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4/19:Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve went 3-for-4 Thursday, smacking two doubles and driving in four as the Astros ran away from the Mariners 9-2. Altuve was on base four times and raised his batting average to .342 on the season. The reigning-MVP is as sure of a fantasy bet as there is in baseball and he has picked right up where he left off in 2017. He still is looking for his first home run but has hits in nine of his last 10 games. He is a top fantasy performer who still hasn't hit his stride this season.--Joey C - RotoBallerSource: Houston Astros
4/19:Seattle Mariners starter Marco Gonzales struck out eight but couldn't make it through the fifth inning Thursday against the Astros. Gonzales was cruising along until the fifth inning, when an error by third baseman Kyle Seager opened the door for the Astros offense. Two hits and a fielder's choice later and the Mariners opted for the bullpen and Gonzales was done for the day. Nonetheless, the team has to be pleased with the recent production from Gonzales, who now has two solid starts in a row.--Joey C - RotoBallerSource: Seattle Mariners
4/19:Houston Astros starter Charlie Morton pitched another gem on Thursday, throwing seven shutout innings while striking out eight. Morton mystified Seattle hitters, allowing only three hits and shutting down their offense on only 86 pitches. The outing dropped his ERA to a sparkling 0.72 with 33 strikeouts in 25 innings pitched. Everything is clicking right now for Morton and is leading the charge among a devastating collection of Houston starters. Morton's early season dominance is making him look like one of the biggest steals in fantasy right now.--Joey C - RotoBallerSource: Houston Astros
4/19:Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (ankle) was on the field in Anaheim doing agility drills, according to Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe. Bogaerts continues to progress in his rehab. This is the third consecutive day of workouts. There is no set timeline yet for his return. Barring some sudden activation, it is likely he returns in the upcoming series against the Athletics. Bogaerts is working to prove he belongs among the elite shortstops. In nine games, he has a .368 average with two homers, nine RBI and is tied for the team lead with seven doubles.--Ellis Canady - RotoBallerSource: Pete Abraham
4/19:Los Angeles Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun is out of the lineup on Thursday against Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez. Calhoun has sat a couple of times against left-handers this year, and was pulled for a pinch hitter on Wednesday against a left-hander as well. Calhoun is 4-for-23 (.174) against lefties on the year but has a .717 OPS against southpaws for his career. Chris Young will start in his place. If Calhoun is truly relegated to a platoon, he will lose even more value. As such, he's a fringe-worthy outfield option in 12-team leagues.--Andy P - RotoBallerSource: Angels PR
4/19:Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo went 3-for-4 on Wednesday. It was Rizzo’s second game back from the disabled list. The first baseman also finished with a walk and RBI. Rizzo will look to carry his strong game into a weekend series versus the Rockies at Coors Field.--Daniel Burdeen - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
4/19:Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (blister) is in the lineup on Thursday, hitting sixth and serving as the designated hitter. Ohtani will hit even though the Angels are facing Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, a sign that Ohtani may not be stuck in a platoon after all. Expect the left-handed hitting Ohtani to be in the lineup three or so times per week going forward this season.--Andy P - RotoBallerSource: Angels PR
4/19:Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber picked up two hits in Wednesday’s victory versus the Cardinals. Schwarber finished the game 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI. Schwarber has looked good on the young season and is now hitting .245 as the Cubs head to Colorado for a three-game set.--Daniel Burdeen - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
4/19:Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward hit his second home run of the year Wednesday afternoon. He finished 2-for-4 on the afternoon with two runs and two RBI. Heyward has struggled with the bat with a .226 batting average on the year. He remains best suited on the waiver wire, as he is in the Cubs lineup for his defense and not offense.--Daniel Burdeen - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
4/19:Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Baez continues to be on fire. On Wednesday afternoon, the second baseman picked up two more hits and finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Baez was in the No. 2 spot Wednesday and with the way he continues to hit, it is likely he can stay there.--Daniel Burdeen - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
4/19:Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester returned to form Thursday versus the Cardinals. Lester has been a mixed bag of results early on but went six innings, allowing two hits, one run (unearned), one walk and struck out seven batters. Lester needed an outing like this and owners are hoping he can keep the momentum going next Wednesday versus the Cleveland Indians.--Daniel Burdeen - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
4/19:Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon (hip) is set to begin his rehab assignment with the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers on Friday. Gordon has been sidelined for the last 10 days with a labral tear in his hip, and Paulo Orlando has mostly filled in for him. The good news was that while Gordon's injury was initially thought to be more serious, it ended up not needing surgery. The bad news is that Gordon has already been bad before this injury, and hip injuries are usually lingering ones that hurt a player's offensive performance for months afterward. Gordon was already one of the worst hitters in baseball, so at least he can't get much worse?--Billy Stonick - RotoBallerSource: Jeffrey Flanagan
4/19:Milwaukee Brewers infielder Jonathan Villar will get the day off as the Brewers face off against the Miami Marlins. Like Thames, Villar has been a much better hitter against righties this season with a .304 batting average against righties while only rocking a .231 average against lefties. Villar's subpar fielding so far could also play a part in him resting more than usual, as he's only at a .932 fielding percentage at arguably one of the easier positions in the infield at second base. He will continue to provide contact and speed value in fantasy formats but will most likely not get consistent starts with Hernan Perez and Eric Sogard able to play the keystone as well.--Caden Inaba - RotoBallerSource: Milwaukee Brewers on Twitter
4/19:Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Eric Thames will draw out of the lineup on Thursday against starter Dillon Peters and the Miami Marlins. Lots of Thames' explosiveness comes from getting to see the ball better against righties as a left-handed batter, and historically he does not have great stats against left-handed pitchers. In his career, he has only batted .201 against lefties with a .651 OPS compared to his .259 batting average against righties with an .834 OPS. Expect Thames to take most of his days off when the Brewers are going against left-handed starters. Jesus Aguilar will take his place at first base. His power alone will make him worth owning in standard formats, however, owners need to be aware of his splits and should only start him against righties.--Caden Inaba - RotoBallerSource: Milwaukee Brewers on Twitter
4/19:Denver Broncos general manager John Elway said he's not worried about Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield's size. "He's overcome the size issue," Elway said. The Broncos recently had Mayfield in for a visit and were able to coach him during the Senior Bowl. All indications suggest they like him, and even though the Broncos are shopping the No. 5 overall pick in the draft, they could certainly select him fifth overall if he's still available. Depending on where Mayfield lands, he could be a redraft option in deeper leagues, but in Denver he'd likely sit and learn behind Case Keenum in 2018.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: 9News - Mike Klis
4/19:Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun (calf) said he feels much better and is hoping to play Friday against the Miami Marlins, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Braun took part in the pre-game workout Thursday, and while it's unknown if he'll be available to pinch hit or not, it's good to see he's feeling better. Injuries are just something that Braun owners have to expect will happen more often than other players, as he's historically been injury-prone -- hasn't played a 150-game season since 2012. Braun looked promising on Tuesday against the Reds and hopefully this is the start of a bounce-back for him.--Caden Inaba - RotoBallerSource: Tom Haudricourt on Twitter
4/19:Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will man the pipes once again in Thursday's Game 4 home matchup against the Washington Capitals. The reigning Vezina winner has been stellar so far in this series, posting a .925 save percentage in three games. The Caps finally managed to steal one in overtime after the Jackets took two in Washington, but this will be their chance to take a commanding lead in the series. With only two games Thursday, Bob might be your best bet in DFS matchups.--Barry Miles - RotoBallerSource: AlisonL
4/19:Washington Capitals goaltender Bradon Holtby will start Game 4's road matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night. All three games in this series have gone to overtime, but the Caps finally managed to steal one in Tuesday's 3-2 win with Holtby in net. Despite having the worst regular season of his career, Holtby still enters this game with the best playoff save percentage among active goalies. He didn't have to work especially hard in the double-overtime win, stopping 33 shots over 4 1/2 periods but looked great while doing it.--Barry Miles - RotoBallerSource: Isabelle Khurshudyan
4/19:Washington Capitals forward Chandler Stephenson will get a shot on the second line ahead of Thursday's matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Stephenson managed six goals and 18 points in 67 games during his first full regular season in a fourth-line role and hasn't found the scoresheet yet in three postseason games. Head coach Barry Trotz has trusted the 23-year-old with an increase in ice time over the last two games and now will truly put his faith to the test as he slots up next to Nicklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie while Andre Burakovasky misses another game with an upper-body injury. Stephenson has shown zero value in fantasy hockey of any sort so far but will be a very cheap option in DFS leagues Thursday if you're feeling lucky.--Barry Miles - RotoBallerSource: NHL
4/19:Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is in the lineup Thursday night against the Mets after being hit on the left wrist in Wednesday's win over the Phillies. In a major sigh of relief for Braves fans and fantasy owners alike, the hit by pitch that almost identically mirrored that of the one that cost Freeman two months of last season was deemed much less severe, as it only caused Freeman to exit the game early. Make sure to have Freeman in your lineup, as the notorious Met killer is off to a solid start, hitting .288 with two homers and 12 RBI.--Matthew Sparrow - RotoBallerSource: Kelsey Wingert-Fox Sports South
4/19:Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson is making progress in his rehab from inflammation in his right shoulder that landed him on the disabled list. While manager John Gibbons said that he expected Donaldson to be out longer than the 10-day minimum, it appears that he might not need much longer, saying the superstar threw Thursday and "felt great." Monitor Donaldson's status, as he's a must-start when healthy, and it appears that he's heading in that direction sooner rather than later. Infielder Yangervis Solarte's playing time may dry up a bit once Donaldson is back.--Matthew Sparrow - RotoBallerSource: Gregor Chishom-MLB.com
4/19:Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez has gotten off to a scorching start since being recalled last week. In just four games, he's hitting .421 with a homer and six RBI, including a four-hit game on Wednesday against the Royals. When asked about the idea of sending him back down due to the Blue Jays having five outfielders on the roster, manager John Gibbons commented, "I can't answer that yet, how it's all going to shake out. You want to throw your best team out there, don't you?" With the manager's vote of confidence, add Hernandez in all leagues and ride the hot wave as long as possible.--Matthew Sparrow - RotoBallerSource: Gregor Chishom-MLB.com
4/19:Nashville Predators winger Ryan Hartman will have a hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety on Thursday. The hearing is a consequence of Hartman's ugly charging penalty taken in Game 4 in which the forward's shoulder struck Carl Soderberg in the head. Soderberg did not return to the game. Based on the results of other hearings around the league this spring, it would seem likely that Hartman will be suspended for Game 5. Hartman has one goal and six penalty minutes in four playoff games thus far.--Chase Davis - RotoBallerSource: NBCSports
4/19:Toronto Blue Jays outfielders Anthony Alford and Dalton Pompey were both sent down to Triple-A Buffalo after recovering from their injuries on Thursday. Both young promising outfielders will look to produce in the minors to warrant a call-up to an already crowded Blue Jays outfield that features Kevin Pillar, Curtis Granderson, Steve Pearce, Randal Grichuk and Teoscar Hernandez all needing at-bats.--Matthew Sparrow - RotoBallerSource: Gregor Chishom-MLB.com
4/19:Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton is showing the first signs in his return from the Achilles he ruptured over the winter. He's scheduled to throw off a half mound on Friday in Baltimore, marking the first time he'll be on a mound all season. This is big news for an Orioles team that has seen solid numbers from their late-inning relievers but an overall shaky start from the rest of the bullpen. Pay attention to updates on Britton's status, as it'll likely be another couple of months before his return.--Matthew Sparrow - RotoBallerSource: Steve Melewski-MASN
4/19:Colorado Avalanche goaltender Andrew Hammond will get the nod in place of the injured Jonathan Bernier as the Avs look to avoid elimination on Friday night in Game 5. The Avalanche are now down to their third goaltending option, as starter Semyon Varlamov has also been out with an injury since late March. Hammond was perfect in relief in Game 4 on Wednesday, stopping all eight shots he faced. If the Avs get back into the series, they'll need Hammond to be on top of his game.--Chase Davis - RotoBallerSource: ESPN
4/19:Cleveland Indians first baseman/designated hitter Mike Napoli will be placed on the Triple-A disabled list due to a knee injury. There has been shockingly little information about Napoli's injury, but manager Terry Francona said it seemed like a significant one. Napoli should not be counted on anytime soon. He was with Cleveland in spring training but failed to make the team and was cut. He then agreed to a minor league contract and had been playing in Triple-A Columbus before suffering the injury.--David A Marcillo - RotoBallerSource: Tribe Insider on Twitter
4/19:Cleveland Indians outfielder Greg Allen was optioned back to Triple-A Columbus after Wednesday's game. Allen was with the team as the 26th player while they played their series against the Minnesota Twins in Puerto Rico. The speedy outfielder will continue getting consistent at bats at the Triple-A level but should be back and forth between Columbus and Cleveland all summer.--David A Marcillo - RotoBallerSource: Tribe Insider on Twitter
4/19:Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas drilled a double on Wednesday to extend his hit streak to 10 games. A rare bright spot on an otherwise dreadful Royals team, Moustakas has been on fire as of late, as he's hitting .442 with four home runs over the course of the streak. He likely won't have huge RBI or run totals since the majority of Kansas City's offense is weak, but Moustakas should still be a solid power hitter who finishes the season in the neighborhood of 30 home runs and a .275 batting average.--Billy Stonick - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
4/19:Denver Broncos general manager John Elway said the team hasn't decided whether they will pick up linebacker Shane Ray's fifth-year option. Ray is coming off a disappointing season in which he recorded just 16 tackles and one sack in eight games due to injury. He was coming off a career-high eight sacks in his sophomore season in 2016, and the Broncos need him healthy and effective in 2018 across from Von Miller.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: 9News - Mike Klis
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