Daily Intel – 4/9/2019

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News From Yesterday’s Slate

Pittsburgh Pirates – 0
Chicago Cubs – 10

  • Both starting pitchers were hurt in this one, with Pirates SP Jameson Taillon leaving after allowing six unearned runs in two innings, the second of which included a line drive off the head from the bat of 1B Anthony Rizzo. Taillon was checked out and was supposed fine after the game, so he should be able to make his next start on Sunday against the Nationals to keep his two-start week.
  • Cubs SP Jon Lester doesn’t seem quite as fortunate as Taillon, as he injured his left hamstring seemingly while running the bases and couldn’t get out of the third inning. He’ll have an MRI today, but the buzz seems to be that he’ll miss at least one start.
  • 2B/OF Ben Zobrist and OF Jason Heyward both had good days at the plate in this one, with Zobrist going 1-for-2 with two walks, two RBI, and a run scored out of the leadoff spot, and Heyward walking twice and scoring twice in three plate appearances.
  • RP Brad Brach relieved Lester and had his first good appearance since a scoreless inning on Opening Day, striking out three in two innings of work and allowing just a single and a walk. Brach had walked six in his previous three appearances, but if he can get on track he could be a darkhorse for saves in the still-muddled Cubs bullpen.

Tampa Bay Rays – 5
Chicago White Sox – 1

  • Rays SS Willy Adames is slowly waking up from his early-season nightmare that saw him start off 1-for-27 at the plate. He went 3-for-7 over the weekend in San Francisco and picked up three more hits yesterday as well as a walk and two runs scored.
  • OF Tommy Pham hasn’t hit for any power yet so far this year, but he’s now reached base in 42 straight games dating back to last year and, more importantly, stole his fourth and fifth bases of the year yesterday as part of a 2-for-4 day. Pham has no extra-base hits but has a .400 OBP; when things start to click for him, he’s going to be a 30/30 threat.
  • White Sox OF Eloy Jimenez went 2-for-4 yesterday, his fourth multi-hit game of the young season.

Oakland A’s – 4
Baltimore Orioles – 12

  • 3B Rio Ruiz has been on the bench for two of the last three games for the O’s after starting the first seven. SS Hanser Alberto played third yesterday and went 1-for-5 with two RBI. Alberto has a hit in all six games that he’s received an at-bat in.
  • A’s DH Kendrys Morales is still without an extra-base hit this season after going 1-for-4 yesterday. He also only has one RBI in 34 plate appearances.
  • 2B Jonathan Villar and OF/1B Trey Mancini powered the Orioles offense again in this one; the both hit homer runs, with Villar adding a single and four RBI and Mancini adding two singles, two RBI, and two walks. Mancini’s problem has always been not hitting the ball in the air enough, but so far this season he’s cut his groundball rate from 54.6 percent last year to 41.4 percent, and raised his flyball rate from 26.5 to 44.8. His hard-hit rate is about the same as last year, though, hanging around the mid-30s.

New York Yankees – 3
Houston Astros – 4

  • Astros SP/RP Brad Peacock will shift to the bullpen for at least the next two weeks, as the Astros light schedule means they don’t need a fifth starter until two weeks from today against Minnesota.
  • Speaking of needing a fifth starter…the Yankees may be in that position more permanently after the news yesterday that SP Luis Severino was shut down from rehab after feeling discomfort and is headed back to New York for an MRI on his ailing shoulder. SP Gio Gonzalez looms in Triple-A, and SP CC Sabathia is due back this weekend, but the Yankees should still be considered a contender for free agent SP Dallas Keuchel. 
  • Yankees OF Clint Frazier started for the second straight day and produced again, going 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Los Angeles Dodgers – 3
St. Louis Cardinals – 4

  • Dodgers SP Hyun-Jin Ryu is going to be placed on the IL today after injuring his groin early in this one and leaving in the second inning. Ryu missed three months with a similar injury last season. SP Clayton Kershaw will make a rehab start at Double-A tonight, so the Dodgers could just plug Kershaw in this weekend if all goes well.
  • SP Miles Mikolas still isn’t producing the value most owners expected when he was drafted in the late SP2/early SP3 range, but he did pick up his first win yesterday with a bare-minimum quality start of six innings and three runs allowed. Mikolas tried to work inside to a lot of the LA hitters, and he ended up hitting three batters to go along with allowing five hits and a walk.

Seattle Mariners – 13
Kansas City Royals – 5

  • SS Tim Beckham sat out this one for the M’s after injuring his hamstring on Sunday, but the team said he was close to ready, so he should be in the lineup today.
  • It didn’t matter much, though, as the other seemingly dozen or so red hot Seattle hitters carried the load again, with 1B/OF Edwin Encarnacion homering twice, 1B/OF Jay Bruce hitting his sixth bomb of the year, and every other starter in the lineup recording at least one hit, with OF Domingo Santana leading the way with three (plus four RBI). 1B Dan Vogelbach is worth calling out, as well, as he went 1-for-2 with his fifth home run plus three walks, lifting his OPS to 2.170.

Atlanta Braves – 8
Colorado Rockies – 6

  • Braves OF Ronald Acuña Jr. went 2-for-3 with a homer, two RBI, three runs scored, and a walk, giving him his first multi-hit game of the season. He still has just three extra-base hits, all home runs.
  • RP A.J. Minter got the save for Atlanta, allowing a double to 1B/OF Ian Desmond but working around that to close out the win. He did not strikeout a batter, leaving him with one K in three appearances so far.

Washington Nationals – 3
Philadelphia Phillies – 4

  • Phillies SP Vince Velasquez posted a ho-hum first start of the season, only striking out two in five innings of work. He did limit damage to a two-run homer by Nationals C Kurt Suzuki and a double and two singles, but he was also only able to go 80 pitches. Velasquez had similar issues last year with depth in his starts, but he’s worth considering in all formats for his next start on Sunday at Miami.
  • The Nats activated OF Michael Taylor from the IL, and he’ll slot in to a fourth outfielder role. He did not play yesterday.
  • RP Pat Neshek worked the ninth in this one for Philly, allowing a solo home run to start the inning and a double that put the tying run in scoring position, but he was ultimately able to lock down his first save of the year. RP Seranthony Dominguez worked a clean sixth and RP David Robertson worked the eighth, allowing a single and striking out a batter.

Milwaukee Brewers – 2
Los Angeles Angels – 5

  • Angels 1B Justin Bour hit his first homer of the season in this one, a two-run shot that put some breathing room between the Angels and Brewers. He’s triple-slashing .125/.282/.250 to start the season.
  • SP Trevor Cahill recorded his second consecutive good start, going six innings (which he’s done in all three of his starts this year) and striking out eight, allowing five hits, a walk, and two earned runs. He generated a nine percent swinging strike rate on 90 pitches, a tick down after being closer to 12 percent in his first two starts.

San Diego Padres – 6
San Francisco Giants – 5

  • OF Hunter Renfroe started in right field again for the Padres, his third straight start after some inconsistent usage in the first week of the year. He went 0-for-4.
  • 2B Luis Urias started his first game of the year after being called up, leading off and going 0-for-5. 2B Ian Kinsler was on the bench.
  • SP Madison Bumgarner allowed five runs for the second straight start, and while they were all unearned in his last outing against the Dodgers, this time they were all earned, with the Padres tagging him for two homers. Bumgarner has faced exactly 25 batters and lasted between 92-95 pitches in all three of his starts; after striking out nine in the opener against the Padres, he’s recorded only four and three Ks in his last two outings, and his strikeout upside seems capped if he’s not going to get a chance to make it through three full lineup rotations.

Daily Fantasy Recommendations for Tuesday, April 9 (NOTE: We use DraftKings prices and format, which means two pitchers are required)

Note: This is for the Featured evening set, which includes 10 games starting at 7:05 pm Eastern.

  • Catcher
    • High-priced option: Nick Hundley ($3,900) OR Josh Phegley ($3,800)
      • We’d start whoever the A’s go with in this one.
    • Low-priced option: Buster Posey ($3,600)
      • Seems really low for a guy who has always handled lefties well.
  • First Base
    • High-priced option: Freddie Freeman ($5,100)
    • Low-priced option: Jesus Aguilar ($4,200)
  • Second Base
    • High-priced option: Chad Pinder ($4,200)
    • Low-priced option: Luis Urias ($3,200)
      • May not start. David Fletcher ($3,000) is a good pivot if that’s the case.
  • Third Base
    • High-priced option: Justin Turner ($4,200)
    • Low-priced option: Asdrubal Cabrera ($4,000)
  • Shortstop
    • High-priced option: Carlos Correa ($4,300)
    • Low-priced option: Paul DeJong ($3,900)
  • Outfielder (three required)
    • High-priced option 1: Christian Yelich ($5,300)
    • High-priced option 2: Ketel Marte ($4,200)
    • High-priced option 3: Mark Canha ($4,400)
    • Low-priced option 1: Brandon Nimmo ($3,900)
    • Low-priced option 2: Domingo Santana ($4,100)
    • Low-priced option 3: Hunter Renfroe ($4,100)
  • Pitcher (two required)
    • High-priced option 1: Ross Stripling ($9,100)
    • High-priced option 2: Jacob deGrom ($11,600)
    • Low-priced option 1: Max Fried ($6,400)
    • Low-priced option 2: Marco Gonzales ($7,600)

Today’s Best Bets

  • Our favorite favorite: Oakland A’s (-145) over BALTIMORE ORIOLES
  • Our favorite underdog: Atlanta Braves (+125) over COLORADO ROCKIES
  • Our over/under play: San Diego Padres/SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS over 7.5 runs

Yesterday: 2-1 (hit on favorite and over/under)
Season: 17-15-1

Note: Best Bets section is for entertainment purposes only.

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