It’s a busy day in baseball, which means it is a busy day in DFS. The 7:05pm ET contest features 14 games, that is everyone except for the Washington Nationals and Tampa Bay Rays. “Oh no!” I hear you say, because Max Scherzer isn’t available for selection, but don’t panic. Today is as close to an aces day as you will get this far into the season. So, who should be in your lineup?
James Paxton @ Baltimore Orioles ($12,500)
Paxton is expensive, and yet he is $600 cheaper than Luis Severino and $400 cheaper than Corey Kluber, which shows you the strength of today’s pitching selections. Getting your choice of ace right is going to be imperative, so why Paxton?
Well his last start against a non-elite lineup was a 30.8-point performance against the Rays and his 11.5 K/9 is sixth in the Majors and he wins 75% of his starts. That is pretty great. Then there is his opposition. The Orioles rank 29th in runs scored and have a team slash line that ranks 29th/30th/27th. That is pretty awful. If anyone has a shot at a no-hitter or a complete game tonight, it is Paxton.
Anibal Sanchez Vs. Cincinnati Reds ($7,800)
Behind the aces is a lot of risk, but one of the more reliable starters available is Anibal Sanchez. He has a 2.55 ERA through seven starts, and a nice 1.06 WHIP. He’s barely averaging 5.2 innings per start, but that means that he is usually out of the game before he can run into trouble. His last start was a somewhat rough time against the powerful Blue Jays lineup, but he still pulled down 11.9 points and the three starts before that were all above 19. That’s not bad at this price.
Frankie Montas @ Detroit Tigers ($7,600)
Another option in the same price bracket as Sanchez is Oakland’s young righty Frankie Montas, who has moved into the rotation this year and seen some solid returns. Four of his five starts so far have registered over 20 points, though the fifth was a lineup-busting -5. He isn’t without risk, but he has averaged 6.2 innings per start and has a 2.41 ERA. He’s not striking many people out but by going so deep and controlling the opposition he has picked up four wins so far, there is good shot that he makes it five against the Tigers, which is worth the risk.
Paul Goldschmidt @ Miami Marlins ($5,200)
He managed just a single last night in four at-bats, but I’m not leaving the Goldschmidt bandwagon just yet. Despite a .264 season-long average the Diamondbacks first baseman is averaging 12.3 points per game in his last 10, with five homers in that span. There is more juice in this orange, so keep squeezing.
Nick Castellanos Vs. Oakland Athletics ($4,400)
The counter to the Montas play is Nick Castellanos. The Tigers outfielder is in good form right now, with four homers, two doubles, seven runs, and 10 RBI in his last 10 games. One man is unlikely to kill a start for a pitcher, but Castellanos can certainly hurt Montas’ points tally with his hot bat.
Jason Kipnis @ St. Louis Cardinals ($3,600)
2018 hasn’t been kind to Jason Kipnis, but he is coming alive of late. In his last 10 games the Indians second baseman has three homers, a .324 batting average, and more walks (6) than strikeouts (4). That has combined to give him a 9.4 average score, far better than his season-long 6.3. He’s a solid price today so don’t be afraid to use him as a cheap middle infield option.