Daily Intel – 9/23/2018

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 Pat Corbin allowed four runs on five hits and four walks yesterday in three innings of work. He struck out five in what was, overall, his worst outing since July; luckily, he’ll get a great chance to close his breakout season with a flourish as he draws the Padres in his final start on Friday.

Atlanta Braves

  • RP Arodys Vizcaino closed out yesterday’s NL East-clinching win for the Braves. It was Vizcaino’s first save since June 17 after he missed most of the summer with a shoulder injury.

Baltimore Orioles

  • 24-year-old OF DJ Stewart has made a good impression since being called up on September 12. He’s got hits in four straight games, going 6-for-11 in that span with two homers, four RBI, four runs scored, and a steal. The 2015 first-round pick has a good chance at being a regular starter in a corner outfield spot next season.

Boston Red Sox

  • OF Mookie Betts will probably miss at least another game or two, as the Red Sox status is all clinched up in terms of a division title and home field advantage in the playoffs.

Chicago Cubs

  • 2B/OF Ben Zobrist went 2-for-4 with two RBI, two runs scored, and a walk yesterday. Zobrist’s power has vanished this month, but he’s still managed to stay valuable with 18 hits and a .316 batting average.

Chicago White Sox

  • SS Tim Anderson reached the 20-homer mark for the first time in his career yesterday, also drawing a walk and scoring two runs. Combined with 26 stolen bases, Anderson has posted a top-10 season at a very deep shortstop position despite his atrocious plate discipline and contact skills (.283 on-base percentage).

Cincinnati Reds

  • SP Anthony DeSclafani allowed five runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings yesterday, matching a career-high in strikeouts with 10.

Cleveland Indians

  • 3B Josh Donaldson has multi-hit games in back-to-back contests after going 2-for-5 yesterday with an RBI and a run scored.

Colorado Rockies 

  • SP Antonio Senzatela allowed one run in seven innings yesterday, his best outing of the season. The 23-year-old has been sharp in most of his starts in the second half of the season, allowing two runs or less in six of his last nine outings.

Detroit Tigers

  • INF/OF Niko Goodrum returned from injury yesterday for his first game in 10 days, going 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and two RBI. Goodrum is closing strong with a .316 batting average this month.

Houston Astros

  • SP Justin Verlander was dominant again yesterday, allowing one hit over six shutout innings and striking out 11. He’s struck out 280 batters in 208 innings this season, an unbelievable number for a starter who will be 36 to open next season.

Kansas City Royals

  • OF Sal Perez went 1-for-4 with his 27th home run of the season yesterday. Perez has battled through injuries this season but has matched his career-high home run total from last season and should be able to be a 25-30 homer guy next season, albeit with a lot of variability in his batting average outcome.

Los Angeles Angels

  • OF Kole Calhoun went 0-for-5 yesterday and has one hit in his last 39 at-bats.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • SP Rich Hill was strong for seven innings last night, tying for his longest outing of the season. He allowed one run on four hits and no walks, striking out seven. He’s won four straight starts and will get one more start this year in a great spot, drawing the Giants on the road on Friday.

Miami Marlins

  • SP Jose Ureña worked 5 2/3 shutout innings in his final home start of the season, earning his eighth win with three hits and one walk allowed while striking out two.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • The prognosis on OF Lorenzo Cain improved yesterday, and he now looks likely to return to the lineup early next week, if not today.

Minnesota Twins

  • C Willians Astudillo had another multi-hit game yesterday, going 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI. He’s hitting .338 with an .877 OPS in 23 games this season.

New York Mets

  • 3B Todd Frazier went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts yesterday. He’s 2-for-27 over his last eight games and has struck out in 11 of those at-bats, pushing his season-long average down to .215. The Mets will give Frazier every chance to win a job next spring, since they still owe him $9 million, but he’s starting to look like a washed-up slugger.

New York Yankees

  • 1B Luke Voit homered yesterday for the seventh time this month, and he’s also recorded a hit in six of his last seven starts. Voit has 14 RBI and 13 runs scored this month, and with a power profile in his minor league past, there’s a real shot the Yankees will give him a chance to win the first base job next season, which would give Voit 35-homer upside.

Oakland A’s

  • RP Blake Treinen is our choice for 2018’s most valuable relief pitcher in fantasy, as he’s somehow pulled off the incredible feat of winning nine games, the latest coming yesterday. That, combined with 37 saves, an ERA (.81) that is lower than his WHIP (.83), and 96 strikeouts give Treinen the edge over Seattle RP Edwin Diaz. 

Philadelphia Phillies

  • SP Jake Arrieta allowed four runs yesterday, the fifth time in six starts that he’s done that, and he only lasted two innings as the Braves worked him over for four hits and three walks over just 51 pitches to hand him his 10th loss of the year. Arrieta should be cut because there’s no way you’re starting him in his last outing of the season Thursday at Colorado.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • SP Joe Musgrove has been shut down for the season due to discomfort in his right side. He finishes with a 4.06 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 115 1/3 innings. SP Nick Kingham will get the start today in Musgrove’s place.

San Diego Padres

  • OF Hunter Renfroe homered again yesterday, his eighth of the month and fourth in the last nine games. With one more good week, Renfroe should finish in the top 50 at outfield, a pretty impressive feat considering he’s going to end up with a little under or right at 400 at-bats.

San Francisco Giants

  • RP Mark Melancon took a loss for the second straight day, allowing a walkoff homer to Cardinals OF Tyler O’Neill. Melancon has two years and $28 million remaining on his contract, and he’s been solid enough overall since returning from injury for us to believe he’s the favorite to close for the Giants heading in to next spring.

Seattle Mariners

  • SP Felix Hernandez worked through a bullpen session on Friday and should be able to return Wednesday to start for the first time since September 8.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • 2B Kolten Wong sat out yesterday with a hamstring problem.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • OF Mallex Smith went 2-for-5 with a double and a single yesterday, also stealing his 36th base of the season. He’s hitting .302 on the season and will have a fighting chance at winning the stolen base title in the AL, as he currently sits two behind Kansas City 2B/OF Whit Merrifield. 

Texas Rangers

  • The Mariners hit SP Mike Minor hard yesterday in the first of two matchups to close the season. Minor allowed three runs on six hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings, striking out four. We’d look elsewhere for a streaming starter option next week with Minor facing the Mariners again on Thursday, this time in Seattle.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • SP Thomas Pannone continues to make a strong case for a rotation spot heading in to next spring with another victory yesterday, limiting the Rays to two runs on six hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out five.

Washington Nationals

  • SS Trea Turner went 2-for-3 with a home run, a stolen base, a walk, two RBI, and two runs scored yesterday. Turner has really struggled to hit for power this month, with a slugging percentage just barely over .300, but he has put together a 10-game hitting streak and has stolen four bases in that span.

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