James Paxton makes his return on the early slate against San Diego and would seem rather chalky at first glance against the Padres. But the New York Post has already reported Paxton does not expect to throw more than 75 pitches and Aaron Boone said he will not get to 100. He will not be worth the $10,700 on DraftKings.
On a two-pitcher site like DraftKings, there seems to be no way you cannot use Chris Paddack at $10,100, even against the Yankees, who are ranked sixth in batting in the majors. You may have to pay up because the rest of the short early slate features too much mediocrity. Oakland are no pushovers, but my other choice has to be Griffin Canning at 8,300. He has allowed three earned runs or less in four of five starts and has struck out at least five in every outing. This is the first time he will face the A’s, so that might help provide a slight advantage, especially in a day game.
John Means is very tempting vs. the Tigers on the night slate at 6,900. He has a 1.54 home ERA in four home starts. But the strikeout upside is not there with Means. You will have to hope the nature of the opponent could help to push him past his normal K output. Detroit is fifth in the league in strikeouts so I will take the tournament play on Means.
The Cardinals have been falling in the overall team batting rankings, but they are only 25th in terms of team Ks, so Aaron Nola will not be one of my top plays at 9,000.
Blake Snell is the obvious chalk and cash game play vs. Toronto and should be worth the 11,300. Pairing him with Means or our favorite value pitcher of the night on a two-pitcher site like DraftKings could work out well.
That favorite value pitcher, even over Means, is Pablo Lopez of Miami at 6600 vs. the Giants. He has been so much better at home, with a 1.93 ERA and 26 Ks in 23.1 IP. Madison Bumgarner, at 9,900 on the other side, may be my top play of the night. I will use both starters in different lineups.
I also like Walker Buehler as a pivot off Bumgarner in the same price range (9,900) against a patchwork Mets lineup. I will fade Noah Syndergaard at 9,300 against that formidable Dodgers lineup.
Madison Bumgarner over
5.5 strikeouts, Pablo Lopez over 4.5
This should be a pitching duel, as Lopez really enjoys pitching in his home park. A former MLB pitcher once told me that certain starters are so much more at ease at home, with all the familiar surroundings making it more mentally comfortable. But Bumgarner will be prolific too, as there’s no road crowd to get to him here. It will almost be like pitching in a neutral park. Play MLB Prop Games NOW and get 100 percent Bonus!
Scott Engel is a 20-plus year veteran of the Fantasy Sports industry and an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Association’s Hall of Fame. He is a four-time FSWA Award winner and nine-time finalist. He won the CBS SportsLine Hall of Fame Award for his longstanding service and was a featured Fantasy analyst for ESPN.com. Scott is a longtime and award-winning host on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. He was the Managing Director and driving content force behind RotoExperts.com for more than a decade and helped launch the FNTSY Sports Network.