Daily Intel – 8/4/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • OF David Peralta went 3-for-4 last night with a solo home run, a double, a walk, and two runs scored. He’s got seven hits in his last two games.

Atlanta Braves

  • SP Anibal Sanchez struck out a season-high nine last night, earning his fifth quality start in his last six outings by limiting the Mets to a run on two hits and two walks over six innings. Sanchez’s cutter continues to be a dominant pitch, delivering positive value in all but two of his starts this year, per FanGraphs Pitch Value metric

Baltimore Orioles

  • RP Evan Phillips, who was acquired from Atlanta in the SP Kevin Gausman trade, was called up and pitched two perfect innings with three strikeouts yesterday. Phillips had a 1.99 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 40 2/3 innings at Triple-A this year, and he could be a sleeper for the Orioles’ closer role down the stretch and in to 2019.

Boston Red Sox

  • SP Rick Porcello threw a perfect game against the Yankees last night…except for an 82 mph changeup that he left out over the middle of the plate for 3B Miguel Andujar to drive for a home run in the third inning. And he also hit OF Brett Gardner to open the game. But other than that, Porcello was literally perfect, facing only 28 batters (Gardner was retired on a double play) and retiring all of them over nine innings, striking out nine. His 86-pitch complete game is the least pitches needed since SP Corey Kluber did it with 85 pitches in 2014.
  • 2B Ian Kinsler departed last night’s game with left hamstring tightness. A disabled list stint is likely.

Chicago Cubs

  • SP Jose Quintana has allowed two runs or fewer and has gone at least six innings in four of his last five starts after yesterday’s outing, where he picked up his 10th win of the season. He limited the Padres to a run on four hits over six innings, striking out six and not walking a batter for the first time this season. He gets another A+ matchup next week against Kansas City and is a must start in all leagues.

Chicago White Sox

  • SP Lucas Giolito’s ERA is under six for the first time since April 12 after seven good innings last night against the Rays. He allowed one run on two hits and three walks, striking out six, and for only the second time in his last 14 starts he generated more ground balls than fly balls. Giolito has posted quality starts in four out of his last five outings and has a 3.19 ERA in 31 innings over those five starts.

Cincinnati Reds

  • OF Scott Schebler was shut down from throwing on his rehab assignment, a pretty bad sign for his prospects to return any time soon. The team will shut him down for a week to rest and then decide what’s next. In very shallow mixed leagues, you wouldn’t be crazy to consider dropping Schebler if you need a roster spot.

Cleveland Indians

  • RP Andrew Miller returned from the disabled list and threw a clean inning in the seventh last night, allowing a walk and striking out a batter.
  • OF Leonys Martin went 2-for-3 with a solo home run, a walk, two RBI, and a caught stealing last night. He hit ninth in the order, which will likely be his regular spot moving forward.

Colorado Rockies 

  • Giant contract or not, the Rockies have to be considering whether RP Wade Davis is the right guy to close for them down the stretch. He blew another save last night, allowing three earned runs on two walks and a massive three-run walk off home run by Milwaukee 1B/OF Eric Thames. Davis has a 7.94 ERA in 11 1/3 innings over the last month.
  • SP German Marquez worked his road magic again, though Davis took away his chance for a win. Marquez struck out nine in seven innings, allowing only two singles, two walks, and a solo home run. He’s now got a 3.09 road ERA in 11 starts and 67 innings, with 71 strikeouts and 19 walks.

Detroit Tigers

  • SP Blaine Hardy carried a no-hitter in to the sixth inning yesterday but had to settle for a no-decision. He ended up shutting out the A’s for seven innings, allowing a single and two walks while strikin gout six.

Houston Astros

  • OF George Springer returned to the lineup last night after injuring his shoulder on Tuesday. He was in his regular leadoff spot, going 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, and an RBI.
  • SP Justin Verlander struck out 14 in 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball for his 11th win of the year.

Kansas City Royals

  • 1B Hunter Dozier started again at third base and is now a game away from gaining eligibility there in most leagues. There’s a chance that could give him some deep mixed league relevance, but he’s still hitting only .209.

Los Angeles Angels

  • DH Shohei Ohtani posted his first career multi home run game last night, going 4-for-5 with two homers, two singles, a steal, and three runs scored.
  • OF Mike Trout missed a second straight game last night with a wrist issue.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • OF Joc Pederson has three homers in his last two games after hitting a solo shot off Astros SP Justin Verlander last night.

Miami Marlins

  • 3B/OF Brian Anderson went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI last night. He continues to show spots of improvement in his rookie season, and we’re believers in the long-term; over the last 30 days, Anderson is hitting .307 with a .913 OPS and an equal number of walks and strikeouts (10), which is an improvement from his early-season trend where he was striking out about three times as much as he was walking.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • 2B Jonathan Schoop got his first start at shortstop last night, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He didn’t commit any errors, though.
  • 1B Jesus Aguilar is in a minor slump after going 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts yesterday. In 54 plate appearances since the All-Star Break, Aguilar is hitting .149 with a .578 OPS. There’s nothing out of whack with his strikeout rate, so this is likely just a luck-driven issue that will even out soon.

Minnesota Twins

  • 3B Miguel Sano has hits in four straight games after going 2-for-4 last night. That stretch includes three doubles and only three strikeouts in 13 plate appearances.

New York Mets

  • SP Steven Matz was placed on the 10-day disabled list with what the team is saying is a minor forearm/elbow issue. If he only misses he’ll one start, he’ll be eligible to return to the rotation a week from today on August 11.
  • 3B Todd Frazier has gone hitless with four strikeouts in his first two games back from a four-week disabled list stint.

New York Yankees

  • There wasn’t much in SP Luis Severino’s outing to give hope that he’s going to snap out of his recent funk any time soon. He needed 115 pitches to get through 5 2/3 innings, and he allowed seven hits and three walks, leading to four earned runs and his fifth loss of the season. He only struck out two. The slider is just not there for Severino right now, and it is killing the effectiveness of his fastball. Such is life for a guy who only throws his third pitch about 12 percent of the time.

Oakland A’s

  • SP Brett Anderson was the first A’s starter to get through seven innings since July 4, as he carried a no-hitter in to the sixth inning but was ultimately left with a no-decision as the A’s didn’t score until their walk-off single in the 13th inning. Anderson allowed only two hits and a walk, striking out two.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • SP Vince Velasquez has really improved his control over the last month, and last night he had one of his most efficient outings of the season, throwing 6 1/3 shutout innings on 85 pitches, with only two hits and a walk allowed. He struck out seven, and since a disastrous 10-run outing on June 8 he’s thrown 44 1/3 innings to a 2.23 ERA.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • A change of scenery wasn’t an immediate panacea for SP Chris Archer’s maddening inconsistency. He gave up a leadoff home run to Cardinals 1B/3B Matt Carpenter, which set the tone for an up-and-down night where he allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and four walks over 4 1/3 innings. He also hit a batter, but did manage to strike out six. Archer’s command was off all night, especially with his four-seam fastball, which was a ball 22 of the 49 times he threw it.

San Diego Padres

  • SP Walter Lockett will likely start today in place of SP Joey Lucchesi, who is sick. We’d use all the Cubs hitters we could against him. SP Clayton Richard, who was scheduled originally to start tomorrow, will be given two extra days of rest and will start Tuesday in Milwaukee, which sets him up for a two-start week next week.
  • 1B/OF Wil Myers was still in serious pain yesterday and a disabled list stint looks likely for the bruise on his left foot.

San Francisco Giants

  • C Buster Posey was forced to leave last night’s game in the third inning due to concussion symptoms after taking a foul tip off his head while on defense. He’ll sit out today, but manager Bruce Bochy said he could return on Sunday.

Seattle Mariners

  • 2B/OF Dee Gordon was right back to leading off last night after leaving Thursday’s game with a right ankle issue. He went 0-for-4.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • OF Dexter Fowler fractured his left foot last night and will miss at least a month, killing whatever value he had left in all formats. He was 2-for-4 last night with an RBI and a walk before getting hurt.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • OF Tommy Pham will miss 2-4 weeks after suffering a foot fracture in Wednesday’s game. This should lock in everyday playing time for OF Mallex Smith, who has been very good over the past 30 days, with a .361 batting average, 1.027 OPS and six steals.

Texas Rangers

  • 2B Rougned Odor’s recovery has been mentioned plenty in this space, and it continued last night with a grand slam, but 1B/3B/OF Joey Gallo is also waking up a little. Gallo hit his 28th home run of the season last night, and in his last eight games he’s got eight hits, seven walks, four home runs, seven runs scored, and nine RBI. Despite his .193 batting average he remains on pace for 41 homers, 85 runs scored, and 92 RBI, which would likely put him in the top 12 at third base to end the season.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • SP Ryan Borucki has become a starter who should be owned in all 12-team mixed leagues and larger. He has his best outing of the year last night, shutting out the Mariners for eight innings (he did allow an unearned run, though) on just a double and three singles. Six of Borucki’s seven starts have been quality, and he now sports a 2.30 ERA in 43 innings. His next five starts line up like this (with a not on whether we’d start him in 12-team mixed leagues): home for Boston (no); at Kansas City (yes); at the Yankees (maybe; he did throw seven one-run innings against them on July 8); home for Philadelphia (yes); at Miami (yes).
  • RP Ken Giles took the ball from Borucki and made his Jays’ debut, having a decidely-Giles’ like outing: one inning, two hits, a run, but three strikeouts.

Washington Nationals

  • Last night’s game was rained out but will be played as a split doubleheader today, meaning both SP Gio Gonzalez and SP Jeremy Hellickson will start and stay on regular rest. Still, the Nats have another doubleheader on Tuesday against Atlanta, and after a day off this Monday they get no off days again until August 20, so they’ll need to find a sixth starter somewhere.

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