THURSDAY’S LATE PRE-GAME DAILY FANTASY UPDATE
They were finally able to get baseball in on the north side of Chicago, with the Cubs prevailing over the Texas Rangers by a 6-2 score this afternoon. They even squeezed a game in on the corner of 20th and Blake Street in Denver despite chilly conditions and some freezing mist and slightly frozen precipitation.
Maybe things are looking up. Cleveland looked to be under the gun for tonight's game between the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians, and a strong line of thunderstorms and showers are marching northeast from western Ohio and the Port Clinton/Marblehead area, over Lake Erie, up through southern Ontario. It's a bad day to be drinking outside at the Round House, Beer Barrel or any of the fun establishments on Put-in-Bay, if you know what I mean.
Cincinnati also looked to be in some peril, but while there are some scattered showers and storms in the southeast Indiana area, it doesn't appear anything heavy enough will move into the tri-state area before game-time, so the Miami Marlins and Cincinnati Reds should be in good shape, too.
BOSTON RED SOX
The Red Sox are without 3B Will Middlebrooks for the series finale in Cleveland. It's a routine day off for the third base, as there is no injury to worry about. 2B Pedro Ciriaco ($3,300) draws the assignment of manning third in his stead.
Indians 2B Jason Kipnis (elbow) is out of the lineup for yet another game, as he continues to battle a sore left elbow. 2B Cord Phelps gets the call again in his absence. Kipnis might be back as soon as Friday's game, but he isn't worth using again until he can prove his health in at least one full game.
Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton ($5,500) (shoulder) is back in the starting lineup after missing a week due to a bruised left shoulder. Let him knock off the rust before plugging him back into your active daily lineups, as he wasn't really lighting the world afire before the injury.
As expected, OF Domonic Brown (back) is not in the lineup for the game in St. Louis. It's difficult to play since he is back in Philadelphia undergoing an MRI on his mid-back region. It is surprising to see 2B Freddy Galvis ($3,000) penciled in as the starting left fielder, however. Ol' Charlie Manuel is getting creative finding ways for Galvis to get into the lineup now that 2B Chase Utley ($4,700) is fully healthy.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
The Blue Jays are once again without OF Jose Bautista (back), who continues to deal with soreness and spasms in his back. The All-Star has also dealt with an inner ear infection, making it a long week. OF Rajai Davis ($4,200) makes yet another start in right field in the absence of Joey Bats.
Texas Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler held his own in the early afternoon game at Chicago Cubs, going 2-for-4 with a solo home run, bumping his average up to .309. Unfortunately, Fantasy owners of SS Elvis Andrus are as happy with their players' performance. Andrus was hitless in four at-bats with a strikeout. OF Nelson Cruz also did some yard work, popping a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning. The tailspin for 1B Mitch Moreland continues, as he was hitless in three at-bats, and is now just 1-for-17 over his past six games.
For the Chicago Cubs, OF Alfonso Soriano dialed long distance for the first time this season. He is 8-for-16 (.500) over his past four games. Sori popped 32 homers last season, but didn't hit his first until May 15, so he is actually ahead of schedule. SP Charlie Villanueva was a nice value today, allowing just two runs and four hits while whiffing six over seven frames.
Colorado Rockies OF Dexter Fowler continues to be a favorite of daily Fantasy players, as he cracked his seventh homer of the early season. It was his only hit in five at-bats, but he continues to give owners plenty of bang of their bucks. SS Troy Tulowitzki looked perfectly healthy, and he connected for his fourth homer of the season. 2B Josh Rutledge also got into the act out of the seventh spot, smacking his second dong.
Lost in the shuffle was SP Jon Garland, who held the New York Mets to just two runs, six hits and no walks over seven innings while striking out four. He is now 2-0 with a respectable 3.32. Not bad for a guy picked up near the end of spring training.
Milwaukee Brewers SP Yovani Gallardo wasn't distracted by his off-field issues earlier in the week, as he allowed just one earned run, five hits and one walk while striking out six over six innings in a quality start and win against the San Francisco Giants. OF Ryan Braun hit his third homer of the season, while C Jonathan Lucroy bagged his second round-tripper, and Gallardo even supported himself with his first homer of the campaign while driving in two runs.
If you started Giants SP Matt Cain, it has been a frustrating day. He was bombed for seven runs, seven hits and no walks while striking out just four over six innings. It actually could have been worse, but he fought through his early troubles and lasted way longer than it appears he would. All of his seven runs were allowed in the first three innings. If you started SS Brandon Crawford, good for you. He went 3-for-4 with a solo home run, double and two runs scored, more than earning his salary. He is now hitting a cool .352 on the season.
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