Daily Intel – 9/24/2018

Today is the final Fantasy Baseball Now newsletter of the 2018 season. We hope you’ve had tremendous success with your team(s) this season, and that this newsletter kept you on top of the latest news and trends you needed to make winning moves.

During the offseason, we’ll likely be publishing 2019 preview content here, starting around Thanksgiving.

While the current plan is to bring the newsletter back next season, it may not be in its current form. We always welcome feedback on that front and look forward to another fruitful baseball season in 2019. Please send any feedback to fantasybbnow@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • After three straight starts where he allowed four runs or more, SP Zack Godley had a minor bounce back yesterday with five innings of two-run ball against the Rockies, though he took his fourth straight loss. He allowed six hits and three walks, striking out five.

Atlanta Braves

  • RP Shane Carle earned his first save of the season yesterday despite a shaky ninth inning, allowing two walks and hitting a batter before closing out a 2-1 win.

Baltimore Orioles

  • SP Alex Cobb made an ill-fated attempt to return from his blister issue on Sunday, lasting only four pitches before being removed from the game. He’ll finish his season with a 4.90 ERA, an incredible feat considering it was as high as 7.23 in early June and 6.67 in early July.

Boston Red Sox

  • OF Mookie Betts returned to the lineup yesterday after missing a couple of games with soreness in his side. He picked up where he left off, recording his second consecutive four-hit game; on Thursday against the Yankees he had two doubles and a homer, and he had the same last night, but instead of driving in five and scoring three, he drove in one and scored twice.

Chicago Cubs

  • OF Kyle Schwarber had a solid weekend against the White Sox after missing 11 days, capping it yesterday with a 2-for-2 effort that included two walks, a double, a home run, and two RBI. It was Schwarber’s second straight multi-hit game.

Chicago White Sox

  • SP Carlos Rodon was crushed for nine hits and six earned runs in 2 1/3 innings yesterday, continuing a rough September in which he’s allowed at least four earned runs in four of his five starts. Rodon has seen his ERA rise a full run from 2.61 to 3.61 over his last nine starts.

Cincinnati Reds

  • This year’s fantasy MVP for the Reds, in our mind, was 3B Eugenio Suarez, who came back from an early-season thumb injury way faster than expected and went on to set career highs in homers (32) and RBI (101) yesterday, despite a brutal slump in September that has seen him hit .224 with only three extra-base hits and five RBI in 67 at-bats.

Cleveland Indians

  • SP Adam Plutko delivered a quality start in a no-decision yesterday, throwing six innings against a good Boston lineup and allowing only five hits, three walks, and three runs. He struck out two.

Colorado Rockies 

  • SS Trevor Story sat out again yesterday but it sounds like he’s ready to be back in the lineup today when the Rockies return home to close out the season with series against the Phillies and Nationals.

Detroit Tigers

  • SP Daniel Norris continues to show some positive signs to end the season, allowing one run yesterday in five innings of work on six hits and two walks, striking out three.

Houston Astros

  • SP Charlie Morton left yesterday’s game after one inning with what was called “shoulder discomfort,” something that was readily obvious due to his velocity being down. Manager A.J. Hinch said Morton would make his next start, but we wouldn’t risk using him in our lineup.

Kansas City Royals

  • The Royals improved to 54-102 yesterday and, somehow, winning pitcher SP Brad Keller has managed to go 9-6 on the season, with his latest gem yesterday being a seven-inning, three-hit, three-walk, one-run performance to top the Tigers. Keller is now sporting a 3.08 ERA in 140 innings of work, though there are some underlying danger signs, including only 96 strikeouts on the season compared to 50 walks.

Los Angeles Angels

  • SS Andrelton Simmons left yesterday’s game in the seventh inning with a sore knee. Doctors told him it wasn’t serious, but we’d be safe and cut/bench him this week if you need at-bats out of your SS/MI spot.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • SP Hyun-Jin Ryu did it all yesterday, shutting out the Padres for six innings and allowing only four hits while striking out eight, and at the same time he had his best day at the plate this year, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Ryu has now thrown 24 innings this month and has allowed only four earned runs (1.50 ERA), striking out 27 and walking just one.

Miami Marlins

  • SP Trevor Richards threw 70 of his 95 pitches for strikes and shut out the Reds for seven innings, limiting them to three singles and a walk to win his fourth game of the year. He struck out nine.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • RP Corey Knebel’s September renaissance continued yesterday with a relief win that came thanks to a perfect inning in which he struck out all three batters he faced. Knebel has faced 34 batters in September and allowed only two hits and two walks while striking out 18.

Minnesota Twins

  • OF Jake Cave was moved in to the number three spot in the order on Wednesday and he’s been there now for four games, including a 2-for-4 effort yesterday that included a single and a two-run home run. He was also caught stealing. Cave’s power has been impressive in his 261 at-bat cameo, but he’s also struck out an absurd 95 times.

New York Mets

  • 2B Jeff McNeil had another great day at the plate yesterday, going 4-for-5 with a walk, a stolen base, a run scored, and an RBI.

New York Yankees

  • SS Didi Gregorius tore wrist cartilage sliding in to home plate on Saturday and is unlikely to play again in the regular season.

Oakland A’s

  • 1B Matt Olson picked up his 60th extra-base season yesterday in a 3-for-4 effort, and it was a solo home run that gave him 28 bombs on the season to go with 78 RBI and 80 runs scored.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • SP Aaron Nola lost his case for a Cy Young earlier this month after a couple of outings where he allowed four earned runs each, but he’s been sharp since then, including yesterday’s quality start in Atlanta where he allowed two runs on four hits and a walk in six innings, striking out six. He’ll finish the season on Friday at home in a rematch against the Braves.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • SP Nick Kingham was crushed yesterday in a last-minute spot start, allowing seven hits, two walks, and six runs (five earned) in 1 1/3 innings.

San Diego Padres

  • 2B Luis Urias was out again yesterday with a hamstring issue, and it looks like his season is over.

San Francisco Giants

  • SS Brandon Crawford hit his second homer in his last five games yesterday; he also has six hits in 19 at-bats in that same five-game span, an improvement over the pace of his extended second-half slump.

Seattle Mariners

  • 2B Robinson Cano has posted multiple hits in five straight games after going 2-for-4 yesterday.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • SP Miles Mikolas was a winner yesterday for the fourth consecutive start, improving to 17-4 on the season with a seven-inning, two-hit performance where he only allowed a double and a solo homer while striking out eight, his highest total since May 21. Mikolas has allowed two runs or less in seven of his last 10 starts and hasn’t walked more than one batter in nine straight starts.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • For our money, SP Blake Snell locked up the AL Cy Young yesterday with another dominant start, going 6 2/3 shutout innings in Toronto and striking out 11 to earn his 21st win of the season. He’s lowered his ERA to 1.90 and WHIP to .96 heading in to his final start of the season at home against the Blue Jays.

Texas Rangers

  • 1B/3B/OF Joey Gallo is up to 39 homers after hitting a pinch-hit two-run home run yesterday. He’s hit five home runs in his last 30 at-bats.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • SP Ryan Borucki made it consecutive days with strong starts for the Jays’ impressive young rookie pitchers, following teammate SP Thomas Pannone’s solid Saturday outing with seven strong innings of his own on Sunday, allowing only two runs on three hits and four walks. He struck out seven. Borucki has allowed two runs or less in five of his last six starts, going at least six innings in those five outings.

Washington Nationals

  • OF Victor Robles had his first huge day as a major leaguer, going 2-for-5 yesterday with a triple, a home run, three RBI, and two runs scored. Robles’ status for 2019 will hinge on whether OF Bryce Harper returns – if he doesn’t, he should be a 2019 Opening Day starter somewhere in the outfield.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • After three straight starts where he allowed four runs or more, SP Zack Godley had a minor bounce back yesterday with five innings of two-run ball against the Rockies, though he took his fourth straight loss. He allowed six hits and three walks, striking out five.

Atlanta Braves

  • RP Shane Carle earned his first save of the season yesterday despite a shaky ninth inning, allowing two walks and hitting a batter before closing out a 2-1 win.

Baltimore Orioles

  • SP Alex Cobb made an ill-fated attempt to return from his blister issue on Sunday, lasting only four pitches before being removed from the game. He’ll finish his season with a 4.90 ERA, an incredible feat considering it was as high as 7.23 in early June and 6.67 in early July.

Boston Red Sox

  • OF Mookie Betts returned to the lineup yesterday after missing a couple of games with soreness in his side. He picked up where he left off, recording his second consecutive four-hit game; on Thursday against the Yankees he had two doubles and a homer, and he had the same last night, but instead of driving in five and scoring three, he drove in one and scored twice.

Chicago Cubs

  • OF Kyle Schwarber had a solid weekend against the White Sox after missing 11 days, capping it yesterday with a 2-for-2 effort that included two walks, a double, a home run, and two RBI. It was Schwarber’s second straight multi-hit game.

Chicago White Sox

  • SP Carlos Rodon was crushed for nine hits and six earned runs in 2 1/3 innings yesterday, continuing a rough September in which he’s allowed at least four earned runs in four of his five starts. Rodon has seen his ERA rise a full run from 2.61 to 3.61 over his last nine starts.

Cincinnati Reds

  • This year’s fantasy MVP for the Reds, in our mind, was 3B Eugenio Suarez, who came back from an early-season thumb injury way faster than expected and went on to set career highs in homers (32) and RBI (101) yesterday, despite a brutal slump in September that has seen him hit .224 with only three extra-base hits and five RBI in 67 at-bats.

Cleveland Indians

  • SP Adam Plutko delivered a quality start in a no-decision yesterday, throwing six innings against a good Boston lineup and allowing only five hits, three walks, and three runs. He struck out two.

Colorado Rockies 

  • SS Trevor Story sat out again yesterday but it sounds like he’s ready to be back in the lineup today when the Rockies return home to close out the season with series against the Phillies and Nationals.

Detroit Tigers

  • SP Daniel Norris continues to show some positive signs to end the season, allowing one run yesterday in five innings of work on six hits and two walks, striking out three.

Houston Astros

  • SP Charlie Morton left yesterday’s game after one inning with what was called “shoulder discomfort,” something that was readily obvious due to his velocity being down. Manager A.J. Hinch said Morton would make his next start, but we wouldn’t risk using him in our lineup.

Kansas City Royals

  • The Royals improved to 54-102 yesterday and, somehow, winning pitcher SP Brad Keller has managed to go 9-6 on the season, with his latest gem yesterday being a seven-inning, three-hit, three-walk, one-run performance to top the Tigers. Keller is now sporting a 3.08 ERA in 140 innings of work, though there are some underlying danger signs, including only 96 strikeouts on the season compared to 50 walks.

Los Angeles Angels

  • SS Andrelton Simmons left yesterday’s game in the seventh inning with a sore knee. Doctors told him it wasn’t serious, but we’d be safe and cut/bench him this week if you need at-bats out of your SS/MI spot.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • SP Hyun-Jin Ryu did it all yesterday, shutting out the Padres for six innings and allowing only four hits while striking out eight, and at the same time he had his best day at the plate this year, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Ryu has now thrown 24 innings this month and has allowed only four earned runs (1.50 ERA), striking out 27 and walking just one.

Miami Marlins

  • SP Trevor Richards threw 70 of his 95 pitches for strikes and shut out the Reds for seven innings, limiting them to three singles and a walk to win his fourth game of the year. He struck out nine.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • RP Corey Knebel’s September renaissance continued yesterday with a relief win that came thanks to a perfect inning in which he struck out all three batters he faced. Knebel has faced 34 batters in September and allowed only two hits and two walks while striking out 18.

Minnesota Twins

  • OF Jake Cave was moved in to the number three spot in the order on Wednesday and he’s been there now for four games, including a 2-for-4 effort yesterday that included a single and a two-run home run. He was also caught stealing. Cave’s power has been impressive in his 261 at-bat cameo, but he’s also struck out an absurd 95 times.

New York Mets

  • 2B Jeff McNeil had another great day at the plate yesterday, going 4-for-5 with a walk, a stolen base, a run scored, and an RBI.

New York Yankees

  • SS Didi Gregorius tore wrist cartilage sliding in to home plate on Saturday and is unlikely to play again in the regular season.

Oakland A’s

  • 1B Matt Olson picked up his 60th extra-base season yesterday in a 3-for-4 effort, and it was a solo home run that gave him 28 bombs on the season to go with 78 RBI and 80 runs scored.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • SP Aaron Nola lost his case for a Cy Young earlier this month after a couple of outings where he allowed four earned runs each, but he’s been sharp since then, including yesterday’s quality start in Atlanta where he allowed two runs on four hits and a walk in six innings, striking out six. He’ll finish the season on Friday at home in a rematch against the Braves.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • SP Nick Kingham was crushed yesterday in a last-minute spot start, allowing seven hits, two walks, and six runs (five earned) in 1 1/3 innings.

San Diego Padres

  • 2B Luis Urias was out again yesterday with a hamstring issue, and it looks like his season is over.

San Francisco Giants

  • SS Brandon Crawford hit his second homer in his last five games yesterday; he also has six hits in 19 at-bats in that same five-game span, an improvement over the pace of his extended second-half slump.

Seattle Mariners

  • 2B Robinson Cano has posted multiple hits in five straight games after going 2-for-4 yesterday.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • SP Miles Mikolas was a winner yesterday for the fourth consecutive start, improving to 17-4 on the season with a seven-inning, two-hit performance where he only allowed a double and a solo homer while striking out eight, his highest total since May 21. Mikolas has allowed two runs or less in seven of his last 10 starts and hasn’t walked more than one batter in nine straight starts.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • For our money, SP Blake Snell locked up the AL Cy Young yesterday with another dominant start, going 6 2/3 shutout innings in Toronto and striking out 11 to earn his 21st win of the season. He’s lowered his ERA to 1.90 and WHIP to .96 heading in to his final start of the season at home against the Blue Jays.

Texas Rangers

  • 1B/3B/OF Joey Gallo is up to 39 homers after hitting a pinch-hit two-run home run yesterday. He’s hit five home runs in his last 30 at-bats.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • SP Ryan Borucki made it consecutive days with strong starts for the Jays’ impressive young rookie pitchers, following teammate SP Thomas Pannone’s solid Saturday outing with seven strong innings of his own on Sunday, allowing only two runs on three hits and four walks. He struck out seven. Borucki has allowed two runs or less in five of his last six starts, going at least six innings in those five outings.

Washington Nationals

  • OF Victor Robles had his first huge day as a major leaguer, going 2-for-5 yesterday with a triple, a home run, three RBI, and two runs scored. Robles’ status for 2019 will hinge on whether OF Bryce Harper returns – if he doesn’t, he should be a 2019 Opening Day starter somewhere in the outfield.

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