Daily Intel – 8/5/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • OF Steven Souza Jr. is waking up a little bit – he went 2-for-4 yesterday with a double, a triple, two runs scored, and three RBI. He’s got 12 hits in his last 10 starts, including six for extra bases, 10 RBI, and eight runs scored.
  • 2B/SS Nick Ahmed is on fire – he went 3-for-3 yesterday with two homers, a walk, three runs scored, and four RBI. In his last 10 games, he’s also got 12 hits with eight for extra bases, plus 13 RBI and eight runs scored.

Atlanta Braves

  • SP Kevin Gausman didn’t do much to impress in his Atlanta debut, losing to the Mets after allowing three runs on six hits and two walks over five innings. Gasuman’s command wasn’t sharp for most of the night, and he had his second-lowest swinging strike rate of the season at 4.7 percent.

Baltimore Orioles

  • SP Dylan Bundy delivered a quality start in a losing effort yesterday, allowing only one earned run on seven hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out six. That’s two consecutive quality starts for Bundy after he had posted three duds in a row between July 6 and July 20.

Boston Red Sox

  • SP Nathan Eovaldi has pitched 15 innings as a member of the Red Sox rotation without allowing a run after shutting out the Yankees for eight innings yesterday. He only struck out four, but limited New York to three hits and a walk. Eovaldi’s trended toward a fly ball tilt in his last three starts, allowing 38 of them compared to just 18 ground ball outs. A lot of the contact hasn’t been categorized as “hard,” but it still gives us some pause in recommending Eovaldi as a must-start in all formats. He gets the Orioles next in Baltimore followed by his old mates in Tampa at home.
  • 2B Ian Kinsler was placed on the 10-day disabled list after suffering a hamstring injury on Friday.

Chicago Cubs

  • SP Kyle Hendricks’ dominance level has taken a big tick up recently; in yesterday’s win, where he allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings on five hits, Hendricks struck out seven, which came after his previous two starts where he struck out eight in each. What’s surprising about this stretch is that Hendricks’ changeup, his most effective pitch, has been a negative value offering in four straight starts, per FanGraphs. The Cubs are too good to consider not starting Hendricks if you own him, but there’s some uncertainty in performance predictability for a guy whose primary value in recent seasons has been reliability.

Chicago White Sox

  • 1B Jose Abreu has homers in three consecutive games after hitting a solo shot last night. He’s also got multi-hit games in seven of his last 10 starts, which includes five doubles, 12 runs scored, and eight RBI.
  • RP Thyago Vieira got the save opportunity last night and closed out the Sox’ 2-1 win over the Rays, walking one and striking out two.

Cincinnati Reds

  • With OF Scott Schebler not looking likely to return any time soon, OF Phil Ervin is worth a speculative add in leagues where you’re looking for a batting average/speed combo. He started one game in yesterday’s doubleheader and pinch-hit in the other, and combined he went 2-for-3 with two walks, a home run, two runs scored, and four RBI.

Cleveland Indians

  • The scare SP Corey Kluber put in to his owners with a rough patch between late June and mid-July seems to have come and gone; he threw a complete game shutout last night and needed only 98 pitches to do so. Kluber blamed the bad starts on a knee issue, and those outings were marked by a continued drop in strikeout rate. Unfortunately, in his last two improved starts, those Ks having fully returned, with only 12 of them in 16 1/3 innings. These are all minor issues for a guy who you are starting every time out, regardless of recent form or minor issues.

Colorado Rockies 

  • SS Trevor Story’s tremendous season rolled on yesterday with two home runs and four RBI. As much as Story’s taken advantage of his home park (.317 average/1.087 OPS), he’s now posted more-than-passable numbers on the road, with a .267 batting average and .745 OPS.

Detroit Tigers

  • SP Jordan Zimmermann bounced back after three consecutive bad outings, striking out six in 6 1/3 innings of two-run work against the A’s yesterday. He allowed six hits and three walks. Zimmermann gets two winnable outings in his next two starts, drawing home matchups with Minnesota and the White Sox.

Houston Astros

  • SP Lance McCullers was removed after four innings of work last night due to right elbow discomfort. The issue is bad enough that he’ll be headed back to Houston today to be examined. McCullers has had right elbow issues before, in 2016, when he suffered a sprain.

Kansas City Royals

  • OF Alex Gordon went 2-for-4 yesterday with two RBI. He has multi-hit games in four of his last five starts.

Los Angeles Angels

  • OF Mike Trout took swings before yesterday’s game and said he still felt discomfort in his wrist. He didn’t play and, if he doesn’t go today, a disabled list stint could be on the horizon since he’ll already have missed four of the 10 days that would be required if he hit the DL.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • SP Alex Wood was placed on the disabled list with a core muscle issue. That makes it 5-for-5 in disabled list stints for the guys who opened the season in the rotation for the Dodgers.

Miami Marlins

  • SS/3B Miguel Rojas went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run yesterday. He’s been hitting well over the last week, with seven hits in his last six starts, along with four runs scored. He’s making a lot of contact, having only struck out five times in his last 65 at-bats.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • RP Corey Knebel worked the seventh inning in a low-leverage situation yesterday with the Brewers up 7-2. Manager Craig Counsell said he’ll be using Knebel in different roles for the near future in hopes of getting him sharpened up. If there’s one bullpen arm to own here, it is RP Josh Hader…after that, it may not be Knebel, but RP Jeremy Jeffress.

Minnesota Twins

  • 1B Logan Morrison’s power is starting to show back up, as he hit his fourth home run in nine games yesterday.
  • OF Max Kepler went 3-for-3 with a walk, a home run, two runs scored, and two RBI yesterday. He’s posted a .288 batting average and .977 OPS in the last 30 days.

New York Mets

  • 2B Jeff McNeil went 4-for-4 with a double yesterday. He’s posted a solid contact rate since being called up on July 24, with only five strikeouts in 29 plate appearances.
  • RP Robert Gsellman got the save yesterday with RP Anthony Swarzak seemingly available and ready to pitch, so the Mets are likely going with both guys for saves the rest of the way.

New York Yankees

  • The Yankees’ offense has gone cold recently, and 2B Gleyber Torres is at the center of the team’s struggles. He went 0-for-3 yesterday and is hitless in his last three games after a two-homer night on Wednesday. Since returning from the disabled list, Torres has a .182 batting average and .683 OPS in 38 plate appearances.

Oakland A’s

  • 3B Matt Chapman hit his 14th home run of the season and also his sixth triple of the year yesterday, scoring and driving in a run. He has hits in 12 of his last 14 games, with seven of the games being of the multi-hit variety.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • SP Zach Eflin bounced back after posting three consecutive poor/mediocre outings, throwing eight innings for the win against Miami, allowing only four hits, no walks, and three runs, striking out si.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • OF Corey Dickerson was activated from the disabled list yesterday, but he did not start, instead pinch hitting in the ninth. He should be back in the starting lineup today.

San Diego Padres

  • 1B/OF Wil Myers was placed on the 10-day disabled list yesterday, as the pain in his left foot had not subsided since injuring it on Thursday. OF Franmil Reyes was recalled, but OF Hunter Renfroe should be the playing time winner with Myers out.
  • C Austin Hedges went 1-for-3 yesterday with a solo home run and a sacrifice fly. Hedges has four home runs in his last eight starts.

San Francisco Giants

  • OF Andrew McCutchen went 5-for-5 with a home run, a double, two RBI, and a run scored yesterday. He has 11 hits in his last six starts.

Seattle Mariners

  • After suffering an ankle injury Thursday and playing through it Friday, 2B/OF Dee Gordon sat out last night. His status today will be a good indicator of whether he should be trusted in weekly lineup leagues for Monday’s deadline.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • OF Harrison Bader has hit well with an uptick in starts this week; after a 2-for-5 outing yesterday that included a double, run, and RBI, he now has six hits in four starts this week, along with five runs scored, two RBI, and two stolen bases. Bader has 11 steals and six homers in just 214 at-bats this year, and he could provide you a 10/5 mark in those respective categories the rest of the way. He should be owned in all 12-team mixed leagues and larger if you’re in need of stolen bases.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • SP Blake Snell returned from the disabled list last night and was solid in a limited role, throwing only 59 pitches to get through four innings, allowing one run on three hits and two walks, striking out three.

Texas Rangers

  • SP Drew Hutchison was signed to a one-year deal and will immediately be inserted in to the rotation, starting today in the series finale against the Orioles. Hutchison could have value in AL-only leagues if he limits his walks.
  • 2B Rougned Odor and 1B/3B/OF Joey Gallo both homered yesterday. Combined, they have 10 home runs in the last eight days.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • SP Marco Estrada yesterday posted his first quality start since June 22 and earned his first win since June 16, limiting the Mariners to one run on one hit and two walks in seven innings. He struck out four.

Washington Nationals

  • OF Juan Soto picked up four hits in the Nats’ doubleheader split with the Reds yesterday, including two doubles and four runs scored. Soto has shown no signs of slowing down and is looking like a likely top-50 pick heading in to 2019.

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