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News From Yesterday’s Slate
Miami Marlins – 3
Philadelphia Phillies – 1 (10 Innings)
- A good start for Phillies SP Aaron Nola, but still not the singularly dominant outing his fantasy owners have expected from him as a top-30 pick. In this start, where he limited the Marlins to one run in a season-high 6 2/3 innings, he still only managed strikeout four batters. He allowed seven hits and a walk. In his last start, he K’d nine in 5 2/3 innings, but he allowed nine hits and three runs. Back on Opening Day, he struck out eight but it came with five walks. Nola is getting hit hard – his 46.6 percent rate in that category is in the bottom 15 percent in the league – and he’s got to improve his four-seam fastball command as the starting point for cutting his walk rate. Those are the things to keep an eye on in his next start against the Tigers at home on Wednesday.
- Marlins SP Caleb Smith, on the other hand, posted his fourth straight quality start and his second straight outing of six innings, one earned run allowed, and eight strikeouts. He remains a must-start in all formats. With his changeup usage up to 22.5 percent this year after being 13.7 percent last year, Smith has found a legit third pitch that explains a big portion of this breakout.
- Veteran 2B/SS Sean Rodriguez made his debut for the Phils, batting seventh and playing shortstop, and he went 1-for-4 with a solo homer.
Arizona Diamondbacks – 5
Pittsburgh Pirates – 0
- Still doesn’t feel like there’s a ton of reason to worry about Pirates SP Jameson Taillon, who only went five innings again yesterday and allowed five runs on six hits with five strikeouts. Taillon’s really traded out his heavy four-seamer usage (35.5 percent last year and 24.7 percent this year) for an increased focus on his slider (18.3 percent last year and 33.5 percent this year), and and while both pitches have been effective in limiting damage, his strikeout rate has still dropped overall to 18.3 percent after sitting above 20 percent for all three of his previous seasons and at 22.8 percent last year. Taillon remains must start, and again, we’re not that worried that he’ll get on some semblance of a track, but the dominance numbers may not be there over a full season. You may only get 160 Ks out of his in a 185-inning season.
- Arizona OF Jarrod Dyson was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. He’s made starts in five of the last six Arizona games and has hits in all of them, going 9-for-20 in that span with six runs scored, three walks, and, most impressively, one strikeout.
Atlanta Braves – 2
Cincinnati Reds – 4
- Reds 2B/SS Jose Peraza sat for the second consecutive game in favor of SS Jose Iglesias and 2B Derek Dietrich. Peraza’s weekend will be telling for owners in shallow mixed leagues; if he sits a couple of more times, it may reach a point where he’s not worth keeping.
- Atlanta 1B Freddie Freeman homered for just the third time yesterday, but we’re expecting a big power spike here soon. Freeman is in the top 80 percentile in all of the key batting and power indicators for StatCast, and he’s taken another massive step forward with his plate discipline this year, cutting his strikeout rate from 18.7 to 17.8 percent and lifting his walk rate from 10.7 to 15.9 percent.
Detroit Tigers – 3
Boston Red Sox – 7
- Tigers SP Jordan Zimmermann left last night’s game after three innings with right elbow discomfort. It has been a decade since Zimmermann underwent Tommy John surgery, so a worst-case scenario here wouldn’t be out of the question. He’ll have an MRI today.
- Another good day at the plate for Red Sox rookie 2B/3B Michael Chavis; he hit a two-run shot in four at-bats, his second homer in less than a week since being called up.
Los Angeles Dodgers – 2
Chicago Cubs – 1
- Cubs SP Jon Lester did about as well as one could expect in his return from three weeks on the IL with a hamstring injury, limiting the Dodgers to a run on four hits over five innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter, throwing 54 of his 79 pitches for strikes.
- Dodgers SP/RP Ross Stripling matched Lester pitch-for-pitch, though, and kept the Dodgers in the game despite getting stuck with a no decision because he came up one out short of the five-inning mark. He struck out six and did not allow a run, giving up only a double, four singles, and a walk.
Cleveland Indians – 2
Houston Astros – 1
- Another chapter in the odd rivalry between SPs Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole, with Bauer winning this one despite producing the less valuable fantasy outing; he threw just 55 percent of his 118 pitches for strikes, leading to six walks, but he worked around trouble and only allowed one run. He also struck out just three. Cole, on the other hand, dominated for seven innings, allowing only three walks and three hits while striking out 10; however, two of those hits were solo homers, which made the difference in the final score. Cole has now allowed homers in five of his six starts.
New York Yankees – 5
Los Angeles Angels – 11
- Yankees 3B Miguel Andujar will play third base for a short period during a rehab game tonight. It has been nothing but positive news for Andujar since the initial word about his labrum injury was that he’d likely miss the season. If he gets through these next few days playing defense without issue, he should be back in the lineup next week at some point.
- 2B/OF Tyler Wade reached base twice for the Yankees last night and stole his fourth and fifth bases of the year. He’s a good speed source for the next several weeks as the Yankees continue to work through their injury issues.
- Angels 2B/3B David Fletcher doubled his season RBI total in one game, going 2-for-4 with a triple and five RBI last night. Fletcher has hits in eight of his last nine games, going 12-for-36 in that span with six runs scored and seven RBI.
Texas Rangers – 2
Seattle Mariners – 14
- 2B Rougned Odor will return to the Rangers today after missing a couple of weeks with a knee issue. The timing is good, as Rangers 2B/SS/3B Asdrubal Cabrera left last night’s game with left calf tightness after he grounded out in his first at-bat.
- Rangers 2B Logan Forsythe would be the beneficiary of a Cabrera injury; he’s already started almost every game since Odor was out, and he’s just starting to find a little bit of value at the plate; he went 1-for-3 yesterday with an RBI and a walk, and he has hits in six of his last nine games, with two homers and five RBI in that span.
- Mariners SS/3B Tim Beckham went 2-for-4 with a homer, two runs scored, a walk, and three RBI. Beckham slumped slightly after his very hot first week or so, but he’s recovered and has hits in seven of his last nine games. His triple slash sits at .304/.385/.576.
Daily Fantasy Recommendations for Friday, April 26 (NOTE: We use DraftKings prices and format, which means two pitchers are required)
Note: This is for the 15-game Featured set, which starts at 7:05 p.m.
Additional note: Lots of rain in the forecast in the Northeast down to the mid-Atlantic, so keep an eye on those games where an AL/NL East is hosting (except for Toronto).
- High-priced option: James McCann ($3,700)
- Low-priced option: Yan Gomes ($3,300)
- First Base
- High-priced option: Renato Nuñez ($4,700)
- Low-priced option: Logan Forsythe ($3,600)
- Second Base
- High-priced option: Jonathan Schoop ($4,400)
- Low-priced option: Chris Owings ($3,500)
- Third Base
- High-priced option: Jose Ramirez ($4,300)
- High-priced option: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($4,300)
- Low-priced option: David Fletcher ($3,500)
- High-priced option: Elvis Andrus ($4,700)
- Low-priced option: Eric Sogard ($3,800)
- Outfielder (three required)
- High-priced option 1: Eddie Rosario ($5,300)
- High-priced option 2: Mike Trout ($5,600)
- High-priced option 3: Bryce Harper ($5,000)
- Low-priced option 1: Jake Bauers ($3,700)
- Low-priced option 2: Cameron Maybin ($3,400)
- Low-priced option 3: Dexter Fowler ($3,900)
- Pitcher (two required)
- High-priced option 1: James Paxton ($9,600)
- High-priced option 2: Max Scherzer ($10,400)
- Low-priced option 1: Miles Mikolas ($7,400)
- Low-priced option 2: Justus Sheffield ($4,000)
- Sheffield is likely to get bulk innings behind Yusei Kikuchi, who will only work one or two innings in the first of several “opener” starts he’ll get this year to manager his innings. $4,000 is an absurd price for a pitcher on a home team favorite that is likely to get at least a win, if not some value out of 4-5 innings and some strikeouts.
Today’s Best Bets
- Our favorite favorite: ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (-140) over Cincinnati Reds
- Our favorite underdog: Cleveland Indians (+125) over HOUSTON ASTROS
- Our over/under play: Baltimore Orioles/MINNESOTA TWINS OVER 9.5 Runs
Note: Best Bets section is for entertainment purposes only.