Daily Intel – 8/13/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • 1B Paul Goldschmidt went 3-for-5 with two home runs, a double, three RBI and two runs scored yesterday. Goldschmidt was in a bit of a power drought prior to the game, with only eight extra-base hits in his previous 110 plate appearances.

Atlanta Braves

  • SS Dansby Swanson entered yesterday’s game having gone 3-for-26 to start off August, but he hit his first homer of the month, walked, and drove in two as part of an 8-7 Braves win.
  • OF Ronald Acuña Jr. homered for the second consecutive game and, like Swanson, also walked and drove in two.

Baltimore Orioles

  • SP Alex Cobb is officially mixed-league relevant again after he posted a tremendous start against Boston’s lineup, limiting them to a run on six hits and two walks over seven innings with seven strikeouts and 10 groundball outs. Cobb has four straight quality starts and ERA of 3.12 over 49 innings since July 1.

Boston Red Sox

  • SP Chris Sale had an incredible start in his return from the disabled list, striking out 12 in five innings on just 68 pitches. He allowed only a single.
  • 1B/OF Steve Pearce homered again yesterday, his sixth in 71 at-bats with the Sox.

Chicago Cubs

  • SP Cole Hamels had his best start of the season yesterday as he continues to thrive in his return to the NL. He allowed only one hit, one walk, and one earned run over seven innings, striking out nine. Since joining the Cubs, he’s struck out 20 and walked only four in 18 innings, with an ERA of 1.00.

Chicago White Sox

  • OF Nicky Delmonico led off for the third consecutive game, with regular top-of-the-order guys 2B Yoan Moncada and SS Tim Anderson spending the weekend hitting some combination of sixth, seventh, or eighth.

Cincinnati Reds

  • SP Luis Castillo’s command improvements since midseason have come with a continued lack of dominance, which manifests itself at its worst in starts like yesterday, where he threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 23 batters he faced but was too much in the middle of the strike zone with his bad pitches. The result was a five earned run day in 5 2/3 innings on five hits, two home runs, and a walk. He struck out seven. Castillo is going to be interesting to watch down the stretch to see what adjustments he continues to make heading in to 2019.

Cleveland Indians

  • 3B Yandy Diaz was called up to replace 1B Edwin Encarnacion, and he started at DH at yesterday, going 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. Diaz has no power to speak of, with just 26 homers in more than 2200 minor league plate appearances, but he did have a .409 OBP at Triple-A this year thanks to a terrific walk rate.

Colorado Rockies 

  • 3B Nolan Arenado didn’t start again due to shoulder soreness. The issue is primarily affecting his throwing ability, so the timing of the Rox upcoming series in Houston could not be better since Arenado can DH.

Detroit Tigers

  • SP Matt Boyd pitched six strong innings yesterday to win his seventh game of the season, allowing only two hits, a walk, and an earned run over 88 pitches. He struck out three.
  • RP Shane Greene threw a perfect inning for just the second time in his last 11 appearances, striking out two for his 25th save of the year.

Houston Astros

  • Both RPs Hector Rondon and Roberto Osuna allowed runs yesterday, with Rondon blowing his fourth save of the year by allowing a solo home run with two outs in the ninth, and Osuna taking the loss with a double and a single allowed after entering a tie game in the 10th inning.

Kansas City Royals

  • SP Jake Junis posted a second consecutive strong start yesterday, going at least six innings for just the second time in his last 10 starts. In his two outings this past week, he struck out 16 in 11 innings, allowing only two earned runs and 10 baserunners. Junis is an intriguing streaming option this week with a start Friday against a bad White Sox lineup.

Los Angeles Angels

  • SP Tyler Skaggs is back on the disabled list with a recurrence of the left adductor strain that had him out most of the last two weeks. If you need a roster spot in a shallow mixed league, we think there’s a conversation to have with yourself about dumping Skaggs, as the Angels are out of the race and have no reason to rush Skaggs back considering he’s already thrown a career-high in innings at the major league level and has had injury problems before.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • With some schedule shifts, off days, and the return of SPs Alex Wood and Hyun Jin Ryu set for Tuesday/Wednesday, the Dodgers will shift SPs Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling to the bullpen. Maeda is likely going to be there for the rest of the season, and we’d recommend holding him for at least a week or so to see if he gets saves. Stripling is facing an innings limit but could see another start or two this season depending on his oft-injured rotation mates.

Miami Marlins

  • OF Rafael Ortega led off his second consecutive game and went 2-for-5 with a run scored and two stolen bases. Ortega is worth monitoring this week to see if he continues to lead off and run.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • RP Corey Knebel worked the fifth inning in yesterday’s game, allowing two doubles and an earned run.
  • Knebel relieved SP Chase Anderson, who again couldn’t provide any distance for the Brewers in lasting only four innings with five hits, two walks, and four earned runs allowed. Five of Anderson’s last seven starts have been 5 1/3 innings or less.

Minnesota Twins

  • After being the fourth overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, SP Kohl Stewart’s long journey to the majors ended yesterday when he started for the Twins, throwing 4 1/3 mediocre innings in a loss to the Tigers. Stewart, who had one of the best groundball-to-flyball ratios in the high minors this year, brought that over to this start, generating 10 groundball outs to just one flyball out. Unfortunately, he only struck out one. Stewart is worth monitoring in AL-only leagues and for owners that want to start doing their mixed league homework for 2019.

New York Mets

  • If you’re holding on to RP Robert Gsellman out of hope that he closes for the Mets, we’d move on. Gsellman worked the eighth inning yesterday in relief of SP Noah Syndergaard, setting up RP Seth Lugo to start and finish the ninth inning for his first save of the year.

New York Yankees

  • We thought there may be some hope for SP Sonny Gray’s stuff to play up in a long relief role, but he was pounded yesterday in an inning of work after SP CC Sabathia threw six shutout innings with seven strikeouts. Gray allowed five hits and two runs, accounting for essentially the entire Texas offensive output on the day. Between Sabathia’s six innings and RP Jonathan Holder’s two, the Rangers only mustered one hit and five walks beyond what they did against Gray.

Oakland A’s

  • 2B Jed Lowrie snapped out of a prolonged slump yesterday with a X-for-X day that included a double and a two-run homer…

Philadelphia Phillies

  • SP Jake Arrieta only made it five innings yesterday in a great matchup at San Diego, allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks. Arrieta remains tough to trust due to his lack of strikeouts – he had four yesterday for the second consecutive start.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • C Francisco Cervelli was able to pinch hit yesterday, so you should be safe to keep in your lineups today for weekly leagues.

San Diego Padres

  • OF Travis Jankowski started yesterday for only the second time this week, but he made the most of it with a four-steal performance, going 2-for-3 with three runs scored and a walk. His four bags give him 19 on the year.

San Francisco Giants

  • C Nick Hundley was back in the starting lineup after missing most of the weekend in the concussion protocol, and he went 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI.
  • SP Dereck Rodriguez lowered his season ERA to 2.25 with seven innings of two-hit, one-run ball yesterday, striking out four and walking one.

Seattle Mariners

  • 2B/OF Dee Gordon sat out yesterday’s game after jamming his shoulder on a slide during Saturday’s contest.
  • SP Erasmo Ramirez was solid in his first start since April 27 in place of SP Felix Hernandez. He threw five scoreless innings and 79 pitches, allowing only three hits and striking out three.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • SP Luke Weaver was a late scratch yesterday due to a finger injury suffered while placing aluminum foil on a cooking tray (not a joke), pushing SP Tyson Ross in to an unexpected spot start. Ross was strong, delivering a quality start with six innings of two-run work on four hits and two walks, striking out four. Weaver’s next turn comes Friday and it is unclear if he’ll be ready.
  • SS Paul DeJong has hits in six straight games, including three doubles and three home runs, with eight RBI over that span.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • SP/RP Tyler Glasnow’s dominance in a starting role since joining the Rays continued yesterday. He’s upped his pitch count from 48 to 61 to 79 yesterday, going from three to four to five innings. He struck out six yesterday and has K’d 20 of the 43 batters he’s faced in a Rays uniform. His next start will be over the weekend in Boston.

Texas Rangers

  • OF Delino DeShields returned to the lineup yesterday after missing nine games in the concussion protocol. He went 1-for-4 with an RBI infield single.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • RP Ken Giles’ flawless performance in save situations continued yesterday, as he needed only nine pitches to get through a perfect ninth inning with a strikeout.

Washington Nationals

  • RP Ryan Madson had a tremendous meltdown last night in what felt like a season-crushing loss for the Nationals. He entered with a 3-0 lead in the ninth after SP Max Scherzer struck out 11 over seven innings and proceeded to allow a single, hit two batters and then, with two outs, served up a walk-off grand slam to pinch-hitting 3B David Bote. Of course, Madson said after the game that he’s been suffering for weeks with back pain that is causing him shooting pain in his leg, which seems like the wrong thing to try to pitch through. Nevertheless, it doesn’t look like he’s going on the disabled list, but you can’t really trust him in shallow mixed leagues right now.

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