Daily Intel – 8/25/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Just when it looked like SP Zack Godley was going to have a dominant finishing stretch, he’s now allowed 11 runs in his last two starts, which each went five innings. The Mariners tagged him for seven hits, including Godley’s first home run allowed since June 26, though Godley did strike out seven for the second straight start. We’re not very worried about him, though, considering he’s K’d at least six in all of his last eight starts, with only two starts in that stretch where he’s walked more than one.

Atlanta Braves

  • SP Mike Foltynewicz struck out eight in six innings yesterday, but was the hard-luck loser despite allowing one run on two hits and two walks, with the Braves being shutout by Miami. Folty has been dominant this month, throwing 32 2/3 innings in five starts, striking out 36, and sporting a 1.38 ERA and .92 WHIP.

Baltimore Orioles

  • SP Alex Cobb had another quality start last night, his sixth straight. He went six innings against the Yankees for a no decision, allowing three hits, three walks, and two runs, striking out six. He’ll get one more start in August, but he’s thrown 35 innings so far this month to the tune of a 1.80 ERA and .97 WHIP.

Boston Red Sox

  • SS Xander Bogaerts went 3-for-5 with two RBI yesterday, continuing his destruction of Tampa Bay this year. He’s hitting .414 (24-for-58) with 16 RBI, 15 extra-base hits, and nine runs scored.

Chicago Cubs

  • OF Jason Heyward missed his second consecutive game yesterday with a nagging left ankle issue.
  • SP Alec Mills was very good in his first major league start, striking out eight in 5 2/3 innings and allowing only one run on three hits and a walk.

Chicago White Sox

  • OF Daniel Palka went 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI yesterday. Palka started August on a power surge with three homers in his first seven starts, but since then he’s gone 11 starts with a home run.

Cincinnati Reds

  • Despite being claimed on waivers by Milwaukee, SP Matt Harvey stayed with the Reds and had another good start last night, striking out six in 5 1/3 innings and allowing only one earned run on five hits and a walk.

Cleveland Indians

  • RP Cody Allen entered the ninth inning with a 4-3 lead last night, and in four pitches the game was over after back-to-back opposite field home runs by Kansas City 1B/OF Ryan O’Hearn and 1B/3B Hunter Dozier. 
  • 1B Yonder Alonso went 2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI. Alonso ranks 18th among first basemen despite a .248 batting average and .312 OBP, thanks to his 22 homers and 74 RBI.

Colorado Rockies 

  • OF Charlie Blackmon has four multi-hit games in his last seven starts after going 2-for-4 with a home run, single, walk, and two RBI yesterday. While it seems like Blackmon has been a bust, he’s still ranked 14th at outfield this season, and could easily break in to the top 10 with the Rockies having 19 of their remaining 34 games at home.

Detroit Tigers

  • SP Michael Fulmer was very sharp in his first start since July 14, throwing 53 strikes on 77 pitches over 4 2/3 innings, allowing no runs on two hits and a walk, and striking out four. His next outing should see him free to go 90-95 pitches, but it is a tough one as he gets the Yankees in New York.

Houston Astros

  • 1B/2B/SS/OF Marwin Gonzalez went 2-for-5 with a grand slam, a double, two runs scored, and four RBI yesterday. He’s saved his entire season with a fantastic August, hitting .324 this month with seven homers, 16 RBI, and 15 runs scored.

Kansas City Royals

  • SP Brad Keller struck out five in five innings yesterday against Cleveland, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk. Keller has allowed two runs or less in four of his five starts this month, and he gets a good matchup next time out at home against the Orioles on August 31.

Los Angeles Angels

  • OF Mike Trout returned to the lineup after missing a couple of weeks, going 2-for-3 with a triple and a walk.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • SP Rich Hill threw six shutout innings last night, striking out eight and allowing only two hits and a walk for his sixth win of the year. HIll’s been strong in August, striking out 29 in 29 1/3 innings with a 2.76 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.

Miami Marlins

  • RP Adam Conley was given the save opportunity in the ninth inning last night, with RP Drew Steckenrider working the eighth innings. Both guys threw clean innings, with Conley earning his second save of the year. Conley is the fifth pitcher to be given a save chance in Miami this month.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • RP Corey Knebel was optioned to Triple-A before yesterday’s game. He’ll likely be back in a week or so when rosters expand, but his value is gone, even in NL-only leagues.

Minnesota Twins

  • SP Jake Odorizzi took his eighth loss of the year last night despite delivering his longest outing of the season, going seven innings and allowing one earned run on five hits and a walk while striking out four. After allowing 14 home runs in his first 11 starts this year, Odorizzi has only allowed four homers in his last 15 starts.

New York Mets

  • 1B/OF Jay Bruce played for the first time since June 17 and went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run.
  • SP Jason Vargas had his best start of 2018, shutting out the Nationals for six innings and allowing only three singles while striking out eight.

New York Yankees

  • Manager Aaron Boone used RP Dellin Betances in a high-leverage eighth inning during a tie game yesterday, a sign that perhaps RP Zach Britton will be the beneficiary of save opportunities while RP Aroldis Chapman is out. Britton got that shot with a three-run lead in extra innings last night and converted despite allowing a run. Betances seems too important to the Yankees to risk only bringing him for save opps, so if you are looking strictly for those, Britton is the guy to own here.

Oakland A’s

  • 3B Matt Chapman hit a three-run home run last night, his lone hit in five at-bats. He’s hitting .326 in 129 at-bats since the All-Star Break, with 25 extra-base hits and a 1.064 OPS.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • C Wilson Ramos returned to the lineup and went 1-for-3 with an RBI, hitting out of the cleanup spot.
  • 2B/SS/OF Scott Kingery had one of his best games of the season, picking up two hits, including a home run, and stealing his 10th base of the season.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • 2B/OF Adam Frazier went 3-for-7 last night with a double, a walk, a run scored, and two RBI. It’ll be interesting to see if the Pirates work Frazier in more as they continue to slip out of the race, as he’s really hit well in August. He’s only started 11 times but is hitting .357 with a 1.001 OPS, 10 RBI, and 10 runs scored this month.

San Diego Padres

  • 1B/OF Wil Myers played his eighth game at third base. He should play two more there this weekend to get to 10, giving him third base eligibility before the weekly lineup locks for next week’s schedule.

San Francisco Giants

  • SP Dereck Rodriguez struggled with his command in his return from a short disabled list stint, throwing just 57 percent strikes and walking three in six innings, but he limited the overall damage to two earned runs thanks to the Rangers only being able to get three singles off him. He struck out four.
  • RP Will Smith blew his second save in his last six opportunities, allowing a game-tying two-run homer to Rangers 2B Rougned Odor in the ninth inning. Smith is still sporting an elite 1.87 ERA and 59-to-11 K-to-BB ratio in 43 1/3 innings this year.

Seattle Mariners

  • OF Mitch Haniger hit his 21st home run of the season, part of a 3-for-5 night that also include two singles and two runs scored.
  • SP Erasmo Ramirez won his first game of the season with six solid innings, allowing one earned run on six hits and a walk, striking out six.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • OF Tyler O’Neill has done the most with his sporadic playing time this month – after going 2-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored, and two RBI yesterday, he’s hitting .345 on the month with eight runs scored and six RBI in just 31 plate appearances.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • OF Mallex Smith woke up sick early Friday and ended the day on the 10-day disabled list due to a viral infection that ended up hospitalizing him. While the team doesn’t think Smith will miss anything beyond the minimum stay, they had to DL him because OF Tommy Pham is injured but still taking up a roster spot as he recovers from a dislocated finger.

Texas Rangers

  • 1B/3B/OF Joey Gallo went 2-for-3 with a homer (his 34th) and two RBI (giving him 78 on the year) yesterday, also walking once, but he had to leave the game after rolling his left ankle leaving the batter’s box on an RBI single. He’s considered day-to-day but probably won’t play for the rest of the weekend.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • SP Aaron Sanchez will return to the rotation today for his first start since June, after it was revealed this week that the finger injury he was dealing with was due to a mishap involving a suitcase.
  • 1B/DH Kendrys Morales homered for the fifth consecutive game last night. He’s got 19 homers on the season now.

Washington Nationals

  • SP Gio Gonzalez continues to be totally unpredictable in his start-to-start performances. He went seven innings last night and allowed only one run on seven hits and no walks, striking out two. Since the All-Star Break, Gio has had three starts of seven innings and only one run allowed, but in his other four starts he’s allowed 23 runs in 18 innings. Philly’s offense has been pretty bad recently, and that’s who Gio gets on the road in his next start on Wednesday. He’s a high-risk/high-reward option.

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