Daily Intel – 7/24/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • SP Pat Corbin earned his seventh win of the season with seven one-run innings at the Cubs yesterday, allowing only a double, five singles, no walks, and striking out nine. Corbin’s two-seam fastball was working at an elite level all night, as he only allowed one fly ball out compared to ten ground outs and got six swinging strikes on 27 two-seamers. He hasn’t had a bad start in more than a month and should be used in all formats every time out.
  • 1B Paul Goldschmidt went 2-for-5 with a solo home run and a single.

Atlanta Braves

  • RP Arodys Vizcaino is still two or three weeks away from throwing, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. RP A.J. Minter looks like the closer for now, and he’s good enough to hold the role, but the Braves seem likely to seek reinforcements in the bullpen via trade as they continue to fight for the AL East title.
  • 2B Ozzie Albies will be out of the lineup today after also missing Monday’s game, and with the Braves having an off-day on Wednesday the will look to bring Albies back to the lineup with five days of rest on Thursday.

Baltimore Orioles

  • SP Kevin Gausman is on the verge of being useless in all mixed formats after another poor performance last night. He threw only 44 strikes on 79 pitches and allowed five runs on three hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. Gausman’s only gone deeper than six innings three times in his last 10 starts, and he’s only struck out 18 batters in his last six starts, a span of 34 2/3 innings. He gets the Rays next at home this weekend.

Boston Red Sox

  • SP Rick Porcello won his 12th game of the year, shutting out the Orioles for six innings on six hits and a walk, striking out six. Porcello dropped his slider usage considerably in this outing after the pitch was a drag on him in three of last four starts, but he’s still going to have to gain command of that pitch to continue pitching at this level down the stretch, as teams have been hitting his fastball more since mid-June.

Chicago Cubs

  • RP Brandon Morrow said before yesterday’s game that his arm still feels “cranky,” making a return from the disabled list when he’s eligible on Saturday seem unlikely.

Chicago White Sox

  • SP Lucas Giolito was able to work through some trouble for his seventh win of the year last night, recording his third straight quality start. After a stretch where he allowed 10 home runs in seven outings, Giolito has allowed only two in this stretch of three QS. He finished last night with five strikeouts in six innings, allowing three runs on five hits and four walks. He’s still not relevant in mixed leagues, but he could have matchups value down the stretch if he can continue to cut the home run rate and get closer to striking out a batter per inning.

Cincinnati Reds

  • SP Luis Castillo could only get to 85 pitches yesterday despite a pretty good start against St. Louis, as he went 5 1/3 innings and allowed four hits, a walk, an earned run, and struck out five. Castillo has only allowed one home run in his last five starts, a nice correction after he had allowed seven in his previous five outings before this stretch, but he’s still not able to get any distance on his outings, with eight of his last 10 being less than six innings.

Cleveland Indians

  • SP Corey Kluber was hit hard again last night, his fourth start in his last seven that could be defined as “bad” or worse. He was hurt by an error that would’ve ended the second inning, but after that he still couldn’t get the third out of the inning before allowing a three-run home run, a double, a walk, and an RBI single. For the night, Kluber finished with seven runs allowed, but only three earned, giving up nine hits and a walk in four innings with just two strikeouts. His fastball velocity was down more than 1 mph from his last several starts, with his curveball down the same levels as well. It’s not time to panic on Kluber, but there are some concerns with his recent performance.

Colorado Rockies 

  • Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that the Rockies are looking at Orioles SPs Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. Both guys have horrible home run issues, having allowed 20 and 23 this year, respectively, so a move to Coors Field would crush their value in mixed league formats.

Detroit Tigers

  • 2B/3B Ronny Rodriguez looks set for an everyday role for the balance of the season. He’s started 10 of the last 14 games and has hit first or second in the last two – he went 0-for-5 last night, but he could have value in AL-only leagues if he runs like he did in the minors, where he had 10 stolen bases this year and 15 last year. He also had double-digit home runs in his last three full seasons and nine this year in 270 plate appearances.

Houston Astros

  • With the Astros considered a favorite to land Orioles RP Zach Britton, it is worth keeping an eye on recently-exiled RP Ken Giles as he works at Triple-A. In his first week there, he allowed one run on five hits with six strikeouts and a walk in 3 1/3 innings.

Kansas City Royals

  • RP Brandon Maurer was asked to get the save last night with the Royals holding a 4-2 lead in the ninth inning, as RP Wily Peralta was unavailable due to his workload over the weekend. Maurer failed miserably, again, allowing all three batters he faced to reach and score before he was removed without recording an out. Peralta, oddly enough, looks like one of the safer closing options in fantasy right now, primarily because the Royals have nothing else going in their bullpen besides RP Kevin McCarthy, who seems locked in to a larger workload in the earlier innings.

Los Angeles Angels

  • OF Mike Trout had a very interesting night last night, going 0-for-0 with four walks, and RBI, and two stolen bases. He’s now got five steals in his last 10 games and has moved up to 4th in the American League with 18 steals.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • 3B Justin Turner was placed on the 10-day disabled list Monday with an aggravation of the right groin strain that has hobbled him for almost two weeks. OF Alex Verdugo, arguably the team’s most relevant prospect from a fantasy perspective, was called up, and it looks like SS/3B Manny Machado will move to third base in Turner’s absence, as he played there last night with 2B/SS/OF Chris Taylor going to shortstop.

Miami Marlins

  • OF Cameron Maybin went 2-for-3 with a walk yesterday, lifting his batting average to a season-high .248. Maybin could be a sneaky speed and runs scored source down the stretch, as he’s warmed up in July with a .309 batting average and .433 on-base percentage, with five stolen bases in five tries.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • SP Brent Suter will miss the rest of the season and likely all of 2019 due to an elbow injury that will require Tommy John surgery.
  • 1B/OF Eric Thames will likely return to the lineup on Thursday when he’s first eligible. The timing is good, considering 1B Jesus Aguilar missed a second straight game last night with hamstring tightness.

Minnesota Twins

  • In his second game back off the disabled list, 1B Logan Morrison went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI. Morrison is still a long ways from having mixed league value, but he does have three home runs in his last seven starts, and the one thing he’s shown adept at in recent years is the ability to hit home runs in bunches.

New York Mets

  • SS Amed Rosario led off last night for just the fourth time this season, with regular leadoff man OF Brandon Nimmo getting bumped down to seventh spot in the order, a definite demotion considering he hasn’t hit below third in a start this season. Rosario used the opportunity to steal his eighth base of the season and fourth in the month of July.

New York Yankees

  • OF Giancarlo Stanton went 4-for-4 yesterday with a double, a walk, two runs scored, and two RBI. He’s now up to a .285 batting average on the season, his highest point since April 1st.
  • The Rays hit SP Luis Severino’s slider hard yesterday, putting it in play for hits five times, including two home runs. According to FanGraphs, the slider has had a pitch value of negative-1.4 or worse in Severino’s last three starts; he finished last night allowing six earned runs on 11 hits over five innings, striking out eight.

Oakland A’s

  • 3B Matt Chapman has multi-hit games in four of his last five starts after going 3-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored, and four RBI last night. He’s been raking over the last nine games, going 12-for-35 with nine runs scored, seven RBI, and only seven strikeouts, a nice cut in to his season-long strikeout rate of 24 percent.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • 1B Carlos Santana led off for the second consecutive game, as 2B Cesar Hernandez has sat out dealing with a sore right foot. This has been an issue for Hernandez since fouling a ball off his foot earlier this month, though he did pinch hit last night.
  • SP Zach Eflin was pretty bad in his return from a short absence dealing with blister issues. He gave up three home runs in 2 2/3 innings, also allowing two singles and three walks.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • 2B/3B Josh Harrison started yesterday for the first time in more than a week after dealing with a left hamstring issue. He went 2-for-3 with a three-run home run and two runs scored.

San Diego Padres

  • RP Kirby Yates picked up the save last night in a one-run win at the Mets, striking out two batters in a perfect ninth inning. He’s a 50/50 shot to be traded by the deadline, but we could see a few teams that would use him as a closer if they acquired him, specifically the Braves, Phillies, and even potentially the Yankees if RP Aroldis Chapman’s issues persist. Yates should be owned in all formats.

San Francisco Giants

  • 3B Evan Longoria should be back in the lineup today after missing a month and a half with a broken hand. He got through his weekend rehab assignment without any issues.

Seattle Mariners

  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that 1B Ryon Healy has generated some trade market interest from Kansas City. The news isn’t surprising considering the rumors that 2B Robinson Cano could play first base when he’s eligible to return from his 80-game PED suspension on August 14.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • SP Daniel Poncedeleon started last night for his major league debut, just 14 months after his career was in jeopardy after he took a line drive off the side of his head, an injury that required brain surgery. He threw seven no-hit innings with three walks and three strikeouts but ended up getting a no-decision after RP Bud Norris blew his win in the ninth.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • SP Blake Snell was placed on the 10-day disabled list yesterday with left shoulder fatigue. The Rays are saying that this should only be a one-start issue, and that one start was scheduled for today at home against the Yankees, so he should be back for the three-game series that starts next Tuesday at home against the Angels.
  • 1B/OF Jake Bauers continues to do it all for the Rays, homering and hitting a double last night to drive in three. He also scored twice.

Texas Rangers

  • SP Cole Hamels got pounded again last night, allowing nine hits and two walks for seven earned runs over five innings against the A’s. He’s gone more than a month without a quality start, as his ERA has risen from 3.41 after his June 19 outing to 4.72 after last night. His cutter, which was the key to his success in April and May, has been a negative value pitch in four of his last five outings. He gets the Astros next in Houston on Saturday and should be benched.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • 1B Justin Smoak went 3-for-5 last night with a double and a run scored. He’s hitting .306 this month with 11 extra-base hits and 13 RBI.

Washington Nationals

  • If you read the Texas blurb, maybe this won’t be of any interest, but there were conflicting reports last night about the Nats’ interest in SP Cole Hamels. A move to Washington would be good for Hamels’ value, considering the likelihood that he’d draw more favorable matchups in the NL East down the stretch than in the AL West.
  • 1B Ryan Zimmerman was activated off the disabled list last night and inserted in to the cleanup spot, going 0-for-3.

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