Daily Intel – 5/24/2019

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News From Yesterday’s Slate

Minnesota Twins – 16
Los Angeles Angels – 7

  • Twins 3B Miguel Sano hit two of Minnesota’s eight homers on the day, driving in three and scoring three times. He added a walk, but his triple slash in his first 27 plate appearances is an incredible .240/.286/.800.
  • The Angels added three homers of their own, with 2B/3B Tommy La Stella going 2-for-5 with his 12th home run on the season along with four RBI.
  • Twins OF Max Kepler also hit a homer in this game, but the bigger news was that he left the game in the ninth inning after running in to the center-field wall. He has a bruised knee and is 50-50 to be ready for this weekend’s series against the White Sox.

Philadelphia Phillies – 9
Chicago Cubs – 7

  • Another rough outing for Cubs SP Jon Lester, as he lasted just four innings and allowed seven runs (four earned) on seven hits and walk. He allowed two homers, one on a cutter, which has been working very well for him this year with a .180 batting average and .344 slugging against entering this game in 265 offerings. Lester has now allowed nine earned runs and 19 baserunners in his last two starts; he gets the Astros on the road followed by a home game in a makeup date on June 3 against the Angels.
  • Phillies C J.T. Realmuto hit one of those two homers off Lester, his third homer in five games. Realmuto has found his power stroke in the last two weeks, with seven extra-base hits in an 11-game span, plus two stolen bases.

Washington Nationals – 4
New York Mets – 6

  • The Mets have given OF Carlos Gomez four straight starts, and he had his first big game yesterday with a 2-for-3 effort that included a three-run homer, two runs scored, and a stolen base. You could do way worse than a lottery ticket on Gomez in very deep leagues, with the Mets desperate for offense in the outfield as OFs Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo battle injuries.
  • Mets 2B/3B/OF Jeff McNeil was placed on the IL with a left hamstring strain that he suffered on Tuesday. OF J.D. Davis got a start in this game and should be a regular with McNeil out for what should only be a 10-14 day stint.

Atlanta Braves – 5
San Francisco Giants – 4      (13 Innings)

  • Braves RP Luke Jackson bounced back from consecutive bad outings to throw two scoreless here, earning his third win of the year. He allowed a single and struck out three.
  • Braves 3B/OF Austin Riley went 3-for-6 with another home run, his fifth, and three RBI, his 10th, 11th, and 12th. Riley has put 20 balls in play so far this year and 70 percent of them have been categorized as hard hit.

Miami Marlins – 5
Detroit Tigers – 2

  • We liked the under in this game because of the two starting pitchers, and Marlins SP Trevor Richards and Tigers SP Matt Boyd both came through. Richards allowed one run on eight hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings, striking out six for his first truly good start since April 21; Boyd threw six shutout innings and allowed a double, four singles, and a walk, striking out seven. Boyd’s slider generated eight swinging strikes on 40 offerings, which is well under the 40 percent swinging strike rate he’s been getting on the pitch this year. There has been some small cracks in the Cy Young-caliber armor Boyd was sporting in April, but he gets another soft touch next time out at Baltimore before drawing back-to-back tough outings at home against the Rays and Twins.

Boston Red Sox – 8
Toronto Blue Jays – 2

  • A very impressive first start of the season for Boston SP Ryan Weber, who went six innings and allowed two doubles and a single that led to one run, while striking out four. Weber’s sinker-heavy approach isn’t great for dominance, as evidenced by that low-K total and five swinging strikes in 93 offers, but so far this year he’s only allowed one “barreled” ball against 52 batters, and we could see him limiting hard contact at an elite rate as the league slowly adjust to him. Odds are, though, that his appearances will come in the long relief variety, which two of his first three this season were.
  • The Jays will be calling up 2B Cavan Biggio today and bringing back 2B/SS Lourdes Gurriel Jr. from Triple-A. OF Billy McKinney and SS Richard Ureña were sent down. The Jays seem to have a pretty set infield with 1Bs Justin Smoak/Rowdy Tellez2B Eric Sogard, SS Freddy Galvis, and 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., but Sogard and Galvis define “journeyman” despite their respective good starts to the season, and they could be trade bait in the near future. The Jays also need outfield help with only OFs Randal Grichuk and Jonathan Davis on the roster right now. Biggio and Gurriel both played six games in the outfield at Triple-A this year. Biggio was hitting .307 with a .949 OPS and six homers in Triple-A, with more walks than Ks (32/28). He is definitely the better option for shallow mixed leagues than Gurriel, who was good at Triple-A when he was first sent down in mid-April, but in the last 15 games he’s hitting .183 with a .456 OPS.

New York Yankees – 6
Baltimore Orioles – 5

  • Orioles RP Mychal Givens was bad again for the second time in this series, allowing a run on three walks and a hit in a ninth inning that started tied and ended with the Yankees up 6-5.
  • Yankees SP Masahiro Tanaka was no worse for the wear after injuring his ankle last weekend; he came back here and threw six innings with only one run allowed on five hits and a walk, striking out five. His velocity was actually up a little on his four-seam and two-seam fastballs, giving him more separation from his slider. He gets the Padres next at home on Tuesday.

Colorado Rockies – 6
Pittsburgh Pirates – 14 

  • Rockies OF Charlie Blackmon left this game with a right calf injury and will be re-evaluated today to judge his status for this weekend’s series with Baltimore.
  • Pirates OF Bryan Reynolds did not start this game but hit a three-run homer as a pinch-hitter; in the last seven days Reynolds is 7-for-17 with three homers, seven RBI, five runs scored, and three walks. He really should be owned in all mixed leagues, because his bat is showing progress even inside of a 90 PA sample.

Tampa Bay Rays – 7
Cleveland Indians – 2

  • Rays SP/RP Ryan Yarbrough returned to the team after being in Triple-A for a month, and he showed signs of the guy who won 16 games last year as a rookie, throwing 7 1/3 innings and allowing two runs on four hits and a walk, striking out four. While Yarbrough will never have elite stuff, he’s shown an elite ability to limit hard-hit contact from opponents, and with his sinker-heavy approach (46 percent of his pitches), he has the upside of someone like the Cubs SP Kyle Hendricks or a poorer man’s version of free agent SP Dallas Keuchel when he was at his best.
  • Rays 1B/3B Yandy Diaz was place on the 10-day IL due to a left hand contusion that he suffered after being hit by a pitch on Sunday. With 3B Matt Duffy getting hurt again on his rehab assignment, Diaz’s injury will lock in regular playing time for 2B/SS/3B Daniel Robertson for the near future.

Chicago White Sox – 4
Houston Astros – 0

  • White Sox SP Lucas Giolito threw his second complete of the season here, allowing only four singles, a walk, and a hit by pitch. He struck out nine. In five starts this month, Giolito has thrown 33 1/3 innings to a 1.35 ERA and 0.90 WHIP, striking out 36 and walking nine. By dumping the sinker that he threw 20.9 percent of the time year, Giolito has gained more value (and velocity) from his four-seam fastball, and that has become a positive-value pitch for the first time in his career. His 6-1 record and 2.77 ERA may not stick over the long-term, but Giolito is looking like a true fantasy borderline SP2/SP3 for this year and, hopefully, the future. His next three starts will be home for KC and Cleveland and then a road rematch at KC, all places where Giolito must be used.
  • Astros OF George Springer missed this game, his fourth straight, with back tightness, but he looks on track to play this weekend against the Red Sox.

Daily Fantasy Recommendations for Friday, May 24 (NOTE: We use DraftKings prices and format, which means two pitchers are required)

Note: This is for the 14-game Featured set, starting at 7:05 p.m. Eastern.

  • Catcher
    • High-priced option: Jason Castro ($4,200)
    • Low-priced option: Jorge Alfaro ($3,400)
  • First Base
    • High-priced option: Pete Alonso ($5,300)
    • Low-priced option: Christian Walker ($3,900)
  • Second Base
    • High-priced option: Max Muncy ($4,900)
    • Low-priced option: Rougned Odor ($3,800)
  • Third Base
    • High-priced option: Rafael Devers ($4,700)
    • Low-priced option: David Fletcher ($3,600)
  • Shortstop
    • High-priced option: Adalberto Mondesi ($4,900)
    • Low-priced option: Nick Ahmed ($3,500)
  • Outfielder (three required)
    • High-priced option 1: Bryce Harper ($4,800)
    • High-priced option 2: Mike Trout ($5,800)
    • High-priced option 3: Max Kepler ($4,500)
    • Low-priced option 1: Stephen Piscotty ($3,700)
    • Low-priced option 2: Andrew Benintendi ($4,100)
    • Low-priced option 3: Randal Grichuk ($3,600)
  • Pitcher (two required)
    • High-priced option 1: Noah Syndergaard ($10,100)
    • High-priced option 2: Shane Bieber ($10,400)
    • Low-priced option 1: Daniel Mengden ($7,900)
    • Low-priced option 2: Pablo Lopez ($7,500)

Today’s Best Bets

  • Our favorite favorite: Arizona Diamondbacks (-130) over SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
  • Our favorite underdog: Atlanta Braves (+135) over ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
  • Our over/under play: Texas Rangers/LOS ANGELES ANGELS OVER 9.5 Runs

Yesterday: 3-0
Season: 80-80-1


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