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  • Anthony Banda optioned to Triple-A
    Diamondbacks optioned LHP Anthony Banda to Triple-A Reno.

    Advice: Banda allowed four runs and struck out five over 5 2/3 frames against the Nationals on Saturday in his major league debut. It was a spot start while Taijuan Walker was on paternity leave. Today, 5:59 am
  • Chris Taylor comes off bench and shines
    Chris Taylor finished 2-for-2 with a solo home run and three RBI in Saturday's home victory against Atlanta.

    Advice: Taylor came on as part of a double switch in the seventh inning despite the fact he has been tearing the cover off the ball. Trayce Thompson started and struggled again, so don't look for Taylor's playing time to be curtailed much. Taylor is now hitting .429 (27-for-63) with six doubles, three triples, three homers and 10 RBI across 16 games with a 1.208 OPS. Today, 2:28 am
    New Player Note
    Chris Taylor LAD - 2B,3B,SS,OF
    1:10 pm vs Atl
  • Rich Hill pushes aside Braves for win No. 7
    Rich Hill yielded just two earned runs, six hits and two walks with eight strikeouts across 6 1/3 innings in a victory against the Braves on Saturday.

    Advice: Hill said after the game that he is dealing with a respiratory ailment. It's uncertain if the illness will force him to miss his next scheduled start, but he'll have a week to rest before he is expected to take the hill against the rival Giants next Saturday. Today, 2:16 am
    1:10 pm vs Atl
  • Andrelton Simmons posts his 10th homer
    Andrelton Simmons finished 2-for-4 with a two-run home run, two runs scored and three RBI in Saturday's win against the Red Sox.

    Advice: Simmons has raised his average seven points in the month of July, thanks mostly due to five multi-hit games, including a trio of three-hit performances. Simmons won't give you a lot of pop, but he hits for a decent average and will also swipe an occasional bag. Today, 2:05 am
  • Josh Bell finds seats in Mile High City
    Josh Bell went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in Saturday's loss in Colorado.

    Advice: Bell has enjoyed his stay in Denver thus far, collecting five RBI in the first two games of the series. His average is down after hitting .273 last season across 45 games, but he has shown nice power and speed in his first full campaign in the majors. Today, 12:09 am
  • Greg Holland wiggles out of trouble for save
    Greg Holland allowed an earned run, two hits and two walks over 1 1/3 innings in Saturday's game against the Nationals to hang on for his 31st save of the season.

    Advice: Despite the earned run, Holland is still cruising along with a 1.72 ERA overall this season, even better than his career mark of 2.33. Holland has been one of the most dependable closers in the majors, and a tremendous asset to fantasy owners. Yesterday, 11:55 pm
  • Anthony Banda knocked around in debut
    Anthony Banda allowed four earned runs, seven hits and no walks with five strikeouts across 5 2/3 innings in a loss against the Nationals on Saturday.

    Advice: Banda threw 55 of his 82 pitches for strikes in his major league debut. He didn't fare much worse or much better than his time at the Triple-A level. He has a 5.08 ERA with a 1.43 WHIP and 93/43 K/BB ratio. He can be avoided in most fantasy formats for now. Yesterday, 11:09 pm
  • Sean Doolittle picks up second save for Nats
    Sean Doolittle allowed one unearned run with a walk and a strikeout for his second save Saturday in Arizona.

    Advice: Doolittle threw 13 of his 18 pitches for strikes, and needed to work a little overtime after Anthony Rendon's throwing error extended the inning and helped a run come in. Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle have been a nice one-two punch in the eighth and ninth inning, which is exactly what Washington hoped after acquiring them. Yesterday, 10:59 pm
  • Stephenson lets in five runs in 5 1/3 on Sat.
    Robert Stephenson coughed up five runs in 5 1/3 innings and was charged with a loss to the Marlins in his first start of the season on Saturday.

    Advice: He might have been OK if he hadn't had to face J.T. Realmuto in the ballgame. The Marlins' backstop ripped Stephenson for a pair of two-run homers to single-handedly ruin his day. Stephenson allowed eight hits and two walks while notching five strikeouts. He spent time in the Reds' bullpen early in the season, fared poorly and was sent back to Triple-A to pitch in the rotation. He turned in a 3.79 ERA in 40 1/3 innings on the farm and was rewarded with a call to the majors. The rebuilding Reds will probably give him some more chances but fantasy owners should look elsewhere. He has an 8.10 ERA and 1.97 ERA with 32 strikeouts and nine home runs in 30 major-league innings this year. Yesterday, 10:08 pm
  • Cabrera enjoys big four-hit night against KC
    Melky Cabrera went a perfect 4-for-4 with an RBI double and a home run in Saturday's loss to the Royals.

    Advice: Cabrera had Royals starter Jason Vargas' number, swatting a solo homer off him in the third inning before knocking an RBI double in the fifth. The runs were the only two the Sox would muster on the evening. In the midst of a wasteland of a season for the club, Cabrera has quietly had a terrific offensive year, batting .296/.340/.446 with 13 homers, 56 RBI and 52 runs scored. Given those numbers, it wouldn't be shocking to see the 32-year-old free agent-to-be dealt before the trade deadline, but there hasn't been much smoke around Cabrera to date. Yesterday, 9:52 pm
  • McHugh gives up four runs in season debut
    Collin McHugh gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings while making his season debut against the Orioles on Saturday.

    Advice: He made it through the first four innings allowing one hit and no runs but then fell apart in the fifth. He allowed a pair of two-run homers in that frame, one to Adam Jones and the other to Jonathan Schoop. McHugh struck out four and walked two in the outing. He had missed the entire season before today with an elbow injury. The Astros' starting rotation will be rather crowded when ace Dallas Keuchel returns to action in the coming days. McHugh will face the Tigers on the road on Friday. Yesterday, 9:47 pm
  • Vargas holds Sox to two runs in no-decision
    Jason Vargas kept the White Sox to two runs over five innings but didn't factor in the decision Saturday.

    Advice: Vargas held the Sox offense basically in check save for Melky Cabrera, who got to the southpaw for a solo homer in the third inning before doubling in another run in the fifth. Vargas was very good against the non-Cabrera White Sox, though, scattering seven hits and a walk overall. It was a good rebound from a pair of poor performances his last two times out. With Saturday's showing, the 34-year-old remains 12-4 with a 3.08 ERA and 1.24 WHIP heading into Friday's clash with the Red Sox. Yesterday, 9:27 pm
  • Jarrod Dyson leaves after crashing into wall
    Jarrod Dyson left Saturday's game against the Yankees after crashing into the center field wall.

    Advice: Dyson went hard into the wall while trying to reel in a fifth-inning triple hit by Garrett Cooper. He finished out the inning after being checked on by trainers but was later replaced by Guillermo Heredia. Dyson was hitless in two at-bats before exiting. The 32-year-old has hit a sluggish .236 this year but ranks second in the American League with 22 steals. Yesterday, 9:20 pm
    1:10 pm vs NYY
  • D'Arnaud has three-hit night versus Athletics
    Travis d'Arnaud went 3-for-3 with an RBI single and a run scored in a win over the A's on Saturday.

    Advice: D'Arnaud had an RBI single and scored a run in the Mets' four-run sixth inning. He also doubled among his three hits, and walked in the contest. These games come along every so often and remind us that the 28-year-old was once a highly-regarded prospect in part for his offensive abilities, but it's just been too sporadic to this point in his major league career. Through Saturday, d'Arnaud is hitting .241/.302/.449 in 2017. Yesterday, 9:15 pm
  • Chris Heisey exits with groin injury Saturday
    Chris Heisey left Saturday's game against the Diamondbacks with a groin injury.

    Advice: He went 1-for-4 with a triple and a walk before being replaced in left field by Ryan Raburn in the ninth inning. With Heisey banged up and Raburn going on bereavement leave after tonight's game, the short-handed Nats may have to make a roster move. The Nats were expected to call up catcher Pedro Severino to replace Raburn but perhaps they'll look to add an outfielder now. Yesterday, 9:08 pm
    1:10 pm @Ari
  • Wheeler gives up five runs against Athletics
    Zack Wheeler allowed five runs on seven hits over five innings in a no-decision Saturday against the A's.

    Advice: Wheeler also walked four while striking out six and seemed destined for his sixth straight loss before the Mets came back to let him off the hook. Still, it certainly wasn't an encouraging turn for the 27-year-old, who now has a 5.21 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in 17 starts. As noted, he's lost every decision dating back to May 20, a dubious streak he'll try to break Thursday at the Padres. Yesterday, 9:02 pm
  • Reds recall Stephenson for Saturday start
    Reds recalled RHP Robert Stephenson from Triple-A Louisville.

    Advice: He'll get the start against the Marlins on Saturday night. The 24-year-old has been a disaster in 13 appearances out of the Reds' bullpen this season, posting an 8.03 ERA, 1.99 WHIP and 27/16 K/BB ratio, but looked much better in the rotation at Triple-A. Still, this is a situation where daily players would be wise to fire up a Marlins' stack or two on Saturday. Yesterday, 9:19 am
  • Diamondbacks promote Banda for Saturday start
    Diamondbacks recalled LHP Anthony Banda from Triple-A Reno.

    Advice: The 23-year-old southpaw will make his big league debut on Saturday against the Nationals. While he's talented, he owns a troublesome 5.08 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 93/43 K/BB ratio across 101 innings at Triple-A Reno. He should be avoided for his debut against a hard-hitting Nationals' squad. Yesterday, 7:02 am
  • Bell has four-hit, four RBI night vs. Rockies
    Josh Bell went 4-for-6 with four RBI and a run scored Friday versus the Rockies.

    Advice: It was the first four-hit game of his career. Bell had a single, a double, and a triple, so only a home run was missing from a possible cycle. The 24-year-old doesn’t stand out on the surface with his .248 batting average, but he has 17 homers and a respectable .807 OPS through 96 games. Friday, 9:45 pm
  • Robert Stephenson to start for Reds Saturday
    Robert Stephenson will be recalled to start Saturday against the Marlins.

    Advice: He's taking Scott Feldman's (knee) spot in the rotation. Stephenson really struggled earlier this season for the Reds, but he's pitched well at Triple-A Louisville with a 3.79 ERA and 45/13 K/BB ratio over 40 1/3 innings. The righty boasts a 34/3 K/BB ratio across 27 1/3 frames covering his last five starts. Friday, 10:13 am
  • Josh Bell not in lineup against Brewers
    Josh Bell is not in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Brewers.

    Advice: Bell collided with Eric Thames at first base on Tuesday, but came out of that without lingering health concern. Still, the Pirates will give him a rest day just to make sure everything is on the level. Jose Osuna is starting at first base and hitting fourth in his place. Daily Slant: With Bell out of the lineup, Jose Osuna is now a viable value play across all formats hitting out of the clean-up spot against Zach Davies. While his batted ball profile isn't eye-popping, Osuna does own a healthy .233 ISO against RHP on the season and being slotted around McCutchen and Polanco should provide him with some solid run producing opportunities. Osuna's price tag makes it easier to afford an arm like Jacob deGrom, and the Pirates actually have one of the higher team totals on the main slate. Wednesday, 2:14 pm
  • Sean Doolittle nails down first save
    Sean Doolittle allowed a run, a hit and a walk in the ninth inning in Tuesday's road outing against the Angels, but he held on for his first save.

    Advice: Doolittle followed up Ryan Madson's scoreless eighth inning, as the Nats showed off their two new toys in the back end of the bullpen in the 4-3 victory at Anaheim. Doolittle and Madson were acquired from the A's on Sunday for a trio of players. The two relievers might share ninth-inning duties in Washington moving forward. Wednesday, 2:17 am
  • Greg Holland slams doors on Padres
    Greg Holland struck out the side in a perfect 12-pitch ninth inning for his 30th save of the season Tuesday against the Padres.

    Advice: Holland has converted six save chances in a row since a blown chance on June 15. This was his first perfect inning over the past four appearances, and it was the first time he struck out the side since May 14. The All-Star continues to pitch well, as he has 30 saves, a 1.53 ERA and 48 strikeouts over just 35 1/3 innings with just two homers allowed. Tuesday, 10:25 pm
  • Chris Taylor goes 4-for-5 in win
    Chris Taylor went 4-for-5 with a double and a steal versus the White Sox on Tuesday.

    Advice: He scored the only run of the game for either team. Taylor is playing well again of late after struggling to hit for average in June; he's batting .408 with a homer, two triples and four doubles in 49 at-bats during July. Tuesday, 8:49 pm
    New Player Note
    Chris Taylor LAD - 2B,3B,SS,OF
    1:10 pm vs Atl
  • McHugh (elbow) will make season debut Sat.
    Collin McHugh (elbow) will make his season debut Saturday in Baltimore.

    Advice: McHugh got the go-ahead after allowing just one unearned run over six innings Sunday in his final rehab start with Double-A Corpus Christi. The 30-year-old right-hander might carry sneaky fantasy value in the second half on a very good Astros team. He had a 3.71 ERA, 1.249 WHIP, and 8.4 K/9 in 543 innings for Houston between 2014-2016. Tuesday, 2:13 pm
  • Jason Vargas gives up six runs in loss
    Jason Vargas was tagged for six runs in 2 2/3 innings Monday in a loss to the Tigers.

    Advice: Vargas also gave up six runs in his previous start this month. He'd given up more than three earned runs in a start just once during the first three months, but he was due for some correction there. He entered the night with a 3.78 FIP to go along with his 2.62 ERA. There isn't much reason to think he'll be a significant asset in mixed leagues in the second half. Monday, 9:02 pm
  • Wheeler allows four earned in loss to STL
    Zack Wheeler surrendered four earned runs over 5 1/3 innings Monday as the Mets fell to the Cardinals.

    Advice: Wheeler walked four and gave up seven hits, including a two-run homer to Paul DeJong in the Cardinals' six-run sixth inning. Wheeler is now 3-7 on the season with a putrid 4.98 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. Monday, 7:51 pm
  • Nats 'still weighing trading for a closer'
    Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Nationals are "still weighing trading for a closer."

    Advice: Heyman notes that new acquisitions Ryan Madson and/or Sean Doolittle "could close" for the Nats, but the club wouldn't mind adding a ninth inning man and use Madson and Doolittle in setup roles. Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported earlier Monday that Washington was still in on Justin Wilson, and David Robertson and Zach Britton are potential options, as well. The Nationals had trade talks with the White Sox about Robertson over the offseason. Monday, 5:25 pm
  • McHugh goes six innings in final rehab start
    Collin McHugh (elbow) pitched well in his final rehab start for Double-A Corpus Christi on Sunday, allowing just an unearned run over six innings.

    Advice: McHugh scattered four hits and a walk in the ballgame. He's expected to rejoin the Astros' rotation next weekend against the Orioles in Baltimore. Sunday, 6:35 pm
  • Rich Hill fans nine as Dodgers beat Marlins
    Rich Hill threw five innings of one-run ball Sunday in the Dodgers' 3-2 defeat of the Marlins.

    Advice: Hill struck out nine batters and issued zero walks in another excellent outing. The one run he gave up came on an RBI single by Ichiro Suzuki in the bottom of the fifth. Hill boasts a 1.74 ERA and 44/6 K/BB ratio over his last five starts covering 31 innings. He'll try to keep it rolling next time out against the Braves. Sunday, 1:47 pm
    1:10 pm vs Atl
  • Nationals acquire Doolittle, Madson from A's
    Nationals acquired LHP Sean Doolittle and RHP Ryan Madson from the Athletics in exchange for RHP Blake Treinen, LHP Jesus Luzardo and 3B Sheldon Neuse.

    Advice: FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal was first to report the deal and it's now official. The Nationals have had the worst bullpen in baseball this season, so adding two relievers in the midst of terrific years certainly helps. Doolittle and Madson might share the closer job in Washington for now, and it wouldn't be a surprise if the Nats are still in the market for another reliever. Treinen could potentially be in the mix for saves in Oakland, although probably not right away. Sunday, 10:04 am
  • Melky Cabrera goes 4-for-5 with a home run
    Melky Cabrera went 4-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored but his team fell to the Mariners on Saturday.

    Advice: He led off the White Sox' portion of the first inning by swatting a solo homer off Felix Hernandez. In his next at-bat he laced an RBI single. Cabrera is having a productive season in fantasy terms, wielding a .290 batting average with 11 home runs, 50 runs scored and 53 RBI. He has yet to steal a base this year. Saturday, 8:29 pm
  • Nats pursuing both Doolittle and Madson
    According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Nationals are looking to acquire both Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from the Athletics.

    Advice: The Nats have had their eye on Madson for a while but this is the first time they've been linked to Doolittle. It's a good match on paper with the rebuilding A's looking to bottom out and Washington searching high and low for bullpen help. Doolittle and Madson would both be huge upgrades for the Nats, but they won't come cheap. Washington has also been mentioned as suitors for Brad Hand, Raisel Iglesias, Pat Neshek and Justin Wilson. Saturday, 5:30 pm
  • Josh Bell blasts first career walk-off homer
    Josh Bell blasted the first walk-off home run of his career on Friday, propelling the Pirates to a 5-2 victory over the Cardinals.

    Advice: Bell got the Pirates on the board with a run-scoring single off of Mike Leake in the third inning. He then did his damage off of Seung-Hwan Oh in the ninth after Adam Frazier had doubled and Andrew McCutchen had been walked intentionally to bring him to the dish. The rookie first baseman finished the night 2-for-3 plus a pair of walks and is hitting .243/.328/.484 with 17 homers and 48 RBI. Friday, 7:38 pm
  • McHugh (elbow) to make final rehab start
    Collin McHugh (elbow) will make what's expected to be his final rehab start with Double-A Corpus Christi on Sunday.

    Advice: McHugh is scheduled for six innings and/or 90-95 pitches. The right-hander has posted a 6.00 ERA and 9/3 K/BB ratio in nine innings through three rehab starts to this point. McHugh has been out all season with a posterior impingement in his right elbow and it's debatable whether he'd offer the Astros a rotation upgrade at this point. Friday, 1:43 pm
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