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News From Yesterday’s Slate
New York Mets – 2
Philadelphia Phillies – 3
- SP Jake Arrieta certainly isn’t pitching this well with the formula that made him an ace in Chicago, but for fantasy owners that doesn’t mean much when he had his fourth straight quality start yesterday to open the season, going eight innings and allowing only two runs on eight baserunners. Arrieta has definitely allowed some loud contact and is one of the luckier starters in the majors so far, with 18 strikeouts and 12 walks in 28 innings.
- Mets SP Jason Vargas will start tomorrow in the series opener against St. Louis, with ace SP Jacob deGrom pushed back a day to Saturday due to strep throat.
- And the Phillies also made a rotation move, albeit a much more dramatic one, demoting SP Nick Pivetta to Triple-A and inserting in to the rotation SP Jerad Eickhoff. Pivetta has to be cut in 12-team mixed leagues and anything shallower, unless you have the ability to stash a starter for a month with a 10-15 percent chance of a strong payoff. That’s where Pivetta’s at right now.
Toronto Blue Jays – 1
Minnesota Twins – 4
- 2B/3B Eric Sogard has led off in back-to-back games for Toronto after being called up this past weekend for the slumping 2B/SS Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Sogard has gone 4-or-8 in those two games with a double, two runs scored, a walk, and a stolen base.
- Twins bullpen still looks pretty rigid right now with RP Blake Parker in the closer role; he got the ninth yesterday with RP Taylor Rogers working the eighth. Both guys struck out two batters in their respective scoreless innings.
Arizona Diamondbacks – 3
Atlanta Braves – 2 (10 Innings)
- The season is over for Braves RP Arodys Vizcaino, who underwent major shoulder surgery yesterday. We mentioned yesterday that we can’t see RP A.J. Minter being given this job outright with his inconsistent history, so keep an eye on RP Luke Jackson as a sleeper and, of course, free agent RP Craig Kimbrel.
- Braves SP Kevin Gausman was cruising last night toward a potential second win on the season, but a double in the seventh innings forced him to leave with the game tied and his first no decision on the year. It was still an impressive outing for Gausman with 10 strikeouts in seven innings and just the two earned runs on three hits and a walk. He’s at a 22/6 K/BB ratio over 19 innings in his first three starts and is lined up for two starts next week at Cincy and home for the Rockies.
Chicago Cubs – 6
Miami Marlins – 0
- There were some defensive issues that made this line for Marlins SP Sandy Alcantara look worse, but last night marked a second straight start with at least five runs allowed, pushing his ERA up to 5.09. He worked six innings and struck out seven, allowing seven hits and a walk. Alcantara has had a lot of bad luck early on relative to the type of contact he’s allowed and his K/BB ratio, so we wouldn’t give up on him yet in deeper mixed leagues. At 4-15, though, the Marlins aren’t going to be winning many games for anyone, so if wins are a factor in your scoring, you may need to move on from Alcantara.
Houston Astros – 1
Oakland A’s – 2
- A’s SP Marco Estrada was placed on the IL yesterday with a back issue, just one day after getting hit hard for a second straight outing. SP/RP Chris Bassitt was called up and should be in the rotation moving forward; he’s a non-factor in all formats except AL-only.
- Astros OF Josh Reddick has made four starts in the team’s last five games and hitting well, going 6-for-18 in that span with two extra base hits and a steal.
Baltimore Orioles – 1
Tampa Bay Rays – 8
- Tampa Bay 1B Ji-Man Choi has been hitting the ball well in the early going, but had not produced the power the team saw late last year. He took a step toward righting that last night with his first homer of the year, part of a perfect 2-for-2 night that saw him walk in both of his other plate appearances, scoring three times. Choi is hitting .293 with an .804 OPS and should continue to get regular playing time against righties.
- Rays RP Ryne Stanek was the opener for the fourth time this year, and he has absolutely dominated in that role. He has retired 18 of the 20 batters he’s faced, with 11 strikeouts. He’s already worked 9 1/3 innings this season and could be one of the five or so most valuable non-closing relievers in fantasy this year. He’ll likely end up in the 80-85 IP range and should strikeout more than 100.
Boston Red Sox – 3
New York Yankees – 5
- We may be seeing the end of the road for Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia, who left yesterday’s game with left knee discomfort. Pedroia has missed so much time with this issue that it seems impossible for him to get back to being a regular if he’s already injured after just a few games of strenuous activity.
- Meanwhile, OF Mookie Betts went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and is 3-for-32 in his last nine games with one extra-base hit and three RBIs.
St. Louis Cardinals – 6
Milwaukee Brewers – 3
- Cards SS Paul DeJong has earned every bit of his .342/.407/.630 triple-slash, which bumped up a bit yesterday with a four-single day that included a run and an RBI in five at-bats. DeJong ranks in the top 15 percent in the majors in expected weighted on-base, a valuable single number from StatCast that, according to the source itself, tells “the story of a player’s season based on quality of and amount of contact, not outcomes.” We were skeptical of DeJong, admittedly, but he’s done a good job translating his previously-shown power in to a more well-rounded approach that is driving his fantasy value upward, to the point where he could easily be top 10 at shortstop.
- You can go ahead and dump Brewers SP/RP Corbin Burnes after a fourth-straight dud start yesterday where the Cardinals tagged him for five runs on nine hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings. He’s leaving so many pitches in the top half of the strike zone that hitters are crushing, which is the simplest explanation for his 11 home runs allowed. If the Brewers let Burnes stay in the rotation, his current pace of homers in 17 2/3 innings would leave him with 94 bombs allowed on the season in 145 2/3 innings. But hey, it’d come with 205 strikeouts! After the game, Burnes seemed resigned to his fastball command being a problem that he’s just not going to magically fix in one start.
Pittsburgh Pirates – 3
Detroit Tigers – 2 (10 Innings)
- Tigers SP Spencer Turnbull should be on some radars for mixed-league owners looking for strikeouts. He had five yesterday in six innings and now has 24 on the year in 21 innings of his four starts. He’s not incredibly risky on the command side, either, with a 1.29 WHIP that should playable as a streaming option.
Kansas City Royals – 4
Chicago White Sox – 3 (10 Innings)
- Really unfortunate outcome for White Sox SP Lucas Giolito yesterday, as he struck out five of the first 10 batters he faced, allowing only a walk, before having to leave the game with tightness in his left hamstring. He was scheduled for another easy matchup next at Baltimore, but hamstring issues with pitchers usually require at least one missed start.
- The Royals used RP Shane Barlow in the 10th inning with a one-run lead yesterday after RP Wily Peralta did a good job over two innings, allowing an inherited runner to tie the game but otherwise delivering two scoreless innings with three baserunners allowed and a strikeout. Barlow has been good so far and is an under-the-radar saves option with 10 strikeouts and four walks in eight inning.
- Some dangerous swing-and-miss trends continuing in SS Adalberto Mondesi’s game. He had a seven-game hitting streak snapped on Tuesday and went hitless yesterday; in his last 10 games, he’s struck out 13 times in 41 at-bats.
Cleveland Indians – 1
Seattle Mariners – 0
- SS Francisco Lindor looks like a 50/50 shot to make his season debut this weekend with the news that he’ll rejoin the team tomorrow for a final evaluation on his calf and ankle.
- Mariners SP Erik Swanson was good in his first major league start, going six innings and allowing just a single and solo homer to Cleveland 1B/OF Jake Bauers and no other hits or walks to the other eight hitters in the Cleveland lineup. He struck out five. Swanson, who came over from the Yankees in the SP James Paxton deal, struck out 139 and walked only 29 in 121 2/3 innings between three minor-league levels last year, so he has a chance to stick with SP Wade LeBlanc out at least a month.
Los Angeles Angels– 4
Texas Rangers – 5
- We continue to like what we see from Rangers SP Lance Lynn, who won last night for the second time this year with 5 2/3 innings of work, allowing two runs on seven hits and three walks. He came up one out short of a third-straight quality start, but since his seven-run dud against the Cubs on March 31, Lynn has thrown 18 2/3 innings and allowed only five runs and 22 baserunners.
San Francisco Giants – 6
Washington Nationals – 9
- Nationals 2B/OF Howie Kendrick got the start at second base for slumping 2B Brian Dozier and had a good night, going 2-for-3 with a solo homer, a walk, and two runs scored.
- Giants OF Steven Duggar went 2-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs for the second consecutive game. He also struck out at least once for the ninth straight game and has 25 Ks in his first 79 plate appearances this season with just two walks to balance it.
Cincinnati Reds – 2
Los Angeles Dodgers – 3
- Reds SP Sonny Gray has figured something out, with another great start yesterday making it three straight solid outings after his poor debut against Pittsburgh on March 31. He left his last outing after four scoreless and six Ks because he got hit on the left calf by a line drive, but he stayed on schedule and returned in this game to strikeout nine over six innings, allowing three runs on two hits and two walks. He was dominating until essentially his last batter, when OF A.J. Pollock hit a three-run homer with two outs in the sixth.
- Pollock’s homer was his first since March 29 and his only hit in three at-bats. After picking up 12 hits in his first nine games with just three strikeouts, Pollock has seven hits in his last nine with 10 Ks in that span.
- Dodgers SP Rich Hill struck out eight batters in four innings in his rehab start at High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
Daily Fantasy Recommendations for Thursday, April 18 (NOTE: We use DraftKings prices and format, which means two pitchers are required)
Note: This is for the non-featured All Day slate, which has 10 games starting at 12:10 p.m.
- High-priced option: Brian McCann ($4,000)
- Tyler Flowers ($3,600) is a fine pivot if he starts over McCann.
- Low-priced option: Yan Gomes ($3,600)
- High-priced option: Brian McCann ($4,000)
- First Base
- High-priced option: Niko Goodrum ($4,000)
- Low-priced option: Ji-Man Choi ($3,700)
- Second Base
- High-priced option: Brandon Lowe ($4,400)
- Low-priced option: Garrett Hampson ($3,900)
- Third Base
- High-priced option: Scott Kingery ($4,000)
- Low-priced option: Jeimer Candelario ($3,300)
- High-priced option: Gleyber Torres ($4,800)
- Low-priced option: Andrelton Simmons ($3,600)
- Outfielder (three required)
- High-priced option 1: Andrew McCutchen ($5,400)
- High-priced option 2: Joc Pederson ($5,200)
- High-priced option 3: Austin Meadows ($5,000)
- Low-priced option 1: Alex Verdugo ($4,500)
- Low-priced option 2: Eloy Jimenez ($3,800)
- Low-priced option 3: Leury Garcia ($4,200)
- Pitcher (two required)
- High-priced option 1: Chris Paddack ($9,100)
- High-priced option 2: Domingo German ($8,600)
- Low-priced option 1: Tanner Roark ($7,200)
- Low-priced option 2: Clay Buchholz ($6,000)
Today’s Best Bets
- Our favorite favorite: SAN DIEGO PADRES (-135) over Cincinnati Reds
- Our favorite underdog: Toronto Blue Jays (+155) over MINNESOTA TWINS
- Our over/under play: Philadelphia Phillies/COLORADO ROCKIES OVER 10.5 Runs
Note: Best Bets section is for entertainment purposes only.