Daily Intel – 9/10/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • RP Brad Boxberger blew another save yesterday, entering with a 4-3 lead and having his first three batters go like this: single, single, three-run home run. After inducing a fly out, he was done, having blown his seventh game of the year and, eventually, earning his seventh loss.

Atlanta Braves

  • OF Ronald Acuña Jr. is going to be worth drafting in the first two rounds next year simply because he’s going to be so much fun to own from a “filling the scoresheet” perspective. Yesterday he went 2-for-3 with a triple, a home run, two walks, three runs scored, two RBI, a stolen base, and a caught stealing. He’s got three straight multi-hit games and consecutive games where he’s reached base four times.

Baltimore Orioles

  • 3B Renato Nunez has multi-hit games in consecutive starts after going 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored yesterday. Nunez has three multi-hit performances in his last five games, with two homers in that span. Nunez does have a track record of hitting for power in the minors, and at 24 years old it is worth watching the rest of his performance this month to see what he could be in for in 2019.

Boston Red Sox

  • SP Rick Porcello failed to make it out of the sixth inning for the fourth straight start last night, allowing seven hits, including two homers, a walk, and four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six. Porcello is now scheduled to receive extra rest before his next start, so we’d go ahead and bench him in weekly leagues for this week.

Chicago Cubs

  • Yesterday’s series finale with the Nats was postponed, but RP Brandon Morrow did throw a 25-pitch bullpen session. His path forward will become clear today, but we think its time for all NL-only owners, the only ones who were likely still holding Morrow, to go ahead and give up on him.

Chicago White Sox

  • SP Reynaldo Lopez had arguably his best start of the season yesterday, matching a season-high in strikeouts with 10 and shutting out the Angels for six innings on two hits and three walks. Since a two-inning, six-run disaster on August 19, Lopez has been on fire, starting four times and allowing only four runs over 25 2/3 innings, striking out 29 and walking only eight. He gets another great matchup next at Baltimore.

Cincinnati Reds

  • SP Tyler Mahle returned to the majors for his first start since August 2, throwing 74 pitches and three innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out five. We’d go ahead and avoid him in all formats for his next start, which is Saturday at the Cubs.
  • It took a couple of weeks, but OF Billy Hamilton finally picked up his 30th stolen base of the year yesterday, part of a 2-for-4 day where he also scored a run.

Cleveland Indians

  • SP Mike Clevinger posted his fifth straight quality start and 10th consecutive start with three earned runs or less allowed yesterday, but he was also defeated for the first time since July 28. Clevinger struck out nine Jays in six innings, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks. Clevinger has at least nine Ks in his last three starts and now has 191 in 182 1/3 innings this season.

Colorado Rockies 

  • OF Charlie Blackmon went 3-for-4 with two solo home runs yesterday, and he also scored a third run after doubling. Blackmon is finishing with a flourish that will likely get him close to returning the first-round value he was drafted at; in September, he’s 13-for-35 (.371) with five extra-base hits, three stolen bases, and eight runs scored.

Detroit Tigers

  • SP Michael Fulmer carried a no-hitter in to the sixth inning yesterday, but it was broken up in that frame and then in the seventh inning he was done in by infield singles and bad defense, resulting in an outing that looked bad on paper but was in actuality a good performance. Fulmer finished with 6 1/3 innings of work, allowing three earned runs on five hits (three of them infield singles) and three walks, striking out five.

Houston Astros

  • 1B/2B/SS/OF Marwin Gonzalez returned to the starting lineup yesterday after missing most of the week with an oblique issue, and he resumed his power surge from late August with a solo home run in four at-bats.
  • RP Hector Rondon worked the ninth inning a tie game yesterday and surrendered the game-winning run after allowing three singles in 2/3 of an inning.

Kansas City Royals

  • SP Ian Kennedy was sharp in his first start in almost two months after dealing with an oblique injury, posting a quality start with six innings of work, allowing one run on four hits and three walks, striking out six. Kennedy is lined up for another good matchup next week at home against the Twins.

Los Angeles Angels

  • In his three games back in the lineup after missing all of this week with a concussion, OF Justin Upton went 2-for-13 this weekend, striking out eight times.
  • SP Andrew Heaney struck out 12 in seven shutout innings yesterday, allowing only three singles and earning his ninth win of the year. It was a season-high in strikeouts for Heaney, and the most he recorded since back-to-back 10 strikeout games on July 3 and July 8.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • 3B Justin Turner picked up four hits yesterday, also walking once in six plate appearances. Among the hits were two doubles and a two-run home run, and he also scored two runs.
  • RP Scott Alexander earned the save yesterday, and RP Kenley Jansen should be ready to rejoin the team and regain his closer role today when the team opens up a series against the Reds.

Miami Marlins

  • With a rain out yesterday, the Marlins two-start pitchers for the week are now SPs Jeff Brigham and Jose Urena, who will each draw road starts against the Mets and Phillies. SP Trevor Richards will have his two-start week moved back one week and draw starts next week at home against the Nats and Reds.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • RP Corey Knebel got his first shot in the closer role yesterday since late July, and he continued his dominance this month, retiring all four batters he faced, striking out two of them, and recording his first save since July 27.
  • 2B Jonathan Schoop went 1-for-4 yesterday with a grand slam and a sacrifice fly. He’s now got 10 RBI in 19 at-bats this month.

Minnesota Twins

  • C/3B Willians Astudillo hit a two-run walk-off home run yesterday, giving him home runs in consecutive starts. Astudillo still has just two strikeouts and no walks in 37 major league at-bats, an insane performance in today’s offensive environment. He’s also got a .297 batting average and .595 slugging percentage. This guy can clearly hit, and if he gets a shot next season and qualifies at catcher, he should be drafted in all two-catcher leagues.

New York Mets

  • RP Seth Lugo stuck out five of the seven batters he faced yesterday to earn his second save of the season. He allowed a two-out, solo home run in the top of the ninth, but other than that he was perfect. Lugo has been very good over the last several weeks with an increased work load per appearances – he’s worked two innings in four of his last six outings and has only allowed three hits and one run (yesterday’s homer) in that span, striking out 12 and walking none.

New York Yankees

  • C Gary Sanchez went 0-for-3 yesterday. In seven games since coming off the disabled list, Sanchez has gone 3-for-25 with one extra-base hit, three RBI, four walks, and six strikeouts.

Oakland A’s

  • OF Stephen Piscotty hit his fourth home run of the month yesterday, giving him 23 on the season. He has hits in 11 straight games, as well.
  • SP Trevor Cahill walked six batters for the second time in three starts, only working 2 2/3 innings and allowing three earned runs. He can be dropped in all mixed leagues.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • 1B/OF Rhys Hoskins went 2-for-4 yesterday with two RBI and a home run. Hoskins has homers in three consecutive games, a good sign that he’s breaking out of the 2-for-27 slump he entered the weekend series with.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • With yesterday’s game against the Marlins postponed due to rain, SP Trevor Williams will become a two-start pitcher this week, starting with today at St. Louis. He should be started in all formats.

San Diego Padres

  • 1B Eric Hosmer homered for the third consecutive game yesterday, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
  • 2B Luis Urias also homered yesterday, the second of his major league career. He also singled, but is still just 5-for-29 in September with strikeouts in six straight games.

San Francisco Giants

  • SS Brandon Crawford returned to the lineup yesterday after missing most of the week with a sore knee. He went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base.

Seattle Mariners

  • 2B Robinson Cano went 2-for-4 with two singles, an RBI, and a run scored yesterday. He’s got a hit in eight of his last 10 games and has more walks (four) than strikeouts (three) in that same timeframe.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • 1B/3B Matt Carpenter went 0-for-4 yesterday with an RBI sacrifice fly. It was the first time in 14 games that Carpenter didn’t reach base.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • 2B/OF Brandon Lowe hit a three-run home run yesterday as he continues to find his rhythm at the plate after a rough start to his major league debut in early August. Lowe is 9-for-25 in September with three doubles and three homers, having driven in seven and scored seven runs.

Texas Rangers

  • RP Jeffrey Springs got the start yesterday as the Rangers continue to utilize an opener. He went three scoreless innings, allowing only one hit and striking out two; he’s been very effective since his major league debut on July 31, having appeared in 12 games and thrown 22 2/3 innings with 23 strikeouts and a 1.99 ERA.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • 1B Justin Smoak emerged from a recent slump with a two-hit game yesterday that included a home run, a single, two runs scored, and three RBI.
  • OF Teoscar Hernandez also had a slump-busting game in relief of OF Randal Grichuk, who had to depart yesterday’s game after running in to a security guard and his chair. Hernandez came in and went 2-for-2 with a double and a home run, driving in three.

Washington Nationals

  • Yesterday’s game was rained out, so SP Erick Fedde is now scheduled to start twice this week, starting today in Philadelphia and again on Saturday in Atlanta. SP Tanner Roark will remain a two-start pitcher, and SP Stephen Strasburg’s two-start week will now happen next week with outings at the Marlins and home for the Mets.

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