Daily Intel – 4/15/2019

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News From Yesterday’s Slate

New York Mets – 3
Atlanta Braves – 7

  • We mentioned yesterday that 3B Josh Donaldson was hitting the ball hard and could be due for a hot streak soon; he homered again in this one and finished 2-for-3 with a single and two walks.
  • Braves RP Arodys Vizcaino was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder issues, a recurring problem that has prevented the Braves from truly committing to him as a full-stop closer. RP A.J. Minter should be the favorite for saves.

Tampa Bay Rays – 8
Toronto Blue Jays – 4

  • Jays SS Freddy Galvis hit his fifth homer of the season in this one, a solo shot that also came with an RBI single in five at-bats.
  • SS Lourdes Gurriel Jr. went 0-for-1 before leaving the game and was option to Triple-A after the game in favor of…not 3B Vlad Guerrero Jr. It was 2B Eric Sogard who got the call. Gurriel can be cut in all mixed leagues.
  • Rays 2B Brandon Lowe went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI; he’s playing every day now and should be owned in all formats.

Oakland A’s – 7
Texas Rangers – 8

  • OF Delino DeShields is making the most of his opportunities at the top of the order. He went 2-for-5 today with a double, two runs scored, and an RBI, but more important he stole two bases and now has five on the year. He may be available in 12-team mixed leagues but he should be 100 percent owned with his speed upside.
  • Teammate and number two hitter SS Elvis Andrus topped DeShields yesterday, coming up a double short of the cycle in four at-bats, adding in two RBI, two runs scored, his fourth steal of the year and a walk. He’s hitting an insane .414 with a 1.088 OPS.

Cleveland Indians – 8
Kansas City Royals – 9

  • SP Corey Kluber was hit really, really hard for the second time this season, allowing six runs in 2 2/23 innings on six hits and, more alarmingly, five walks. Most of his stuff was coming in below 90 mph, and Royals hitters generally weren’t fooled by his sequencing. He draws another tough matchup next over the weekend at home against Atlanta.
  • OF Terrence Gore stole his fourth base of the season, this one in a pinch-running spot. Listen, if you’re desperate for steals, do not overlook Gore. Yes, he’s only started two games, but he’s still managed to make seven appearances and has four steals so far, putting him on pace to steal 43 this year even if he just keeps this playing time pattern.

Houston Astros – 3
Seattle Mariners – 2

  • It’s getting harder to justify owning SP Marco Gonzales with his paltry strikeout numbers. Yesterday was his fifth start the year and he struck out three batters, making it all five starts where he’s K’d between three and five. That’s a span of 31 innings. To his credit, he has kept his ratios playable, with a 3.19 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP, and winning all four of those starts before yesterday helps too, but if you’re in a categories league, you’re really going to have to balance how you use Gonzales and how you can make up the gap in strikeouts that others are getting from their starters.
  • Astros C Max Stassi is not going to be a threat to C Robinson Chirinos’ playing time any time soon; he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts yesterday and is hitting .056/.105/.056 over his first 19 plate appearances.

Detroit Tigers – 4
Minnesota Twins – 6

  • RP Blake Parker was given the ninth inning with a 6-4 lead but couldn’t finish the job, walking two and allowing a single before giving way to RP Trevor Hildenberger with one out and the bases load. Hildenberger needed just seven pitches to strike out two Tigers hitters to lock down his first save of the year.
  • Twins 1B C.J. Cron got on the board for his first homer of the year, a three-run rocket that left his bat at 113.5 mph. Cron is hitting .222 with a .623 OPS in 38 plate appearances so far this year, but he’s prone to running very hot and cold. There will be a point this season where he hits 7-9 homers in a month.

St. Louis Cardinals – 9
Cincinnati Reds – 5

  • Another scary start for SP Miles Mikolas, who was solid through four innings and then allowed four runs (three earned) in his fifth and final inning to end up with a no decision. He was also relatively lucky early on, allowing the leadoff batter to reach in the first three innings. With a matchup against the Mets looming on Saturday, it may behoove his smaller mixed league owners to bench Mikolas this week.
  • Reds OF Yasiel Puig finally homered, a solo shot in the eighth inning of this one. He added a double in five at-bats and is now triple slashing .163/.200/.302 in 45 plate appearances. Puig’s high-30s hard-hit rate doesn’t give much hope for an imminent breakout, but everyone knows how much skill he has; he remains a high-risk, high-reward option if you’re in a league where trades are allowed.
  • Cardinals OF Marcell Ozuna is heating up; he hit two homers in this one, his fourth and fifth of the season; that’s five extra-base hits for Ozuna in his last 13 at-bats.

Los Angeles Angels
Chicago Cubs

  • This game was snowed out with a makeup date not announced. The Cubs will shift SP/RP Tyler Chatwood back to relief and will go with the rotation of SPs Yu Darvish, Jose Quintana, and Cole Hamels for their series in Miami.
  • OF Mike Trout is recovered enough from his groin issue to join the team in Texas in advance of their series opener tonight with the Rangers. He’s still day-to-day.

Pittsburgh Pirates – 4
Washington Nationals – 3

  • It was very interesting to see the Pirates ask RP Felipe Vazquez to give them two full innings of work to earn his first win of the season; he also worked 1 2/3 innings on April 10. In the entirety of 2018 the Pirates only gave Vazquez 1 2/3 innings or more five times. For a guy who did deal with a forearm/elbow discomfort scare in the middle of 2018, this seems like an odd plan, but it has worked so far. Vazquez kept his perfect ERA in tact yesterday, though he did allow five baserunners and had to work himself out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth.

Chicago White Sox – 5
New York Yankees – 2

  • The White Sox were willing to run all day on SP Masahiro Tanaka and backup C Kyle Higashioka, with four guys stealing five bases, including 1B Jose Abreu with a rare two steals in a game.
  • Tanaka had avoided home run troubles in his first two starts but has no allowed one in both of his last two. Yesterday’s was a back-breaking grand slam by White Sox SS Tim Anderson, leaving Tanaka with his worst line of the year – four innings, five runs, seven hits, three walks, and six strikeouts.

Baltimore Orioles – 0
Boston Red Sox – 4

  • OF Andrew Benintendi fouled a ball off his foot and left the game yesterday, and while there are no breaks, he is unlikely to play today in the Sox traditional 11:05 am Patriots’ Day game.
  • Orioles SP Alex Cobb will be back in the rotation this week after going through some throwing over the weekend without any pain.

Philadelphia Phillies – 3
Miami Marlins – 1       (14 Innings)

  • SS Jean Segura came to the Phils’ rescue in this one, going 2-for-5 with two walks and the game-winning two-run homer in the 14th. Segura is locked in right now, but unfortunately the lineup around him is so good that he’s not running. He still hasn’t attempt a steal this year; if you drafted him expecting 17-20 steals, be prepared to find those elsewhere.

Milwaukee Brewers – 1
Los Angeles Dodgers – 7

  • Dodgers OF Alex Verdugo is making his case to stay in the lineup with another big game yesterday, going 2-for-4 with a single, home run, and three RBI. Verdugo has played in all but one of the Dodgers first 17 games, but he’s only accumulated 35 plate appearances, putting him on pace for 334 this season. If you have room to stash him in shallow mixed leagues, go ahead, but it is going to take an injury for him to get starts every day. For the season, he’s hitting .343 with six extra-base hits (three homers) and nine RBI, but he hasn’t walked yet.
  • Brewers RP Jeremy Jeffress is likely to be activated before today’s series-opener against St. Louis. He should be owned in all leagues as you see how the closer situation in Milwaukee plays out with Jeffress back and RP Josh Hader pitching very well.

San Diego Padres – 4
Arizona Diamondbacks – 8

  • It’s probably fine to give up on SP Eric Lauer in shallower mixed leagues; Arizona isn’t a tough matchup for lineup or ballpark, and Lauer still couldn’t do better than five innings and five strikeouts, with eight hits and three runs allowed.
  • OF Manny Margot capped a very good week with a 2-for-4 day that included his fifth double and second homer of the year to go with two RBI and two runs scored. Margot has hits in eight of his last nine games, including a pinch-hit homer in the series opener in Arizona on Thursday.

Colorado Rockies – 4
San Francisco Giants – 0

  • The best start of the young MLB season goes to SP German Marquez for his brilliant complete game, one-hit shutout that saw him carry a perfect game in to the seventh and no-hitter in to the eighth. He struck out nine and did not walk a batter, yielding only a single to Giants 3B Evan Longoria. 
  • And to make things even better for a Rockies team that has been brutally bad, 3B Nolan Arenado hit his first homer of the season, a three-run shot. Arenado hit a homer on Opening Day last year and then went two-plus weeks without another, so this slow start should be of no concern.

Daily Fantasy Recommendations for Monday, April 15 (NOTE: We use DraftKings prices and format, which means two pitchers are required)

Note: This is for the nine-game Featured slate, which has nine games on it and starts at 7:05 p.m. Eastern.

  • Catcher
    • High-priced option: Willians Astudillo ($4,100)
    • Low-priced option: Welington Castillo ($3,500)
  • First Base
    • High-priced option: Yonder Alonso ($3,900)
    • Low-priced option: Mark Reynolds ($3,500)
  • Second Base
    • High-priced option: Mike Moustakas ($4,300)
    • Low-priced option: Tommy La Stella ($3,600)
  • Third Base
    • High-priced option: Kris Bryant ($4,100)
    • Low-priced option: Jeff McNeil ($3,900)
  • Shortstop
    • High-priced option: Tim Anderson ($4,500)
    • Low-priced option: JT Riddle OR Miguel Rojas (both $3,100)
  • Outfielder (three required)
    • High-priced option 1: Lorenzo Cain ($4,600)
    • High-priced option 2: Hunter Renfroe ($4,500)
    • High-priced option 3: Mike Trout ($5,600)
    • Low-priced option 1: Shin-Soo Choo ($4,200)
    • Low-priced option 2: Andrew McCutchen ($4,000)
    • Low-priced option 3: Yasiel Puig ($3,600)
  • Pitcher (two required)
    • High-priced option 1: Joey Lucchesi ($9,000)
    • High-priced option 2: Trevor Richards ($8,200)
    • Low-priced option 1: Trevor Cahill ($7,100)
    • Low-priced option 2: Ervin Santana ($5,300)

Today’s Best Bets

  • Our favorite favorite: MILWAUKEE BREWERS -135) over St. Louis Cardinals
  • Our favorite underdog: Cincinnati Reds (+150) over LOS ANGELES DODGERS
  • Our over/under play: New York Mets/PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES OVER 7.5 Runs

Yesterday: 0-3
Season: 25-24-1

Note: Best Bets section is for entertainment purposes only.

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