Daily Intel – 5/4/2019

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News From Yesterday’s Slate

St. Louis Cardinals – 0
Chicago Cubs – 4

  • Cubs SP Kyle Hendricks pulled off an incredible feat yesterday, throwing a complete game shutout with just 81 pitches, limiting he Cardinals to four singles and nothing else. He only struck out three, and there were five outs he recorded that had hit probabilities of higher than 50 percent via StatCast, so it was by no means a perfect outing to take future judgement out of from a fantasy perspective.
  • Still can’t get any rhythm out of Cards SP Jack Flaherty who, after needing only 89 pitches to get through seven innings in his last start, threw 110 pitches yesterday and only made it through 5 2/3 innings, primarily due to the four walks he allowed. Flaherty wasn’t damaged too badly, only giving up three earned runs, and he did strikeout nine, giving him outings of eight or more Ks in three of his last five outings. He gets the Phillies next at home on Wednesday afternoon.

Minnesota Twins – 3
New York Yankees – 6

  • Yankees SP James Paxton seemed a little off in terms of command early in this game, so it made sense when he left the game after three innings with left knee soreness. He said it wasn’t a major issue, but he’ll still have an MRI today. He allowed one unearned run on two hits and three walks, striking out one.

Boston Red Sox – 6
Chicago White Sox – 1

  • Things are finally starting to click for SP Chris Sale, who posted his first “Chris Sale” start of the year yesterday with 10 strikeouts in six shutout innings. He allowed two doubles, a single, hit two batters and walked one. In his last three starts he’s gone 18 innings and allowed four earned runs, posting a 28/6 K/BB ratio.

Oakland A’s – 14
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1

  • A’s C Josh Phegley set the team record for RBI by a catcher by going 4-for-5 with two doubles, a single, and a solo home run, driving in eight and scoring twice. Phegley isn’t doing much from the perspective of underlying power metrics, ranking in the bottom third in the league in exit velocity and expected slugging, but he’s cut his strikeout rate by seven percent from last year and that contact increase is paying off.
  • A’s 1B/DH Kendrys Morales went 3-for-4 with a walk, three singles, three runs scored, and an RBI. It was his first multi-hit game since April 11, and he still hasn’t had an extra-base hit since a double on April 19. Nevertheless, his exit velocity and hard hit rate are in the 93rd and 96th percentiles, respectively, so a minor bounceback is likely coming soon.

Washington Nationals – 2
Philadelphia Phillies – 4

  • Another sharp outing for SP Jerad Eickhoff, who gave Philly five innings of one-run work where he struck out seven and allowed three hits and three walks. His increased slider usage has changed his outlook; the pitch has already generated 3.5 runs of value according to FanGraphs, and his previous high in that category was 3.3 runs in 2016. If he can keep throwing the slider between 25-30 percent of the time without getting hurt, he should be a regular in all lineups, regardless of format.
  • Phillies RP Hector Neris earned the save, his fifth of the year, and with two strikeouts he’s now got a 22/3 K/BB ratio over 14 2/3 innings. Neris is throwing 70 percent splitters and has cut his four-seam usage to 25 percent, which has made all the difference in his ability to strikeout hitters and prevent the home run problem that plagued him last year.

Tampa Bay Rays – 7
Baltimore Orioles – 0

  • Another day, another dominant outing from SP Tyler Glasnow, who struck out eight over seven shutout innings, allowing only three singles. He threw 62 of his 92 pitches for strikes, generating 20 called strikes, including three strike threes in the first inning on his curveball, which for our money is the most enjoyable single pitch to watch in the game right now. Check out those three first inning strike threes here.

Kansas City Royals – 3
Detroit Tigers – 4

  • Royals OF Jorge Soler went 3-for-3 with a solo homer and two RBI; in his last nine games he’s had four multi-hit outings and has posted five extra-base hits and six RBI. Strikeouts remain the big issue, though, with 12 in that nine-game stretch and only only walk, putting him at a 48/9 K/BB ration on the season.

Seattle Mariners – 1
Cleveland Indians – 2

  • Mariners SP Yusei Kikuchi has talked about how he was excited to talk to Indians SP Trevor Bauer about the latter’s approach to pitching, which includes an insane amount of analysis through data and video; if that talk happened last night before this game, we wouldn’t be surprised, because Kikuchi looked a lot like Bauer in striking out 10 over seven innings, allowing only one run on three hits and a walk. Kikuchi generated 15 swinging strikes on 76 offerings of his two main pitches, the slider and four-seam fastball; if he can keep some semblance of that rate up going forward, he’s going to be a high-level starter.
  • Mariners OF Mitch Haniger went 1-for-4 with a single and three strikeouts. He’s struck out 14 times in his last 10 games and has a 28 percent strikeout rate, a big tick up from the 21.7 range he sat at last year.

Atlanta Braves – 7
Miami Marlins – 2

  • Marlins C Jorge Alfaro went 2-for-3 with a walk last night; the walk was only his fourth of the year in 87 plate appearances, but he has taken three of those walks in the last seven games. Alfaro also has four multi-hit games in that span; he ranks in the 90th percentile in hard-hit rate as measured by StatCast, and amongst catchers the only regulars above him are Yankees C Gary Sanchez and Cleveland C Roberto Perez. 

San Francisco Giants – 12
Cincinnati Reds – 11     (11 Innings)

  • The Giants made an incredible comeback from down 8-0 to win this game in extras, and the performance to note is C Stephen Vogt, who made his season debut after missing most of last year with a shoulder issue. Vogt went 3-for-3 with a homer, a double, three runs scored, and two RBI; if he can find semi-regular playing time, he’s worth monitoring in two-catcher leagues.
  • Giants OF Steven Duggar posted his second consecutive three-hit game, going 3-for-5 last night with three RBI and a run scored.

Toronto Blue Jays – 1
Texas Rangers – 0        (12 Innings)

  • Rangers SP Mike Minor and Toronto SP Trent Thornton had the season’s most unlikely pitching duel, with Minor striking out nine over eight shutout innings and Thornton striking out five in seven shutout innings and carrying a no hitter in to the fifth inning. Minor was the more impressive of the two overall, as Thornton had some minor command issues throughout the game, but he still only allowed a single and two walks. Minor allowed seven hits and two walks.

New York Mets – 1
Milwaukee Brewers – 3

  • Mets 2B/3B Jed Lowrie is headed to Triple-A for the next step in his rehab, putting him on track for a return late next week.
  • Brewers OF Christian Yelich missed another game with a sore back. He last played on Tuesday. OF Ben Gamel has been starting with Yelich out, and OF/1B Ryan Braun has moved up in the order, taking advantage yesterday with a 3-for-4 day that included a two-run homer and two singles.

Arizona Diamondbacks – 10
Colorado Rockies – 9

  • This score isn’t as bad as it may seem for Arizona SP Robbie Ray, who was done in by bad defense in his 5 2/3 innings of work. He allowed five runs but only one was earned; he struck out seven and allowed six hits and three walks. Ray’s last three starts have been encouraging from a control perspective, with an 18/5 K/BB ratio in 16 2/3 innings.
  • Rockies 1B/2B Daniel Murphy is dealing with back stiffness that kept him out yesterday. For a 34-year-old that had major injury issues last year with his knee, a back problem is not terribly surprising and should be monitored closely by his owners.

Los Angeles Dodgers – 4
San Diego Padres – 3

  • Keep an eye on Padres 2B Ian Kinsler, who in his last three games has gone 6-for-13 with two homers, two doubles, three RBI, and four runs scored. Kinsler is making enough to contact to luck in to a decent run if he gets regular lead off chances, but he ranks in the bottom 10 percent in the majors in all underlying power metrics.

Daily Fantasy Recommendations for Saturday, May 4 (NOTE: We use DraftKings prices and format, which means two pitchers are required)

Note: This is for the 10-game Featured set, which starts at 7:05 p.m.

  • Catcher
    • High-priced option: Chris Iannetta ($3,800)
    • Low-priced option: Jonathan Lucroy ($3,500)
  • First Base
    • High-priced option: Christian Walker ($5,100)
    • Low-priced option: Joey Votto ($3,900)
  • Second Base
    • High-priced option: Eric Sogard ($4,400)
    • Low-priced option: Adam Frazier ($3,800)
  • Third Base
    • High-priced option: Alex Bregman ($4,300)
    • Low-priced option: Justin Turner ($3,900)
  • Shortstop
    • High-priced option: Xander Bogaerts ($4,300)
    • Low-priced option: Willy Adames ($3,500)
  • Outfielder (three required)
    • High-priced option 1: Michael Brantley ($4,600)
    • High-priced option 2: J.D. Martinez ($4,500)
    • High-priced option 3: Khris Davis ($4,200)
    • Low-priced option 1: Franmil Reyes ($3,900)
    • Low-priced option 2: Josh Reddick ($3,900)
    • Low-priced option 3: Yasiel Puig ($3,800)
  • Pitcher (two required)
    • High-priced option 1: Rich Hill ($9,600)
    • High-priced option 2: Eduardo Rodriguez ($9,200)
    • Low-priced option 1: Yonny Chirinos ($6,800)
    • Low-priced option 2: Chris Bassitt ($8,000)

Today’s Best Bets

  • Our favorite favorite: CINCINNATI REDS (-130) over San Francisco Giants
  • Our favorite underdog: Arizona Diamondbacks (+120) over COLORADO ROCKIES
  • Our over/under play: Houston Astros/LOS ANGELES ANGELS OVER 9.5 Runs

Yesterday: 2-1 (hit on favorite and over/under)
Season: 52-52-1

Note: Best Bets section is for entertainment purposes only.

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