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8 games combine to make up tonight’s main slate at FantasyDraft. Only 8 games, but still plenty of options to choose from for the starting lineup. Here are my recommendations.
Must Play SP: Stephen Strasburg, WAS ($21,200) VS PIT
Yesterday, Max Scherzer was able to cruise through the Pirates lineup with 8 strikeouts. I expect something very similar from Strasburg today. Despite his recent struggles (11 earned runs in the last 3 starts), Strasburg has been able to still last through at least 6 innings while providing a good amount of strikeouts. Expect Strasburg to get back on track as he has been very good against the Pirates current lineup in his career– 26.8 K% and 3.05 FIP while allowing an average of .204. The Nationals should be able to score plenty of runs to set up Strasburg for a Win.
Lineup Honorable Mention: Aaron Nola, PHI ($19,700) @ MIA
Value SP: James Paxton, SEA ($14,900) VS OAK
It is very surprising to see Paxton at this price, especially when you notice that Ivan Nova and Sean Newcomb are similarly priced. Paxton was dominant last year before hitting the disabled list but he has had his ups and downs so far including 2 out of 6 games where he has allowed 5 or more runs. He is striking out batters at a career-high rate of 12.51 K/9 but is getting unlucky with a BABIP of .329 and 71.8% LOB rate. It might be surprising, but the A’s have been one of the better offenses in the league. Yet, it’s hard to ignore Paxton’s upside at this price.
Honorable Mention: Luis Castillo, CIN ($9,900) VS MIL
IF Paul Goldschmidt, ARI ($8,900) @ ARI
Paul Goldschmidt is still the most underrated player in baseball. After a slow start, he has quietly put up 4 home runs with 21 runs and 11 RBIs. The humidor has scared people away from Diamondback hitters but it doesn’t seem to be a problem for A.J. Pollock as he has managed to hit 4 home runs in the last 2 games. Goldy gets a dream matchup tonight against Hyun-Jin Ryu – 10-22 (.455). That includes 5 XBH with 2 of them leaving the yard and an insane average exit velocity of 111.7 mph. Goldy also seems to enjoy hitting at home since he is a much better hitter at home than away.
Honorable Mention: IF Robinson Cano, SEA ($7,700) VS OAK
OF Scott Schebler, CIN ($8,500) VS MIL
Scott Schebler is averaging 9.42 Points/Game over at FantasyDraft, which is more than George Springer, Carlos Correa, and Rhys Hoskins to name a few. He is often overlooked but provides great value while somehow maintaining a low ownership percentage. He has hit safely in the last 9 out of last 10 games including 7 straight. Another reason to get him in your lineups is that he is facing a LHP today and has performed much better against them in his career. He faces Wade Miley – who has had a HR/FB above 16% the past two seasons.
Honorable Mention: OF Trea Turner, WAS ($8,000) VS PIT
Value OF: Jesus Aguilar, MIL ($6,300) @ CIN
An injury to Eric Thames opened up the door for Jesus Aguilar to become a regular in the potent Brewers lineup. Aguilar is a powerful first baseman that hit .337 with 16 home runs last year in 311 at-bats (most of them coming from the bench). Yesterday, he hit a home run and was slotted in the 5th spot behind Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich, Ryan Braun, and Travis Shaw. The 5th spot should provide plenty of RBI opportunities for Aguilar. It helps that he is facing a young pitcher who is struggling with his command.
Honorable Mention: OF Aaron Hicks, NYY ($6,400) @ HOU
Top Stack: Reds VS Brewers (LHP Wade Miley)
Wade Miley is making his first start of the season after posting a 5.16 FIP in AA. He is a career 4.38 ERA pitcher and should make plenty of mistakes in his first start back as long as Reds’ hitters can capitalize. Along with Scott Schebler, mentioned earlier, here are some players that could complete today’s stack.
Joey Votto ($9,200)
Adam Duvall ($7,700)
Jose Peraza ($7,500)
Jesse Winker ($6,600)
Eugenio Hernandez ($9,200) is another Red that could be useful but I would rather have Joey Votto at the same price.
Honorable Mention: Mariners vs Athletics (LHP Brett Anderson)