Daily Intel – 7/29/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • SS/3B Eduardo Escobar’s first start with the team came at third base, as he was slotted fifth in the batting order and went 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, a single, and two runs scored.
  • It was another mixed bag start for SP Pat Corbin; he generated 23 swinging strikes on 104 pitches and eight strikeouts in six innings, but he also allowed four earned runs on four doubles, two singles, and two walks to a pretty lousy Padres lineup. Corbin hasn’t had a disastrous blow up start recently, but he has allowed four earned runs in four of his last 10 starts; nevertheless, he’s probably impossible to bench at this point considering his standing among the overall starting pitcher pool. He’s someone we’ll be scrutinizing closely in the offseason before setting his 2019 value, though.

Atlanta Braves

  • SP Max Fried was solid in his return after missing three weeks with a blister issue, striking out seven Dodgers in five innings and allowing only one run two singles, a hit by pitch, and three walks. Fried’s command was a little shaky, as only 46 of his 87 pitches were strikes, but he’s got the strikeout upside to make him worthy of a pickup in advance of his next start on Thursday at the Mets.

Baltimore Orioles

  • OF Joey Rickard always seems to do well against his former team, the Rays. He went 3-for-4 yesterday with a home run, two doubles, five RBI, and three runs scored.

Boston Red Sox

  • 3B Rafael Devers is likely going on the disabled list today with a left hamstring injury suffered in yesterday’s game.

Chicago Cubs

  • We heaped enough praise on SP Jose Quintana after his last start to have seen yesterday coming from a mile away – three innings, six earned runs, six hits, three walks, only two strikeouts. Quintana’s issue right now is volume contact, which makes his start-to-start predictability basically non-existent. He gets a great matchup next on Friday against the Padres, though, and we’d start him everywhere.

Chicago White Sox

  • OF Nicky Delmonico was bumped up to fifth in the order yesterday and went 1-for-2 with a solo home run, a hit by pitch, and two runs scored.
  • OF Avisail Garcia has three consecutive multi-hit games after going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored yesterday. He’s hitting .350 in July with seven homers, 15 RBI, and 13 runs scored.

Cincinnati Reds

  • SP Matt Harvey was impressive in a no-decision yesterday against the Phillies, striking out five in five innings and allowing only two hits (a double and a solo homer) and two walks. His four-seam fastball velocity topped out at 98 mph and averaged 95.2, and it generated seven swinging strikes in the 35 times he threw it. Harvey could be a good asset in all leagues down the stretch if he ends up with a contender that can win him games with offense and bullpen support despite him only going five or six innings.

Cleveland Indians

  • 2B/3B Jose Ramirez is in what constitutes a slump for him, as he’s now without a hit in six straight games after going 0-for-3 yesterday. Still, he’s walked in all six of those games and has a total of nine walks in that period, which has allowed him to retain a little bit of value with three runs scored and two stolen bases.

Colorado Rockies 

  • We did get a little bit of insight in to the Rockies’ bullpen structure last night, as they held a 4-1 lead when SP Antonio Senzatela departed with two outs in the sixth. RP Jake McGee came first and got one out, then RPs Seung Hwan Oh, Adam Ottavino, and Wade Davis started the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings, respectively, with only Oh seeing some trouble and Ottavino and Davis working perfect frames. We’d say that established the fantasy pecking order of ownership for this bullpen: Davis, Ottavino, Oh, McGee, with the latter two only being relevant in NL-only leagues.

Detroit Tigers

  • SP Blaine Hardy got an unexpected start yesterday with SP Francisco Liriano dealing with an allergic reaction issue, and he held the Indians to a run on four singles and two walks over five innings. He struck out one. We still expect Liriano to be traded before Tuesday, so Hardy should remain on a normal starting schedule after it looking like he’d miss at least a start or two with the Tigers going to a four-man rotation due to upcoming off days.

Houston Astros

  • 2B Jose Altuve’s knee injury suffered Wednesday was bad enough for the Astros to place him on the 10-day disabled list yesterday. He’ll be eligible to return next weekend.

Kansas City Royals

  • OF Brian Goodwin was considered a decent prospect for a long time when he was in Washington’s system, so it’ll be interesting to watch how the Royals deploy him over the last two months. He started both ends of yesterday’s doubleheader and went 3-for-8 with a home run, two runs scored, and three RBI.
  • SS Adalberto Mondesi had another strong day despite only starting one game and pinch hitting in another, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two steals.

Los Angeles Angels

  • C Francisco Arcia started his second major league game Saturday, and somehow he topped his two-hit, four-RBI debut from Thursday. He went 3-for-4 last night with two doubles, a home run, two runs scored, and six RBI. Arcia may be worth grabbing in deep two-catcher leagues, considering the weakness of the pool; even a luck-fueled hot streak for two weeks could make him a top-15 guy at the position for the rest of the season.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • OF Yasiel Puig returned to the lineup with a bang yesterday, going 1-for-2 with a home run, a walk, three RBI, and two runs scored.

Miami Marlins

  • SP Trevor Richards shut out the Nationals for six innings last night, allowing only three singles and two walks. He struck out eight and now has three consecutive quality starts thanks to a changeup that has established itself as one of the better off-speed offerings in the league, ranking second according to FanGraphs pitch value metric behind only Kyle Hendricks’ changeup and ahead of Zack Greinke, Chris Sale, Aaron Nola, and Jacob deGrom’s changeups.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • 3B Travis Shaw did in fact make his first start at second base a day after the team acquired 3B Mike Moustakas. He went 0-for-4.
  • Moustakas hit third behind OF Lorenzo Cain and in front of 1B Jesus Aguilar in his debut, going 1-for-5 with a strikeout.

Minnesota Twins

  • 3B Miguel Sano hit sixth and started at third base in his return to the big club. Nothing changed, at least yet, as he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

New York Mets

  • SP Noah Syndergaard is likely to be ready to return to start on Wednesday afternoon against the Nationals.

New York Yankees

  • SP Luis Severino has been beaten up in three straight starts, as the Royals tagged him for six runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings yesterday. The difference recently seems to be that Severino’s four-seem fastball hasn’t been able to make up for a slider that is getting hit around a lot; of the nine four-seamers the Royals put in play yesterday, six of them went for hits. Severino’s velocity is fine, so this is probably a mechanical issue that he can hopefully iron out with some bullpen work between starts. There’s still no reason to bench him in any format.

Oakland A’s

  • 1B Matt Olson is closing July on a cold streak; he went 0-for-3 with last night with a walk and two strikeouts, and he has only one hit and two walks in his last 23 plate appearances. Overall, he’s only hit .190 this month with 11 runs scored, three homers, and seven RBI, though he has had his best month in terms of plate discipline with 15 walks.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • 1B/OF Rhys Hoskins extended his hitting streak to eight games yesterday, with his lone hit being a two-run home run that gave him seven homers in his last eight games, with 13 RBI in that span.
  • 2B/SS/3B Asdrubal Cabrera started his first game with the Phillies and was placed at shortstop to start the game before shifting to third base later. He batted fifth and went 0-for-4.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • It took a left hamstring strain to end the hot streak of OF Corey Dickerson, as he landed on the disabled list yesterday after missing his third straight game. OF Austin Meadows is back up with the big club and should start for the next week or so. Dickerson is eligible to return next weekend.

San Diego Padres

  • SP Tyson Ross remains a source of trade talks as the deadline nears, but a change of scenery isn’t going to change the fact that he hasn’t had a particularly valuable fantasy start for a long stretch. He allowed four earned runs on six hits and four walks in five innings yesterday, striking out three. He’ll finish July with an 8.87 ERA and 1.84 WHIP in 23 1/3 innings, having struck out and walked the same number of batters (15).

San Francisco Giants

  • SP Johnny Cueto made it only four innings last night at home against Milwaukee, allowing four runs on a double and seven singles. He didn’t walk or strike out a batter. His command was poor and his fastball velocity remains under 90 mph on average; he’s slowing drifting in to matchups territory in mixed leagues, and his next outing is a toss-up as he draws Arizona in their pitcher-friendly park on Friday, but he may not make that start after manager Bruce Bochy said postgame the team is concerned about Cueto.

Seattle Mariners

  • DH Nelson Cruz went 2-for-4 with two solo home runs last night.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • OF Marcell Ozuna finally hit his first home run of the month yesterday, going 3-for-4 with a grand slam. He’s got hits in four straight games, boosting his July batting average from .173 to .215.
  • SP Miles Mikolas generated 15 ground ball outs to pick up his 11th win yesterday, holding the Cubs to two runs on six hits and a walk over six innings. Mikolas has allowed two or fewer runs in six of his last seven starts.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • Newly-acquired SP Jalen Beeks was throwing batting practice yesterday in his Rays debut, allowing eight earned runs in 3 1/3 innings on 10 hits and three walks. To be fair, Beeks had some bad luck on some of his batted balls, but the bigger problem was that he couldn’t generate enough swinging strikes to put away batters that he got ahead of. Beeks has a lot of work to do at the big league level before he’s viable in any format, even AL-only.

Texas Rangers

  • 2B Rougned Odor is once again a must-start option in all formats after another big game last night, as he went 5-for-5 with two home runs, a double, three runs scored, and a caught stealing.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • The Jays used RP John Axford as the “opener” yesterday for their bullpen day, and the results were great – he pitched a career-high three innings, striking out three and allowing only a single.
  • Unfortunately, the bullpen day ended poorly, as RP Ryan Tepera blew his sixth save of the year without recording an out, allowing four runs on three hits and two hit batters.

Washington Nationals

  • SS/OF Trea Turner went 2-for-5 out of the leadoff spot last night. He also stole two bases, his first successful steal attempts since June 29 after being thrown out in his last five tries.

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