I have plenty of concerns about Robbie Ray, but his strikeout numbers are making me take notice. No one on this slate has a better K/9 than Ray (10.42), and that includes Chris Archer, Steven Matz and Masahiro Tanaka. He’s now struck out 34 batters in his last 26.1 IP. He’s certainly capable of allowing a big number in the runs column, but he can afford to surrender a few if his strikeout numbers are this high. It’s hard to think that he won’t retire plenty of Rays with the strikeout today as only two teams strikeout more than the Rays this season. Additionally, the American League Rays will lose their DH playing in this National League park.
Here’s a deep flier…James Paxton. Yes, he has made one start this year and he was shelled by the Padres (!!). But let’s look past that and see some bright spots. In only 3.2 IP, he struck out seven batters. His 1.89 xFIP in the TINIEST of sample sizes is best on the slate and indicative that his last outing was not as bad as the box score makes you believe. Paxton was respectable down the stretch for the Mariners last season, sporting a 2.60 ERA over his last ten starts. He struck out nearly a batter per inning and was able to keep the ball in the park. He will benefit from a matchup with the Indians who are bottom third in the league in wOBA and strikeout % versus lefties plus he will get a big boost from pitching at Safeco Field. You could do much worse at this price point.
The Houston Astros are a team that go do it all. They are a bit volatile, but few teams have the combination of power and speed that the Astros can boast. Houston has raked the ninth-most HRs in the league this season and stolen the second-most bases. The Red Sox are the only other team in the league that are top ten in both categories. That provides plenty of opportunity for fantasy points and they will look to take advantage against Colby Lewis. Lewis has struggled for the Rangers, currently stuck with a 4.64 xFIP which is third-worst on the slate. He has actually been good at times this season, but never at home. Lewis has a 4.50 ERA at home compared to just 1.41 on the road. That should be too much of a surprise considering how hitter-friendly the Ballpark in Arlington has become.
That’s all folks! Be sure to follow me on Twitter for more player analysis and news as starting lineups are released! Commentary based on DraftKings strategy and scoring.