Daily Intel – 9/9/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • SP Clay Buchholz did it all last night, posting another quality start with 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball, striking out six and allowing five hits and two walks; he also produced at the plate with an RBI double. Buchholz has allowed one run or less in each of his last five starts.

Atlanta Braves

  • RP A.J. Minter earned his 13th save of the year yesterday, but it wasn’t easy, as he entered with a 5-3 lead and allowed a walk, single, and wild pitch to put runners at second and third. With two outs, he gave up an infield single, but the tying runner was thrown out at home trying to score.

Baltimore Orioles

  • 2B Jonathan Villar has done a solid job of rebuilding his value since moving to Baltimore and receiving everyday at-bats. He went 2-for-2 yesterday with two walks, three RBI, and two stolen bases. He’s now got 12 stolen bases in 34 games with Baltimore and 26 in total on the season, and he’s also picked up hits in seven straight games.

Boston Red Sox

  • SS Xander Bogaerts went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and two RBI last night. He’s homered in back-to-back games to tie his career high with 21 bombs, and he is hitting .364 in September with six strikeouts and four walks.
  • SP Eduardo Rodriguez was not sharp in 3 1/3 innings yesterday, walking three and allowing four of his six hits to go for extra bases, resulting in five earned runs allowed and his fourth loss of the season. He struck out four. His next start will be Thursday at home against the Jays.

Chicago Cubs

  • C/1B Victor Caratini went 3-for-6 in yesterday’s doubleheader with a grand slam, three runs scored, and four RBI.

Chicago White Sox

  • SS Tim Anderson stole his 26th base of the season last night after reaching base twice on a single and a walk.

Cincinnati Reds

  • 1B Joey Votto finally homered yesterday, and made it count with a grand slam for his lone hit in three plate appearances. He also walked. It was his first home run since July 9, and he has 10 this year after posting 36 last season.

Cleveland Indians

  • RP Cody Allen worked the ninth inning last night with RP Brad Hand unavailable. Allen allowed a double but was able to retire the other three batters he faced to earn his 26th save of the year.

Colorado Rockies 

  • SP Kyle Freeland’s mastery of Coors Field continued last night, as he earned his 14th win of the season with six innings of solid work against the Dodgers, limiting them to three singles, two walks, and a solo homer, which was the only run he allowed on the night. He struck out eight. Freeland has now pitched 14 times at Coors this year, throwing 81 1/3 innings and going 8-2 with a 2.21 ERA and 76 strikeouts. The Denver native looks like a legitimate ace that should be drafted as an SP3 in 12-team mixed leagues next year.

Detroit Tigers

  • SP Matt Boyd went six innings or more for the sixth straight start and eighth time in nine starts last night, striking out a season-high 11 and limiting the Cardinals to one run on a double, a walk, and a solo homer over seven innings. Boyd has done a very nice job cutting down on his walks in the second half of the season, having allowed just 10 in his 10 starts since the All-Star Break, with only two of those starts seeing Boyd allow more than one walk. He’s a decent streaming option for his next start on Friday in Cleveland.

Houston Astros

  • OF George Springer went 2-for-4 last night with a walk and a run scored. He’s been on fire since returning from injury on August 29; he’s 14-for-39 (.359) in that 10-game span, having scored 10 runs.

Kansas City Royals

  • SP Jorge Lopez entered the bottom of the ninth inning last night needing three outs to record the first perfect game in Royals history, but he walked OF Max Kepler to start the inning and then OF Robbie Grossman singled, ending Lopez’s perfect game and no-hit bids. He still earned the win, with RP Wily Peralta allowing Kepler to score for Lopez’s one earned run allowed. He struck out four. Lopez gets the Twins again at home on Thursday and makes for a good deep-league streaming option, as he’s lined up for a two-start week after that with road starts at Pittsburgh and Detroit.

Los Angeles Angels

  • OF Mike Trout went 5-for-5 with two home runs, five RBI, and three runs scored last night. With a Trout-like finish to the season, he could accomplish the rare feat of hitting 40 home runs and driving in less than 85. He is currently sitting at 33 homers and 68 RBI.
  • DH Shohei Ohtani had another big night as well, going 2-for-4 with a triple, three RBI, a stolen base, and two runs scored.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • 2B/SS/OF Chris Taylor went 2-for-2 with a solo home run last night. Taylor’s playing time has pretty much disappeared this month, with only two starts on the books, but he’s got multi-hit games in both those starts. Nevertheless, he’s an NL-only guy at this point because the Dodgers’ roster is so deep.

Miami Marlins

  • 2B Starlin Castro doubled for his lone hit in four at-bats last night. He’s picked up an extra-base hit in four of his last seven games and has 13 hits in his last nine starts.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • SP Gio Gonzalez was very sharp in his debut as a Brewer, striking out seven for his highest single-game total since June 2. He allowed one unearned run on three hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings.
  • RP Corey Knebel relieved Gonzalez to finish the sixth and work the entire seventh inning, and he really does look back to his elite form, striking out three of the four batters he faced. He’s now pitched 3 2/3 innings since coming back from the minors and has not allowed a baserunner while striking out eight of the 10 batters he’s faced.

Minnesota Twins

  • SP Jose Berrios was able to work in to the sixth inning for the first time since August 4, but he took a hard-luck loss after allowing one earned run on three hits and two walks. He struck out five. Berrios hasn’t won a game since that August 4 start.

New York Mets

  • SP Noah Syndergaard left last night’s game after a comebacker hit him in the rib cage in the seventh inning. X-rays were negative, and the Mets will determine today if Syndergaard has any reason to miss or push back his next start.

New York Yankees

  • RP Dellin Betances allowed the Mariners to load the bases with one out in the ninth inning last night as he protected a two-run lead, but he struck out consecutive batters to hold on to his third save of the year. Betances looks like the closer for as long as RP Aroldis Chapman is out, as both RPs Zach Britton and David Robertson set up Betances last night with scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth, respectively.

Oakland A’s

  • SP Edwin Jackson has now failed to get out of the fifth inning in three of his last four starts, allowing five hits, a walk, and four earned runs in three innings yesterday. He did strikeout five, his highest total since August 11, but Jackson is hard to trust in his next start at Tampa Bay.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • SP Zach Eflin can safely be dropped in all mixed leagues after another bad outing last night, as he allowed six runs on four hits and three walks over three innings to the Mets. Eflin has allowed at least three runs in all but one start since the All-Star Break, with his ERA rising from 3.15 to 4.42.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • SP Ivan Nova pitched six shutout innings last night to win his eighth game of the year, limiting the Marlins to three singles and a walk while striking out nine. Four of Nova’s last five starts have been quality starts, but he gets a tough outing next time up with a road trip to Milwaukee.

San Diego Padres

  • 1B Eric Hosmer has home runs in consecutive games after hitting a two-run shot last night. For as bad as his season looked at some points, he’s still managed to rank 17th among first basemen on ESPN’s Player Rater thanks to his ability to stay healthy and play every day.

San Francisco Giants

  • 3B Evan Longoria has hits in six of seven games this month after going 1-for-4 last night.

Seattle Mariners

  • C Mike Zunino hit his first home run of September last night; in 21 at-bats this month, he’s recorded four hits, and three of them have gone for extra bases.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • RP Bud Norris has totally fallen apart in September, with all three of his appearances resulting in a blown save or a loss after last night’s meltdown where he walked two batters and only recorded one out before being removed. He’s now walked six in 1 2/3 innings this month, and it is hard to see how the Cardinals trust him the rest of the way with their Wild Card berth in the balance.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • OF Mallex Smith led off last night and went 2-for-5 with a run scored, an RBI, and his 30th stolen base of the season. He’s fourth in the majors in steals and has three of them in his last four starts.

Texas Rangers

  • 3B Adrian Beltre has designs on playing next season, and he is going in to free agency with a bang, hitting two home runs last night to give him five this month. He’s 10-for-26 (.385) overall in September, having driven in seven and scored seven times as well.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • OF Randal Grichuk hit two solo home runs yesterday, also adding a single in five at-bats. He’s got hits in four consecutive games and is now up to a whooping 47 extra-base hits this season. He’s also improved overall at the plate since the All-Star Break, hitting .298 and raising his overall batting average from .207 to .248.

Washington Nationals

  • OF Bryce Harper was the standout bat in the Nats’ doubleheader sweep of the Cubs yesterday, going 2-for-3 with five walks, a home run, two RBI, and three runs scored.
  • SS/OF Trea Turner had one hit over the two games, but also walked twice, stole two bases, scored three runs, and drove in two runs.

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