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News From Yesterday’s Slate
Cincinnati Reds – 5
Pittsburgh Pirates – 6
- SP Trevor Williams was a partial victim of bad defense in this one, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and no walks over six innings in a no decision. But the Reds put a lot of contact in play on him, and his continued reliance on his four-seam fastball to carry the bulk of his arsenal (51 of his 87 pitches yesterday) feels like a precursor of bad things to come in terms of blowup starts. Williams gets a moderately-tough draw next time out at Washington.
- OF Jesse Winker sat yesterday for the Reds, not surprising considering his grand total of one hit so far on the season.
- OF Jason Martin made his major league debut yesterday in left field after being called up with OF Corey Dickerson hurt, going 1-for-2 with a walk and a steal. Martin has stolen between 11 and 20 bases in his five minor league seasons, so there could be some short-term speed value in him. OF Gregory Polanco starts his rehab in High-A today and is still 3-4 weeks from a return.
Boston Red Sox – 4
Arizona Diamondbacks – 5
- SP/RP Brian Johnson was placed on the IL for the Sox, meaning SP/RP Hector Velazquez will get the start today for Boston. He threw 2 1/3 innings on Thursday in relief, so he won’t have a long leash today.
- Sox SP David Price struck out four over six innings in a no-decision, giving up all four of his earned runs in the second inning. Price didn’t have his best secondary stuff in his changeup or cutter, so maybe the fact that he’ll get some extra rest before his next start on Monday, April 14 at home against Baltimore will help him sharpen his arsenal for a seemingly easy matchup.
Toronto Blue Jays – 2
Cleveland Indians – 7
- Jays SS Freddy Galvis is off to an uncharacteristically strong start at the plate, going 2-for-5 yesterday with a solo home run that put his batting average for the season at .333 with six RBI and five runs.
- It was encouraging to see 3B Jose Ramirez steal two bases yesterday in a 2-for-5 effort after he was hit by a pitch on the foot on Thursday. He’s got three steals on the year, propping up his value after a .185 start at the plate over 27 at-bats.
Chicago Cubs – 14
Milwaukee Brewers – 8
- If you read this blog last year, you know we really liked some of the underlying numbers that OF Jason Heyward was posting at the plate early in the season, which led to us recommending him in mixed leagues as the summer wore on. He’s showing more positive signs in the early going this year, going 3-for-3 yesterday with two homers, two walks, three RBI, two stolen bases, and two runs scored. His triple slash line now sits at .370/.419/.704 over 30 plate appearances. He should be owned in all 12-team mixed leagues and larger.
Texas Rangers – 1
Los Angeles Angels – 5
- OF Mike Trout has homered in three straight games after hitting a 460-foot grand slam yesterday, and he’s quickly found his footing after a slow first week, with his triple slash line sitting at .385/.553/.923 with four homers and 10 RBI.
Seattle Mariners – 9
Chicago White Sox – 2
- 1B/OF Jay Bruce hit two homers yesterday to bring him up to five on the season. It is hard to believe Bruce just turned 32 since it seems like he’s been in the league for 20 years, but he looks healthy and could challenge for 35 or even 40 homers if he stays in the lineup.
- White Sox SP Lucas Giolito was awful after a near no-hitter in his first start, walking four and allowing five runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings of work. The interesting thing is that Giolito’s control wasn’t bad, by and large, it just seemed like he was more willing to give in to hitters with walks once he got way behind. One positive? His changeup generated five swinging strikes on 20 offerings.
Los Angeles Dodgers – 7
Colorado Rockies – 2
- Starting 1B/2B Ryan McMahon hit the IL for the Rockies yesterday with a left elbow strain, which should solidify SS Garrett Hampson’s playing time and make 1B Mark Reynolds someone worth considering as a streaming option for power as he gets more starts at first base. Reynolds started yesterday and went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.
- Dodgers OF Alex Verdugo got his first start in more than a week and he took full advantage, going 2-for-4 with a triple, a home run, two runs scored, and two RBI.
- SP Walker Buehler calmed some fantasy owners’ nerves with this bounceback, throwing 50 of his 79 pitches for strikes over five innings, striking out four and allowing only one run on three hits and two walks.
Oakland A’s – 0
Houston Astros – 6
- OF Michael Brantley went 2-for-4 with a homer, two RBI, and two runs scored yesterday. He’s been the weakest link in the Astros’ otherwise strong lineup so far, but Brantley has the opportunity to drive in 100 runs this year with his current cleanup spot in the lineup.
Miami Marlins – 4
Atlanta Braves – 2
- The Braves are down two catchers after yesterday’s game, with C Brian McCann leaving with a strained hamstring and being placed on the IL, and C Tyler Flowers getting hit by a pitch on the hand. Flowers had X-rays that did not show a break, but C Alex Jackson, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, will be up today and should start for the next few games as Flowers recovers.
Minnesota Twins – 6
Philadelphia Phillies – 2
- The Twins cut bait on 1B Tyler Austin yesterday, which should bode well for the playing time of 1B C.J. Cron and C Willians Astudillo, as they continue to vie for at-bats in a lineup that has the designated hitter spot permanently filled by DH Nelson Cruz.
- Astudillo got the start at catcher yesterday and hit his first homer of the season while also drawing a walk in five plate appearances. He’s hitting .500 with a 1.458 OPS over 15 plate appearances.
Tampa Bay Rays – 4
San Francisco Giants – 6
- Giants 1B Brandon Belt is going to tease fantasy players once again with this type of start, as he went 2-for-4 yesterday with a three-run homer, his third homer of the year. He’s slugging .563 and remains worth owning and playing in all leagues if he can finally stay healthy.
Washington Nationals – 5
New York Mets – 6
- The Mets crushed five solo homers in this one to power an eighth-inning comeback on the shaky Nats’ bullpen, and a guy we recommended last week, 1B/3B J.D. Davis, had the biggest day for New York, going 3-for-3 with two of those solo homers and a walk. Davis looks really comfortable at the plate and continues to be someone we’d recommend watching very closely for playing time patterns.
- SP Steven Matz was solid for the Mets over five innings, but he needed 103 pitches to get those five shutout frames posted. He struck out eight and allowed two singles and four walks. Matz needs his changeup to be a usable second pitch to compliment his sinker, and while the Nats only put the pitch in play once yesterday on 18 offerings, Matz struggled to control it and on less lucky days would’ve seen some of the resulting walks come back to bite him. He gets a test next at Atlanta over the weekend.
New York Yankees – 6
Baltimore Orioles – 4
- Yankees RP Dellin Betances will take another step forward in his rehab tomorrow when he faces live hitters. On another injury front, SP CC Sabathia makes his first minor league rehab start today with High-A Tampa.
Kansas City Royals – 4
Detroit Tigers – 7
- Tigers SP Matt Moore had gotten off to a good start this season and in yesterday’s game, throwing 24 of his 33 pitches for strikes in three scoreless innings. But Moore hurt his right knee trying to field a bunt and was diagnosed with a strain that will put him on the IL. SP/RP Daniel Norris relieved Moore with not much success (three runs in three innings, two strikeouts) and is now in line to take Moore’s spot in the rotation.
- Royals OF Jorge Soler went 1-for-4 with his first homer of the season, a solo shot. Soler has four doubles to go along with that homer in his first 29 plate appearances, for a .296 batting average and .900 OPS.
San Diego Padres – 6
St. Louis Cardinals – 4
- Based on his draft spot this spring, seeing SP/RP Alex Reyes demoted by the Cardinals yesterday would be a surprise. But Reyes has been totally ineffectively in the early stages of the season, allowing six walks and five earned runs with just 17 batters faced over four games.
- OF Marcell Ozuna now has RBI in consecutive games after missing time earlier this week with a side/oblique issue. He went 1-for-3 yesterday with a two-run homer, his first bomb of the year.
- OF Franchy Cordero left the game early for the Padres due to an elbow issue.
Daily Fantasy Recommendations for Sunday, April 7 (NOTE: We use DraftKings prices and format, which means two pitchers are required)
Note: This is for today’s Featured contest, which has an 11-game slate and starts at 1:05 pm.
- High-priced option: J.T. Realmuto ($4,400)
- Low-priced option: Omar Narvaez ($3,400)
- First Base
- High-priced option: Paul Goldschmidt ($4,700)
- Low-priced option: Ryan O’Hearn ($3,700)
- Second Base
- High-priced option: Jose Altuve ($4,600)
- Low-priced option: Jose Peraza ($3,700)
- Third Base
- High-priced option: Josh Donaldson ($4,500)
- Low-priced option: Marwin Gonzalez ($4,100)
- High-priced option: Adalberto Mondesi ($4,600)
- Low-priced option: Tim Beckham ($3,700)
- Outfielder (three required)
- High-priced option 1: Aaron Judge ($5,600)
- High-priced option 2: Ronald Acuña Jr. ($4,700)
- High-priced option 3: Bryce Harper ($5,500)
- Low-priced option 1: Leonys Martin ($4,100)
- Low-priced option 2: Alex Gordon ($3,500)
- Low-priced option 3: Harrison Bader ($3,700)
- Pitcher (two required)
- High-priced option 1: Mike Clevinger ($9,900)
- High-priced option 2: Brad Peacock ($8,800)
- Low-priced option 1: Kyle Hendricks ($7,000)
- Low-priced option 2: Brad Keller ($7,200)
Today’s Best Bets
- Our favorite favorite: CLEVELAND INDIANS (-150) over Toronto Blue Jays
- Our favorite underdog: Minnesota Twins (+115) over PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
- Our over/under play: New York Yankees/BALTIMORE ORIOLES OVER 9 Runs
Yesterday: 1-1-1 (hit on favorite, pushed on over/under)
Note: Best Bets section is for entertainment purposes only.