Sunday features an 11-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.
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Tyler Mahle, Cincinnati Reds @ Miami Marlins ($9,800) – Some slates are loaded with stud pitching options, but this is not one of them. Mahle stands out as one of the stronger options on Sunday. He’s pitched to a solid 3.69 ERA and 10.70 FIP this season, but he has significantly more upside vs. the Marlins. For starters, Mahle gets a massive park upgrade moving from the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati to Miami. He’s been significantly better on the road this season, posting a 1.84 ERA, and LoanDepot Park has historically been one of the most pitcher-friendly venues in baseball.
The fact that the Marlins can’t hit also helps. They rank 22nd in wRC+ and fifth in strikeout rate against right-handers this season, and their implied team total of 3.5 runs is the second-lowest mark on the slate.
Other Options – Dylan Cease ($10,000), Zack Greinke ($9,300)
Tylor Megill, New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals ($7,200) – Megill made his pro debut in 2021, and he came out of the gates red hot. He pitched to a 3.50 ERA over the first month of the season, including a sparkling 1.04 ERA in July. Unfortunately, he has seen some significant regression in August, with his ERA ballooning all the way to 7.03.
A matchup vs. the Nationals could be the perfect medicine for Megill’s ailing numbers. They gutted their team before the trade deadline, and they own the lowest implied team total on the slate.
Other Options – Kwang Hyun Kim ($7,400), Ranger Suarez ($6,000)
Carson Kelly, Arizona Diamondbacks @ Philadelphia Phillies ($4,900) – The Diamondbacks have had a dreadful season, but Kelly has been one of the lone bright spots. He’s battled some injuries, but he has been excellent when he’s been healthy enough to suit up. He’s blossomed into an absolute monster against left-handed pitchers, posting a 195 wRC+ with a .329 ISO, and he’ll be facing a left-hander on Sunday in Ranger Suarez ($6,000).
Other Options – Yasmani Grandal ($5,100), Mike Zunino ($4,800)
Tyler Stephenson, Cincinnati Reds @ Miami Marlins ($4,100) – Like Kelly, Stephenson is another young catcher who has become an excellent hitter at the major-league level. He’ll be on the positive side of his splits Sunday vs. Jesus Luzardo ($5,600), and Stephenson owns a 121 wRC+ vs. southpaws this season. Luzardo has been hit extremely hard in 2021, and he’s surrendered a dreadful .417 wOBA to right-handed batters.
Other Options – Alejandro Kirk ($3,500), Jacob Stallings ($3,200)
Yuli Gurriel, Houston Astros @ Texas Rangers ($5,400) – The Astros are currently implied for 5.4 runs, which is tied for the third-highest mark on the slate. They’re taking on Rangers left-hander Taylor Hearn ($5,300), who has split time being the bullpen and the rotation this season. He’s been far less effective when serving as a starter, posting a 5.71 ERA over 17 1/3 innings.
Gurriel is in the midst of his best offensive season, which is a big reason why the Astros have been the best offensive team in baseball. They already employed some of the best hitters in the game, and Gurriel has given them another potent option. He’s crushed left-handers to the tune of a 163 wRC+, and he’s also hit for significantly more power in that split.
Other Options – Nelson Cruz ($5,300), Pete Alonso ($5,000)
Rowdy Tellez, Milwaukee Brewers @ Minnesota Twins ($2,500) – The Brewers are also implied for 5.4 runs on today’s slate, making Tellez an extremely cheap source of power. He’s had a disappointing season at the dish, but Tellez is someone who has hit right-handed pitching well throughout his career. He’s posted a .224 ISO in that split since 2018, and 35 of his 43 homers have come against right-handed pitchers. Opposing pitcher Griffin Jax ($6,400) owns a 6.29 ERA this season, and he’s allowed more than 2.5 homers per nine innings.
Other Options – Jesus Aguilar ($3,500), Christian Walker ($2,700)
Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles ($5,500) – The top implied team total on the slate belongs to the Rays. They’re currently implied for a whopping 6.5 runs vs. Spenser Watkins ($5,100), and no other team is implied for more than 5.6. That makes them the clear top team to target on Sunday.
Watkins owns a dreadful 7.07 ERA this season, including a 7.59 ERA in Baltimore. Lowe is expected to bat leadoff for the Rays on Sunday, and he owns an elite 154 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers.
Other Options – Jose Altuve ($6,200), Marcus Semien ($4,800)
Yonny Hernandez, Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros ($2,600) – I’m a sucker for a cheap leadoff hitter, and Hernandez is expected to fit that description on Sunday. He hasn’t displayed a ton of prowess with the bat since being called up to the majors, but he has wreaked some havoc on the bases. He owns four steals through his first 67 plate appearances, so he has some upside with his legs.
Other Options – Cesar Hernandez ($3,300), Tommy La Stella ($3,200)
Alex Bregman, Houston Astros @ Texas Rangers ($5,200) – Bregman has had a few stints on the IL this season, but he remains one of the most dangerous hitters in the game against left-handed pitchers. He’s posted a 163 wRC+ in that split this season, and nine of his 31 hits have gone for extra bases. He has just as much upside as some of the third basemen that cost more than $6,000 on Sunday’s slate, so I’ll gladly take the savings.
Other Options – Rafael Devers ($6,100), Nolan Arenado ($5,300)
Joey Wendle, Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles ($4,100) – Wendle is a slightly cheaper way to get some exposure to the Rays’ massive implied team total on Sunday. He’s been a strong option against right-handed pitchers this season, posting a 124 wRC+.
Other Options – Ke’Bryan Hayes ($3,600), Eugenio Suarez ($3,600)
Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays @ Detroit Tigers ($4,800) – Bichette is normally priced above $5,000, so we’re getting him at a bit of a discount on Sunday. He’s been in a slump recently, posting a horrid 49 wRC+ in August, but he’s still hitting atop a potent Blue Jays lineup. He’ll also be on the positive side of his splits vs. left-hander Matthew Boyd ($6,700). Bichette has racked up a 124 wRC+ against southpaws this season, and the Blue Jays are currently implied for 5.2 runs. This is a nice buy-low opportunity.
Other Options – Xander Bogaerts ($5,900), Tim Anderson ($5,100)
Kyle Farmer, Cincinnati Reds @ Miami Marlins ($2,600) – Farmer will bat fifth in the lineup for the Reds on Sunday, which makes him simply too cheap at $2,600. He’s cooled off after a torrid July, but he’s still posted a 123 wRC+ since the All-Star break. He’ll be on the positive side of his splits vs. Luzardo, and he owns a 116 wRC+ vs. southpaws this season.
Other Options – Willy Adames ($4,200), Jorge Polanco ($3,800)
Teoscar Hernandez, Toronto Blue Jays @ Detroit Tigers ($4,600) – Like Bichette, Hernandez is also a bit priced down for the Blue Jays. That said, he has been an absolute monster against southpaws this season. He owns a ridiculous 203 wRC+ in that split, and he also sports a .378 ISO. Those are incredible numbers, so it’s hard not to like him at just $4,600 as the Blue Jays’ expected cleanup hitter.
Other Options – Bryce Harper ($6,400), Austin Meadows ($4,900)
Michael Conforto, New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals ($3,500) – Conforto has had a horrid season for the Mets, but he did launch a pinch-hit, three-run homer in yesterday’s contests. Could that be enough to get him started? I’m not sure, but $3,500 is a reasonable price tag for him in this matchup. He’s taking on right-hander Erick Fedde ($7,600), who has pitched to a 4.74 FIP against left-handed batters this season.
Other Options – Alex Verdugo ($3,800), Byron Buxton ($2,700)
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