Daily Intel – 9/5/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • SP Robbie Ray has found a new gear of dominance in his last three starts, striking out 10 in 6 1/3 innings last night to give him 26 Ks in his last 16 2/3 innings. He shutout the Padres and allowed only two hits and two walks to earn his fifth win of the year, lowering his ERA to 4.25, the lowest it has been since his first start back off a two-month disabled list stint on June 27.

Atlanta Braves

  • SP Sean Newcomb had serious control issues last night, throwing more than half of his 78 pitches for balls (41, compared to 37 strikes) and walking five in 4 1/3 innings. Newcomb had a stretch in July where he walked at least four batters in three out of four starts, but seemed to have calmed that down a little over the last month-plus. Either way, between these control issues and Newcomb’s inability to get beyond six innings in most starts, he’s lost a lot of his appeal in mixed leagues and looks to be running out of gas.

Baltimore Orioles

  • RP Mychal Givens worked 1 2/3 innings last night for his sixth save of the year, striking out two and allowing only a walk.

Boston Red Sox

  • SP David Price will return to the rotation on Friday against Houston after missing a little over a week with a wrist injury. We’d be hesitant to start him in that matchup without assurances that he’s totally healthy.
  • 3B Rafael Devers was activated off the disabled list yesterday after missing three weeks with a left hamstring strain.

Chicago Cubs

  • 1B Anthony Rizzo fouled a ball off his foot in his second at-bat last night and left the game, but it sounds like the issue is a bruise and he should be ready to play today.

Chicago White Sox

  • C Welington Castillo made his return to the team on Monday night after missing three-plus months with a suspension and started for a second consecutive game last night, this time at DH. He went 0-for-4 and has one hit in two games.

Cincinnati Reds

  • 2B Scooter Gennett hit two solo home runs last night, his 21st and 22nd bombs of the season.
  • OF Scott Schebler had two singles last night and has reached base multiple times in five of his last six starts.

Cleveland Indians

  • 3B/DH Yandy Diaz hit his first major league home run last night, part of a two-hit, one-walk night that included three runs scored. Diaz has started three out of the last four games after sitting on the bench for most of the week prior when 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion returned, but with the Indians clearly locked in to a division title and ostensible number three seed in the American League, they could opt to give Diaz more playing time to see what they have for the future, and in that case he’s a very interesting option as a source of batting average and RBI/runs scored.

Colorado Rockies 

  • SP German Marquez struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings last night, an impressive feat because he did it at home where he’s been inconsistent all season. He earned a no decision after allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks.
  • SS Trevor Story stole two bases after reaching base twice on a single and a walk last night. He’s now got 25 bags on the season and is really putting himself in to the conversation as a potential top 20 overall pick for next season.

Detroit Tigers

  • 2B Dawel Lugo went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI, and a run scored last night. He’s 9-for-24 in six starts since being called up last week.

Houston Astros

  • RP Roberto Osuna needed only four pitches to record three outs last night, earning his fourth save since joining the Astros. He’s perfect in save chances since joining the team and has a 1.93 ERA in 14 innings of work.

Kansas City Royals

  • SP Danny Duffy left last night’s game with a left shoulder impingement, a recurrence of an injury he dealt with earlier this summer. We don’t expect to see him again this season, and even if he does pitch it seems like he’s playing with fire as he had diminished velocity last night before he left. We’d drop him in all formats.

Los Angeles Angels

  • DH Shohei Ohtani was back in the lineup for the first time since his so-so turn on the mound on Sunday, going 1-for-4 with two strikeouts but making that one hit count with his 16th home run of the season. Ohtani will throw a bullpen session today and likely another on Friday before the team determines if he’ll start on the mound this Sunday against the White Sox.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • 1B/3B David Freese made his second start with the Dodgers last night after pinch hitting in the previous two games, going 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored.

Miami Marlins

  • SP Trevor Richards got in trouble from the first batter of the game, allowing a leadoff home run, and never got on track, allowing six runs on four hits and four walks in 1 1/3 innings to take his eighth loss of the year.
  • C J.T. Realmuto cemented his hold on the number one spot at catcher with a two-homer night that included two walks, two RBI, and two runs scored.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • RP Corey Knebel has now pitched in three straight games since being called back up from Triple-A on Sunday and has been sharp – he struck out the side last night and in his three outings has struck out five of the seven batters he’s faced, with nobody reaching base.

Minnesota Twins

  • 3B Miguel Sano suffered what appeared to be a serious leg injury sliding into second base last night. He needed to be carted off the field after rolling around in pain, but X-rays were negative and the team said he has a lower leg bruise and is day-to-day.

New York Mets

  • 1B/OF Jay Bruce went 2-for-4 last night with a home run and two RBI. Bruce looked to be in danger of losing some playing time as the Mets got healthy, but he’s now started seven straight games and has reached base in five of them.

New York Yankees

  • OF Andrew McCutchen has started all four games since being traded to the Yankees. He went 0-for-2 last night with two walks and is 1-for-13 with two runs scored and one steal in his time in pinstripes.
  • SP J.A. Happ worked six good innings last night, allowing only a single, a walk, and a solo home run while striking out five. Happ hasn’t lost a start since July 12.

Oakland A’s

  • OF Stephen Piscotty homered again last night, giving him four homers in his last five games and six in his last 10. He’s also got hits in nine of those 10 games, lifting his batting average to a season-high .265.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • 1B Carlos Santana is waking up at the right time for a struggling Phillies offense – he went 2-for-5 last night with a home run, a walk, two RBI, and two runs scored, giving him hits in nine of his last 10 games and home runs in three of his last nine.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • After losing his eight-game hitting streak with two hitless contests Sunday and Monday, OF Starling Marte bounced back last night with a 2-for-4 night that included a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. Marte has 16 hits in his last 11 games.

San Diego Padres

  • C/OF Francisco Mejia, the prize of the trade of RP Brad Hand to Cleveland earlier this season, was called up yesterday. He was primarily playing catcher after the trade and hit .328 with a .946 OPS and 15 extra-base hits in 31 games at Triple-A in that time. The Padres have a lot of outfield options and C Austin Hedges getting most of the run behind the plate, but we imagine the team wants to get an extended look at Mejia and he should get enough time to be relevant in 15-team mixed leagues.

San Francisco Giants

  • SP Dereck Rodriguez hasn’t had a bad start in almost three months, continuing that run last night with six innings of impressive work at Colorado where he allowed only one run on six hits and one walk, striking out six. The last time Rodriguez allowed more than three runs in a start was June 9 against Washington, where he allowed five in 2 2/3 innings. Since then he’s started 14 times and hasn’t allowed more than three runs in an outing.

Seattle Mariners

  • The M’s got in a fight before the game in the clubhouse and then proceeded to come out with very little offensive fight against Baltimore, being the team that finally helped SP Alex Cobb get his ERA below 5.00 for the first time this season. 2B Robinson Cano was the lone bright spot, going 3-for-3 with a solo home run, a walk, and two runs scored. Cano is 9-for-24 in the last week with five walks and two strikeouts.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • OF Marcell Ozuna had his first good night since coming off the disabled list on Sunday, going 2-for-5 with two solo home runs.
  • RP Jordan Hicks got the save last night, finishing out a bit of a mess that RP Dominic Leone got in to when entering the ninth with an 11-5 lead.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • SP Jalen Beeks has now been pulled early in two consecutive appearances. Beeks had worked his way up to 93 and 97-pitch outings in mid-August, but in his last start he went just three innings and 49 pitches and yesterday he was dominant over 2 1/3 innings and 31 pitches, striking out four, but was pulled after that. This has likely killed any value Beeks had gained in mixed leagues.

Texas Rangers

  • SP Mike Minor struck out seven in five innings to improve to an impressive 11-7 on the season, considering the Rangers are 17 games under .500 overall this year. Minor has allowed two runs or less in seven of his last nine outings and has won five of his last six starts. He gets the Angels again in his next start, this time in Los Angeles.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • SP Ryan Borucki gave the Jays a quality start last night in a losing effort, allowing three singles, two walks, and two runs over six innings while striking out five. Borucki has been much better at home with a 2.65 ERA in 37 1/3 innings there compared to a 6.40 ERA in 32 1/3 innings on the road. He gets another home start Sunday versus Cleveland, then a road start at the Yankees before finishing with home starts against the Rays again and then Houston.

Washington Nationals

  • OF Victor Robles was called up yesterday, five months after it looked like he was on track to take the role that OF Juan Soto ended up starring in this season. Robles suffered a serious left elbow injury early in the season but has recovered to produce numbers in the minors that give him some fantasy appeal as a speed/batting average option down the stretch. He was hitting .276 with a .371 on-base percentage and 19 steals in 52 games this year.

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