With almost a full main-slate of games scheduled in the MLB this evening, we have a lot of pitching options to navigate through. The addition of two aces coming off the DL only complicate things tonight, with Carlos Martinez in a great matchup, and Madison Bumgarner making his much-awaited season debut. It is always a massive risk to start a pitcher in his first start coming off an injury. Not only is the command in question, but there is generally a pitch-limit. With so many other pivots, there is no need take on the added risk. Let’s dive into the main DraftKings slate to find some GPP winning selections.
Max Scherzer (WAS): $13,300 vs. TB
On a night where it seems obvious to pay up for pitching, we may as well go all the way up. Max Scherzer is coming off an incredible performance where he struck out 12 through eight innings of work, producing over 44 DraftKings points. Although the Tampa Bay Rays are not as strikeout prone as we thought, they do lose the DH as they travel to Washington. The Rays will likely roll out six right-handed hitters (not including the pitcher), which as we know, Max dominates. Scherzer will garner ownership attention, but with so many other great pitching options on the board, he is in play.
James Paxton (SEA): $10,400 @ HOU
Although a seemingly tough matchup, the Mariners ace is a nice pivot in the top tier. The lefty owns a 32% strikeout rate and just a 3.10 SIERA on the season. With massive reverse split stats, Paxton actually mows down righties and struggles more with left-handed hitters. Although the sample size is drastically different, Paxton owns a .150 AVG and .212 wOBA to righties. To lefties, a .346 AVG and .441 wOBA. The Astros have a ton of right-handed hitters in their lineup and the lefties strikeout a lot as is. At home vs left-handed pitching, the Astros are a very average team ranked 16th in wRC+ while owning a 21.2 K% and 6.6% BB rate. The glaring split stats (home/away) belong to Jose Altuve. At home, he is batting just a .254 AVG with 25 strikeouts. In nearly the same number of at-bats on the road, he’s hitting .402. A lot of people may overlook Paxton with the other options and intimidating matchup. Lock him in with confidence.
Kyle Hendricks (CHC): $8,300 vs. PHI
The Cubs starter is in a great matchup tonight as he faces an extremely cold Philadelphia team. During the last two weeks, the Phillies own a measly 67 wRC+, with just a .126 ISO. They are striking out at a 26.7% rate which ranks as the highest in baseball. Losing Rhys Hoskins has weakened this young team, putting Hendricks in a fantastic spot. Although the K upside is somewhat limited, the Chicago starter is reasonably priced in a great spot.
New York Yankees
The highest owned stack of the night will likely be the Yankees. They are in a fantastic spot against the struggling Blue Jays starter, Marco Estrada. The changeup specialist is an extreme flyball pitcher with a 53.6% rate. Rogers is a small ballpark, which doesn’t really matter with the power this team possesses. Not much more to say here, the ball will be flying in Toronto.
The rest of the stacks should be moderately owned because of the slate size. Oakland is in a great spot against Matt Moore, specifically the power hitting lefties. On the season, Moore owns a .511 wOBA and 2.70 HR/9 to left-handed hitters. The Rangers starter is not good against righties either making the whole team intriguing. However, Matt Olson is hot right now and is a top play at first base this evening.
One of the easier stacks to fit in with the top tier pitchers are the Orioles. Baltimore travels to New York to take on Jason Vargas and the Mets. Vargas owns a 2.13 HR/9 with a wOBA over .400 to both lefties and righties. The left-handed starter should see seven righties in this matchup which could make for a short outing.