Things That Make You Go “Hmmmm…”

According to manager Brian Snitker, Ronald Acuna will likely hit somewhere in the middle of the lineup when he returns to the lineup. Apparently, Snitker likes Ozzie Albies and Ender Inciarte at the top of the lineup, in spite of the fact that Inciarte has been awful since a hot start to the season. Acuna is best suited for the top of the lineup with his speed, so hopefully Snitker changes mind soon.

Robbie Ray will be return to the mound for the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. Ray was supposed to return on Friday, but Arizona will push that timetable up. He has not gone more than 66 pitches in rehab starts, so he will likely not pitch deep into his first start off of the DL, but this sets up a potential two start week for him next week, which is valuable for fantasy, especially in weekly or H2H leagues.

Yu Darvish told WSCR-AM that he does not feel 100% following his rehab start Monday. This is concerning news after manager Joe Maddon stated that he was considering Darvish to be activated over the weekend for a start. However, it appears that Darvish will need at least one more rehab start before returning to the Cubs.


That Happened?!?

Caleb Smith suffered a lat strain that may cost him the rest of the season. The injury occured during his last start and is a grade-3 strain. Depending on whether he elects to get surgery or not, he will miss at least two months. Smith is droppable in all formats.

Kenta Maeda threw seven scoreless innings, striking out nine versus the Cubs on Monday. Maeda has pitched well when he has been on the mound, but this is the first time in a month that he has pitched more than five innings in an outing. Maeda has all the skills to be a very good starter in fantasy, but his sketchy injury past and inability to go deep into games on a regular basis caps his upside and reliability.

Ozzie Albies went 3-for-6 with a walkoff home run versus the Reds on Monday. Albies is hitting .269/.310/.507 with 17 home runs and seven stolen bases this season. He has confounded expectations as a young player with a nice hit tool and speed, by hitting for so much power so quickly. He is likely to regress some in the power department in the second half, but he is clearly more advanced in this area than expected.

Jonathan Loaisiga threw 5.1 scoreless innings versus the Phillies, allowing one hit, two walks and striking out eight in the outing. Losaiga isn’t much of a prospect of note, but has a decent fastball and curve, but still lacks a true third pitch to be effective long term. He may be able to be effective in the short-term before teams start seeing him a second time.


What We’ll Be Watching Today

Can Carlos Martínez return to form? Martinez has been good this year, but since returning from the DL, he has yet to go more than five innings. He gets an Indians team that was just blanked by John Gant .

Who is the closer of the Royals? Wily Peralta got his first save of the season. Peralta was a surprise contender to the mess that is the closer by committee that the Royals are putting out there. He has been successful since transitioning to the bullpen and could emerge as the man moving forward in the Royals bullpen for those in deeper leagues.

Reynaldo López versus Lance Lynn . Lopez has been hit or miss this season and can struggle the third time through a lineup. He gets a Twins team missing Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton . Lance Lynn started off his Twins career off terribly, but in his last six starts he has a 1.73 ERA and 7.93 strikeouts per nine innings.

A clean shaven Alex Bregman . During the month of June, Bregman has been hit or miss, but the power has been there with seven home runs so far this month.

Zack Godley really struggled to start the season, but over his last three starts he is 3-0 with a 2.95 ERA and over 10 strikeouts per nine innings.

Chad Bettis versus the Giants. Bettis has been atrocious at home, but on the road he has a 2.70 ERA and gets to pitch versus Giants team that is 8th in the league in strikeouts versus right-handed pitching in the comfy confines of AT&T Park.

Baseball. Lots of baseball.