Daily Intel – 3/31/2019


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News From Yesterday’s Slate

Baltimore Orioles – 5
New York Yankees – 3

  • Not a ton of clarity on the O’s bullpen in what is sure to be a rare win for them this season. RP Mychal Givens, the spring favorite for saves, worked the eighth inning and dominated, striking out three of the four batters he faced in a scoreless frame. With a 5-1 lead entering the ninth, RP Richard Bleier started but quickly turned the game in to a save situation with SS Troy Tulowitzki homering, so RP Mike Wright entered to clean up the mess and earned the save with two high-velocity Ks of OF Giancarlo Stanton and 1B Luke Voit. Wright becomes a must-own option in AL-only leagues and a watch in 15-team leagues.
  • 2B DJ LeMahieu got his first start as a Yankee at a new spot, third base. He hit ninth and went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. LeMahieu’s playing time is worth tracking over the next week to see what his viability is as a starter in 12-team mixed weekly leagues.

New York Mets – 11
Washington Nationals – 8

  • If 1B Pete Alonso is still hanging around in your league, he should be your top priority addition in FAAB or in immediate waivers. Alonso is going to strike out a lot but he has shown an advanced ability to hit the ball hard and is going to be a 30-homer threat with even 450 at-bats. He went 3-for-4 yesterday with two doubles, two RBI, a walk, and a run scored.

  • The lines weren’t great for either SP Noah Syndergaard or SP Stephen Strasburg, but both of them had sharp stuff and are in line for elite seasons when they are healthy.

Atlanta Braves – 6
Philadelphia Phillies – 8

  • SP Bryse Wilson struggled with his command in his major league debut, and he noted in the post-game that the slider wasn’t the pitch he needed it to be for him to be successful. The pitch was the talk of spring training for Atlanta, and with a potentially-elite fastball also in his arsenal, the hope here is that the Braves give Wilson some time to get comfortable, because he showed flashes yesterday of a guy who could be a Rookie of the Year candidate. He finished his 3 1/3 innings work with five hits, four runs, and four walks allowed, striking out three.
  • RP David Robertson had another rough outing in a non-save ninth inning, allowing a double, a home run, a walk, and two earned runs. Meanwhile, RP Seranthony Dominguez worked the eighth and struck out two while walking one.

Los Angeles Angels – 2
Oakland A’s – 4

  • SP Brett Anderson is going to be a top-notch streaming option for as long as he can stay healthy. He pitched six shutout innings to win yesterday, making it five of his last 10 starts in the majors (dating back to early August 2018) where he’s posted at least six shutout innings.
  • For some reason, DH Albert Pujols keeps getting starts for LA in the four or five hole. He hit cleanup last night and got his first two hits of the season, both singles.

Arizona Diamondbacks – 5
Los Angeles Dodgers – 18

  • OF Joc Pederson started again in the leadoff spot after sitting on Friday, and he had another massive performance, going 3-for-3 with a homer, two walks, and four runs scored. The playing time is going to be an issue for shallow mixed league players, but Pederson has an incredibly high ceiling and is worth rostering in all formats to see how this early hot streak eventually impacts his playing time.
  • 1B/2B Wilmer Flores sat again yesterday for Arizona. It looked in the winter as if Flores would be an everyday player, but this is now consecutive games on the bench against righty starters, with OF Jarrod Dyson being in the lineup in center field and expected regular center fielder 2B/OF Ketel Marte playing Flores’ spot at second.

San Francisco Giants – 3
San Diego Padres – 2

  • More churn in the Padres outfield, with OF Franmil Reyes sitting for the first time to give OF Hunter Renfroe his first start. Renfroe hit fifth and went 1-for-4 with a single.
  • SP Nick Margevicius had a good major league debut, working five innings of one-run ball, allowing two singles and a double while striking out five. He had never started a regular season game above High-A before last night, but his curveball looked decent enough to see him providing some value early in the season before teams start to get a book on him.

St. Louis Cardinals – 2
Milwaukee Brewers – 4

  • OF Christian Yelich is picking up where he left off from his 2018 MVP campaign, with a home run in his first at-bat that gave him three in his first three games.
  • SP Dakota Hudson had allowed eight home runs in 305 professional baseball innings before making his first major start last night, but the Brewers lineup got three off him in 4 1/3 innings of work, leading to four earned runs. Hudson does have the makings of an elite sinker, so take advantage of this down outing and look to use him in his next start at home against the Padres on Saturday.

Cleveland Indians – 2
Minnesota Twins – 1

  • DH Hanley Ramirez hit fifth again yesterday and was the Tribe’s best source of offense, hitting a solo home run and reaching base in his other three plate appearances.
  • Minnesota SP Jake Odorizzi impressed with a career-high 11 Ks over six innings, working with a high-in-the-zone four-seam fastball that made it easier for him to throw his off-speed stuff, which was a problem for him last year. This was an approach you’d expect from a guy now being managed by a former Tampa Bay player/coach in Rocco Baldelli, and it could be the key to unlocking a valuable season from Odorizzi. He gets a good test next on Friday in Philadelphia.
  • Cleveland SS Francisco Lindor will visit an ankle specialist on Monday, a bad sign regarding the injury he suffered earlier this week in a rehab game.

Houston Astros – 1
Tampa Bay Rays – 3

  • The Rays offense hasn’t shown much punch in the first three games, but that doesn’t take away from the performance SP/RP Collin McHugh had in his first full time start back in the Astros rotation, with nine strikeouts in five innings. McHugh did take the loss after running out of gas at the end of the fifth inning, which saw him allow a couple of hard-hit doubles and an RBI single to C Michael Perez that turned a 1-0 Astros lead in to a 2-1 deficit and the eventual 3-1 loss. McHugh had 16 swinging strikes on 81 pitches and should be started in all formats. He gets a good test next weekend at home against Oakland.
  • Tampa Bay SP Yonny Chirinos will get the start today without an opener, a surprise move that bears watching, as Chirinos had a very solid rookie season in 2018 and could be a sleeper if given the opportunity to work deeper in to games.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Cincinnati Reds 

  • This game was postponed due to rain and will be played as part of a doubleheader on Memorial Day (May 27).

Boston Red Sox – 5
Seattle Mariners – 6

  • Mariners closer RP Hunter Strickland has a strain in his back behind his throwing shoulder and will go on the IL. RP Zac Rosscup came in last night with the Mariners up 6-2 to start the ninth, but he got in some defense-related trouble and needed RP Nick Rumbelow to get the last out for the save. The M’s look like a decent team, at worst, and if you want to speculate on someone we’d go with RP Cory Gearrin with RP Roenis Elias a close second.
  • SS Xander Bogaerts struck out three times yesterday and has five Ks in his first three games. We note this because with a lineup this deep, it is worth tracking how manager Alex Cora handles slumping players in terms of their lineup spot.
  • C Tom Murphy got his first start with the Mariners after joining them earlier this week. He bounced from the Rockies to the Giants at the end of spring training, but the Mariners seem likely to keep Murphy for a while since he is out of options and their alternatives for a backup aren’t particularly dangerous.

Detroit Tigers – 0
Toronto Blue Jays – 3

  • SP Aaron Sanchez gained some helium as spring ramped up and his health looked more in line, and yesterday he made his case to be a must-own in all formats with his fastball showing great velocity and his breaking stuff doing enough to keep the Tigers off balance for five shutout innings. Sanchez only threw 11 first pitches strikes on 21 batters, and thus needed to do a lot of work in a few of those frames, which led to 90 pitches. Still, he struck out six and allowed only three singles and three walks.
  • 1B Miguel Cabrera left yesterday’s game after being hit on his right hand, but X-rays revealed he did not have a fracture, so he should be back in the lineup in the next few days.

Colorado Rockies – 3
Miami Marlins – 7

  • Colorado 1B/2B Daniel Murphy was out of the lineup yesterday due to a fractured left index finger injury that will require further evaluation and X-rays. He’s at least going on the 10-day injured list but is likely out a month or more.
  • SS Miguel Rojas got a turn at the top of the Miami order, displacing OF Lewis Brinson, who dropped to fifth. Rojas went 3-for-5 with two doubles, three RBI, and a run scored, while Brinson had his first good game with two hits and two runs scored.

Chicago White Sox – 6
Kansas City Royals – 8

  • Shockingly, SP Ian Kennedy was called on in the ninth inning with the Royals protecting an 8-6 lead after RP Brad Boxberger worked the seventh inning and RP Wily Peralta wasn’t used at all. Kennedy allowed the first two batters he faced to reach base, but he was able to close things out and earn his first career save. If you want to take a shot on Kennedy for saves, knock yourself out, but this bullpen looks too unpredictable to be worth speculating on when balanced against the 60-ish wins the Royals will likely have this year.

Chicago Cubs – 8
Texas Rangers – 6

  • This was the absolute nightmare scenario for Cubs SP Yu Darvish, who walked six of the first nine batters he faced and lasted only 2 2/3 innings, eventually walking a seventh batter and allowing three runs on two hits with four strikeouts. He had similar bouts of wildness in the spring, and that combined with his blister issue and seeming lack of confidence make it impossible to start him in his next outing, which could be TBD if the Cubs want to give him some time to work through his issues. As it stands, he’s set to face Atlanta on the road on Thursday, which is a rough matchup for even a healthy an in-form pitcher. He has to be on your bench this week.

Daily Fantasy Recommendations for Sunday, March 31 (NOTE: We use DraftKings prices and format, which means two pitchers are required)

This is for the “Featured” set, which is nine games starting at 1:05 p.m. Eastern.

  • Catcher
    • High-priced option: Mike Zunino ($3,700)
    • Low-priced option: Wilson Ramos ($3,500)
  • First Base
    • High-priced option: Lucas Duda ($4,100)
    • Low-priced option: Renato Nuñez ($3,600)
  • Second Base
    • High-priced option: Adam Frazier ($4,100)
    • Low-priced option: Daniel Robertson ($3,700)
  • Third Base
    • High-priced option: Travis Shaw ($4,800)
    • Low-priced option: Yandy Diaz ($3,400)
  • Shortstop
    • High-priced option: Paul DeJong ($4,100)
    • Low-priced option: Miguel Rojas ($3,300)
  • Outfielder (three required)
    • High-priced option 1: Aaron Judge ($5,400)
    • High-priced option 2: Giancarlo Stanton ($5,300)
    • High-priced option 3: Daniel Palka ($4,100)
    • Low-priced option 1: Kevin Pillar ($3,900)
    • Low-priced option 2: Victor Robles ($3,500)
    • Low-priced option 3: Max Kepler ($3,300)
  • Pitcher (two required)
    • High-priced option 1: Carlos Carrasco ($10,300)
    • High-priced option 2: Jon Gray ($9,400)
    • Low-priced option 1: Sonny Gray ($7,600)
    • Low-priced option 2: Trevor Williams ($6,800)

Today’s Best Bets

  • Our favorite favorite: LOS ANGELES DODGERS (-215) over Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Our favorite underdog: TEXAS RANGERS (-140) over Chicago Cubs
  • Our over/under play: Indians/TWINS UNDER 7 Runs

Yesterday: 3-0
Season: 4-2

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