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News From Yesterday’s Slate
Los Angeles Angels – 1
Chicago Cubs – 5
- Cubs C Willson Contreras is halfway to his 2018 season home run total after yesterday, going 3-for-4 with two solo homers to lift the Cubs. He now has five homers on the year after hitting 10 in 527 plate appearances last year. Contreras has put the ball in play in 20 of his 33 at-bats this year, and 10 of those balls have been hit 95+ mph or harder, so there are signs of this being the power breakout people expected last year after he slugged .499 and hit 21 homers in 2017.
Pittsburgh Pirates – 6
Washington Nationals – 3
- Washington’s bullpen blew a gem from SP Patrick Corbin, who struck out 11 in seven innings and allowed just a solo homer, a walk, and three singles over seven innings. Corbin is picking up right where he left off last year, posting a 24/4 K/BB ratio over his first 19 innings. The only blemish over is first three starts is the four solo homers he’s allowed.
Chicago White Sox – 9
New York Yankees – 6 (7 Innings)
- Rain shortened this one, but the Yankees blew a 4-1 lead after SP J.A. Happ was hit hard in the fourth and start of the fifth inning, allowing six earned runs on nine and and two walks over 88 pitches. He was pulled with no outs in the fifth after allowing a two-run homer to 1B Yonder Alonso, and his ERA now sits at 8.76 on the year. Happ will get a good shot to get right next Friday at home against the Royals.
- Yankees RP Dellin Betances will be out until at least the end of May after he receives a cortisone shot in his right shoulder today.
- Chicago OF Eloy Jimenez hit the first two homers of his major league career in this one, also posting a single in four at-bats to go with three RBI. He’s hitting .319 with a .828 OPS.
- Before the game, the Yankees put C Gary Sanchez on the IL with a slight calf strain. He should be ready to go after the 10-day minimum.
Baltimore Orioles – 4
Boston Red Sox – 6
- The youngest of the Red Sox rotation stalwarts, SP Eduardo Rodriguez, earned that rotation’s first really good start of the year in this one, striking out eight over 6 2/3 innings. Rodriguez was rolling in to the seventh inning, having only allowed one hit, but a two-out, two-run homer by Orioles OF Dwight Smith Jr. ended his night with three hits and two runs allowed. He did not walk a batter.
- RP Ryan Brasier is, without a doubt, the arm to own in this bullpen. RP Matt Barnes came in for Rodriguez yesterday in the seventh and Brasier was asked to close out the ninth after RP Trent Thornburg turned a 6-2 game in to a 6-4 game. Brasier needed only eight pitches to get two outs and earn his third save.
Philadelphia Phillies – 9
Miami Marlins – 1
- OF Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-4 with a walk, his third homer of the year, three RBI and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot. He’s got 12 runs scored now and looks on track for a 100+-run season in a lineup that is very deep and very good. He’s also stinging the ball, ranking in the top 5 percent in the league in hard-hit batted ball percentage.
- SP Jake Arrieta was sharp, allowing only one run on five hits and a walk over seven innings, striking out eight. We’re still 50/50 on starting him in shallow leagues next week, though, as he only gets one start at home against a Mets team that is hitting the ball well. Arrieta did pitch much better at home last season, though, so we’d probably roll the dice in 10-team mixed leagues and anything deeper.
New York Mets – 6
Atlanta Braves – 2
- Two struggling Mets carried the load in this one, with SP Zack Wheeler hitting 100.6 mph at one point during his six-inning start that included eight strikeouts. Atlanta 3B Josh Donaldson actually hit that 100.6 mph fastball for a single, one of six hits Wheeler allowed on the day. He also allowed three walks (better than the seven he allowed last time out!) and two runs. 10 first-pitch strikes to 27 batters and 69 strikes on 111 pitches are two splashes of cold water to throw on this start, but it’s still a small step toward normalcy for a pitcher who was drafted in the top 100 of every league.
- OF Brandon Nimmo was the other struggling hero in the Mets’ win, getting dropped out of the leadoff spot to eighth and responding with a 3-for-4 day that included a homer, a double, two RBI, and two runs scored. For as bad as his .205 batting average looks, he’s still sporting a well above average .340 OBP and a solid .409 slugging percentage.
Tampa Bay Rays – 11
Toronto Blue Jays – 7
- The trade of SP Chris Archer to Pittsburgh may already be a win in the Rays’ column after the first two weeks of the season; we spotlighted SP Tyler Glasnow in Thursday’s Intel and how he’s building the 2018 Blake Snell case, and now OF Austin Meadows, who came to Tampa Bay with Glasnow, is starting to live up to his years-long prospect hype he held with the Bucs. Meadows led off this one with a long homer, and in his next at-bat he hit a bomb to the third deck of the Rogers Centre. He finished this game 3-for-5 with a walk and is now hitting .367 with six homers and 15 RBI on the season.
- Tampa Bay’s young double-play duo of 2B Brandon Lowe and SS Willy Adames are also heating up fast. Lowe went 2-for-5 with two homers and four RBI, including a third-deck bomb of his own, pushing his triple slash to .289/.340/.622, while Adames hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to go along with a single and a walk. After entering last weekend with a batting average below .050, he’s now at .245/.315/.347.
Oakland A’s – 8
Texas Rangers – 6
- The box score in this game is amazing on the Oakland side. Four hitters had the exact same line of 2-for-4 with one run, one RBI, and one strikeout: UT Khris Davis (who homered again, his 10th), OF Stephen Piscotty, 2B/SS Jurickson Profar, and C Josh Phegley. OF Roman Laureano also went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI (and solo homer) but did not strike out.
Cleveland Indians – 1
Kansas City Royals – 8
- Indians SP Carlos Carrasco didn’t make it through three outs last night, getting slammed for three singles, a double, a triple, and a homer, tacking on a walk before leaving with two outs in the first inning. Carrasco is among the worst 10 percent in the league right now in terms of quality of contact rate allowed. His velocity is slightly down, though not alarmingly so considering the early stage of the season we’re in. Still, this is a bad, bad Kansas City lineup that smoked him, so he’s now become a guy you have to monitor start to start. He gets a test in the next outing in the middle of next week at the Mariners.
- After losing his 31-game hitting streak on Thursday, 2B/OF Whit Merrifield came right back and had a big night in the KC win, going 3-for-5 with a double, two runs scored, and his fifth stolen base of the year.
- KC SP Brad Keller is approaching must-start status with his ability to go deep in to games, throwing 118 pitches last night after throwing 109, 101, and 92 in his first three starts. In a league where volume innings are scarce from starters, there’s value in Keller’s ability here, even though his control has been shaky. He won last night with 6 2/3 innings of one-run work, allowing three hits and five walks but striking out ten. He has a 23/13 K/BB ratio in 25 2/3 innings.
Houston Astros – 10
Seattle Mariners – 6
- Hopefully you did not bench RP Brad Peacock after the news earlier this week of him shifting back to the bullpen for a couple of weeks while the Astros only need four starters. He came in yesterday after four innings from SP Wade Miley and totally dominated, throwing 30 of his 45 pitches for strikes and recording seven Ks in 3 1/3 innings. He allowed one earned run on a hit and a walk.
- 1B/3B Yuli Gurriel hit his first homer of the year to go along with his six doubles. He drove in four and also scored a run, tacking on a single in five at-bats. He’s hitting .306/.352/.531 so far.
- Mariners SP Wade LeBlanc left this game with a strained right oblique suffered after throwing a pitch in the fifth inning. This could be the opening top prospect SP Justus Sheffield needed to move in to the rotation.
Milwaukee Brewers – 8
Los Angeles Dodgers – 5
- Dodgers top prospect SP Dennis Santana will start tonight’s game. It may be a short outing, as the team did consider a bullpen game rather than using Santana, but he’s an intriguing streaming option after striking out 65 batters in 49 2/3 minor league innings last year between Double-A and Triple-A.
- Rough nights for two popular young starters; Dodgers SP Julio Urias allowed five runs on six hits and a walk over five innings, striking out four; Brewers SP Corbin Burnes allowed his fourth, fifth, and sixth homers over 4 1/3 innings, leaving with nine hits and two walks allowed that led to five runs. He only struck out three. His ERA now sits at 10.05 and it is going to be hard to use him in mixed leagues next week at home against the Cardinals.
San Diego Padres – 2
Arizona Diamondbacks – 1
- Arizona SP Luke Weaver is picking up some value as a potential shallow mixed league option. After a rough opener where he allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings, he pitched better in his second outing last week against Boston and was really good in this one, allowing two earned runs over 6 1/3 innings on five hits and no walks, striking out eight. Weaver will get a test in a tough ballpark on Thursday against the Braves, but we’d use him in deeper mixed leagues. He’ll get a two-start week after that with a road start at Pittsburgh and a home start against the Cubs.
Colorado Rockies – 2
San Francisco Giants – 3 (18 Innings)
- Yes, 18 innings. The most damaging line in this one goes to Rockies C Chris Iannetta, who entered the game as a replacement for C Tony Wolters and proceeded to for 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. OF Charlie Blackmon went 1-for-8 with two Ks, lowering his triple slash to .232/.290/.321.
- Giants RP Mark Melancon is quietly building up his value, throwing two shutout innings last night to keep his ERA perfect on the year. He allowed three singles and a walk, but did strikeout three.
Minnesota Twins – POSTPONED
- This game was cancelled early due to expected wintry mix, and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on May 11.
Daily Fantasy Recommendations for Saturday, April 13 (NOTE: We use DraftKings prices and format, which means two pitchers are required)
Note: There are two seven-game featured slates today, one at 1:05 pm and one at 7:10 pm. But we’re going to focus on the non-featured All Day slate, which has 15 games starting at 1:05 pm.
- High-priced option: Willson Contreras ($4,200)
- Low-priced option: Kevin Plawecki ($3,500)
- First Base
- High-priced option: Matt Carpenter ($4,400)
- Low-priced option: Jesus Aguilar ($3,700)
- Second Base
- High-priced option: Ketel Marte ($4,100)
- Low-priced option: Brad Miller ($3,900)
- Third Base
- High-priced option: Nolan Arenado ($4,300)
- Low-priced option: Colin Moran ($3,200)
- Daniel Robertson ($3,300) is a pivot if Moran is out.
- High-priced option: Tim Anderson ($4,700)
- Low-priced option: Nick Ahmed ($3,800)
- Outfielder (three required)
- High-priced option 1: Shin-Soo Choo ($4,200)
- High-priced option 2: Austin Meadows ($4,700)
- High-priced option 3: Jason Heyward ($4,400)
- Low-priced option 1: Leonys Martin ($4,100)
- Low-priced option 2: Robbie Grossman ($4,100)
- Low-priced option 3: Jesse Winker ($3,900)
- Pitcher (two required)
- High-priced option 1: Blake Snell ($10,700)
- High-priced option 2: Merrill Kelly ($8,500)
- Low-priced option 1: Kyle Hendricks ($7,400)
- Low-priced option 2: Anibal Sanchez ($6,500)
Today’s Best Bets
- Our favorite favorite: CHICAGO CUBS (-175) over Los Angeles Angels
- Our favorite underdog: MIAMI MARLINS (+145) over Philadelphia Phillies
- Our over/under play: Oakland A’s/TEXAS RANGERS OVER 11 Runs
Yesterday: 2-1 (hit on favorite and underdog picks)
Note: Best Bets section is for entertainment purposes only.