DFS MLB Optimal Lineups: April 24 Cover Image
DFS MLB Optimal Lineups: April 24
Nick Berns
Steve Pimental
Stack the Deck: April 24 Cover Image
A.J. Ellis Headshot

Ellis has two hits in 20 plate appearances to start off 2017.

Still the backup catcher to J.T. Realmuto, Ellis has not necessarily pushed for more playing time. Realmuto's hot start has not helped Ellis' case, and neither have the seven strikeouts he has to his ledger in the early stages of the season. The 36-year-old slashed .216/.301/.298 with the Dodgers and Phillies last season.
8:53 pm (EST)
Shaun Livingston Headshot

Livingston (finger) will not play in Monday's Game 4 against the Trail Blazers.

While Monday's absence will mark Livingston's third consecutive game lost to a sprained right index finger, the veteran point guard likely isn't dealing with anything overly serious and is being sat out simply as a precautionary measure with the Warriors heavily favored to advance to the second round of the playoffs. Look for Ian Clark to continue operating as the top backup to starting point guard Stephen Curry, a role in which he's averaged 10 points and three rebounds across 18 minutes per game this postseason.
8:51 pm (EST)
Franklin Gutiérrez Headshot

Gutierrez (hamstring) won't return until after the weekend, Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet reports.

Gutierrez was initially slated to return this week, but a hit-by-pitch during his rehab assignment slowed him down, and he is running at just 80 percent at this point. Philadelphia, the Dodgers' weekend opponents, don't have any left-handed starters slated to pitch, so he likely wouldn't have garnered much playing time before next week anyway.
8:50 pm (EST)
Kevin Durant Headshot

Durant (calf) will be active and available to play in Monday's Game 4 against the Trail Blazers, Anthony Slater of Bay Area News Group reports.

Durant has missed the last two games with a strained left calf, but his most recent absence was largely considered precautionary, so it's not surprising he's now been cleared for a return. Look for Durant to take on his usual spot in the starting lineup at small forward, but if the Warriors get a large lead early, it wouldn't be surprising if he saw his minutes limited a bit in order to restrict the workload on his calf in his first game back. Patrick McCaw should head back to the bench in the corresponding move, with Andre Iguodala also likely seeing a slight decrease in minutes.
8:50 pm (EST)
Matt Barnes Headshot

Barnes (foot) is out for Monday's playoff game against Portland.

Early reports seemed to indicate there was a chance Barnes could suit up, but the team sees no need to rush him back onto the court before he's fully ready to give it a go. At the bare minimum, Golden State will play four more postseason games, so the expectation is that Barnes will find his way back onto the floor sometime before year's end.
8:48 pm (EST)
Dustin McGowan Headshot

McGowan has allowed four runs and seven hits over 8.2 innings to begin the season.

McGowan posted 6.1 innings of scoreless ball before giving up a run. The right-hander surrendered four runs over 2.1 innings at Seattle on April 19. In 2016, McGowan tossed 67 innings for the Marlins, giving up 21 earned runs and posting a 1.22 WHIP.
8:44 pm (EST)
Rich Hill Headshot

Hill (finger) will throw without the bandage covering his blister on Tuesday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.

Hill has been throwing with a bandage for the last few days. This bullpen session will likely determine whether or not Hill is ready to go on a rehab assignment. If so, an early May return to the rotation is possible, but given the consistent struggles Hill has had with blisters since last season, it's hard to be optimistic until his return is confirmed.
8:44 pm (EST)
Alec Burks Headshot

Burks (knee) is out for Tuesday's Game 5 against the Clippers, Andy Larsen of ESPN700 reports.

Although it seemed like there was a slim chance he could suit up, Burks' knee has been giving him some problems as of late. It will be interesting to see how the Jazz handle his availability for Game 6 and a potential Game 7 given that he has yet to play in the postseason.
8:28 pm (EST)
Dixon Machado Headshot

Machado has two hits in 13 at-bats to begin the 2017 season.

Machado serves as the utilityman of Detroit's infield, but hasn't seen too much action at the plate thus far. With Jose Iglesias (concussion) on the DL, the 25-year-old has started seeing more time at shortstop when Andrew Romine is either on the bench or playing second base.
8:28 pm (EST)
Gordon Hayward Headshot

Hayward (illness) is not listed on the injury report for Tuesday's Game 5 against the Clippers, Andy Larsen of KSL.com reports.

Hayward attempted to go through Game 4 while dealing with a case of food poisoning, but ended up being pulled from the contest after just nine minutes. However, with a couple additional days off, Hayward is expected to be back to full strength and is now considered good to go ahead of Game 5. Look for him to take on a full workload as the usual starter at small forward. He averaged an impressive 26.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.3 three-pointers across 40.3 minutes over the first three games of the series.
8:25 pm (EST)
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