Sunday features a 10-game main slate starting at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
Jordan Montgomery, New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays ($9,900) – Sunday’s main slate is pretty uninspiring from a pitching perspective. Most teams will be pitching guys at the backend of their rotation, so there are only three pitchers on the slate priced above $8,800.
Montgomery is the most expensive option, and he’s in a nice spot vs. the Rays. The Yankees are one of the largest favorites on the slate, and the Rays’ projected lineup has been extremely generous in terms of strikeouts over the past 12 months. They’ve posted a 31.4% strikeout rate vs. southpaws over that time frame, and Montgomery posted a K/9 of 9.61 over 44 innings last season. That gives him nice upside to go along with his win expectation.
Other Options – Marcus Stroman ($9,100), Trevor Williams ($8,300)
Matt Shoemaker, Minnesota Twins vs. Seattle Mariners ($6,900) – The top Vegas data on the slate – at least at the time of writing – belongs to Shoemaker. He’s taking on the Mariners, who are currently implied for just 3.6 runs. The Twins are also -181 on the moneyline, which makes Shoemaker the largest favorite on the slate.
Shoemaker also has more upside than usual in this matchup. The Mariners’ projected lineup has posted a 33.8% strikeout rate against right-handers over the past 12 months, and the Mariners have posted the 10th-highest strikeout rate in those matchups this season.
Other Options – Dylan Cease ($7,200), Daniel Ponce de Leon ($6,700)
Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,800) – It’s hard to find a catcher with a premium spot in the batting order. Only Contreras is currently expected to bat higher than fifth for his team on Sunday, and that’s because he’s an excellent hitter for a catcher. He’s posted a wRC+ of at least 110 in four of his first five professional seasons, and he clubbed 24 home runs back in 2019.
Other Options – Yermin Mercedes ($4,500), Yadier Molina ($4,300)
Wilson Ramos, Detroit Tigers @ Cleveland Indians ($3,600) – Ramos has always been an above-average hitter for a catcher. His numbers dipped a bit last season, but he’s off to a fantastic start this season. He’s posted a 199 wRC+ through his first 23 plate appearances, and he’s also hit three homers.
He’ll be on the positive side of his splits vs. left-hander Logan Allen ($8,600), and Ramos has historically been at his best in those matchups. He’s posted a 125 wRC+ against southpaws throughout his career, and he’s also displayed slightly more power against left-handers than right-handers.
Other Options – Omar Narvaez ($3,300), Jose Trevino ($2,900)
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels at Toronto Blue Jays ($4,800) – 2021 is shaping up to be the year of Ohtani. He’s off to a fantastic start at the plate, and he also posted a 1.93 ERA in his first start. He’s in an exploitable matchup on Sunday vs. Blue Jays right-hander Tanner Roark ($7,400), who has historically struggled against left-handed batters. He’s off to a particularly dreadful start against left-handed batters this season, allowing three home runs over just 11 at bats in his first outing. Ohtani has plenty of power, so he has a chance to go deep in this matchup.
Other Options – Anthony Rizzo ($5,100), Trey Mancini ($4,700)
Jurickson Profar, San Diego Padres at Texas Rangers ($3,200) – Profar has been one of the biggest beneficiaries from the injury to Fernando Tatis Jr. He’s moved up to the No. 2 spot in the lineup, which is a huge boost in the Padres’ offense. They’ve currently implied for 5.4 runs vs. Rangers right-hander Mike Foltynewicz ($6,600), and Profar is a switch-hitter who has historically been better against right-handers than left-handers.
Other Options – Yandy Diaz ($3,700), Rowdy Tellez ($2,600)
Luis Arraez, Minnesota Twins vs. Seattle Mariners ($4,900) – Arraez is a hit machine. He’s someone who could conceivably lead the league in batting average at some point during his career, and he’s posted a .381 batting average to start the season. He’s expected to bat first for the Twins on Sunday, who are currently implied for 5.0 runs against Mariners right-hander Chris Flexen ($6,800).
Other Options – Marcus Semien ($4,700), Cesar Hernandez ($4,400)
Jorge Polanco, Minnesota Twins vs. Seattle Mariners ($3,600) – Sticking with the same matchup, Polanco is significantly cheaper than Arraez but is still expected to bat in the top three of the Twins’ lineup. Flexen has been dreadful when given a chance to start at the MLB level, and he’s posted a 7.65 xFIP vs. left-handed batters in particular.
Other Options – Jake Cronenworth ($4,200), Kike Hernandez ($4,100)
Manny Machado, San Diego Padres at Texas Rangers ($5,300) – Machado benefits from the same matchup as Profar, but he’s obviously a much more accomplished hitter. He’ll be on the negative side of his batting splits vs. Foltynewicz, but Machado posted a 146 wRC+ against right-handers last season. He also displayed more power in righty-righty matchups given his .288 ISO.
Other Options – Jose Ramirez ($5,800), Rafael Devers ($5,400)
Cavan Biggio, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Los Angeles Angels ($4,200) – There aren’t a ton of low-priced options that stand out at third base, but Biggio makes a lot of sense at $4,200. He’s taking on Angels right-hander Alex Cobb ($8,800), who was among the worst pitchers in baseball last season. His 4.30 ERA isn’t all that bad on the surface, but his xERA of 6.49 suggests he was significantly lucky. Biggio has already gone up against right-handed pitchers twice this season, so he has upside in this matchup.
Other Options – Maikel Franco ($3,800), Yandy Diaz ($3,700)
Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Los Angeles Angels ($4,800) – Bichette is another member of the Blue Jays that I’m interested in vs. Cobb. Cobb has been equally hittable for both right- and left-handed batters, and Bichette has actually been better against right-handed pitchers over the past 12 months.
Other Options – Xander Bogaerts ($5,500), Francisco Lindor ($4,700)
Niko Goodrum, Detroit Tigers vs. San Diego Padres ($2,800) – Goodrum and the Tigers don’t stand out from a Vegas perspective, but he’s expected to bat leadoff at just $2,800. That’s dirt cheap for a leadoff hitter, which is always appealing in DFS. Goodrum has also been an outstanding batter against southpaws over the past 12 months, posting a .434 wOBA and .333 ISO.
Other Options – Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($4,200), Ha-Seong Kim ($3,000)
Trent Grisham, San Diego Padres at Texas Rangers ($4,100) – Grisham isn’t particularly expensive at $4,100, but he has the potential to provide stud-like production at the top of the Padres’ lineup. He’s hit well against right-handed pitchers over the past 12 months, posting a .371 wOBA and .232 ISO.
Other Options – J.D. Martinez ($6,000, if he is activated off of the COVID IL), Ian Happ ($4,500)
Ben Gamel, Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers ($2,800) – Gamel is another cheap projected leadoff batter that I’m interested in. The Indians are currently implied for 5.1 runs, which is one of the top marks on the slate, and leadoff batters with comparable implied team totals and salaries have historically averaged 8.06 DKFP per game. That would be more than enough for Gamel to return value in this matchup, so he’s an elite cash game target.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Ben Gamel is not in the lineup for today’s game vs. the Tigers.
Other Options – Cedric Mullins ($3,900), Josh Naylor ($2,500)
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