Daily Intel – 6/6/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • SP Pat Corbin’s velocity continues to remain a tick or two down from his April numbers, but he remains effective thanks to a slider that is getting swings and misses. He struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings last night for his sixth win of the year, limiting the Giants to four hits, two walks, and a run.

Atlanta Braves

  • SP Julio Teheran was placed on the disabled list after leaving Monday’s game with a right thumb contusion. The Braves have a few off days between now and late June, so they may not need a replacement starter, but SP Mike Soroka is two rehab starts away from returning.
  • SS/3B Johan Camargo hit second in the order last night, his highest placement all season, and went 1-for-5 with a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored.

Baltimore Orioles

  • In their never-ending quest to find a leadoff hitter, 1B/OF Trey Mancini was back at the top of the lineup last night after being out of it for about a week. He went 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Boston Red Sox

  • SP Drew Pomeranz was placed on the disabled list with left biceps tendinitis. The move was retroactive to Saturday, so he may only miss his previously-scheduled start for tomorrow and return when he’s eligible early next week. Top prospect SP Jalen Beeks will make his major league debut in Pomeranz’s place – he has 80 Ks in 56 2/3 innings at Triple-A this year.

Chicago Cubs

  • SP Kyle Hendricks got in to trouble early against Philadelphia last night and couldn’t salvage the start, posting his first truly bad outing in almost two months. He was tagged for five runs on five hits and three walks in five innings, striking out five. He gets the Pirates on Sunday and should be started everywhere in that one.

Chicago White Sox

  • 2B Yoan Moncada had a strong performance leading off in both games of yesterday’s doubleheader, picking up three hits, including a home run, a walk, three runs scored, an RBI, and a steal.
  • RP Nate Jones blew the save in the eighth inning of game one of the doubleheader, and RP Joakim Soria was able to get four outs in the second game to lock down his fifth save of the season.

Continue reading “Daily Intel – 6/6/2018”

Daily Intel – 6/5/2018

Quiet day on the field yesterday with the 2018 MLB Draft taking center stage. We’ll cover a little bit of that – mostly the college guys nearest to making an impact in 2019 – plus some news from the last two days as we get ready for a bigger slate of games tonight.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • SP Zack Godley rode an elite-level knuckle curveball to a terrific season last year, ranking as the second best curveball or curveball variation in the majors behind only SP Corey Kluber’s traditional curve. This year, the pitch hasn’t been there for him, and while the Giants didn’t put it in play once last night on 32 offerings, it wasn’t good enough to hold them off from hitting Godley’s other pitches hard, and he was once again tagged for a bad night, allowing seven runs on five hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings. Godley was fine for three innings last night before getting destroyed in the fourth, and we’re not advocating dropping him in any format, but these blowups have been an issue and make him hard to trust in more difficult matchups, like the one he’ll face this weekend in Colorado.

Atlanta Braves

  • A very poor outing for the Braves’ pitching staff last night – SP Julio Teheran gave up three home runs in four innings (plus two singles and three walks) before being removed with a right thumb contusion. He was off throughout the night, with his fastball averaging 87.7 mph and topping out at 89.9 mph. Meanwhile, SP/RP Luiz Gohara relieved Teheran and the Padres teed off on him – they put eight of his 31 pitches in play for five extra-base hits, saddling Gohara with six runs over 2/3 of an inning.
  • OF Ronald Acuna is going to need a rehab assignment before he returns from his knee/back injuries, and OF Charlie Culberson has hit pretty well in the playing time he’s received in Acuna’s absence. He had two walk-off hits last week, and went 2-for-4 with a double, a run, and two RBIs in his start in left field on Monday.
  • SP Mike Soroka is scheduled to make at least two more rehab starts before the Braves consider bringing him back tot he rotation.

Baltimore Orioles

  • OF Colby Rasmus is just kicking up his rehab assignment in Double-A, going 0-for-6 with a walk and three strikeouts in two games as he works back from a hip issue that has sidelined him since April 7. Rasmus should play semi-regularly when he returns as the O’s look to build up any trade value they can from their veterans.

Boston Red Sox

  • OF J.D. Martinez is dealing with back spasms that knocked him out of Sunday’s game, but he is likely to be back in the lineup tonight.

Chicago Cubs

  • SS Addison Russell will miss a few games due to a sprained finger he suffered in Sunday’s game. The Cubs are saying it won’t require a disabled list stint, though.

Chicago White Sox

  • 3B Matt Davidson was activated from the disabled list after missing the minimum with a back problem. He’ll be in the lineup today for the Sox’ doubleheader against Minnesota.

Continue reading “Daily Intel – 6/5/2018”

Daily Intel – 6/4/2018

With only four teams in action today, we’re saving most of the off-the-field news for tomorrow’s Intel, and today’s will be focused almost exclusively on the action from yesterday’s full slate of games (except for the Yankees-O’s rainout).

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • We felt bad about recommending SP Matt Koch as a two-start option after his poor outing Monday, but thankfully he redeemed his week, and us, with seven shutout innings yesterday where he allowed the Marlins only three baserunners on a double and two singles. He struck out six and only needed 84 pitches to get through his day.

Atlanta Braves

  • SS Dansby Swanson seems to be finding his power stroke after struggling in his return from injury in May. After a double and a home run yesterday he’s got four extra-base hits in his last six games, to go along with five walks, which is actually 16 percent of his season total. Swanson is assured regular playing time at shortstop so he’s worth tracking in shallow mixed leagues over the next week or two to see if this is the start of a good long-term stretch at the plate.

Baltimore Orioles

  • The timeline has shifted a bit on RP Zach Britton, with manager Buck Showalter saying that June 15 is the earliest Britton will rejoin the team. He will pitch at Triple-A several times this week, then attempt to go back-to-back next Monday and Tuesday, then he’ll have an evaluation.

Boston Red Sox

  • 2B/3B/OF Eduardo Nunez hit fifth yesterday and had a strong game, going picking up three singles in four at-bats, scoring twice, and stealing a base. Nunez had lower-body issues in the spring, which may be partially to blame for his inability to deliver stolen bases so far, but he’s going to keep playing regularly with 2B Dustin Pedroia hurt again, so he’s a smart flyer to take if you need speed and he’s available (likely only in shallow leagues).

Chicago Cubs

  • SP Jon Lester delivered his best start of the season yesterday against the Mets, which is saying a lot considering how good he’s been – he went seven shutout innings and only allowed three baserunners after walking the first two batters of the game. He struck out seven and generated seven ground ball outs for the third straight start. Lester’s fastball has been better this season after taking a big dip from 2016 to 2017, so it’ll be key for him to keep that pitch working at around 91 mph throughout the summer for him to retain his current elite-level value.

Chicago White Sox

  • SP Dylan Covey was solid over five innings yesterday, allowing only an unearned run on four hits and three walks while striking out seven Brewers. Covey’s two-seam fastball heavy approach (about 65 percent of his pitches) is generating a bunch of ground balls, which should play well in the White Sox hitter-friendly ballpark, but he’s going to need to his slider and changeup a bit more than he currently is to have viability as a starter long term. He’s going to be tested quickly with a start at Boston on Friday followed by back-to-back starts against Cleveland (if he isn’t supplanted by SP Carlos Rodon, which looks likely).

Cincinnati Reds

  • SP Luis Castillo has struggled with runners on base all season, and yesterday that manifested itself at the worst time, turning a potential dominant outing in to one bereft of fantasy value. He allowed just two hits and struck out three in the first four innings, but in the fifth he allowed a soft single to center, a bunt single, and a walk, then after a fielder’s choice got his first out, he put a slider out with too much of the plate and pinch-hitting OF Hunter Renfroe hit a grand slam. Castillo faced two more batters and that was the end of his day.

Continue reading “Daily Intel – 6/4/2018”

Daily Intel – 6/3/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • OF David Peralta hit cleanup last night, and after 45 games in the leadoff spot he’s now spent most of this week hitting fifth or fourth. He went 1-for-3 last night with a home run, his second consecutive game with a homer.

Atlanta Braves

  • SS/3B Johan Camargo’s hot week continued with a three-run homer yesterday, his third home run in the last five days.
  • 2B Ozzie Albies went 0-for-6 yesterday, and he’s got only two extra-base hits in his last 73 plate appearances.

Baltimore Orioles

  • SP Kevin Gausman was crushed again yesterday, the third dud outing in his last four trips to the mound – the Yankees tagged him for nine hits and six runs (five earned) over 5 1/3 innings. Gausman did strike out nine, but the home run issue is becoming a big one and Gausman needs to be evaluated on a matchups basis moving forward. He gets the Blue Jays on the road next, followed by the Red Sox at home. Both those outings are hard to trust him in based on his current form.

Boston Red Sox

  • 3B Rafael Devers struck out three times last night, and if it weren’t for 2B Dustin Pedoria going back on the disabled list yesterday with an recurrence of his knee injury, we’d be wondering if Devers was at risk of losing playing time in the near future. In the last 30 days, Devers is only hitting .184 in 105 plate appearances, with a .605 OPS and 30 strikeouts.

Chicago Cubs

  • OF Jason Heyward went 4-for-5 with a run scored yesterday. He’s got 13 hits in his last 28 at-bats and is a sleeper hitter for next week with six home games and only one elite starter – Philadelphia SP Aaron Nola – on the schedule.

Chicago White Sox

  • SP James Shields took his sixth loss of the season yesterday, but he delivered his sixth quality start out of his last seven starts, and his fourth straight start where he went at least seven innings. Shields’ next three starts are against the Red Sox and Cleveland (twice), so now may not be the time to take the dive on him in 12-team mixed leagues. That said, our tune will change if he’s good against the Red Sox, because this type of volume innings production is rare in today’s fantasy environment.

Continue reading “Daily Intel – 6/3/2018”

Daily Intel – 6/2/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • 3B Daniel Descalso led off last night and continued his five-game hitting streak, delivering a two-run home run and a walk.
  • We said after his last start that SP Clay Buchholz was a great under-the-radar streaming option for this week with a home start against Miami. That played out last night with Buchholz striking out nine over seven one-run innings, allowing only six hits and walking one. Buchholz’s velocity readings are good and Arizona is an incredibly pitcher-friendly park this season, meaning he should be in consideration if you need a starter in a deep mixed league.

Atlanta Braves

  • SP Mike Foltynewicz was tremendous last night, limiting the Nationals to two hits and a walk in a complete game shutout. He struck out 11. He’s allowed two runs in his last five starts, a run of 32 innings, and he’s only allowed more than two runs in one of his 12 starts this season.

Baltimore Orioles

  • 3B Jace Peterson led off for the second consecutive game after hitting in the bottom of the order for most of the last several weeks. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, and moving 1B/OF Trey Mancini from leadoff down to the bottom third of the order hasn’t done much to help him.

Boston Red Sox

  • After sitting him for five games and insisting he wouldn’t hit the disabled list, OF Mookie Betts was placed on the DL yesterday with a left abdominal strain. This should only be a minimum stay, meaning he should be back next weekend, though Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald noted that most players who had an abdominal strain last year took between two and six weeks to return.

Chicago Cubs

  • OF Kyle Schwarber didn’t start last night, but he did pinch-hit in the seventh inning and produced a big night, first with a sac fly and then with a three-run home run. Schwarber has four homers and 10 RBI in his last 10 games, and despite only being on pace for 465 at-bats, he’s also tracking to hit 33 homers with 84 runs and 84 RBI.

Chicago White Sox

  • 2B/3B Yolmer Sanchez went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored yesterday, extending his five-game hit streak. He’s got two triples and a home run in that stretch.

Cincinnati Reds

  • RP Michael Lorenzen went four innings last night to get his first save of the season, and he’s been pretty good in his five appearances since returning from a shoulder injury on May 23 – seven innings, five hits, two runs, three walks, six strikeouts. We’ll see if last night’s boost in innings is a precursor to a potential shift in to the rotation later this season.

Cleveland Indians

  • OF Bradley Zimmer did come off the disabled list yesterday, but perhaps our thought in yesterday’s Intel that he’d take OF Greg Allen’s playing time was premature. Allen went 2-for-3 with a double and a triple yesterday, extending his seven-game hitting streak.
  • SP Carlos Carrasco now has an ERA of 6.37 over the last month-plus, a seven-start stretch, after allowing six runs on 3 2/3 innings last night against the Twins. He also gave up seven hits and three walks while striking out two. He has allowed nine runs with two outs in his last two starts, and the curveball remains an issue, as the Twins put it in play four times yesterday, with three going for extra bases and the fourth one being a single.

Continue reading “Daily Intel – 6/2/2018”

Daily Intel – 6/1/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • SP Shelby Miller, a name that hasn’t mattered in fantasy for several seasons but could this year with the D-Backs dealing with multiple injuries in their rotation, is currently in the middle of his rehab assignment and on track to return in mid-June. He struck out eight without walking a batter during a start at High-A earlier this week, and is likely to start next in Double-A early next week.

Atlanta Braves

  • OF Ender Inciarte was caught stealing for the sixth time this season in yesterday’s game. He hasn’t successfully stolen a base since May 15, with three attempts since that time.
  • RP Dan Winkler is looking like the best reliever in the Atlanta bullpen – last night’s perfect eighth inning where he struck out two capped off a month of May in which he allowed only six baserunners and no runs in 10 1/3 innings, with 15 strikeouts. Winkler now has 34 Ks in 23 1/3 innings on the season.

Baltimore Orioles

  • The O’s were rained out at home yesterday in their series opener against the Yankees. The game will be made up July 9, meaning there’s no change in their upcoming rotation – SP Andrew Cashner will start tonight.
  • OF Colby Rasmus will begin a rehab assignment in Double-A tonight. He’s missed almost two months with a hip injury.

Boston Red Sox

  • 2B Dustin Pedroia was a late scratch from yesterday’s lineup due to soreness in his surgically repaired left knee.
  • The velocity was better for SP Drew Pomeranz last night, but he still wasn’t all that effective, allowing four runs in five innings with six hits and two walks. He struck out five.  SP/RP Steven Wright, who is first in line to take over any rotation spots that come open, relieved Pomeranz in the sixth and finished the game with three scoreless innings, allowing a hit and three walks with four strikeouts.

Chicago Cubs

  • One day after we speculated that OF Jason Heyward could be a nice lottery ticket for an upcoming hot streak, he was moved up to second in the order for the first time this year after not having hit higher than 7th in his previous 34 starts. He had another multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 with an RBI.
  • If you’re like us, you benched SP Jose Quintana in shallower deep leagues this week, having grown tired of his poor outings in seemingly good matchups. Well, he pitched six shutout innings on the road last night against the Mets, limiting them to three hits and two walks while striking out six. The command wasn’t perfect, as he still threw less than 60 percent strikes overall, but he did succeed in getting ahead in counts and forcing the Mets to swing at the pitches he wanted. He gets a tough matchup against Philly next at home on Wednesday. We’re going to roll the dice and put him back in our lineup.
  • 2B/SS Javier Baez drew his first unintentional walk in 183 plate appearances yesterday.

Continue reading “Daily Intel – 6/1/2018”

Daily Intel – 5/31/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • C John Ryan Murphy’s hot stretch continued yesterday, as he hit out of the cleanup spot and went 3-for-5 with a home run and two runs scored.
  • 1B Paul Goldschmidt hit his third home run in his last 10 starts yesterday, so there’s some daylight in the black hole that has been his offensive production so far. Maybe sitting out Tuesday’s game will be the impetus to get him going.

Atlanta Braves

  • OF Charlie Culberson has started in four of the five games since OF Ronald Acuna Jr. got hurt, so he looks to be the guy in left field rather than OF Preston Tucker.

Baltimore Orioles

  • 1B/OF Trey Mancini is really struggling over the last two weeks – he’s hitting under .130 in 45 at-bats over that time after an 0-for-3 outing last night, with only one home run and 10 strikeouts. He was dropped to seventh in the order for the second consecutive start after leading off 43 times this season.

Boston Red Sox

  • INF/OF Eduardo Nunez returned to the lineup yesterday – at designated hitter, oddly enough – and went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and an RBI double.
  • RP Matt Barnes has been dominant over his last eight outings – with a perfect 1 1/3 innings yesterday, he’s now gone 8 1/3 innings without allowing a run, and in that time he’s allowed only three hits and three walks while striking out 12.

Chicago Cubs

  • OF Jason Heyward had three hits for the second consecutive game, and with eight hits in his last four starts he’s boosted his batting average from .220 to .256. Heyward’s hard hit rate is 34.8 percent, about nine points up from the last two seasons. He’s also hitting 44 percent fly balls, a number he’s never approached in his major league career. He’s doing all that while actually boosting his overall contact rate from 84.7 percent last year to 86.5 percent this year. All this to say: we wouldn’t be surprised if Heyward had a hot couple of weeks at some point this summer, especially in hitter-friendly Wrigley Field.

Chicago White Sox

  • SS Tim Anderson has had a hot stretch after being pretty lousy for most of May. After a two-double day yesterday, Anderson now has 11 hits in his last 10 games, including six for extra bases, along with nine RBI, two steals, and nine runs scored. Anderson’s fly ball rate is up more than 10 percent from last season (28.0 to 38.4), and he’s made noticeable improvements in his plate discipline between contact percentages and an improved strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Cincinnati Reds

  • SP Anthony DeSclafani continued his rehab work at Triple-A Louisville, going 6 1/3 innings and 95 pitches, allowing seven hits, a walk, and two runs (both solo homers), with two strikeouts and 11 ground ball outs.
  • Two slumping outfielders homered yesterday for the Reds – OF Adam Duvall had one hit in five at-bats, but he made it count with a grand slam; OF Scott Schebler went 2-for-4 with a walk, including a two-run home run.
  • RP Raisel Iglesias was activated off the disabled list and worked the last out of the eighth and the whole ninth inning last night for his ninth save of the year. He allowed three hits and struck out one.

Continue reading “Daily Intel – 5/31/2018”