Daily Intel – 5/1/2019

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News From Yesterday’s Slate

St. Louis Cardinals – 3
Washington Nationals – 2

  • Cardinals 2B Kolten Wong went 2-for-4 with an RBI and his fifth stolen base of the year. Despite homering just once since April 2, he currently ranks 12th at second base on ESPN’s Player Rater and sports an impressive 17/16 K/BB ratio, which has driven his ability to stay valuable via runs scored (14) and steals.
  • Nationals 2B/SS Wilmer Difo got the start at third base after 3B Anthony Rendon was finally placed on the IL with an elbow issue after missing most of the last week. Difo went 0-for-2 with a walk.
  • Nationals SS Carter Kieboom went hitless in four at-bats and struck out twice; besides his two home runs over the weekend, he has only a single in 19 at-bats, with seven strikeouts.

Detroit Tigers – 3
Philadelphia Phillies – 1

  • Tigers SP Spencer Turnbull had as many combined wild pitches and hit by pitches (five) as he did hits and walks in this game, yet he was able to overcome that to post his third quality start of the season, limiting the Phillies to one run over six innings. He struck out five. Turnbull is not succeeding primarily due to luck; he’s shown some advanced abilities to limit hard contact and has a deep enough pitch arsenal to see him sustaining relevance in mixed leagues for the rest of the season. At the very least, shallow league owners should be considering him as a streaming option.
  • RP Shane Greene struck out three of the four batters he faced to earn his 12th save of the year.

Cincinnati Reds – 3
New York Mets- 4     (10 Innings)

  • Reports out of Cincy are that top prospect 2B/3B/OF Nick Senzel will be called up Friday. While Senzel does have position versatility, he likely wouldn’t be a true everyday player off the bat unless it means the end of OFs Scott Schebler or Matt Kemp, or 2B/SS Jose Peraza. That compounds itself when 2B Scooter Gennett is healthy in the next 4-6 weeks. Stillk, Senzel is a potential impact bat and would be one of the few rookies worth spending a large chunk of FAAB budget or a top waiver claim on.
  • The Mets needed RP Jeurys Familia to close this out with their bullpen taxed, and he fell apart with two outs in the ninth after a relatively easy eighth inning. Familia struck out the first two hitters he faced and then allowed four straight hitters to reach before being pulled, allowing the Reds to tie the game.
  • 2B Robinson Cano sat out again for the Mets with soreness in his hand, but 2B/3B/OF Jeff McNeil continued to rake with a 4-for-5 day that included a run scored and an RBI. He’s hitting .370/.457/.500 on the year; despite that, he ranks 18th at second and 22nd at third on ESPN’s Player Rater, primarily due to his lack of power and speed.

Oakland A’s – 1
Boston Red Sox – 5

  • SP Rick Porcello dominated Oakland over eight shutout innings, allowing a single, a double, and two walks while striking out eight. Porcello was one out away on April 20 from making this three consecutive quality starts, and in this three-start run he’s struck out 18 and walked five over 19 2/3 innings.

Cleveland Indians – 7
Miami Marlins – 4

  • Miami sent down OF Lewis Brinson before this game, an unsurprising but still disappointing outcome after his decent spring. He was hitting .197 but hard a hard hit rate lower than last season (39.2 to 36.7 this year) and a career-worst mark in K rate (34.1 percent) and walk rate (2.4 percent). He should not be owned anywhere, including NL-only leagues.
  • Indians 1B Carlos Santana went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI, homering for the second consecutive game. Santana has started slowly in each of the last three seasons, with a .663 OPS in March between 2016-2018, before heating up with OPS marks of .829, .789, .837, .866, and .894 in the last five months of the season. That could be happening again here.

Houston Astros – 11
Minnesota Twins – 0

  • Probably fair to cut Twins SP Michael Pineda in 12-team mixed leagues and shallower; last night’s five-inning, nine-hit, five-run outing against the Astros made it three straight bad outings, and on the season he has only 22 strikeouts in 29 innings. Pineda is allowing a 31.1 percent line drive rate, and hitters have also been able to pull the ball well against him. He’s lost effectiveness in both his fastball and his slider, the two pitches that make up 85 percent or so of his arsenal.
  • Astros SS Carlos Correa went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and three RBI. He’s hit safely in 12 consecutive games and finished April with eight multi-hit games and a .307/.372/.574 triple-slash line, along with six homers, 18 RBI, and 12 runs scored.

Colorado Rockies – 3
Milwaukee Brewers – 4

  • Brewers 1B Jesus Aguilar homered for the third time in two games, a three-run shot in the seventh inning off Rockies SP German Marquez, who to that point had limited the Brewers to one run. Marquez finished the seventh inning and needed only 80 pitches for his outing, but he did take the loss with four runs allowed on six hits, striking out six with no walks.
  • Rockies 1B/OF Ian Desmond hit his second homer in three games, a two-run shot off Brewers ace RP Josh Hader. Hader, meanwhile, earned the save, but the homer to Desmond was his fourth allowed in his last five appearances.

Tampa Bay Rays
Kansas City Royals

  • This game was postponed due to rain and will be made up as part of a traditional doubleheader today. The Rays will use RP Ryne Stanek to open and RP Jalen Beeks to follow in game one, and SP Blake Snell to start game two. The Royals will counter with SP Jake Junis for game one and minor-league call-up SP Glenn Sparkman for game two.

Baltimore Orioles
Chicago White Sox 

  • These two teams will also play a straight doubleheader today after yesterday’s game was rained out (curious, when was the last time MLB had two traditional doubleheaders in one day?). SPs Ivan Nova and Andrew Cashner, Tuesday’s scheduled starters, will start game two; game one will be SPs Carlos Rodon and David Hess. 

San Diego Padres – 4
Atlanta Braves – 3

  • Padres OF Franmil Reyes went 3-for-4 with two homers and three RBI, giving him eight bombs on the season. Meanwhile, teammate 1B Eric Hosmer is finding his stroke, with last night’s homer giving him four in nine games. He’s gone 14-for-33 in that stretch with nine RBI and three doubles to support those home runs.
  • Braves SP Julio Teheran took his third straight loss here, and he allowed three homers to put him at eight over 38 2/3 innings this year. But he struck out eight, making it six of his seven starts where he’s struck out at least six batters. His 44 strikeouts make him worth a streaming look in shallow leagues, even if it does come with a 1.45 WHIP.

Pittsburgh Pirates – 6
Texas Rangers – 4       (11 Innings)

  • It may look like it is time to call it quits on RP Jose Leclerc, who started the ninth inning with a 3-0 lead last night and proceeded to allow the first three batters to reach before striking out the next two. With a two-run lead and two outs, Leclerc allowed Pirates 1B Josh Bell to tie the game with a double, and Leclerc’s ERA now sits at 8.44. In a slight bit of fairness to him, two of the hits he allowed in the inning were infield singles. We couched the opening of this blurb about Leclerc’s fantasy value because manager Chris Woodward said after the game that the team needs to “make sure some of his outings are a little less stressful,” but he did not say that Leclerc would be removed from the closer’s role, in fact stating that he has “full confidence” in a rebound from him. You still can’t cut him if you’re in a league where saves are scarce.

Chicago Cubs – 6
Seattle Mariners – 5

  • The Mariners demoted OF Mallex Smith to Triple-A before this game. Smith was in the 0 to 5 percentiles in all of the key batting indicators on StatCast, so his .165 batting average wasn’t terribly fluky. OF Braden Bishop was called up but doesn’t offer any mixed league value.

New York Yankees – 1
Arizona Diamondbacks – 3

  • Both 3B Miguel Andujar and SS Troy Tulowitzki began rehab assignments with High-A Tampa yesterday. Andujar made two fielding errors in five chances and Tulowitzki hit two homers. There’s a chance both are back in the lineup with the Yankees on Friday or at some point this weekend.
  • Arizona RP Greg Holland continues to perform well, throwing eight of nine pitches for strikes to get through an easy ninth inning for his sixth save. He still has not allowed a run this year in 10 innings, with a 15/4 K/BB ratio in that span.

Los Angeles Dodgers – 10
San Francisco Giants – 3

  • Dodgers 3B Justin Turner got in just under the April wire for his first homer of the season as part of a 2-for-4 day that also included a single, a walk, and two runs scored.
  • Giants C Buster Posey went 1-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. He’s hit in seven straight games and is taking a much more aggressive approach at the plate this year, with his highest swing rate in many years and a 44.3 percent hard-hit rate that is 10 percent higher than the last two seasons. As the weather warms up, Posey should turn some of his 10 doubles in to homers.

Texas Rangers – 3
Los Angeles Angels – 4

  • RP Hansel Robles earned the save for the Angels in this game, his second of the season but first since April 10. It is either Robles or RP Ty Buttrey for saves in this bullpen while RP Cody Allen is out, so if you need saves, grab one of them; Robles would be our choice, for now, as Buttrey looks to be more of the high-leverage relief ace.

Daily Fantasy Recommendations for Wednesday, May 1 (NOTE: We use DraftKings prices and format, which means two pitchers are required)

Note: This is for the nine-game featured contest that begins at 7:05 p.m.

  • Catcher
    • High-priced option: Yasmani Grandal ($4,300)
    • Low-priced option: Max Stassi ($3,300)
  • First Base
    • High-priced option: Justin Smoak ($4,400)
    • Low-priced option: Justin Bour ($3,800)
  • Second Base
    • High-priced option: Mike Moustakas ($4,700)
    • Low-priced option: Greg Garcia ($3,600)
  • Third Base
    • High-priced option: Manny Machado ($4,100)
    • Low-priced option: Justin Turner ($3,500)
  • Shortstop
    • High-priced option: Jean Segura ($4,600)
    • Low-priced option: Wilmer Difo ($3,500)
  • Outfielder (three required)
    • High-priced option 1: Charlie Blackmon ($5,300)
    • High-priced option 2: Ronald Acuña Jr. ($4,800)
    • High-priced option 3: Victor Robles ($4,500)
    • Low-priced option 1: Jeff McNeil ($4,200)
    • Low-priced option 2: Kevin Pillar ($3,700)
    • Low-priced option 3: Kike Hernandez ($4,000)
  • Pitcher (two required)
    • High-priced option 1: Caleb Smith ($9,000)
    • High-priced option 2: Hyun-Jin Ryu ($9,200)
    • Low-priced option 1: Max Fried ($7,800)
    • Low-priced option 2: Martin Pérez ($5,900)

Today’s Best Bets

  • Our favorite favorite: WASHINGTON NATIONALS (-160) over St. Louis Cardinals
  • Our favorite underdog: MIAMI MARLINS (+135) over Cleveland Indians
  • Our over/under play: San Diego Padres/ATLANTA BRAVES UNDER 9 Runs

Yesterday: 1-1 (hit on favorite; over/under pick was PPD)
Season: 47-48-1

Note: Best Bets section is for entertainment purposes only.

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