto closer since the trade of RP Kelvin Herrera, entered last night’s game in the ninth with a 6-2 lead and allowed two hits, two walks, and three earned runs in 2/3 of an inning, handing his mess over to RP Brandon Maurer, who was actually tagged with the blown save after allowing an inherited runner to score.

Los Angeles Angels

  • SP Tyler Skaggs went six decent innings last night in a losing effort, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks, only striking out one. It was the first time Skaggs struck out less than five batters since April 23, a stretch of 13 starts.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • In their first game with SS/3B Manny Machado, Machado played shortstop and hit second, going 2-for-3 with two singles and two walks; meanwhile, 1B/2B/3B Max Muncy started at third base with 3B Justin Turner dealing with a nagging injury issue, and SS/OF Chris Taylor led off but played both left and center field.

Miami Marlins

  • OF Derek Dietrich continued his hot finish to the first half with a two home run game yesterday, adding a single and driving in four. He also stole a base, his second of the season.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • 1B Jesus Aguilar homered again yesterday in his first game post-All Star Break and, more importantly, post Home Run Derby. He also added a walk.
  • OF Christian Yelich went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, and three RBI.

Minnesota Twins

  • SP Kyle Gibson had an unexpectedly rough outing against a soft Kansas City lineup, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings. He did strikeout five, though, and picked up 16 swinging strikes on 103 pitches, so there should be nothing to see in this other than a singular bad start against a lineup that, for all its warts, has been a little better over the last month.

New York Mets

  • The Mets are in talks to trade closer RP Jeurys Familia to Oakland, which would open up some value for a few guys. RP Robert Gsellman is the most notable, in our book, as he already has decent value for his performance, and we see him as most likely to gain the closer role. The Mets are terrible and getting worse, so save opportunities won’t be plentiful, but Gsellman would warrant owning in 12-team mixed leagues and larger if this trade happens today.

New York Yankees

  • SP Domingo German was hit hard at home against the Mets last night and demoted to Triple-A after the game. German allowed five hits – all for extra bases – and two hits in 3 2/3 innings, which led to four earned runs. He struck out three. This is probably the end of German’s fantasy value this season.
  • C Gary Sanchez returned to the lineup for the first time in almost a month since suffering a groin injury. He batted sixth and went 1-for-5 with a run scored and two strikeouts.

Oakland A’s

  • 3B Matt Chapman was hitless last night in three at-bats. Chapman has really struggled to find his stroke since returning from injury on July 3, going 11-for-47 with no home runs and only three RBI.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • 1B Carlos Santana went 1-for-4 with a home run and four RBI last night.
  • SP Jake Arrieta couldn’t get out of the fourth inning, getting hit hard by a bad San Diego lineup – he allowed six hits, three walks, and four earned runs in 3 1/3 innings, striking out two.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • OF Corey Dickerson led off last night and went 2-for-6 with a solo home run and two runs scored. Dickerson is getting hot, with a .352 batting average in 54 July at-bats, including three home runs, two stolen bases, and six RBI.

San Diego Padres

  • OF Manny Margot went 1-for-2 with two walks, two runs scored, and two stolen bases. Margot has been better in the last 30 days – over a 90 plate appearance stretch, he’s hit .284 with an .800 OPS, with an equal number of walks and strikeouts (nine). Margot doesn’t turn 24 until the last week of this season, so there’s still plenty of room for him to grow.

San Francisco Giants

  • SP Dereck Rodriguez had another fine start, this time against a team that has been hitting very well at home over the last month-plus. Rodriguez limited Oakland to a run on three hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out five. He threw 64 of his 93 pitches for strikes.

Seattle Mariners

  • SP Wade LeBlanc dominated the White Sox last night for his sixth win of the year, striking out a season-high 10 in 7 1/3 innings. He allowed only four hits, a walk, and one earned run.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • 1B/2B/3B Matt Carpenter had a game for the ages yesterday hitting out of the leadoff spot. He went 5-for-5 with two doubles and three home runs, driving in seven and scoring four times.
  • OF Tommy Pham had his best game in weeks, going 3-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • OF Kevin Kiermaier left last night’s game with what he called “a lot of pain” in his left foot, which has a severe bone bruise dating back to the injury he suffered in April. He will be tested today and said he only hopes to miss a few days.

Texas Rangers

  • 1B/3B/OF Joey Gallo went 2-for-5 with two home runs, a walk, three RBI, and three runs scored. He’s almost got his OBP back to that elusive .300 mark – he’s sitting now at .299.
  • OF/DH Willie Calhoun was finally called up from Triple-A after being a popular mixed league draft choice in late spring due to his performance there. Calhoun struggled at Triple-A but has been better recently, and in his debut yesterday he went 1-for-6 with a walk and an RBI.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • RP Tyler Clippard blew his sixth save of the season last night, allowing three runs on two homers, a double, and a walk in 2/3 of an inning. RP Ryan Tepera was back with the team after missing more than a month with an elbow issue, striking out the only batter he faced when he took over for Clippard to close out the ninth. Tepera could be right back in the closer role he vacated when he got hurt, so if you’re looking to speculate on a closer this weekend, we’d say he’s a good option moreso than the Mets’ or Padres’ options.

Washington Nationals

  • SP Stephen Strasburg was beat up last night in a home start against Atlanta, allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out six. As Strasburg left the game, he got in a visibly heated argument with fellow ace SP Max Scherzer.
  • OF Adam Eaton walked twice in five plate appearances yesterday, scoring a run and stealing a base.

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