Bill Paxton was in a number of 90’s blockbuster films, but Armageddon wasn’t one of them.
Tonight we have “Arm-a-geddon,” with at least eight pitchers you could make a strong case for on the DraftKings main slate. For me the guy who stands out is his namesake, James Paxton (P, $9,300).
Paxton has looked every bit the ace since his return, featuring a sharp arsenal of pitches and a robust 33% K rate. He gets the Twins, who are surprisingly bad against lefties, with a league-high 28% K rate and just an 85 wRC+ against southpaws.
Let’s have a look at the rest of tonight’s 7-game slate, which locks at 7:05 p.m:
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The Core (Players who will appear in most of my lineups):
Merrill Kelly, P: $9,600 – After Paxton, Kelly has the best combination of talent, form and opponent. He’s struck out 29% of batters over his last six contests, while the Brewers have struck out 27% of the time versus righties in that same span.
Corey Seager, SS: $6,000 – I love a Rangers stack today against Jesse Scholtens and a bottom-five White Sox bullpen. Hopefully the field will see Scholtens’ stellar 2.89 ERA and avoid him, because his low strikeout rate (13%) and high xFIP (5.52) tell a different story. Seager has an obscene .333 ISO and .465 wOBA versus righties so far this year.
Ezequiel Duran, SS/OF: $3,000 – If we’re going to stack Rangers, we’ll need to save money somewhere. Duran has enjoyed a mini-breakout season and sports a healthy .348 wOBA and .186 ISO against righties.
Leody Taveras, OF: $3,100 – While you’re down here, grab this guy and his .188 ISO and .353 wOBA vs. righties. I love using road teams in wrap-around stacks as they are guaranteed ninth-inning plate appearances even when leading.
Kevin Newman, 1B/3B: $3,200 – and the Reds’ stack. They face a pitcher in Austin Gomber who has just a 5.3% K-BB%. They’re in a great park. They have the highest implied run total of the night, and it’s not close. The Reds are your chalk offense, and they should smash here.
Randal Grichuk, OF: $4,200 – Everyone in this game is in play. Don’t forget the Rockies side, which gets the benefit of being lower-priced on the whole. The only major concern here is the weather (see below).
The Fades (Highly-owned players I will mostly avoid):
Corbin Burnes, P: $10,000 – He’s probably the best pitcher on the slate, and will likely be the highest-owned. His opponent, the Diamondbacks, are well above average (109 wRC+) against right-handed pitching, with the second-lowest strikeout rate (19%). I just don’t love the matchup, and that’s enough to take me off of Burnes in a tight pitching pool.
Mike Tauchman, OF: $2,500 – Tauchman is min-priced, bats leadoff and homered yesterday, so he’ll be in everyone’s lineup. Remember that he’s just a career .714 OPS guy against right-handers who will fail more often than succeed in this spot.
The Pivots (low-owned plays I’ll take a chance on):
Andrew Heaney, P: $7,500 – Heaney is one of the most volatile pitchers in baseball, but if he’s on he could rack up a pile of K’s against a struggling White Sox offense. Using Heaney lets you get to one more top-tier bat and you also get the benefit of sticking it to people taking Andrew Vaughn, Jake Burger and Luis Robert, who will be popular plays tonight.
Henry Davis, C: $2,000 – Davis has been promoted after putting up a .974 OPS across AA and AAA. He makes for a good one-off, but I like the Pirates as a low-owned, low-priced stack. Drew Smyly has struggled to a career 1.010 OPS against the projected Pirates lineup. This is a great team for finding value bats tonight, especially if we lose the Reds/Rockies game.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
There is substantial risk of a rainout in the Reds/Rockies game. If it’s still dicey come game time, either fade it completely or go all in with a game stack. Avoid one-off and mini-stacks who could ruin an otherwise good lineup.
Doing Lines In Vegas
I’ll take the Cardinals/Nationals game to go over 9.5 runs. The Nats’ offense has the lowest strikeout rate in the majors, and that should help them against Jack Flaherty and a mediocre Cards’ bullpen. We also have a very attackable Nats’ bullpen and a good hitter’s park.