Happy Easter! The MLB is offering up a full slate of baseball on Sunday, starting with an eight-game main slate 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.
Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $300K Gyroball [$100K to 1st]
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Brady Singer, Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers ($8,700) – Singer got his first taste of MLB action in 2020, and he impressed at just 24 years old. He pitched to a 3.85 xERA while striking out an average of 8.53 batters per nine innings. He was previously considered one of the Royals’ top prospects, so his success wasn’t a huge surprise.
He has a chance to start the new season with a big performance on Sunday. He’s taking on the Rangers, who were one of the worst offensive teams in baseball last season. They were just 27th in wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers, and they also posted the ninth-highest strikeout rate.
Vegas is also giving Singer a ton of respect in this matchup. His opponent implied team total of 4.2 runs is one of the lowest marks on the slate, and Singer is also one of the largest favorites of the day at -190 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Other Options – Ian Anderson ($9,800), Michael Pineda ($9,200)
Zach Eflin, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves ($8,200) – Eflin is actually a slight underdog vs. the Braves on Sunday, but his opponent implied team total of 4.2 runs is still impressive. That said, he should be able to rack up plenty of strikeouts in this matchup. Their projected lineup has posted a 29.9% strikeout rate against right-handers over the past 12 months, and Eflin posted a career-best 10.68 K/9 in 2020. He also pitched to a 3.30 xERA and 3.23 xFIP, so Eflin is more talented than his current price tag indicates.
Other Options – Zach Davies ($7,900), Mitch Keller ($7,000)
Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers ($4,800) – It’s nice to finally have a non-Coors main slate since it gives us the chance to focus on some other squads outside of the Dodgers. One team that stands out on Sunday is the Royals. They’re currently implied for 5.4 runs, which is tied for the highest mark on the slate. They’re taking on right-hander Jordan Lyles ($6,200), who was downright awful in 2020. He pitched to a 7.02 ERA over 57 2⁄3.innings, and he also averaged just 5.62 strikeouts per nine innings.
Perez is coming off easily his best season at the dish, finishing with a 162 wRC+ over 37 games, and he was rewarded with a contract extension in the offseason. He was even better vs. right-handers last year, finishing with a 170 wRC+ with eight home runs.
Other Options – Gary Sanchez ($4,900), Travis d’Arnaud ($4,700)
Tucker Barnhart, Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($2,300) – Punting at catcher is always a viable strategy, and Barnhart is actually a nice hitter for his price tag. He’ll be on the positive side of his splits vs. Carlos Martinez ($7,100), and Barnhart posted a 104 wRC+ vs. right-handers last season. That’s not an elite number by any stretch, but it’s good enough for a catcher.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Tucker Barnhart is not in the lineup for today’s game vs. the Cardinals.
Other Options – Wilson Ramos ($2,700)
Carlos Santana, Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers ($3,600) – Santana isn’t exactly priced like a stud at $3,600, but he benefits from the same excellent matchup as Perez. He got off to an excellent start this season, finishing with one hit and three walks over six plate appearances, and he’s expected to occupy a premium spot in the Royals’ lineup.
Other Options – Paul Goldschmidt ($5,200), Joey Votto ($4,300)
Jay Bruce, New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($2,700) – Bruce is clearly past his prime at 34 years old, but he’s still capable of running into a baseball from time to time. He posted a 109 wRC+ and .321 ISO against right-handed pitchers last season, and he’ll be facing an unproven right-hander in T.J. Zeuch ($5,200) on Sunday. Zeuch posted a 4.87 xERA in 2020 after posting a 6.89 xERA in 2019, and I like Bruce’s chances in that matchup.
Other Options – Jeimer Candelario ($3,200), Trey Mancini ($2,000)
DJ LeMahieu, New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($5,500) – LeMahieu is another batter who makes a lot of sense vs. Zeuch. Not only is he expected to occupy the key leadoff spot for the Yankees, but he’s also just a really freaking good hitter. LeMahieu posted a 176 wRC+ vs. right-handers last season, and he also displayed more power when facing right-handed pitchers. He posted a .245 ISO in those matchups, and all 10 of his home runs came against right-handed pitchers.
Other Options – Whit Merrifield ($5,200), Ozzie Albies ($4,700)
Enrique Hernandez, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($3,200) – The Red Sox offense hasn’t exactly been firing on all cylinders to start the season, scoring just two runs through their first two games. Perhaps a matchup vs. Orioles left-hander Bruce Zimmermann ($6,700) will help them get on track. He’s pitched just seven innings at the MLB level, and he’s struggled to a 6.74 xERA over that time frame.
Hernandez was a bit disappointing vs. southpaws last season, but he’s historically been at his best when facing left-handed pitchers. He’s posted a 120 wRC+ in those matchups throughout his career, and he’s also hit for significantly more power.
Other Options – Adam Frazier ($3,700)
Tommy Edman, St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds ($4,600) – Edman is an intriguing option at the top of the Cardinals’ lineup on Sunday. He’s a switch hitter who has historically been at his best vs. left-handed pitchers, but he’ll be taking on right-hander Jeff Hoffman ($5,400). That said, Edman is still essentially a league-average hitter against right-handers, and he’s actually displayed more power in those matchups. He’s also a threat to swipe a bag, racking up 15 steals over 92 games as a rookie in 2019. Playing at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati doesn’t hurt either.
Other Options – Jose Ramirez ($5,800), Nolan Arenado ($5,300)
Mike Moustakas, Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($3,800) – Moustakas has been an above-average hitter dating all the way back to 2015, and he remains a very dangerous hitter against right-handed pitchers. He posted a .278 ISO vs. right-handers last season, and he finished with seven home runs over just 116 at bats. Martinez allowed an average of 2.70 home runs per nine innings last season, so this is definitely a spot where Moustakas could go yard.
Other Options – Eugenio Suarez ($4,200), Hunter Dozier ($4,000)
Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($5,500) – Bogaerts continues to provide some of the best offensive production in baseball at the shortstop position. He’ll be on the positive side of his batting splits Sunday vs. Zimmermann, and Bogaerts absolutely destroyed left-handed pitching last season. He posted a 174 wRC+ and .219 ISO over 69 plate appearances.
Other Options – Bo Bichette ($4,900), Gleyber Torres ($4,700)
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals ($3,700) – Shortstop feels like a good position to pay up at on Sunday. If you do choose to pay down, Kiner-Falefa stands out as one of the stronger options. He’s essentially a league-average hitter, but he’s very affordable and is expected to occupy the leadoff spot in the Rangers’ lineup.
Other Options – Willi Castro ($4,000), Kevin Newman ($3,400)
J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($4,500) – Martinez had a down year at the dish in 2020, but he had previously been one of the best hitters in the game against left-handed pitching. He posted an unreal 242 wRC+ and .482 ISO vs. southpaws in 2019, which was obviously over a much larger sample size than his 2020 numbers. I’m willing to bank on some positive regression for Martinez this season.
Other Options – Aaron Judge ($5,700), Alex Verdugo ($4,300)
Jorge Soler, Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers ($3,100) – I’m not sure why Soler is so cheap, but I’m not complaining. Soler has blossomed into one of the league’s premier power hitters, and he led the AL with 48 homers in 2019. He wasn’t as productive last season, but all eight of his home runs came against right-handed pitching. The Royals stand out as one of my favorite targets given their matchup vs. Lyles, and Soler is arguably their best hitter.
Other Options – Jesse Winker ($3,700), Aaron Hicks ($3,400)
Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $300K Gyroball [$100K to 1st]
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