Starting at 1:05 p.m. ET, Sunday’s main slate features eight games that includes six divisional battles.
Here are the highest-rated pitchers using the Bales Model on DraftKings:
- 58.75 Zach Eflin (R) $8,200 PHI vs ATL
- 54.76 Brady Singer (R) $8,700 KC vs TEX
- 54.74 Zach Davies (R) $7,900 CHC vx PIT
- 54.02 Michael Pineda (R) $9,200 MIN @ MIL
And the highest-rated pitchers using the Bales Model on FanDuel:
- 62.72 Michael Pineda (R) $7,300 MIN @ MIL
- 60.79 Brady Singer (R) $7,500 KC vs TEX
- 60.78 Zach Eflin (R) $8,000 PHI vs ATL
- 54.97 Zach Davies (R) $8,200 CHC vx PIT
As you can see, the top-four pitching plays are consistent, however, the pricing leads to advantages based on which DFS site you are using. DraftKings has Michael Pineda as the third highest-priced pitcher, while FanDuel has him listed as seventh. In 10 1/3 innings pitched, the Twins’ starting pitchers have allowed only one earned run, in addition to striking out 17 Brewers batters. Coming off a 2020 season in which the Milwaukee Brewers had the second-most strikeouts in baseball, it appears that the trend will continue.
Starting the season off at a price higher than all last year, Zach Eflin is looking to keep the Braves’ batters guessing. Last season, Eflin was 2-0 vs Atlanta with a 2.92 ERA. The weather is favorable for the pitchers in a game that will have temperatures in the mid 50s and a 7 mph wind coming in from left field.
Kansas City Royals 2018 first-round pick Brady Singer is the second-highest rated pitcher on today’s slate according to the Bales Model. Singer started the 2020 season slow, however really brought his A-game later in the season. My main concern with Singer is that he’s facing a Texas Rangers lineup that has scored 14 runs in the first two games of the season, and he’s still relatively inexperience. This can also serve as an advantage, though, as the lack of exposure might make him undervalued relative to more well-known pitchers.
Zach Davies pitches to contact and should be able to use the mild early-season weather to his advantage. In the 2020 season with the Padres, Davies had only 69 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings, making this the only risk factor in selecting him for your lineup. On DraftKings, there is only one Pirates batter priced greater than $4,000 and that player (Ke’Bryan Hayes) was pulled from Saturday’s game with an injury. At time of publication, whether he’s even in Pittsburgh’s lineup is unknown.
Today’s top lineup stack comes to you from the -168 Boston Red Sox:
- Enrique Hernandez (R)
- Xander Bogaerts (R)
- J.D. Martinez (R)
- Alex Verdugo (L)
The Boston Red Sox are projected for 5.4 runs today. On FanDuel, this stack will cost you $13.2K in salary and is projected for a combined 48.8 fantasy points. Facing a very inexperienced pitcher in Bruce Zimmermann, this group of players is set for a big day.
The Bales Model projects that the highest floor play of the slate is Carlos Santana of the Kansas City Royals. Although he is only batting .286 in the early season, Santana has scored three runs and has driven in three in the two games he has played. He is one of my favorite plays of the slate due to the discounted price of $3,600 DK and $3,300 FD.
Another stack to consider is the St. Louis Cardinals. With the addition of Nolan Arenado, the Cardinals are leading the National League with 8.5 runs per game. Switch hitter Tommy Edman is leading off the batting order with a ton of talent. Youngster Dylan Carlson hit a home run on opening day and is looking to continue his power surge.
- Jordan Luplow, OF, Cleveland (R)
- Cedric Mullins, OF, Baltimore (L)
These are the top two value plays for the slate I would consider rostering. Both players lead off for their respective teams and will have many opportunities to score fantasy points. By using middle-priced pitchers you will have salary to play with, but keep in mind some of the best lineups leave salary unused.
Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images
Pictured: Michael Pineda