Daily Intel – 9/20/2018

NOTE: With the season coming to an end next week and relevant fantasy news tapering off, Monday, September 24 will be the final Daily Intel of the 2018 season. We’ll have news next week on the offseason schedule, including when initial 2019 rankings will post, when to expect in-depth individual player breakdowns, and more.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • SP Robbie Ray hasn’t been able to go very deep in to games, but he’s found his previously-dominant form again over the last month or so. He one-hit the Cubs over six innings last night, allowing four walks but also striking out eight. In his last six starts he’s only worked 34 innings total, but he’s allowed just six earned runs while striking out 46.

Atlanta Braves

  • C Tyler Flowers has moved in to a more-or-less number one catcher role after splitting time most of the season with C Kurt Suzuki. He’s hit well this month, with hits in seven of his last 10, and he went 2-for-4 yesterday with two runs scored and a home run. He has seven RBI in his last five games, as well.

Baltimore Orioles

  • OF Cedric Mullins has hits in six of his last seven games after going 1-for-4 with an RBI yesterday. Mullins will almost definitely be the opening day center fielder and leadoff hitter next season, as OF Adam Jones will likely move on in free agency.

Boston Red Sox

  • SS/3B/OF Eduardo Nuñez left last night’s game with a recurrence of soreness in his right knee, and he will not play today.

Chicago Cubs

  • C Willson Contreras was hitless in three at-bats yesterday. His rough September continued as he’s now gone 7-for-40 this month with no homers, two runs scored, and six RBI.

Chicago White Sox

  • 1B Jose Abreu was released from the hospital after spending several days there with a right thigh infection, but his return to the lineup this season looks unlikely.

Cincinnati Reds

  • SP Matt Harvey had one of his worst starts of the season yesterday, allowing seven runs on seven hits and two walks over 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Brewers. For as much positive as there has been in Harvey’s bounceback season, most notably his 150 innings, he’s had a major home run problem, having allowed 26 on the season now. He closes his season with a great streaming opportunity, though, getting the Royals at home on Tuesday.

Cleveland Indians

  • SP Trevor Bauer will return to the rotation tomorrow with a start against Boston. He’s been out since August 11 with a leg fracture. SP Shane Bieber will be the bulk innings guy that night, as Bauer isn’t expected to be in very long.

Colorado Rockies 

  • The Rox offense has fallen apart as their playoff hopes really begin to fade away. At the center of that is 3B Nolan Arenado, who went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts yesterday and is 4-for-25 in the last six games as the Rockies have gone 1-5 over that stretch to fall 2.5 games behind the Dodgers.

Detroit Tigers

  • SP Spencer Turnbull made his first major league start and was hit hard by the Twins, allowing six runs on six hits and a walk over four innings, striking out two. Turnbull’s most impressive minor league trait was suppressing home runs – he allowed four in 119 1/3 innings this year and has allowed only 13 in 423 2/3 career innings in the minors. He was a second round pick in 2014 and should get a fair shot at a rotation spot next season.

Houston Astros

  • SP Dallas Keuchel was hit hard last night for the second time in his last three starts. He lasted only five innings, his shortest outing since July 27, and allowed five runs on six hits and two walks, striking out only three. He’ll get a two-start week to end the season, both on the road against Toronto and Baltimore.

Kansas City Royals

  • SP Heath Fillmyer is a good bet to be in the KC rotation on Opening Day 2019 after another solid outing yesterday. He went seven innings on the road against the Pirates and allowed two runs on eight hits, striking out five with no walks. Fillmyer has gone at least seven innings in three of his last four starts.

Los Angeles Angels

  • DH Shohei Ohtani continues to get regular at-bats as the team delays a decision on Tommy John surgery for his elbow. He went 1-for-3 last night with a single.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • RP Kenley Jansen has worked consecutive days with no drama on the mound, striking out a batter and finishing a clean ninth inning yesterday for his 36th save of the year. Jansen has settled back in after a few rough patches over the last month, and despite the ups and downs this season he’s likely to finish as a top-five closer again.

Miami Marlins

  • 3B/OF Brian Anderson has struck out in half of his 46 at-bats this month, and has clearly hit a rookie wall with his batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage all having declined month-over-month from June to September.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • SP Gio Gonzalez posted his best start as a Brewer yesterday, shutting out the Reds for six innings and allowing only two hits and two walks. He struck out five. Gonzalez could line up for two starts next week depending on how the Brewers’ playoff situation shakes out. He will definitely get one start in a big spot, facing the Cardinals in St. Louis on Tuesday.

Minnesota Twins

  • 1B Tyler Austin continues to produce as a power source when he’s able to get regular playing time. He’s started the last three games for the Twins and has gone 5-for-11 in that stretch with a double, a home run, six RBI, and three runs scored.

New York Mets

  • SP Zack Wheeler was officially shut down for the season yesterday. He ends his breakout year with a 12-7 record and 3.31 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 179 strikeouts in 182 1/3 innings.

New York Yankees

  • SP Justus Sheffield made his major league debut in relief last night, allowing two hits and a walk but getting out of the ninth inning without a run allowed to cap a 10-1 Yankees win.

Oakland A’s

  • SP Brett Anderson was sharp in his second start back off the disabled list, going 6 2/3 shutout innings to win against the Angels last night. He generated 14 groundballs and struck out three, allowing three hits and no walks.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • OF Roman Quinn started for the fourth time in the last five games yesterday, and despite not having done much in those starts he was bumped up to fifth in the batting order. It’ll be interesting to see how the Phillies handle Quinn over the last week and a half, as he has a great deal of upside as a speed source should he be given an everyday job coming out of spring training next season.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • SP Chris Archer finally made it beyond six innings with the Pirates in his ninth start on the team, posting what was clearly his best outing in a win that included eight strikeouts and only one run allowed on six hits and a walk. He’ll get a two-start week next week to end his season, facing the Cubs on the road and the Reds at home.

San Diego Padres

  • SS Freddy Galvis stayed red hot yesterday with a 2-for-4 day that included a home run, two runs scored, and four RBI. He’s got a five-game hitting streak going, with 10 hits over that span and six runs scored.

San Francisco Giants

  • 1B Brandon Belt will have an MRI on his oft-injured right knee today, and it is likely his season is over in advance of surgery to make repairs.

Seattle Mariners

  • 3B Kyle Seager has hits in eight of his last nine games after going 2-for-4 last night with a homer and two RBI.
  • 1B/2B Robinson Cano recorded three hits, two of them doubles, for the second straight game, and he’s now got 20 hits on the month with 10 runs scored and 12 RBI.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • SP Jack Flaherty had his first bad start in almost two months yesterday, allowing five runs in 4 2/3 innings to talk a loss against Atlanta. He allowed five hits and two walks, striking out six. Flaherty’s next start is the biggest of his career, as he draws the Brewers next week at home with the Cardinals trying to chase them down for a potential home field advantage in the wild card game.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • OF Tommy Pham is crushing the ball with the Rays – he went 3-for-5 yesterday with two solo homers, giving him a .327 batting average and .989 OPS in 121 plate appearances since joining the team at the trade deadline.
  • OF Austin Meadows will join the team today after dominating at Triple-A Durham for six weeks; Meadows was the NL Rookie of the Month for May with the Pirates and should get regular at-bats over the final 11 games.

Texas Rangers

  • 3B Adrian Beltre went 2-for-4 with a double and a solo homer yesterday. He has three multi-hit games in his last five starts, including six extra-base hits.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • OF Billy McKinney went 2-for-4 yesterday with a solo homer. McKinney has hits and runs scored in consecutive games after a stretch of 22 at-bats with only one hit and no runs scored.

Washington Nationals

  • SP Max Scherzer will make his penultimate start of the season tonight against the Mets.

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