Daily Intel – 4/14/2019

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News From Yesterday’s Slate

Detroit Tigers – 3
Minnesota Twins – 4

  • Minnesota SP Michael Pineda pounded the strike zone to earn his second win and a quality start, allowing three runs on eight hits and no walks over six innings. 73 of his 96 pitches were strikes and he picked up five Ks.
  • The Twins bullpen hierarchy was displayed pretty clearly in this one: RP Trevor Hildenberger started the seventh, RP Taylor Rogers started the eighth, and RP Blake Parker started the ninth and picked up his third save, striking out two and walking one.

St. Louis Cardinals – 2
Cincinnati Reds – 5

  • RP Raisel Iglesias is still making things a little interesting when he gets save chances; after striking out the side Wednesday for his first clean performance of the year, he came back in this one and allowed a hit and a walk to bring the tying run to the plate before closing out his second save of the year. Iglesias now has four walks in 6 2/3 innings, something his owners should keep an eye on.

Los Angeles Angels – 6
Chicago Cubs – 5

  • Cubs SP Kyle Hendricks didn’t get annihilated like he did in his first two starts, so that’s good, but he still wasn’t great in this game, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk over five innings and posting only two strikeouts. Hendricks is just allowing too much quality contact, with StatCast putting him in the same range so far this season as pitching luminaries like Andrew Cashner, Shelby Miller, Jason Vargas, and Matt Harvey. He gets another easy tap on Friday at home against Arizona, but if you’re in a shallow league we could see sitting him for a higher-upside option.
  • With OF Mike Trout still out in this one, OF Brian Goodwin remained the best secondary lineup option for the Angels, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored. He’s hitting .333/.385/.500 in 39 plate appearances so far.

Pittsburgh Pirates – 2
Washington Nationals – 3

  • A fantastic outing and an unfortunate no-decision for Pirates SP Chris Archer, who was able to limit the amount of damage the Nationals did to his four-seam fastball and work through his slider, which he threw 33 times for seven swinging and 10 called strikes. His efficiency got him through seven innings for just the fourth time in the last season-plus, a span of more than 30 starts. He struck out nine yesterday and allowed one run on four hits and two walks, lowering his ERA on the season to 2.00.
  • RP Sean Doolittle earned his first save of the year, which isn’t that big of a deal for his owners considering he already has three wins. He’s struck out eight in eight innings and allowed eight baserunners. For most owners, you were probably expecting 55-60 innings out of Doolittle, so this type of fast start where he’s out to a 100-inning pace is like found money.
  • Pirates OF Melky Cabrera just keeps on hitting the ball, going 3-for-4 in this one with a solo homer. He’s now at .432/.447/.595 in 38 plate appearances so far, making a lot of hard contact as well (46.7 percent of his balls in play coming out at 95 mph or faster).

Chicago White Sox – 0
New York Yankees – 4

  • SP CC Sabathia looked to be in prime midseason form after missing the start of the season with a heart issue, working five innings and 62 pitches of one-hit (a single) shutout ball, striking out three. He threw mostly cutters, with the velocity looking equal to last year, and with the success he had with that pitch last year it is definitely a good sign to see him using it effectively off the jump.
  • RP Domingo German worked in relief of Sabathia and was filthy, throwing 19 of his 25 pitches for strikes in two perfect innings, striking out four.
  • 1B Greg Bird went hitless again and is 1-for-his-last-13 with still just one extra base hit and one RBI, both coming on a solo homer on Opening Day.

Baltimore Orioles – 9
Boston Red Sox – 5

  • 1B Chris Davis snapped his embarrassing major-league record of 54 consecutive at bats without a hit with an impactful day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI. Davis hasn’t put many balls in play, but when he has, he’s hit it relatively hard. The Orioles are going to keep playing him, so there are worse flyers to take in AL-only leagues.
  • We’re kidding. Don’t put Davis on your team.
  • SP Rick Porcello is just getting hammered when he’s actually able to find the strike zone. After allowing 11 runs in his first two starts, Porcello allowed three in four innings here on six hits and five walks, striking out only two. If Porcello can’t win this outing against an awful lineup at home, you’re going to have to try really hard to justify putting him in the lineup next week for a one-start week at the Rays.
  • Red Sox 1B Steve Pearce played for the first time since April 6 and went 0-for-3.

New York Mets – 7
Atlanta Braves -11

  • Atlanta prospect SP/RP Touki Toussaint was called back up after losing the battle for a rotation spot in the spring; he’ll be in the bullpen for now, but he was absolutely terrific here relieving an ineffective SP Sean Newcomb, entering with one out in the second and going six full innings with one unearned run allowed on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
  • Braves C Brian McCann will return from the IL on Wednesday, so his owners in deep two-catchers leagues should be ready to put him in their weekly lineups tomorrow.
  • OF Nick Markakis and 3B Josh Donaldson both hit their first homers in this game and were two of six Atlanta starters with two hits. Donaldson’s .200 batting average and .767 OPS isn’t pretty, but he’s getting on base and he owns the 10th highest hard-hit rate in the majors according to FanGraphs at 56.8 percent. He’s likely to go on a hot streak soon.

Tampa Bay Rays – 1
Toronto Blue Jays – 3

  • SP Clay Buchholz only struck out two in his season debut, but he kept the Rays off balance for six innings and ended allowing just one run on six hits and no walks. He needed only 69 pitches (45 strikes) to get through this outing, and he is a good deep mixed league option for his next start at Minnesota on Thursday.
  • Rays OF Kevin Kiermaier stole his third base after his only hit on the day, a single in four at-bats.
  • SP Blake Snell carried a no-hitter in to the sixth inning and left in line for a win after six innings of one-hit, one-walk, shutout ball, but RP Chaz Roe blew it in the seventh. Snell struck out nine and was efficient in throwing 52 of his 82 pitches for strikes, an eye-popping 20 of those being of the swinging variety.

Oakland A’s
Texas Rangers 

  • This game was postponed due to rain and will be made up as a doubleheader on June 8. SP Marco Estrada will now be bumped out of his start and won’t go again until April 20, with SP Brett Anderson starting today on schedule for the A’s.
  • The Rangers announced before the game that 2B Rougned Odor will head to the IL with a right knee sprain. He’ll likely miss 2-3 weeks.

Cleveland Indians – 0
Kansas City Royals – 3

  • An intriguing pitching outcome here for Kansas City, who received seven shutout innings of SP Homer Bailey’s best stuff in a while (he did go eight innings last July). He struck out six and allowed only two walks, a double, and a single. Bailey is using his splitter and curveball way more than in previous seasons, with the splitter at 25.6 percent usage and the curve at 15.2 percent, both career highs. His fastball hasn’t been awful, but the less he can use it, the better, and he bears watching for potential matchup/two-start week usage. He draws the Yankees and Rays on the road in his next two starts, though, so watch from afar for now.
  • Indians 3B Jose Ramirez continues to struggle, going 0-for-4 in this one. He’s hitting 41 percent of his balls hard and has a 49 percent fly ball rate, so the power should come around soon.

Philadelphia Phillies – 3
Miami Marlins – 10

  • Miami 1B/2B Neil Walker hit his third home run of the season here; they’ve all been solo shots, and he’s only hitting .190, but he’s fifth in the majors in hard-hit rate at 57.6 percent, according to FanGraphs. He’s a decent speculative add in very deep mixed leagues if you’re looking for regular playing time and potential power.
  • Marlins SP Caleb Smith struck out at least six for his third straight start, shutting out the Phillies for six innings on one hit and three walks. Smith is limiting quality contact for the most part, having allowed just two homers in 17 innings. He’s definitely worth starting in all formats next week at home against Washington.

Houston Astros – 3
Seattle Mariners – 1

  • SS/3B Alex Bregman was back in the lineup for the first time since leaving Tuesday’s game with a right hamstring issue. He hit third and went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • SP Justin Verlander had his best start of the season, striking out 11 over six shutout innings and allowing only a single and a solo homer to Mariners OF Mitch Haniger. 

Milwaukee Brewers – 4
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1

  • SP Zach Davies pushed his ERA down to 1.53 with seven brilliant innings in this win, striking out six and allowing just seven singles and a solo homer to the NL’s leader in homers, 1B Cody Bellinger. Davies is using his changeup at a career-high rate and the pitch has been very effective, drawing eight swinging strikes on 31 offerings last night.
  • OF Ryan Braun’s slump continued as he went 1-for-5 with a strikeouts. He’s 2-for-21 over the last week with six strikeouts in that span. He’s also only walked once for the season in 54 plate appearances.

San Diego Padres – 5
Arizona Diamondbacks – 4

  • Padres SP Matt Strahm could only make it to the high 80 in pitches and five innings in distance for the second straight start, though he did double his season strikeout total by K’ing four Arizona hitters and allowing no runs on four hits. At this point, if you’re holding Strahm in a 12-team mixed league, we’d move on.
  • Arizona 1B Christian Walker has cooled off considerably after his hot start. He went 0-for-4 yesterday with three strikeouts and is 2-for-28 over his last eight starts dating back to April 3.

Colorado Rockies – 2
San Francisco Giants – 5

  • The Rockies have now started OF Yonathan Daza is consecutive games and three times this week. He’s 0-for-11 with four strikeouts. Daza is 25 and has played eight full minor league seasons, but he did hit .306 with just 24 strikeouts in 226 plate appearances at Double-A last year. Still, he’s compiled a whopping 19 homers in 2,255 career minor league at-bats.
  • Rockies SP Kyle Freeland allowed three runs on nine hits and a walk over five innings before leaving with a blister on his finger. He’s been generally fine outside of his blowup start at home this past Monday against the Braves, but he’s not going deep in to games and this blister isn’t going to help that cause.

Daily Fantasy Recommendations for Sunday, April 14 (NOTE: We use DraftKings prices and format, which means two pitchers are required)

Note: This is for Sunday’s featured set, which includes eight games starting at 1:05 pm Eastern.

  • Catcher
    • High-priced option: J.T. Realmuto ($4,100)
    • Low-priced option: Christian Vazquez ($3,600)
  • First Base
    • High-priced option: Luke Voit ($4,300)
    • Low-priced option: Jake Bauers ($3,600)
  • Second Base
    • High-priced option: Gleyber Torres ($4,300)
    • Low-priced option: DJ LeMahieu ($3,900)
  • Third Base
    • High-priced option: Jose Ramirez ($4,100)
    • Low-priced option: Miguel Rojas ($3,100)
  • Shortstop
    • High-priced option: Javier Baez ($4,600)
    • Low-priced option: Jean Segura ($4,100)
  • Outfielder (three required)
    • High-priced option 1: Aaron Judge ($4,900)
    • High-priced option 2: Nelson Cruz ($4,600)
    • High-priced option 3: Jason Heyward ($4,300)
    • Low-priced option 1: Adam Eaton ($3,900)
    • Low-priced option 2: Avisail Garcia ($3,800)
    • Low-priced option 3: Kole Calhoun ($3,600)
  • Pitcher (two required)
    • High-priced option 1: Jose Berrios ($9,900)
    • High-priced option 2: Masahiro Tanaka ($9,300)
    • Low-priced option 1: Jameson Taillon ($8,300)
    • Low-priced option 2: Jake Junis ($7,300)

Today’s Best Bets

  • Our favorite favorite: New York Mets (-150) over ATLANTA BRAVES
  • Our favorite underdog: Milwaukee Brewers (+130) over LOS ANGELES DODGERS
  • Our over/under play: Philadelphia Phillies/MIAMI MARLINS OVER 8.5 Runs

Yesterday: 1-1 (hit on underdog, over/under game was postponed)
Season: 25-21-1

Note: Best Bets section is for entertainment purposes only.

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