Daily Intel – 8/27/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • SP Zack Greinke moved to 13-8 and lowered his ERA to 2.93 with 6 2/3 innings of work, allowing only an unearned run on four singles, a double, and two walks. He struck out six.

Atlanta Braves

  • SP Kevin Gausman’s strong run since joining the Braves continued yesterday. He only lasted five innings, as manager Brian Snitker pulled him for a pinch-hitter in a scoreless game in the sixth inning, but Gausman allowed just a single and a walk, striking out five. He now has a 1.69 ERA in 32 innings since coming over from Baltimore, though his strikeout numbers have lagged behind (25 Ks to 7 BBs).

Baltimore Orioles

  • OF Adam Jones went 0-for-4 last night for the second consecutive game, capping a rough week where he went 3-for-23 with one run scored and no RBI or extra-base hits.
  • SP Dylan Bundy allowed four runs on six hits and two walks over five innings yesterday, striking out seven. He fell to 7-13 on the year.

Boston Red Sox

  • 2B Ian Kinsler went 0-for-3 yesterday and has just five hits in 27 at-bats since returning from the disabled list on August 17. He hasn’t walked in that time and also does not have an extra-base hit.

Chicago Cubs

  • OF Kyle Schwarber homered for the second consecutive game and fourth time in his last eight starts, though those four homers account for 66 percent of his hits in his last 30 at-bats, as he’s struck out 10 times in that same span.
  • OF Jason Heyward was perfect in four at-bats yesterday, hitting a triple and three singles, also driving in two and scoring three times.

Chicago White Sox

  • SP Michael Kopech won his first major league game, going six innings and throwing 61 strikes on 86 pitches in an efficient effort. He allowed two doubles, five singles, no walks, and one run, striking out four. Kopech threw his fastball 55 times, his slider 25 times, and his changeup just six times, so it’ll be interesting to see how he works to develop a viable third pitch before next season.

Cincinnati Reds

  • C Curt Casali is getting more playing time behind the plate with 1B Joey Votto out and C Tucker Barnhart playing first base. Casali started four games this week and went 3-for-12 with a homer and four RBI. If the Reds shut down Votto in September, Casali could be a good option in deep leagues.

Cleveland Indians

  • 2B Jason Kipnis picked up four hits yesterday, including a double, an inside-the-park two-run homer, as well as a stolen base, four RBI, and three runs scored.
  • SP Shane Bieber’s continued good fortune led to his eighth win yesterday – he allowed extra-base hits on five of the six hits the Royals had yesterday, leading to four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings, but the Indians crushed Royals pitching for 12 runs, so Bieber improved to 8-2. He did strike out seven, but his ERA is now 4.52 on the season.

Colorado Rockies 

  • SP Tyler Anderson was crushed yesterday for six earned runs on seven hits and a walk, failing to get out of the first inning and recording just two outs.

Detroit Tigers

  • 3B/OF Nick Castellanos went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored in yesterday’s loss to the White Sox. It was his fourth multi-hit game in the last five days.

Houston Astros

  • OF George Springer is expected to return to the lineup today after missing six straight games with left quad soreness.
  • SP Lance McCullers is not close to even testing his injured right forearm with mound work, according to manager A.J. Hinch. He should be dropped in any non-keeper league, including AL-only.

Kansas City Royals

  • 1B Lucas Duda had a good weekend, going 5-for-8 over the last two days, with two homers, four RBI, and four runs scored.

Los Angeles Angels

  • SP Felix Pena was sharp again yesterday, his fifth straight outing where he was at least average or better after his seven-run, 1/3 of an inning disaster on July 29. Pena threw six innings for the third straight start and has thrown 29 in five August outings, posting a 3.41 ERA and 29 strikeouts. He’ll face the Astros again in Houston on Saturday, followed by the White Sox in Chicago on September 7.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • 3B Justin Turner is smoking hot right now – a 3-for-5 day yesterday included two doubles, five RBI, and a run scored, giving him 15 RBI in his last eight starts, with three homers and 14 hits in that same span, as well as a 4-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Miami Marlins

  • 3B/OF Derek Dietrich has hits in eight consecutive games, but he only has two extra-base hits, three RBI, and one run scored in that same span. The Marlins offense is such a black hole right now that it is tough to own any hitter who relies on runs scored/RBI to deliver most of their value.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • 3B Mike Moustakas was 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, and two RBI yesterday. Moose found his stroke a little this weekend in Pittsburgh, picking up hits in all three games, with homers in two of them.
  • RP Josh Hader capped a strong week of work, throwing two innings yesterday, Friday, and Monday, allowing one hit, one run, and striking out seven. Weeks like that are what makes Hader worth owning, though they are totally unpredictable considering he worked one inning the week prior to that, and 4 1/3 innings two weeks ago.

Minnesota Twins

  • 1B Tyler Austin hit two more home runs yesterday, giving him six this month since joining the Twins. Austin is a great speculative pickup for owners in need of a power boost, because he looks locked in to everyday playing time with the Twins well out of the race.

New York Mets

  • SP Steven Matz had his longest and best outing in two months yesterday, striking out seven Nationals in seven innings of one-run ball, allowing only five hits and a walk. Matz should be at full strength for however many starts the Mets are comfortable giving him in the last five weeks of the season (he only threw 66 2/3 in the majors last year).

New York Yankees

  • With RP Aroldis Chapman out at least two more weeks after getting a PRP injection in his injured knee, our hopes that RP Zach Britton would get all of the saves work were dashed yesterday when he worked five outs in the seventh and eighth innings to bridge to a save opportunity for RP David Robertson in the ninth. Robertson threw for the second time in three days after missing a week with a tender shoulder, picking up his fourth save with two strikeouts and a walk.

Oakland A’s

  • 3B Matt Chapman’s under-the-radar MVP push gained steam yesterday with a two-homer day that also included a single and three runs scored. Chapman has reached base safely in 20 of 21 games in August, and he now sits in the top 10 in the American League in OPS at .890.
  • SP Sean Manaea was placed on the disabled list with a left shoulder impingement, an unsurprising development considering he only lasted 67 pitches in his last start. He’ll miss at least two weeks, but probably more, and can safely be dropped in most mixed leagues.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • After sitting out Saturday’s game with a sore wrist, C Wilson Ramos went 4-for-5 yesterday with a home run, double, three RBI, and a run scored.
  • 1B/OF Rhys Hoskins went 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored, and two walks.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Whatever SP Chris Archer thought was ailing him with Tampa Bay hasn’t been fixed by moving to Pittsburgh – he remains incredibly hittable far too often, allowing two doubles, a triple, two home runs, two singles, two walks, and six earned runs in four innings yesterday. Archer hasn’t gone more than five innings in any of his five starts with the Pirates.
  • 2B/OF Adam Frazier went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run, and is now hitting ..348 with a 1.042 OPS in 72 plate appearances this month. 2B/3B Josh Harrison left Saturday’s game with hamstring tightness and was only able to pinch hit yesterday, so any absence for him would make Frazier viable in all leagues.

San Diego Padres

  • 1B/OF Wil Myers is now officially 1B/3B/OF Wil Myers after playing his 10th game at the hot corner yesterday. He celebrated the occasion with a double, a triple, and a run scored in five at-bats.

San Francisco Giants

  • RP Will Smith pitched three straight days entering yesterday’s game, but we’ll see if there’s anything to him sitting out yesterday’s ninth inning and RP Mark Melancon getting and converting the opportunity for his third save of the year. Smith blew a save on Friday and needed to be relieved by Melancon on Saturday.

Seattle Mariners

  • With 2B Robinson Cano getting starts at first and third over the weekend, it looks like 1B/3B Ryon Healy is no longer worth owning in shallow mixed leagues. He sat out for the fourth time in 11 games yesterday.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • OF Tyler O’Neill capped a solid week with a 2-for-5 day that included his third home run of the week in just 19 at-bats. He also had five RBI and six runs scored.
  • SP Austin Gomber remained perfect in six starts this year, moving to 4-0 after allowing just five hits, a walk, and one earned run in six innings, striking out four.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • 1B/DH Ji-Man Choi is starting to show some deep sleeper appeal with some every day playing time. He’s got hits in his last nine starts over a 14-day span, with five of his 13 hits going for extra bases and, surprisingly considering his size, two stolen bases. Choi has also shown impressive plate discipline in this nine-start stretch, walking and striking out the same number of times (six).
  • SP Blake Snell was dominant again yesterday, striking out eight in six innings and allowing only two hits, two walks, and an earned run.

Texas Rangers

  • SS Elvis Andrus drove in the Rangers’ lone run yesterday, going 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • OF Billy McKinney was rewarded for his hot hitting with a move to the leadoff spot, where he went 2-for-3 yesterday with two doubles, a walk, and a run scored.
  • 1B/DH Kendrys Morales homered again, his seventh straight game with a bomb. His two-run shot put him one game away from tying the major league record for consecutive games with a home run.

Washington Nationals

  • RP Kelvin Herrera was carted off the field yesterday with a serious left lower leg injury. It sounds like a bone issue in his foot, and at the very least it looks like he’ll need a disabled list stint, but with the Nats floating further and further out of the race, he could end up shut down. RP Ryan Madson is set to return to the Nats bullpen this week and should get the save chances until RP Sean Doolittle makes it back (if he makes it back).

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