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Tonight’s FantasyDraft slate starts at 7pm eastern with 14 matchups to choose from. The early Giants-Cubs game is not included on the slate
Must Play SP: James Paxton, SEA ($23,200) vs MIN
While Max Scherzer is certainly an attractive option tonight, I’d rather save the $4,000 in payroll and get a comparable start out of Big Maple. Paxton has had himself an absurd last 30 days, throwing five quality starts and striking out 45 batters in 27 innings with a 1.70 ERA. He’s got a ton of strikeout upside against the Twins, who strike out 24.6% of the time against lefties. With lots of other aces on the mound today, Paxton may see a relatively low ownership rate, making his production even more valuable.
Honorable Mention: Max Scherzer, WAS ($27,200) at MIA
Value SP: Ross Stripling, LAD ($14,500) vs SD
Stripling has looked awesome in the Dodgers rotation – in his last start against a tough Nats lineup, he threw six innings of one run ball with nine strikeouts. He gets a dream matchup against the Padres, whose .285 wOBA versus righties ranks them 27th in the league. They also strike out at the third-highest rate against righties at 26.4%. Stripling is at a fantastic price for the type of start he can give you.
Honorable Mention: Joe Musgrove, PIT ($8,000) vs STL
Cron just keeps on mashing this year. He’s got an .886 OPS with four homers in the last 15 days and is in a great spot batting second for the Rays, where he has the opportunity for both runs and RBIs. He should get plenty of plate appearances against David Hess, who has a 6.75 ERA in his two starts this season. The Rays lineup has been better than you might think this year, so they’re a sneaky stack against Hess.
Honorable Mention: IF Yoan Moncada, CWS ($8,000) at DET (Fiers)
OF Teoscar Hernandez, TOR ($7,700) at PHI (RHP Zach Eflin)
Phillies starter Zach Eflin probably isn’t this good – after all, he had a 6.16 ERA in 11 starts last season. He’ll have to face Hernandez in one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the league, where Teoscar’s power can shine. Hernandez has seven homers and a .500 slug this year, and he’s got a bit of speed to chip in as well. He should rake in some ribbies out of the Blue Jays cleanup spot.
Honorable Mention: OF Gregory Polanco, PIT ($8,400) vs STL (Gant)
Austin destroys left-handed pitching, as he’s got a .415 wOBA with four home runs against southpaws this year. He’s surrounded by one of the best lineups in baseball and is playing in an extreme hitter’s park tonight. He’s more of a GPP play because of his strikeout tendencies, but Austin can give you a huge night at a low price.
Honorable Mention: OF Matt Kemp, LAD ($7,300) vs SD (Richard)
Top Stack: White Sox at Tigers (RHP Mike Fiers)
The White Sox have some relatively cheap bats that can run an effective stack against Mike Fiers. Fiers is awful, as evidenced by his 15.3% K-rate and 5.44 FIP. Yoan Moncada ($8,000) is one of my favorite plays for his power/speed combo, while Jose Abreu ($8,300) is an elite bat you can rely on. Pairing them with guys like Daniel Palka ($7,300) or Yolmer Sanchez ($6,800) could pay off nicely.
Honorable Mention: Red Sox vs Braves (Teheran)