Daily Intel – 4/21/2019

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News From Yesterday’s Slate

Arizona Diamondbacks – 6
Chicago Cubs – 0

  • Another real up-and-down day for Cubs SP Yu Darvish, who somehow allowed two homers despite winds blowing in at close to 20 mph and, even worse, one of those homers coming on an 0-2 count. He settled down slightly and eventually retired 12 of the last 14 batters he faced, but he finished the day with only five innings of work and three runs allowed on eight baserunners, striking out seven.
  • Arizona 1B Christian Walker did not hit a home run, but he did reach base in all five of his plate appearances to continue his torrid start to the season. He had a double, a walk, and three singles, scoring once, and his triple slash now sits at .353/.421/.706 in 76 plate appearances.

Kansas City Royals – 2
New York Yankees – 9

  • Yankees OF Aaron Judge homered in his first at-bat and singled later, but he left late in the game with an oblique issue that will land him on the injured list today. The Yankees are now down all three of their projected starting outfielders with Judge, OF Giancarlo Stanton, and OF Aaron Hicks already on the IL.
  • The positive side of this? More playing time for OF Clint Frazier in a prominent lineup spot, which he’s earned with another huge day yesterday that included a single, double, and homer, his fifth of the year to go with 14 RBI and a .351 batting average.
  • Yankees C Gary Sanchez is on track to return in the middle of this coming week, perhaps as early as Wednesday.

Philadelphia Phillies – 8
Colorado Rockies – 5

  • 2B/SS Scott Kingery and SS Jean Segura both landed on the IL yesterday with right and left hamstring strains, respectively. Both injuries don’t seem serious, but Kingery will likely miss a couple of weeks, and Segura’s trip was retroactive to April 16, so he could be back as early as Friday. The Phillies just needed healthy bodies in the infield.
  • The Phillies used RP Hector Neris for a multi-inning save, with Neris working 1 2/3 perfect innings and striking out two to lock down his third save in the last two weeks.
  • OF Andrew McCutchen did not miss this game after leaving Friday’s contest early. He homered and singled in five at-bats, scoring twice.

Game 1
Minnesota Twins – 6
Baltimore Orioles – 5

Game 2
Minnesota Twins – 16
Baltimore Orioles – 7

  • Twins RP Taylor Rogers is emerging as one of the breakout middle relievers of the early part of the season, working a two-inning save in game one of this doubleheader yesterday, striking out five. Rogers has a 14/2 K/BB ratio over 10 2/3 innings and is on pace to throw 95 2/3 innings this season.
  • Twins OF Eddie Rosario was the star of Minnesota’s offensive explosion in these two games, going 5-for-9 with three homers, four RBI, and four runs scored.
  • Meanwhile, Orioles SP Alex Cobb returned to the rotation for his first start since April 4 and conjured up memories of last season’s April nightmare, allowing nine runs on 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings. Incredibly, that’s worse than any start he posted last year, with his worst coming in June when he allowed nine runs in 3 2/3 innings.

San Francisco Giants – 1
Pittsburgh Pirates – 3      (5 Innings)

  • This game was called early due to rain. SS Cole Tucker made his major league debut for the Pirates, leading off and hitting a two-run home run in three at-bats. Tucker is a 22-year-old former first round pick who has stolen 35 and 47 bases in his last two minor league seasons. He doesn’t offer much power, but his defense is good enough right now to expect him to be a regular moving forward. If that’s the case, a 25-steal season is possible.

Boston Red Sox – 6
Tampa Bay Rays – 5

  • Rays SP Charlie Morton was getting squeezed in the strike zone early and it ended up costing him this game, as he loaded the bases in the second inning and Boston OF Andrew Benintendi hit his first career grand slam. Morton settled down and allowed no more runs in working six innings for the second time this year, striking out nine.
  • Rays OF Avisail Garcia homered again last night, his fourth in the last 10 games dating back to April 9. He’s also had two doubles and a triple in that span, driving in 10. Garcia looks much more likely to post a season similar to his career-best 2017 than his injury-riddled 2018.

Chicago White Sox
Detroit Tigers 

  • This game was postponed due to rain and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on August 6.

Seattle Mariners – 6
Los Angeles Angels– 5

  • The top three hitters in the Mariners order – OFs Mitch Haniger and Domingo Santana, and 1B Edwin Encarnacion – all went 1-for-5 with a solo homer. 1B Dan Vogelbach tacked on a fourth solo shot, his eighth of the year, and he also reached base twice via walk, upping his on-base percentage to .500 in 66 plate appearances this season.
  • Seattle SP Yusei Kikuchi got the win despite another mediocre outing, allowing 10 hits, two walks, and four runs in five innings and striking out only three. Kikuchi’s next outing is likely to be a very short one as the M’s begin to execute their plan to limit his innings while keeping him on a normal MLB rest schedule, part of his transition from the larger rest schedule he had in Japan’s NPB. That start comes Thursday against the Rangers.

Los Angeles Dodgers – 0
Milwaukee Brewers – 5

  • Dodgers 3B Justin Turner went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts before being removed in a double switch. Turner still hasn’t homered and has struck out in 23 percent of his plate appearances, but he has reached via walk 12 times, giving him a solid OBP of .382.
  • SP Hyun-Jin Ryu was good in his return from a two-week IL stint, working 5 2/3 innings and striking out nine, but taking the loss after allowing two solo homers to OF Christian Yelich, who now has 13 on the season to go with 31 RBI and a .361/.455/.880 triple slash.

Cincinnati Reds – 4
San Diego Padres – 2

  • Reds SP Luis Castillo seems to have figured out the missing command that was standing between him and an expected step forward last season; he was effectively down in the zone again all night last night in dominating the Padres, striking out nine over six innings where he allowed just a solo homer, three singles, and a walk. He generated 14 swinging and 16 called strikes on his 100 pitches.
  • Reds OF Jesse Winker hit his sixth homer of the year when he pinch hit for Castillo in the top of the seventh inning.

Game 1
Atlanta Braves – 4
Cleveland Indians – 8

Game 2
Atlanta Braves – 8
Cleveland Indians – 7

  • Cleveland SS Francisco Lindor was back in the lineup for the first time this season, starting game two and going 1-for-5 with a run scored.
  • SP Touki Toussaint did not do much to make his case for a long-term starting role in a rotation filled with fellow young prospects, getting smoked in game two for all seven Cleveland runs in 1 2/3 innings. SP Mike Foltynewicz is back this week, so Toussaint is likely to head to the bullpen, though it may be better after this start for him to continue to get starts in Triple-A.

Toronto Blue Jays – 10
Oakland A’s – 1

  • Jays SP Matt Shoemaker was on his way to another great start after three scoreless innings, but he hurt his knee getting the last out of the third inning on a rundown with A’s 3B Matt Chapman and had to leave the game. He’ll have an MRI today on a left knee sprain that will almost certainly result in at least a short IL stint.
  • 1Bs Rowdy Tellez and Justin Smoak both homered in this one, with Smoak going 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, and Tellez going 3-for-5 with two singles and a three-run homer, scoring two runs.
  • 2B Eric Sogard has hits in all five starts since replacing 2B/SS Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on the Jays roster earlier this week, going 2-for-6 yesterday with his second stolen base. He’s 9-for-22 to open his season, with five RBI and two runs scored.
  • Reports from Sportsnet out of Canada have 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. debuting for the Jays this coming Friday for the series opener when the A’s visit Toronto.

New York Mets – 2
St. Louis Cardinals – 10

  • Eight innings and 73 strikes on 100 pitches, this is what SP Miles Mikolas‘ owners have been waiting for after four short and largely ineffective starts to open his season. Mikolas still isn’t striking out anyone, though, with four in this game and 15 on the season in 29 innings. His slider was the best it has been this season, though, and his nine percent swinging strike rate was also tops in this early five-start stretch.
  • Cardinals 1B/OF Jose Martinez led the team with three hits, including a double, while driving in three and scoring a run.

Houston Astros – 4
Texas Rangers – 9

  • Another game from Rangers 2B Danny Santana that makes us put him on the list for potential FAAB pickups this week; he went 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI, a run scored, and a stolen base (his third). He was also caught stealing, but it is encouraging for his value to see Santana getting an open green light to run when he reaches base.

Washington Nationals – 3
Miami Marlins – 9

  • Miami really hit SP Max Scherzer hard here, with nine balls leaving bats at 94.9 mph or faster, seven of them being hits. Scherzer struck out nine in 5 1/3 innings but allowed 11 hits and seven runs (six earned), upping his ERA to 4.45. Scherzer is allowing 40.9 percent hard contact this year, way higher than the 31.7 of last year and the 29 percent range he sat in between 2015 and 2017. 9.1 percent of the balls in play against him are considered “barrels” by StatCast, also a considerable jump from the 5.6-6.7 percent range he lived in for the last four years.
  • Nats 3B Anthony Rendon left this game after being hit on his left elbow by a pitch. X-rays were negative but he likely won’t play today with a short turnaround for a 1:10 p.m. start.

Daily Fantasy Recommendations for Sunday, April 21 (NOTE: We use DraftKings prices and format, which means two pitchers are required)

Note: This is for Sunday’s 1:05 pm Featured set, which includes 11 games.

  • Catcher
    • High-priced option: Willson Contreras ($4,400)
    • Low-priced option: James McCann ($3,300)
      • If McCann sits and Welington Castillo starts, he’s an easy pivot at $3,400.
  • First Base
    • High-priced option: Yuli Gurriel ($4,200)
    • Low-priced option: Mike Ford ($3,800)
  • Second Base
    • High-priced option: Ryan McMahon ($4,400)
    • Low-priced option: Daniel Robertson ($3,000)
  • Third Base
    • High-priced option: Kris Bryant ($4,000)
    • Low-priced option: Phil Gosselin ($3,300)
  • Shortstop
    • High-priced option: Corey Seager ($4,300)
    • Low-priced option: Willy Adames ($3,400)
  • Outfielder (three required)
    • High-priced option 1: Andrew Benintendi ($4,400)
    • High-priced option 2: Tommy Pham ($4,500)
    • High-priced option 3: Raimel Tapia ($4,200)
    • Low-priced option 1: Mike Tauchman ($4,000)
    • Low-priced option 2: Josh Reddick ($4,000)
    • Low-priced option 3: Jose Martinez ($3,500)
  • Pitcher (two required)
    • High-priced option 1: James Paxton ($9,400)
    • High-priced option 2: Clayton Kershaw ($9,000)
    • Low-priced option 1: Trevor Richards ($7,500)
    • Low-priced option 2: Reynaldo Lopez ($6,000)

Today’s Best Bets

  • Our favorite favorite: Washington Nationals (-165) over MIAMI MARLINS
  • Our favorite underdog: Chicago White Sox (+120) over DETROIT TIGERS
  • Our over/under play: Boston Red Sox/TAMPA BAY RAYS OVER 8 Runs

Yesterday: 3-0
Season: 35-31-1

Note: Best Bets section is for entertainment purposes only.

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