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3 years agoKenta Maeds will face Jose Fernandez as the Dodgers try to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Marlins Thursday night in LA. Maeda has been the Dodgers best pitcher so far this season, leading the league with ERA. He also has three wins to go with it. Some of Maeda's success so far this year is due to hitters' overall unfamiliarity with the righty from Japan, but most of it is because he's one heck of a pitcher. At the price the Dodgers paid for him, other teams have to be wondering why they didn't chase Maeda a little harder.--Mark Powell
3 years agoFirst baseman Ryan Howard and catcher Cameron Rupp are back in their usual spots in the Phillies lineup tonight, batting fourth and fifth as Philadelphia takes on the Washington Nationals in the series finale. The Phillies are set to face right-hander Tanner Roark, who is coming off a 15-strikeout effort against the Minnesota Twins in his last start. Howard is batting just .177, but is second on the Phillies with four home runs and nine RBI. Rupp is batting .283 with a home run and a pair of RBI while he has split time with veteran Carlos Ruiz. Howard is a career .333 (3-for-9) hitter against Roark with a home run. Rupp is 0-for-3.--Nick Schumacher - RotoBaller
3 years agoBaseball can be a cruel game sometimes. Despite suffering from a wrist injury and battling through the worst start to the season of his career, Scott Kazmir threw one heck of a game last night against the Marlins. Unfortunately for him, his offense couldn't back him up. Kazmir gave up two runs in six inngs, but his opposing pitcher Justin Nicolino only gave up two hits in over seven innings of work. Despite taking the L, the outing was a good sign for Kazmir and the Dodgers, who expect him to play a big part in their pitching success this season.--Mark Powell
3 years agoSan Francisco Giants right-hander Jake Peavy is coming off his best start of the season, but fantasy owners will want to look elsewhere on Friday. Peavy held the Miami Marlins to two runs over seven innings in last Saturday's 7-2 win, but he'll now face a New York Mets team that's won six straight and nine of its last 10 overall. New York also ranks fourth in the majors with 30 home runs. Peavy, who is 1-1 with a 6.86 ERA through four starts, will face off against young left-hander Steven Matz. It's difficult to have confidence in Peavy, particularly against one of the majors' hottest teams.--Andrew C. Lovell - RotoBaller
3 years agoMartin Perez teased owners by striking out the side in the top of the first, as he would not record another strikeout in the contest. He completed his outing having surrendered two runs (one home run) in six innings while walking two. Perez uses his ground ball rate as a weapon to escape the messes he creates, but he carries the promise of a low floor and ceiling, making him less than desirable in most formats.--Christopher Olson - RotoBaller
3 years agoJJ Hardy has had a productive year thus far, hitting .254 and driving in eight runs in limited time since his return from injury. He's certainly not lighting up the league, but he's providing value at a position that isn't very deep. Hardy also hits very well historically against Rays starter Matt Moore, with an average over .400 in a large sample size.--Mark Powell
3 years agoBy now you've probably heard the story of Rule 5 draft pick turned everyday outfielder Joey Rickard, but what has he been up to lately? Rickard had actually been slumping a but heading into last night's game. His batting average is under .300 for the first time all year, and many thought it was a sign that pitchers were adjusting to the rookie. The O's managed only three hits last night, and Rickard had one of those. But man was it a big one. Rickard hit a three run home run in the fifth to give the Orioles a lead they would not relinquish. He's certainly not known as a power hitter, but it's a sign he's still seeing the ball well. Fantasy owners shouldn't give up on him yet.--Mark Powell
3 years agoChris Tillman is a key cog in the Orioles' rotation. The righty allowed until two hits in six innings against the Rays last night, reminding O's fans the kind of pitcher he can be when he's truly at his best. The Orioles rotation is full of pitchers like this. At their best, they can shut down any lineup in the league, but they go through long stretches of inconsistency. Tillman's early season ERA is 3.24, and he's won two of his first four starts, so he's certainly worth a pick up off the waiver wire. Things can go south quick with Tillman, so keep a look out for a toxic start here or there.--Mark Powell
3 years agoThe Colorado Rockies have one of the worst pitching staffs in the league, but Harrison Musgrave is proving to be a fantastic prospect. The left-handed pitcher for the Double-A Hartford threw seven scoreless innings and did not allow a baserunner until the seven inning. He has three starts this season, posting a 0.87 ERA and perfect 3-0 record. It will definitely be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out for Musgrave, as the Rockies could give him the call up at any time, especially with the recent injuries to their pitching staff. Monitor the situation closely.--Jason Bales - RotoBaller
3 years agoTrey Mancini recently got called up from the Double-A Bowie to the Triple-A Norfolk after he hit over .300 with seven home runs and 14 RBIs in his first 17 games. He recorded three hits in his first Triple-A game, so it looks like the change of pace will not slow him down. Currently, Chris Davis is playing first for the Baltimore Orioles, so it is not likely that Mancini becomes fantasy relevant quickly, but he could still see a September call up if he continues to play this well. Keep an eye on his progress.--Jason Bales - RotoBaller
3 years agoZack Cozart continues to rake while leading off for the Reds. The veteran hit a solo home run off of Matt Harvey on Wednesday and is hitting .346 with two home runs and four RBI over the past week. He is definitely worth a roster spot if your team needs some pop at shortstop. While he won't help much in the speed categories, Cozart should remain a useful asset as long as he remains healthy.--Matt Terelle - RotoBaller
3 years agoAstros right fielder George Springer added two singles to his season ledger on Wednesday, helping to propel his team to a 7-5 win over the Seattle Mariners. Springer also added a run scored on a seventh-inning RBI double by designated hitter Evan Gattis. Springer is now batting .286 on the season, and has hit in seven straight games. Springer has favorable matchups coming up: though the Astros are off today, he is scheduled to face newcomer Sean Manaea in his major league debut on Friday, followed by a struggling Kendall Graveman and then lefty Rich Hill. Springer should be in any fantasy owner's lineup every day due to his ability to contribute across multiple categories, but make sure to sit him today due to his day off.--Nick Schumacher - RotoBaller
3 years agoAstros second baseman Jose Altuve had another fantastic game on Wednesday in a win over the Mariners, smacking three hits while scoring three runs and knocking in a pair. One of Altuve's hits was a leadoff home run off Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma, off whom he is now hitting a ridiculous .433. Altuve also got Iwakuma for a pair of doubles, increasing his slugging percentage to a league-leading .659. Altuve is a fantasy stud in any format. He ranks at or near the top of the American League in multiple offensive categories. The Astros have off on Thursday before traveling to Oakland, where he will likely be the first batter that prospect Sean Manaea, who is making his major league debut, will face.--Nick Schumacher - RotoBaller
3 years agoDavid Robertson was placed on the Bereavement List prior to Thursday night's game and must remain on the list for a minimum of three days, but no more than seven. Nate Jones has been the primary setup man for the White Sox this season and should step into the ninth inning as Robertson is away from the team. Matt Albers looks to shift up into the eighth inning as he continues his run of scoreless innings. The corresponding roster move for Chicago was calling up infielder Carlos Sanchez from Triple-A, but he shouldn't be a fantasy factor.--Nick Mariano - RotoBallerSource: Scot Gregor
3 years agoAstros right-hander Collin McHugh pitched one of his best games this season, firing five innings and allowing just two runs while picking up the victory in what would eventually be a 7-5 Astros win. McHugh allowed five hits while walking just one and striking out three. The outing likely qualifies as McHugh's second best start of the year, as he has struggled in three of his outings this season. McHugh's ERA dropped almost a full run after the start, from 7.56 to 6.65. Look for McHugh to continue his improvement in his next start, against a struggling Minnesota offense on Tuesday. The Twins have scored the fourth-fewest runs in the American League so look for McHugh to have an even better outing than his last one.--Nick Schumacher - RotoBaller
3 years agoSean Manaea was promoted to the Major Leagues and will start for Oakland against the Astros on Friday. The 24-year-old southpaw has a 1.50 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 18 innings over three starts in Triple-A this year and has moved up the ladder pretty quickly. Drafted by Kansas City in 2013 and traded to the A's last year in exchange for Ben Zobrist, he could fit in very nicely pitching in Oakland Coliseum. Look for big things from Manaea now and in the future.--Steven Conley
3 years agoAfter news broke out of his impending trip to the Disabled List, Miguel Montero revealed he’d undergone an MRI. While awaiting the results, the veteran catcher admitted he assumed it’s the chronic bulging disk injury that has affected him in the past. Three years ago, as a member of the Diamondbacks, Montero missed nearly a month dealing with the same injury. Now 32 years old, it’s completely possible that the injury will cost him more time. The MRI results will surely provide us with a better guideline for his return.--Ricky Delgado - RotoBaller
3 years agoTanner Roark (2-2, 2.63) looks to follow-up on his recent 15-strikeout performance by taking on the Phillies at home on Thursday afternoon. The Fightin' Phils have lived up to their nickname lately, taking the last two games from Washington and will go for the sweep today. Pitchers typically struggle in the game following a great performance, so don't expect double-digit strikeouts from Roark today. His 2.63 ERA is due in large part to 14 shutout innings against the Braves and Twins. Buyer beware.--Steven Conley
3 years agoTyler Wilson (1-0, 2.77) will make his second start of the season for the Orioles on Thursday against the White Sox. The 26-year-old right-hander allowed three runs over five innings in Kansas City earlier this week and is getting another chance to show what he can do. Wilson had a 3.24 ERA in 94.1 innings over 17 starts in Triple-A last year, but struck out just 63 batters. Camden Yards is not the ideal home park for a non-strikeout pitcher, but Wilson has shown the ability to get hitters out via contact. Keep an eye on him.--Steven Conley
3 years agoThe Pittsburgh Pirates have a few lineup changes for their game today against the Colorado Rockies. Francisco Cervelli and Starling Marte are both getting the day off. Matt Joyce will start for Marte and bat fourth. He has huge fantasy implications for today, as he is hitting in an RBI spot in Colorado. Use him in both season-long and daily fantasy leagues. Chris Stewart is behind the plate and batting eighth. He is not as impactful as Joyce, but he still could have some success in a very hitter-friendly ballpark.--Jason Bales - RotoBaller
3 years agoDrew Smyly, Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi are scheduled to take the hill in this weekend’s home series against the Blue Jays. The Rays’ big three collectively allowed just two runs in 18.2 innings pitched the last time through the rotation, but the Blue Jays offer up a tough test. The same trio faced the Jays earlier in April, and none of them walked away with a quality start. However, while the Jays do produce a lot of runs, they also strike out a lot, especially against lefties— Smyly is the only lefty of the three. Smyly, Archer and Odorizzi are probably pitching well enough to have earned a spot in your starting lineup this weekend, but they are all risky plays.--Harris Yudin - RotoBaller
3 years agoZach Eflin is currently pitching for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and he has been tearing it up. With the recent season-long injury to Charlie Morton, the Phillies may have plans to bring up the 22-year-old starting pitcher prospect at some point this season. He currently has a 2.05 ERA and a 3-0 record. If he continues to pitch as well as he has been, the Phillies will have little choice. He is worth a stash in deep season-long leagues, and he could even impact daily leagues within the next month or two.--Jason Bales - RotoBaller
3 years agoThis is for all of the deep season-long keeper league players out there. Andy Ibanez, the Texas Rangers' Low-A Hickory starting second baseman, is tearing the cover off the ball this season. He has four more doubles (12) than any other player in the South Atlantic League. His batting average is over .400, and he will be getting 'the call' shortly. It is unlikely that Ibanez will see the majors at any point during this season, but he is worth a look, as stashing a player for an entire year is what deep season-long keeper leagues are all about.--Jason Bales - RotoBaller
3 years agoMariners first baseman Adam Lind tallied a pair of hits, including his first home run of the season, in a 7-4 loss by Seattle to the Houston Astros on Wednesday. Fantasy owners can glean two important things from these results. First of all, the home run was Lind's first on the season, so this can be seen as a good sign that he may get his power stroke going. Secondly, the home run came off Astros left-hander Tony Sipp; if Lind can prove he can hit lefties, against whom he is a career .215 hitter, then he may earn more playing time, making him more valuable as a fantasy asset. Lind and the Mariners are off on Thursday before facing three right-handed starters for the Royals- Kris Medlen, Yordano Ventura, and Ian Kennedy- so look for Lind to be starting all three of those games.--Nick Schumacher - RotoBaller
3 years agoThe major word in the title of this post is 'yet.' The Chicago Cubs have the best catcher prospect in the minors in Willson Contrera, as he is currently batting .375 in 62 plate appearances this season in the Triple-A. It would make sense for him to come up and play while Miguel Montero recovers from his many injuries, but that will not happen. The Cubs are not desperate for runs, so they will allow the 23-year-old to develop a little more before making the move. Manager Joe Maddon said he could make an impact at the major league level in the second half of the season. David Ross and Tim Federowicz will handle duties until Montero returns.--Jason Bales - RotoBaller
3 years agoComing off a game in which he hit a grand slam and knocked in six runs overall, Mariners second baseman continued to put on a clinic in the series finale with the Houston Astros on Wednesday, going 2-for-5 with his second home run in as many days as the Mariners lost, 7-4. Cano hit a solo home run off Astros starter Collin McHugh before adding RBIs in the third and ninth inning to knock in three overall. Cano is now hitting .247 with a league-leading eight home runs and 24 RBI. Look for him to continue his elite production at second base on Friday when the Mariners begin a three-game series with the Royals in Seattle. Pay close attention in case Cano ever faces Royals closer Wade Davis- Cano is 7-for-22 (.318) in his career off the hard-throwing right-hander, with a pair of home runs.--Nick Schumacher - RotoBaller
3 years agoMariners shortstop Ketel Marte posted his second consecutive three-hit game in a loss to the Astros on Wednesday, marking the seventh consecutive game in which he has recorded at least one. Marte has raised his batting average from an unsightly .186 to a more playable .288 in that time. Much of his fantasy value is tied to his ability to get on base, as he does not provide much power, so it is a good sign for owners of Marte that he is beginning to heat up with the bat. Marte and the Mariners are off Thursday, and they are scheduled to start a weekend series with the Royals on Friday. Look for Marte to continue his hot hitting against Kris Medlen on Friday, who has struggled in the early going, posting an ERA of 6.00 and walking 11 in 15 innings.--Nick Schumacher - RotoBaller
3 years agoNeither Michael Taylor nor Anthony Rendon will be playing tonight for the Washington Nationals. The Nationals are going to need all the offense they can get against Aaron Nola and the Philadelphia Phillies. For Rendon, Stephen Drew will start at third base and bat seventh. For Taylor, Matt den Dekker will start in center field and leadoff. Drew is worth a look in daily fantasy leagues, and den Dekker is worth a look in both season-long and daily fantasy leagues, as he hits leadoff whenever he gets a chance to play. Ben Revere is set to return shortly, but he is a solid bench option until then.--Jason Bales - RotoBaller
3 years agoChris Bassitt (0-1, 4.44) will start Thursday afternoon against the Tigers and is probably best left riding the pine. Both Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez have been swinging hot sticks as of late, combining for four home runs and nine RBIs in the series so far. Bassitt was roughed up for six runs on nine hits against Toronto earlier this week. His value is very match-up dependent, and this is not a good one.--Steven Conley
3 years agoMariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma looked shaky in a Wednesday night outing against the Houston Astros, taking his third loss of the season in a 7-4 Astros win. Iwakuma, who is still winless on the season, pitched five innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out seven. Iwakuma's ERA stands at 4.65 after the outing, and he is sporting a WHIP of 1.42. Though he remains winless, look for him to improve in his next scheduled start. He is scheduled to face the A's in Oakland on Tuesday, and an outing against a poor Athletics offense in their expansive home ballpark could be just what the doctor ordered for Iwakuma and his fantasy owners.--Nick Schumacher - RotoBaller