Daily Intel – 8/8/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • SP Zack Greinke overcame some uncharacteristically-bad control yesterday to post a one-run, seven-inning outing. Greinke allowed more walks (four) than hits (three). He’s posted quality starts in nine of his last 10 outings.

Atlanta Braves

  • SP Max Fried’s start was cut short yesterday after he suffered a left groin strain trying to avoid being hit by a comebacker (he was still hit by the ball on his lower back). He will miss a few weeks, at least.
  • RP Jesse Biddle has now pitched in seven straight outings without allowing a run after going 1 2/3 innings with four strikeouts yesterday.

Baltimore Orioles

  • Incredibly, SP Alex Cobb has turned around what was on track to be a surefire 20-loss season and one of the worst starting pitcher seasons of all-time. After throwing seven innings of one-run ball at Tampa Bay last night, he’s lowered his ERA to 5.55 on the season, after it was as high as 7.14 less than two months ago. Cobb has thrown quality starts in four of his last five outings, but his lack of strikeouts (19 over that five-start, 30 1/3-inning stretch) make him tough to trust outside of AL-only leagues. Nevertheless, he has regained his value in that format.

Boston Red Sox

  • SP Chris Sale will make his return to the Boston rotation to close out a weekend road series in Baltimore on Sunday.

Chicago Cubs

  • SP Mike Montgomery worked six scoreless innings yesterday to earn his fourth win of the year, allowing only five singles and two walks while striking out four.
  • 2B/OF Ben Zobrist left yesterday’s game with a hip injury after picking up a double, a walk, a run scored, an RBI, and a stolen base. He will likely rest today but should be back in the lineup this weekend.

Chicago White Sox

  • SP Reynaldo Lopez has posted consecutive seven-inning outings after limiting the Yankees to one run yesterday, striking out six and allowing only four hits and two walks. Lopez now has 13 quality starts on the year in 23 outings.

Cincinnati Reds

  • SP Robert Stephenson will make his first start of the season with the big club today against the Mets. Stephenson was considered a top-tier prospect for several years, but command problems have plagued him, though at Triple-A this season he’s posted a 2.87 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with 135 Ks in 113 innings, despite allowing 57 walks. If he gets to stick in the rotation, he’ll be lined up for two starts next week.

Cleveland Indians

  • For a while in late June/early July, it looked like 2B Jason Kipnis was going to be a strong producer in the second half, but after an 0-for-4 day yesterday where he struck out three times, he’s sporting a .211 batting average and .630 OPS since the All-Star Break in 60 plate appearances. It is hard to justify holding on to Kipnis in 12-team mixed leagues, at this point.

Colorado Rockies 

  • OF David Dahl has started consecutive games after being recalled on Sunday, going 3-for-8 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base.

Detroit Tigers

  • The return of SP Jacob Turner to a major league rotation was not a good one, as he only lasted one inning after allowing seven runs (five earned) on six hits and a walk. He’s a total stay-away, even in AL-only leagues.

Houston Astros

  • Despite RP Roberto Osuna making his debut with the team on Monday and getting a win in relief, RP Hector Rondon still looks to have the closer role for now. He closed out yesterday’s 2-1 win with a relatively clean ninth inning, striking out two and walking one.

Kansas City Royals

  • 2B/SS Adalberto Mondesi went 1-for-4 yesterday with his 12th stolen base of the season. He has eight stolen bases in the last month.

Los Angeles Angels

  • SP Nick Tropeano was placed on the 10-day disabled list yesterday with right shoulder inflammation. This is his third DL stint of the year, all related to shoulder issues.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • SP Rich Hill has wins in three of his last four starts after beating the A’s yesterday. He worked 5 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on three hits and four walks, striking out five. He’s struck out 28 in his last 24 1/3 innings of work and now has an ERA under 2.30 in 55 innings of work since returning from the disabled list in mid-June.

Miami Marlins

  • After some indecision and posturing from manager Don MattinglyRP Kyle Barraclough was removed from the closer role officially yesterday. Mattingly said they will “try to piece it together” in the ninth inning, but we’d add RP Javy Guerra first, then RP Drew Steckenrider. 

Milwaukee Brewers

  • SP Chase Anderson has been dealing with spotty control all season long, walking four yesterday in 4 2/3 innings against a bad San Diego lineup. It was the seventh time in 10 starts where Anderson has walked multiple batters in an outing, and in that stretch he’s only had four starts where he’s worked more than 5 1/3 innings. Anderson’s surface numbers still look good – 3.81 ERA, 1.18 WHIP – because he’s limited hitters to a .221 batting average, but he’s become a matchups play in mixed leagues at this point, and his next start is one we’d avoid when he goes to Atlanta to face the Braves.

Minnesota Twins

  • We weren’t sure if 2B Logan Forsythe would get a lot of run after coming over from the Dodgers last week, but he seems to be the everyday starter at second base and is hitting well. He’s started the last five games and has hits in all of them, including going 2-for-2 yesterday with a walk and a run scored. Forsythe is still only 31 years old and is coming up on free agency, so the formula is there for him to have a strong finish to the season with everyday playing time.

New York Mets

  • After a bullpen session on Monday, the Mets decided that SP Steven Matz won’t make his return to the rotation this weekend, giving SP Corey Oswalt at least one more start.

New York Yankees

  • With RP Aroldis Chapman unavailable due to his 39-pitch blown save on Sunday, RP Zach Britton had the honor of undoing a lead in the ninth inning last night, allowing a game-tying two-run home run to White Sox 1B Jose Abreu with two outs in the ninth. On the plus side, the blown save gave SP Sonny Gray his first opportunity to thrive in long relief, and he did so with three scoreless innings, allowing only a single and a walk, and striking out four to earn his ninth win of the year.

Oakland A’s

  • SP Sean Manaea had one of his worst outings of the season yesterday, lasting only 2 2/3 innings against the Dodgers and allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out one.
  • OF Khris Davis homered again yesterday, his 32nd of the season.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • RP Pat Neshek got the save last night with a clean ninth inning, needing only five pitches to generate three outs. Neshek has been dominant since making his season-debut on July 1, sporting a 0.73 ERA in 12 1/3 innings of work. With RP Seranthony Dominguez scuffling a little and already not used like a traditional closer, Neshek has value in shallow mixed leagues for the stretch run.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • SP Jameson Taillon is the first National League pitcher to throw two complete games in 2018 after doing so yesterday at Coors Field. Despite allowing 10 hits, Taillon only needed 107 pitches to get through the game, as he held the Rockies to two runs. He struck out three. Taillon has quality starts in seven of his last 10 outings, and his ERA is at 3.63, the lowest it has been since mid-April.

San Diego Padres

  • OF Manuel Margot went 3-for-5 with a triple, a home run, five RBI, and two runs scored yesterday. Since the All-Star Break, he’s hit .328 in 63 plate appearances, with 13 runs scored, 12 RBI, and three steals.

San Francisco Giants

  • SP Madison Bumgarner got the hard-luck no decision yesterday despite shutting out the Astros for seven innings. He allowed five hits, three walks, and struck out seven. Bumgarner gets a two-start week next week at the Dodgers and at the Reds. He’s posted quality starts in seven of his last 10 starts and has lowered his ERA from 4.67 on June 16 to 2.69 after yesterday’s start.

Seattle Mariners

  • 3B Kyle Seager hit a solo home run yesterday, his third home run in three games. Seager has only struck out four times in his last 41 plate appearances, so there’s reason to believe he could go on a nice power stretch here despite scuffling all season long.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • 1B/3B Matt Carpenter homered yesterday, giving him 11 bombs in 91 plate appearances since the All-Star Break, a stretch in which he’s hit .360 with a 1.340 OPS and has struck out just two times more than he’s walked (18-to-16 ratio).

Tampa Bay Rays

  • In two starts with the Rays, SP/RP Tyler Glasnow has pitched a total of seven innings, striking out 14. After last night’s effort, where he went four innings and struck out nine with no walks, Glasnow has lowered his season-long ERA from 4.34 when he last appeared with the Pirates on July 26 to 2.57 now. Glasnow is quickly approaching must-own territory in 12-team mixed leagues, and he gets another start this week against the Blue Jays at home on Sunday.

Texas Rangers

  • 2B/SS/OF Jurickson Profar went 1-for-3 yesterday with a three-run home run, continuing a strong run since the All-Star Break. He’s made 61 plate appearances since then, walking more (10 times) than he’s struck out (8 times) with a .314 batting average, three home runs, nine runs scored, and 14 RBI.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • 2B/3B Brandon Drury was placed on the 10-day disabled list yesterday with a broken left hand, an injury that actually occurred when he was still a Yankee on July 24 but wasn’t diagnosed correctly. His return timeline isn’t clear yet, but he can probably be dropped in AL-only leagues, and this firms up playing time for SS Aledmys Diaz. 
  • Changing teams did nothing for RP Ken Giles’ complete inability to pitch in a non-save situation. He allowed five earned runs on four hits and a walk in 2/3 of an inning yesterday, entering a tied 5-5 game in the 10th inning and leaving with his third loss of the year. RP Ryan Tepera had blown the game earlier in the eighth inning with four earned runs allowed in an inning of work, so the closer role looks totally unsettled here.

Washington Nationals

  • RP Kelvin Herrera left the ninth inning of last night’s doubleheader night cap with stiffness in his right throwing shoulder. He’ll have an MRI today, and any absence would push RP Ryan Madson in to the closer role with RP Sean Doolittle’s foot injury healing slower than expected.

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