We’ve got another full day of baseball action on Sunday. Today’s main slate starts at 1:05 p.m. ET and features eight games to choose from. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite targets and values to help you build your lineups.
Max Scherzer, WAS @ BAL, $10,800 – Scherzer has gotten off to another flying starting in 2020. He’s pitched to a 2.75 ERA and 2.36 FIP while striking out 13.27 batters per nine innings. Overall, he’s averaged 20.3 DKFP over his first four starts.
He’s in a strong spot today vs. the Orioles. Baltimore hasn’t been as poor offensively as expected – the Orioles ranks eighth in wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers – but I’m skeptical they can keep up that production all season. We’re still dealing with a relatively small sample size and none of Baltimore’s projected starters posted an expected wOBA above .318 vs. right-handers last season.
There is currently no betting data available for this game because the Orioles have yet to announce a starter, but expect Scherzer to check in as one of the largest favorites with one of the lowest opponent implied team totals.
Other Options – Zack Wheeler ($9,900), Lance McCullers Jr. ($8,700)
Adam Plutko, CLE @ DET, $6,400 – This seems like a nice slate to pay up at pitcher, but Plutko is a solid option if you’re looking to go in the opposite direction. He hasn’t been a solid strikeout pitcher this season, posting a K/9 of just 5.73, but he has posted slightly better marks in previous seasons. His low strikeout rate also hasn’t stopped him from pitching to a 2.45 ERA over his first 11 innings this season.
Plutko has an excellent matchup today vs. the Tigers. Detroit has struggled vs. right-handers this season, ranking just 26th in wRC+. The Tigers have also been very generous in terms of strikeouts – Detroit’s mark of 30.2% vs. right-handers is the highest in the league – so Plutko has more upside than usual.
Other Options – Dallas Keuchel ($8,100), Elieser Hernandez ($6,600)
Mitch Garver, MIN vs. KC, $5,100 – The Twins are in a wonderful spot today vs. Royals right-hander Brady Singer ($6,800). He has a ton of potential at the MLB level but that potential hasn’t turned into results at this point in his young career. He’s pitched to a 4.50 ERA and 4.73 FIP and he’s struggled in particular with walks (3.60 BB/9) and homers allowed (1.80 HR/9). Garver has historically been at his best vs. left-handed pitchers but he still has plenty of upside vs. right-handers. He posted a .374 wOBA and .327 ISO in those matchups last season, thanks in part to an average exit velocity of 96.5 miles per hour.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Garver is not in the lineup for today’s game vs. the Royals.
Other Options – Yasmani Grandal ($4,800), Willson Contreras ($4,500)
Travis d’Arnaud, ATL @ MIA, $2,500 – It’s hard to look past d’Arnaud at just $2,500 for cash games. That’s very cheap for a catcher who is expected to occupy the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Historically, catchers with a comparable lineup spot and salary have averaged 7.47 DKFP, which would be more than enough for his current salary.
EDITOR’S NOTE: d’Arnaud is not in the lineup for today’s game vs. the Marlins.
Other Options – Austin Nola ($3,200), Victor Caratini ($3,100)
Anthony Rizzo, CHC vs. MIL, $4,600 – The Cubs are taking on right-hander Josh Lindblom ($6,300), who has been extremely boom-or-bust this season. He has averaged a whopping 14.21 strikeouts per nine innings through his first three starts, which obviously isn’t great for opposing batters. That said, he’s also allowed 4.26 walks and 2.84 HRs per nine innings, both of which are absolutely atrocious. Add it all up and Lindblom has pitched to a 5.49 FIP this season.
That should bode well for Rizzo. He raked vs. right-handers last season, posting a .403 wOBA and 150 wRC+.
Other Options – Freddie Freeman ($5,300), Rhys Hoskins ($4,900)
Ryan O’Hearn, KC @ MIN, $3,200 – O’Hearn is an interesting option on today’s slate. He’ll be on the positive side of his batting splits vs. Randy Dobnak ($7,900), who has pitched to a dominant 0.90 ERA this season. That said, he’s struck out just 4.95 batters per nine innings, which is insanely low considering his ERA. If he doesn’t increase that number moving forward it seems unlikely that he’ll continue to have that kind of success moving forward.
O’Hearn wasn’t a particularly strong hitter last season but he did display more upside vs. right-handers than left-handers.
Other Options – Edwin Encarnacion ($4,000), Justin Smoak ($3,300)
Jose Altuve, HOU vs. SEA, $5,100 – Altuve has gotten off to a rough start this season, struggling to a .175 batting average and 59 wRC+ over his first 88 plate appearances. It’s definitely fair to question if this is a slump or a sign of things to come for Altuve – the Astros gave up that right following their scandal – but I’m not ready to pull the plug just yet. He’s been an excellent offensive second baseman dating all the way back to 2014.
He’s in an excellent bounce-back spot today vs. the Mariners. The Astros are currently implied for 5.9 runs vs. left-hander Justus Sheffield ($6,100) and Altuve has historically been at his best vs. southpaws. He posted a wRC+ of 176 vs. left-handers last season, which was one of the best marks in the league.
Other Options – Whit Merrifield ($5,500), Keston Hiura ($4,600)
Logan Forsythe, MIA vs. ATL, $3,400 – Forsythe is clearly on the decline at 33 years old but he’s still capable of hitting against southpaws. He’s gotten off to a solid start in those matchups this season, posting a .480 wOBA and 213 wRC+. That’s over a small sample size – he’s had just 10 plate appearances vs. left-handers – but Forsythe has always been someone who could hit left-handers.
He’ll be on the positive side of his splits today vs. Robbie Erlin ($4,000), who is not a particularly imposing pitcher. He’s pitched to a 9.00 ERA in 2020 after posting a 5.37 ERA in 2019, which is part of the reason why the Pirates designated him for assignment earlier in the year.
Other Options – Jonathan Schoop ($4,100), Kolten Wong ($3,500)
Kris Bryant, CHC vs. MIL, $4,400 – Third base is loaded with quality options today, particularly at the top of the pricing spectrum. That said, Bryant stands out as one of the strongest values at just $4,400. He benefits from the same elite matchup as Rizzo and while he hasn’t been as good vs. right-handers as Rizzo, he’s still very capable of doing damage. Bryant posted a 126 wRC+ vs. right-handers in 2019, including a 133 wRC+ specifically at Wrigley Field.
Other Options – Jose Ramirez ($5,500), Alex Bregman ($5,400)
Alec Bohm, PHI vs. NYM, $2,500 – You shouldn’t make a habit of targeting hitters at the bottom of the order but you can make an exception for Bohm. He entered the year as a highly regarded prospect after posting a 146 wRC+ at the Double-A level last season.
He’s yet to make a splash in the majors, but perhaps that will change today vs. Rick Porcello ($6,700). Porcello has struggled in his first season with the Mets, limping to a 5.68 ERA over his first four starts.
Other Options – Hunter Dozier ($3,600), Jeimer Candelario ($3,100)
Javier Baez, CHC vs. MIL, $4,500 – Are you sensing a pattern here? I like the Cubs’ chances today vs. Lindblom, so Baez is definitely in play as the projected No. 3 hitter. He’s also been priced down a bit recently, so $4,500 is a very fair price tag.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Baez is not in the lineup for today’s game vs. the Brewers.
Other Options – Francisco Lindor ($5,200), Carlos Correa ($4,800)
J.P. Crawford, SEA @ HOU, $3,400 – Cheap leadoff hitters are typically strong targets for cash games and Crawford fits the mold on today’s slate. He does have a tough matchup vs. McCullers but at least he’ll be on the positive side of his batting splits. Crawford has fared very well vs. right-handers this season, posting a 131 wRC+.
Other Options – Niko Goodrum ($4,000), Eric Sogard ($3,800)
George Springer, HOU vs. SEA, $4,900 – All the big right-handed bats for the Astros are in play vs. Sheffield and Springer is no exception. He absolutely feasted on southpaws last season, posting a 144 wRC+ in general and a 155 wRC+ at home specifically.
Springer has historically averaged just under 10 DKFP per game when batting leadoff against a left-hander and his $4,900 salary is slightly cheaper than usual.
Other Options – Nelson Cruz ($5,600), Christian Yelich ($5,100)
Ian Happ, CHC vs. MIL, $3,300 – Happ concludes our tour of the Cubs and he might be the team’s best pure value on the slate. He absolutely rakes vs. right-handers – he posted a .389 wOBA and .321 ISO in 2019 – and he recently moved up in the batting order. He spent most of the year occupying the No. 9 spot but he’s batted no lower than sixth in each of his past four games.
His salary has yet to be updated to reflect his new role, so take advantage while you still can.
Other Options – Avisail Garcia ($3,500), Tyler O’Neill ($3,300)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.