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News From Yesterday’s Slate
Cincinnati Reds – 5
Pittsburgh Pirates – 7
- OF Jesse Winker went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts yesterday, and it’s probably fair to bench him this week in weekly lineup leagues with Cincy only lined up to play five games and rain in the forecast this weekend for two of those games.
- Someone who may benefit from Winker’s struggles is 2B/OF Derek Dietrich, who hit two home runs yesterday. Dietrich played primarily in the outfield last year, but hasn’t started there this year. He’s worth keeping an eye on in deep mixed leagues, because his power profile plays well in Cincy’s home ballpark.
- Pirates SP Chris Archer now has 15 Ks over 11 innings in his first two starts, earning the win yesterday. There are still some danger signs, including two home runs allowed in this one and five walks allowed over those 11 frames, but Archer has generated a bunch of swinging strikes and seems ready to be an elite source of strikeouts this season.
Washington Nationals – 12
New York Mets – 9
- The Nats will add their fifth starter to the rotation this week when SP Jeremy Hellickson gets his first start of the year at his former home in Philadelphia.
- A 3.32 ERA isn’t exactly normal for SP Max Scherzer, but yesterday’s win included seven strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings, giving him 28 Ks through his first 19 innings and three starts.
New York Yankees – 15
Baltimore Orioles – 3
- C Gary Sanchez hit three home runs in this one to fuel the Yankees offense, driving in six. He now has six home runs on the season and an .813 OPS.
- OF Clint Frazier was almost as good as Sanchez, going 4-for-5 with two homers and four RBI. He looked great in this series in Baltimore, going 6-for-11 with three homers and seven RBI.
- SP/RP Dan Straily made his debut for the Orioles in mop-up duty in the eighth and ninth inning, and things did not go well. With 11 batters faced, Straily allowed five runs on two singles, a double, two homers, and a walk. Despite that, he’s still likely to be moved in to the starting rotation either this weekend or early next week.
Kansas City Royals – 1
Detroit Tigers – 3
- Tigers RP Shane Greene has saved all seven of the Tigers’ wins this year and has posted a 0.00 ERA in doing so. Yesterday he struck out two and walked one in a scoreless ninth.
Toronto Blue Jays – 1
Cleveland Indians – 3
- SP Mike Clevinger won this one with 10 strikeouts over five innings, but he left the game with tightness in his upper back. He said he plans on making his next start, which is scheduled for this weekend at Kansas City, so just keep an eye on the next today and tomorrow for those in weekly lineup leagues (Cleveland players shouldn’t lock today since they don’t play their first game of the week until tomorrow).
Miami Marlins – 3
Atlanta Braves – 4
- Braves SS Dansby Swanson went 2-for-4 yesterday with a home run and a walk-off single, pushing his impressive early season triple slash line to .346/.471/.731. He’s got an equal 6-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio, which is another positive sign considering his career average was around 2.5-to-1 entering this season.
Oakland A’s – 8
Houston Astros – 9
- A’s manager Bob Melvin asked too much of RP Blake Treinen in this one, bringing him in with one out in the eighth inning and seeing him allow four walks, two hits, and the winning run on 28 pitches. This was Treinen’s first bad outing of the season, but it is worth noting that he’s now had to throw 22 pitches or more in three of his six appearances.
- Oakland 1B/2B/SS Jurickson Profar went 0-for-3, lowering his triple slash to .106/.143/.170. Profar should get plenty of time to get himself right at the plate thanks to his defensive flexibility.
Minnesota Twins – 1
Philadelphia Phillies – 2
- RP David Robertson was used to start the eighth inning in this one for Philly, recording two outs and allowing a single before being removed. RP Hector Neris was given the save chance in a clean ninth inning, striking out two.
- OF Byron Buxton was back in the lineup for the Twins after missing the first two games of this series with a back issue. He went 0-for-3.
- Making his first start of the season today for the Phillies will be SP Vince Velasquez, who has only appeared once in relief so far this year.
Tampa Bay Rays – 3
San Francisco Giants – 0
- SP/RP Yonny Chirinos is quickly approaching must-own status in all formats after another gem yesterday. The opener was once again not required for Chirinos, who shutout the Giants for five innings and struck out five, allowing two hits and a walk. The Giants did put together two very loud fly ball outs against Chirinos on a day where the ball wasn’t traveling at all, but other than that Chirinos worked around his sinker not being at it’s best and instead used the splitter as his put away pitch, with the Giants failing to put it in play once on 19 offerings.
- The fact that the ball wasn’t flying didn’t deter the Rays’ two best hitters in the early going from having good days again, with 1B/3B Yandy Diaz leading off the game with a homer (his third of the year) and also walking and stealing a base, and OF Kevin Kiermaier going 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, and two runs scored, leaving this series with a .300 average on the season and a 1.020 OPS.
Chicago Cubs – 2
Milwaukee Brewers – 4
- The Cubs have been the NL version of the Red Sox, a high-payroll, high-expectation team that is getting nothing from its rotation. SP Kyle Hendricks was bad again yesterday, allowing nine baserunners and four runs in four innings to take the loss. Hendricks admitted after the game that his sinker hasn’t been moving well, which is a fair assessment and something he could iron out quickly. He’ll get another chance this weekend at home against the Angels.
San Diego Padres – 1
St. Louis Cardinals – 4
- RP Jordan Hicks worked the last out of the eighth and all of the ninth to get his first save of the year, striking out three. He was called on early with the Padres threatening to tie the game with SS/3B Manny Machado up.
- Cardinals OF Harrison Bader attempted his first two stolen bases of the season, going 1-for-2. He was 2-for-3 at the plate in the game with a single and a double, lifting his batting average to .269 and his OPS to .925
Seattle Mariners – 12
Chicago White Sox – 5
- Seattle SS Tim Beckham left this game with hamstring tightness after reaching base twice on walks and scoring both times.
- OF Mallex Smith stole two bases yesterday to give him four on the season, going 2-for-5 on the day with two runs scored as well.
Boston Red Sox – 1
Arizona Diamondbacks – 0
- RP Ryan Brasier is the new leader for saves in this Boston bullpen, having worked the ninth inning alone yesterday with primary saves competitor RP Matt Barnes working the seventh and eighth. Barnes and Braiser both remained perfect on the year in ERA, with Barnes striking out two and Brasier striking out one and allowing a double.
- This was an A+ performance in a losing effort by Arizona SP Merrill Kelly, who threw an absurd 70 of his 94 pitches for strikes over eight innings. He struck out nine Boston hitters and was burned only by a solo homer from 1B Mitch Moreland, otherwise only allowing three singles with no walks. For those who were hoping for some “returning to MLB” magic from Kelly like SP Miles Mikolas sported last year, this start was a good template on building that type of season.
Texas Rangers – 2
Los Angeles Angels – 7
- Angels SS Andrelton Simmons went 1-for-5 with a run scored and, more importantly, a stolen base, so clearly the back issue that impacted him earlier this week isn’t serious.
- OF Mike Trout is off and running on another season as the MVP favorite, hitting a homer in a fourth consecutive game yesterday and finishing with two RBI and three walks. OF Brian Goodwin has been the Angels’ second best hitter so far this year, going 2-for-3 yesterday with his first home of the year, as well as a walk and two runs scored. Goodwin has hits in all but one of his six starts this season, sporting a .400 batting average in 20 at-bats.
Los Angeles Dodgers – 12
Colorado Rockies – 6
- Colorado OF David Dahl left this game with an oblique injury, which really can’t be a positive development considering his injury history in that region.
- Dahl wasn’t the only regular to get hurt for Colorado yesterday, with SS Trevor Story leaving the game after being hit by a pitch on his right calf. The Rox are lined up for a seven-game week this week, so it is probably worth holding out on Story in your lineup even if he misses tonight’s game. Dahl is a different story, and we’d bench him this week unless we heard good news today.
- SP Julio Urias is likely to get one more start after this 3 2/3-inning outing in Colorado, as SP Clayton Kershaw is one more rehab start away from returning. Urias was good earlier this week, so it isn’t worth giving too much weight to this poor performance at a hitter’s park. Urias allowed three runs on four hits and four walks. He gets the Brewers at home on Friday.
Daily Fantasy Recommendations for Monday, April 8 (NOTE: We use DraftKings prices and format, which means two pitchers are required)
Note: This is for today’s Featured contest, which includes eight games starting at 7:05 pm.
- High-priced option: Buster Posey ($3,900)
- Low-priced option: Alex Jackson ($3,700)
- First Base
- High-priced option: Cody Bellinger ($4,900)
- Low-priced option: Dan Vogelbach ($4,200)
- Second Base
- High-priced option: Dee Gordon ($4,100)
- Low-priced option: Jedd Gyorko ($3,800)
- Third Base
- High-priced option: Josh Donaldson ($5,000)
- Low-priced option: Yuli Gurriel ($3,800)
- High-priced option: Dansby Swanson ($4,300)
- Low-priced option: Fernando Tatis Jr. ($3,900)
- Outfielder (three required)
- High-priced option 1: Charlie Blackmon ($5,200)
- High-priced option 2: Mitch Haniger ($4,600)
- High-priced option 3: Jay Bruce ($4,200)
- Low-priced option 1: Victor Robles ($4,000)
- Low-priced option 2: Marcell Ozuna ($4,000)
- Low-priced option 3: Michael Brantley ($3,900)
- Pitcher (two required)
- High-priced option 1: Justin Verlander ($10,400)
- High-priced option 2: Jhoulys Chacin ($8,100)
- Low-priced option 1: Marco Estrada ($7,300)
- Low-priced option 2: Anibal Sánchez ($6,500)
Today’s Best Bets
- Our favorite favorite: Tampa Bay Rays (-150) over CHICAGO WHITE SOX
- Our favorite underdog: Washington Nationals (+125) over PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
- Our over/under play: Atlanta Braves/COLORADO ROCKIES OVER 10.5 Runs
Yesterday: 2-1 (hit on favorite and over/under)
Note: Best Bets section is for entertainment purposes only.