As has become the norm for Sunday, the main slate of fantasy baseball on DraftKings gets underway at 1:35 p.m. ET and includes the games that start between 1:35 p.m. ET and 2:10 p.m. ET. This Sunday, Major League Baseball has nine games in that window, so there are plenty of strong options to consider as most teams wrap up their weekend series with a daytime matchup before heading to a new city for Monday’s games.
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Framber Valdez, Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals ($9,400) – Valdez doesn’t have an elite K/9 rate, but he has been very effective for the Astros this season, going 5-2 with a 2.57 ERA and 3.16 FIP with a solid 50 strikeouts in 63 innings. He has gone at least seven innings in four straight starts and threw a complete-game two-hitter in his most recent outing on his way to a season-high 35.8 DKFP. The Royals should be a good matchup for him, hitting just .234 as a team. They don’t strike out a ton but have only scored more than three runs once in six games. Valdez has been effective by limiting damage so far this season and should be able to continue to do so on Sunday. He has at least 17 DKFP in five straight starts and has averaged 24.8 DKFP per start over that span.
Other Options – Zac Gallen ($9,800), Mike Clevinger ($8,800)
Luis Castillo, Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals ($7,900) – Castillo battled shoulder soreness during spring training but is starting to round into form with over 15 DKFP in three straight starts. His best outing of the year came in his last start against the Red Sox, holding them to one hit in six shutout innings while striking out 10 and finishing with 35.1 DKFP. He has at least five strikeouts in all but one of his starts and has produced a 9.45 K/9 rate to go with his 3.38 ERA and 2.92 FIP. Castillo has a high ceiling due to his strikeout upside and will be a bargain under $8K if he continues to find a nice groove.
Other Options – Devin Smeltzer ($7,200), Dean Kremer ($5,500)
José Ramírez, Cleveland Guardians at Baltimore Orioles ($6,000) – Ramírez has been red hot, averaging 16.2 DKFP over his past 10 games coming into Saturday. He went 13-for-38 (.342) while smashing four home runs while also stealing four bases in those 10 games. He kept right on crushing with a home run on Saturday too, as the Guardians fell 5-4 to the Orioles. Ramírez and the rest of the lineup will take on Dean Kremer ($5,500), who hasn’t given up a run in his nine innings over three rehab starts, but Ramírez is so locked in and can produce points in multiple ways that he’s still worth a look even at $6K.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins ($4,500) – Guerrero crushed his 12th homer of the season on Saturday and now has five home runs in his past 10 games. He has hit safely in seven of his past nine starts and is up to a .225 ISO and .350 wOBA on the year. He gets a solid opposite-hand matchup against lefty Devin Smeltzer ($7,200) and always brings a high ceiling with so much power potential.
Other Options – Kyle Farmer ($4,800), Josh Rojas ($4,200)
Santiago Espinal, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins ($3,700) – Espinal has been a lefty slayer all season for the Blue Jays and has also been heating up over his past few games. Against lefties, he has gone 14-for-37 with five doubles, a home run, for a .378 average and .448 wOBA. Espinal is a .350 career hitter against lefties, so it isn’t just a sample-size fluke either. He went 2-for-5 with a walk and a double on Saturday and has averaged 11.8 DKFP in his four games in June.
Matt Reynolds, Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals ($3,400) – Reynolds gets the tasty matchup highlighted in the stacks below, and he has hit safely in eight of his past nine games while going 11-for-27 (.407) with a double, a triple and a home run. He has been living at the bottom of the Cincinnati order, which is less than ideal, but he does have good power behind him if he keeps getting on base regularly. He has hit .400 with a .463 wOBA this year against southpaws, so like Espinal he brings a high ceiling to this matchup against a lefty.
Other Options – Ji-Man Choi ($3,700), Aledmys Díaz ($3,600)
Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals ($5,100) – Alvarez signed a historic extension earlier this week and should continue to prove to be a key part of the Astros’ offense. Alvarez went 1-for-5 on Saturday but had collected multiple hits in five straight games coming into that contest including three home runs to produce a .476 ISO and .659 wOBA over that span. That burst raised his season numbers to a .284 batting average, .308 ISO and .414 wOBA to go with his 15 home runs in 46 games. The lefty should be able to take advantage of Jonathan Heasley ($4,800), who has allowed three home runs and a .413 wOBA to lefties in his four starts this season.
Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Chicago White Sox ($4,600) – Arozarena picked up two hits and two stolen bases on Saturday for 16 DKFP. Four of his 10 stolen bases on the season have come in his past 13 games, and he also has four of his six homers on the year during that span. He has double-digit DKFP in nine of his past 15 contests and has hit .322 with a .409 wOBA over that span.
Other Options – Luis Robert ($5,000), Kyle Tucker ($4,800)
Andrew Vaughn, Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays ($3,500) – The White Sox are missing some key bats, but Vaughn has been a steady contributor and has especially excelled against lefties. Vaughn went 2-for-4 on Saturday and is now hitting .286 with six homers, a .190 ISO and a .352 wOBA. Against lefties like opposing starter Ryan Yarbrough ($6,800), he’s hitting .290 with a .333 wOBA, which is actually a little below his .385 career wOBA against southpaws. Vaughn now has six multi-hit games over his 12 most recent starts.
Albert Almora Jr., Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals ($2,500) – As highlighted below, the Reds have a tasty matchup with Patrick Corbin ($5,200), and Almora has looked good since joining the team 19 games ago. He has hit .308 with a pair of home runs, a stolen base and a .334 wOBA. He has hit safely in seven of his past nine games with four multi-hit games over that span including both of his home runs. The 28-year-old Almora has historically fared well against lefties, so I like his upside at only $2,500.
Other Options – AJ Pollock ($3,200), Brandon Marsh ($3,100)
TEAMS TO STACK
San Francisco Giants at Miami Marlins – The Giants don’t have many huge names in their offense, but they have scored the third-most runs in the Majors this year while hitting 65 home runs in 52 games, the fifth-best HR-per-game ratio in the Majors. They’ll take on Braxton Garrett ($6,200) in his season debut. Last season, the young lefty went 1-2 with a 5.03 ERA in eight games in the Majors. He allowed lefties to post a .429 wOBA against him and righties to post a .360 wOBA with three home runs. He has been limited by a shoulder injury in the minors this season, so it’ll be a tough debut against San Francisco. The Giants feature some big left-handed bats, but righties Wilmer Flores ($5,700), Evan Longoria ($4,600) and Thairo Estrada ($4,200) are in a favorable opposite-hand matchup. Since Garrett hasn’t totally shut down lefties, it’s also a place to consider looking past the matchup to take advantage of a slight discount on Mike Yastrzemski ($4,800), Brandon Crawford ($4,300) and Luis González ($3,600)
Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals – The Reds should be able to give Castillo good run support since they’ll be facing Patrick Corbin ($5,200). Corbin is just 1-8 in 11 starts and has a grisly 6.96 ERA in 54 1⁄3 innings. In those 11 starts, Corbin has allowed seven home runs, all to right-handed hitters, while also letting lefties post a .391 wOBA. Since a lefty-on-lefty matchup isn’t totally out of the question, Joey Votto ($3,300) and Mike Moustakas ($3,000) are still in play, but the stronger options are Brandon Drury ($5,000) and Kyle Farmer ($4,800), who are very strong against lefties and are trending in the right direction. Nick Senzel ($2,400) and Albert Almora Jr. ($2,500) are solid values to consider.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) 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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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.
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