Daily Intel – 4/2/2019

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News From Yesterday’s Slate

Colorado Rockies – 1
Tampa Bay Rays – 7

  • 2B/3B Joey Wendle was placed on the Injured List yesterday with a hamstring issue, so 2B/SS Daniel Robertson will likely be seeing everyday at-bats for the near future. He hit seventh yesterday and got the start at third base, going 0-for-4 with an RBI. 3B Christian Arroyo was called up to replace Wendle on the 25-man roster.
  • 2B/OF Brandon Lowe had his first productive game of the season for the Rays, going 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. Lowe is locked in to a cleanup or higher spot in the Rays lineup with seemingly everyday regularity.
  • SP/RP Jalen Beeks is a name to watch in the Tampa Bay bullpen. He’s throwing harder and with more confidence, and after yesterday’s outing he has now thrown five innings with no runs and just five baserunners allowed, striking out five.

St. Louis Cardinals – 6
Pittsburgh Pirates – 5    (11 Innings)

  • 3B Colin Moran, seemingly displaced from his starting job by the spring of 3B Jung-Ho Kang, made the most of his first start of the season yesterday, going 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, three RBI, and two walks. Moran has always had talent at the plate and is young enough (26) to harness that in to a productive fantasy season with enough playing time, should Kang slip up or 1B Josh Bell get hurt.
  • Pirates SP Chris Archer brought the dominance level yesterday that defined his “what if?” potential in Tampa Bay, striking out eight in five innings. But those five innings…that’s the same problem that kept him from becoming an ace with the Rays, as Archer needed 99 pitches to get that far despite not allowing a run and only ceding two hits and three walks.

Chicago White Sox – 3
Cleveland Indians – 5

  • Two great starts here gave way to two miserable bullpen performances. SP Mike Clevinger did nothing to disprove those who thought he was primed to take a step forward to SP1 level this season, striking out 12 over seven innings of one-hit, shutout work. He walked three and needed 106 pitches to get through seven, but he posted an absurdly-high 20 swinging strikes thanks to stuff that looks even better than last season.
  • 1B Carlos Santana has been the Tribe’s only decent offensive performance so far, going 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI yesterday to lift his current slash line to .462/.533/.538.

Detroit Tigers – 1
New York Yankees – 3

  • Before yesterday’s game, OF Giancarlo Stanton was placed on the Injured List with a strained left biceps. He’ll have at least 10 days without baseball activity before being ramped back up, and that’s an ideal timeline, so we’d expect Stanton to be out of your fantasy lineup until the last week or two of April. OF Mike Tauchman got the start in left field with Stanton out, despite OF Clint Frazier being called up.
  • An additional note on the Stanton injury is that 1B Luke Voit moved up to third in the order with 1B Greg Bird hitting cleanup. Voit was the one out of the defensive rotation last night, starting at DH.
  • The news got even worse when the game started and it became known that 3B Miguel Andujar was also out of the New York lineup and headed for the injured list with a labrum tear that may require season-ending surgery. The team will know more in a few weeks. 2B DJ LeMahieu started at third on Monday and should be in line for regular at-bats moving forward, making him a must-own asset in all formats.

Milwaukee Brewers – 4
Cincinnati Reds – 3

  • RP Josh Hader allowed his first baserunner of the season on a double to Reds C Curt Casali, but he was still able to close out his third save of the year in the tightest of situations. He’s struck out eight in his first four innings of the year and seems primed to stay in this role until RP Jeremy Jeffress becomes a factor if/when he gets healthy.
  • For dynasty leaguers, some sad Reds news, with top prospect SP Hunter Greene lined up for Tommy John surgery. Greene hasn’t pitched in a game since July and will now be looking at a June/July 2020 return to competitive game action. The good thing is that he’s only 19.

Baltimore Orioles – 6
Toronto Blue Jays – 5

  • SP Sean Reid-Foley got the start for the Jays yesterday, his first of the season in place of injured SP Clayton Richard. He needed 52 pitches to get through just two innings of work, and some shaky defense didn’t help as he left with five runs allowed (three earned) on four hits and two walks, striking out three.
  • 1B/OF Trey Mancini is off to a very strong start to the season for the O’s, going 2-for-3 yesterday with his second home run on the season. He drove in two and scored twice and is 8-for-16 with a 1.409 OPS.
  • 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is already swinging the bat in extended spring training games, a good sign that he’ll be healthy and in the majors in the next two or three weeks.

New York Mets – 7
Miami Marlins – 3

  • RP Drew Steckenrider was the answer to the question of “which Miami reliever will get hit hardest tonight?” He entered a 3-3 game in the ninth and allowed three hits and four runs, include a monster three-run homer to Mets 1B Pete Alonso.

Chicago Cubs – 0
Atlanta Braves – 8

  • Braves SP Mike Foltynewicz is going to start at Triple-A on Thursday and again on April 9 before a potential return to the majors in the middle of the month.
  • When you pitch to as much contact as SP Kyle Hendricks does, you are sometimes at the whims of your defense to hold you up, and the downside of that was on full display last night, as the Cubs made four errors in the first three innings, leaving Hendricks with five runs allowed in that span with only one of them earned. He finished with a line of 4 1/3 innings, 10 hits allowed, seven runs, two earned runs, three walks, and four strikeouts.

Houston Astros – 2
Texas Rangers – 1

  • The bullpen-to-rotation conversion is off to a good start for another Astros arm, as SP/RP Brad Peacock followed SP/RP Collin McHugh’s strong weekend debut with a solid outing of his own, going 6 2/3 innings and allowing one run on two hits with five strikeouts. The velocity on his four-seam fastball and two-seam fastball were both down between 1.5 and 2 mph from last year, but that’s not particularly worrisome if he retains that level moving forward, as it should be expected that he’d dial back things a little as he seeks to stretch his arm out.
  • SS Carlos Correa went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored in his second game back from injury.

Los Angeles Angels – 3
Seattle Mariners – 6

  • 1B/OF Jay Bruce is giving you exactly what you expected when you drafted him, homering for the third time last night but still sitting with a .200 batting average in his first 25 at-bats. There’s no doubt, though, that Bruce looks healthy, and if that doesn’t change he’s in line for at least 30 home runs.
  • RP Roenis Elias was asked to close out the M’s ninth inning with a three-run lead yesterday, and he did so without incident. He didn’t strikeout or walk a batter on his 15 pitches.
  • Seattle is showing no fear on the basepaths, with 2B/OF Dee Gordon, OF Mitch Haniger, and OF Mallex Smith all taking bags yesterday.
  • Angels SP Andrew Heaney will begin throwing in the next week to 10 days after receiving a cortisone injection in his left elbow. He’s looking at a late April return to the team if the timeline for rehab works out perfectly.

Boston Red Sox – 0
Oakland A’s – 7

  • This game wasn’t as bad as the box score looks for Boston SP David Price, who maintained his 93-94 mph fastball velocity range from last season and was able to keep the ball down in the zone most of the game. The times he elevated, though, were very hit or miss…three hits, in fact, being home runs that did him in for a loss after six innings of work where he allowed four earned runs. Other than the three homers, Price allowed just a single and a double while striking out nine. His changeup generated seven swinging strikes on 31 offerings and will be the key pitch for him this season as he looks to regain his footing as an SP2 in mixed leagues.
  • DH Khris Davis homered again. That’s five in seven games, and some of them have been absolute bombs out of Oakland’s cavernous ballpark. If there was ever an example of a guy we’d buy high on in a trade, it’s Davis. He’s the best power hitter in the game right now, hands down.
  • A’s SP Aaron Brooks was efficient in his first start this season, needing just 86 pitches to get through six scoreless innings where he limited Boston to two hits and a walk while striking out six. The key to Brooks’ success is getting outs on his slider, and he only did that once last night, with the pitch living outside the strike zone the majority of the times he threw it. If he can harness that and keep teams from laying off it, he should have some value in home starts and against weak lineups.

Arizona Diamondbacks – 10
San Diego Padres – 3

  • The results last night were better for Arizona SP Merrill Kelly than they were in spring training, but this was the flimsiest of quality starts, with Kelly struggling to get to the finish line in the sixth inning after allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out only three and was fortunate to get outs on some 100 mph exit velocity shots by Padres hitters.
  • On the other side, SP/RP Matt Strahm ended the string of positive outings for a bunch of unknown entities in the San Diego rotation, sporting decreased velocity from spring and allowing five runs on 11 baserunners (eight hits) in 2 2/3 innings. Strahm just lived in the zone way too much with his four-seam fastball, which averaged 90.9 mph.

San Francisco Giants – 4
Los Angeles Dodgers – 2

  • This was a best-case scenario season debut for SP/RP Julio Urias, who threw 51 of his 77 pitches for strikes and shut out the Giants for five innings, allowing just a single and two doubles while striking out seven. If you own Urias, he has to be in your lineup every time out because of his innings limit. The one exception? This weekend when he goes to Colorado, as the temperatures are expected to be in the low-60s, which should be better conditions than normal for hitters in Denver early in the season.

Daily Fantasy Recommendations for Tuesday, April 2 (NOTE: We use DraftKings prices and format, which means two pitchers are required)

Note: This is for Tuesday’s Featured set, which includes 10 games starting at 7:05 pm Eastern.

  • Catcher
    • High-priced option: Buster Posey ($4,000)
    • Low-priced option: Omar Narváez ($3,300)
  • First Base
    • High-priced option: Tyler White ($4,300)
    • Low-priced option: Dominic Smith ($3,600)
  • Second Base
    • High-priced option: Jose Altuve ($5,200)
    • Low-priced option: Jurickson Profar ($3,400)
  • Third Base
    • High-priced option: Anthony Rendon ($4,700)
    • Low-priced option: Zack Cozart ($3,700)
  • Shortstop
    • High-priced option: Trevor Story ($4,200)
    • Low-priced option: Daniel Robertson ($3,700)
  • Outfielder (three required)
    • High-priced option 1: Nelson Cruz ($4,600)
    • High-priced option 2: Teoscar Hernandez ($4,200)
    • High-priced option 3: Michael Brantley ($4,500)
    • Low-priced option 1: Ketel Marte ($4,000)
    • Low-priced option 2: Mark Canha ($3,500)
    • Low-priced option 3: Stephen Piscotty ($3,700)
  • Pitcher (two required)
    • High-priced option 1: Justin Verlander ($11,500)
    • High-priced option 2: Jose Berrios ($9,700)
    • Low-priced option 1: Zack Greinke ($7,600)
    • Low-priced option 2: Eric Lauer ($7,300)

Today’s Best Bets

  • Our favorite favorite: Houston Astros (-205) over TEXAS RANGERS
  • Our favorite underdog: San Francisco Giants (+165) over LOS ANGELES DODGERS
  • Our over/under play: Boston Red Sox/OAKLAND A’S OVER 7 Runs

Yesterday: 1-2 (hit on favorite)
Season: 7-5

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