MLB Quick Hits: Pence returns for Giants

July 8, 2015

Hunter Pence has been a consistently very good fantasy player for many years. So you drafted Pence this season, and ... not so much. Pence played just 18 games over the first three months of the season due to a couple of DL stints that started when he got hit in the left forearm by a pitch during spring training.

Pence finally returned to action on Tuesday, batting cleanup for the Giants and knocking in a couple of runs. The Giants are fired up about Pence's return, and you should be as well, as he's a .284 career hitter who has averaged 21 home runs, 88 RBI, 88 runs and 11 stolen bases since 2008. Here's hoping the second half of his season will be much better -- and healthier -- than the first.

In other news ...

Padres SP Tyson Ross pitched only two innings on Tuesday, but it's because his manager didn't want to send him back out after a 105-minute rain delay. Nothing to worry about.

Cardinals 2B Kolten Wong might have suffered a minor concussion on Tuesday, and his availability for the coming days is TBD.

The Rays placed OF Steven Souza on the DL thanks to a cut on his left pinky that required three stitches. John Jaso was activated to take Souza's place on the roster, and hit a homer while batting leadoff in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader. Jaso is owned in just 1.7 percent of leagues, so if you need a catcher, he's an interesting option even if he platoons at DH now.

Bryan Shaw got Tuesday's save for the Indians because closer Cody Allen was resting a stiff back. Allen should be ready to go today if needed.

Really, White Sox? Felix Doubront shut you down? Ugh.

OF Khris Davis (knee) returned to the Brewers' lineup Tuesday after a month-long absence. 

Twins 3B Miguel Sano hit the first of his 450 career homers on Tuesday. Sano batted cleanup, and is owned in just 16.5 percent of leagues.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday that Cesar Hernandez would be the team's second baseman even when Chase Utley comes off the DL. Fantasy owners haven't completely missed the boat on Hernandez, who is owned in just 41.3 percent of leagues, and has 2B/3B/SS eligibility.

Cubs rookie Dallas Beeler pitched pretty well against the Cardinals on Tuesday night. Beeler has a 6.33 ERA in 13 Triple-A starts this season, and this was just a spot start, so don't go picking him up today.

The Braves have recalled Mike Foltynewicz to pitch in the bullpen this week, and if he does well he could stick around in that role after the All-Star break.

Mariners RP Carson Smith whiffed five batters in two innings, and is up to 45 strikeouts in 35 innings on the season. Smith is owned in 7.7 percent of leagues, and might be too good to relinquish his team's closer role, even with Fernando Rodney still getting chances.

Wade Miley did a solid job as Tuesday's streaming starter. Today's pick is Charlie Morton (12.8 percent owned) against the forever-struggling Padres.

DFS advice (based on 50/50 games, night games only, salaries from DraftKings): Clayton Kershaw ($13,300) is the chalkiest of picks, with the Dodgers being a -370 favorite over the Phillies. Don't outsmart yourself by trying to find cheaper alternatives; pay up for Kershaw ... If you need a cheap SP2 to pair with Kershaw, Morton ($6,100) isn't a terrible option, but I prefer Drew Hutchison ($7,200) against those horrible White Sox ... The Angels and Blue Jays are obvious stacks against LHP. Play their big righty hitters where you can, and add Paul Goldschmidt ($5,900) and Bryce Harper ($5,800) to the elite hitter mix. Goldschmidt and Harper are obviously always very good, but their matchups tonight make them more attractive than usual ... Yes to A's catcher Josh Phegley ($3,100) vs. CC Sabathia ... A relatively inexpensive Angel is 2B Johnny Giavotella ($3,400) vs. Rockies LHP Chris Rusin ... Red Sox SS/3B Xander Bogaerts ($3,700) is moderately priced, and has posted 14 or more DK points in four of his last five games. He'll face mediocre Marlin Tom Koehler ... BvP alert: Mark Teixeira ($4,200) is 11-for-20 with two homers against Scott Kazmir ... If you need to save at 1B, James Loney ($3,600) is a decent option against Jeremy Guthrie ... Of all the good matchup plays at third base, Brett Lawrie ($3,400) is the best value ... Dodger platoon SS/OF Kike Hernandez ($2,600, .451 wOBA vs. LHP) will be a fine value, especially if he bats leadoff ... Rockies 1B/OF Ben Paulsen ($3,100) looks good against Matt Shoemaker.

See you back here tomorrow morning.