Sunday features a seven-game main slate on DraftKings and a six-game main slate on FanDuel starting at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Note: The PHI vs. TOR, WAS vs. MIA and MIL vs. STL games have all been postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
- Jon Lester (L), $8,900, CHC vs. PIT
- Aaron Civale (R), $8,400, CLE @ MIN
Jon Lester pitched well in his season debut, throwing five scoreless innings without allowing a hit and earning a win against the Cincinnati Reds. On Sunday, he takes on a Pittsburgh Pirates team that has struck out in 27% of its at-bats and is struggling to score runs. Over the Pirates’ last three games, they’ve scored a total of six times and have been shut out once.
Lester was an average pitcher in 2019, recording a 4.26 FIP and a respectable 8.65 K/9 over 171 innings pitched. He is the most expensive option on today’s slate, although his salary is still manageable at only $8,900. Lester will likely be popular given the matchup and price-point, making him best suited for cash games.
Aaron Civale started the season off strong, recording nine strikeouts over six innings of two-run baseball against the Chicago White Sox. He threw 100 pitches in that game, so we can safely say he has no limitations going into Sunday’s start against the Minnesota Twins. Civale will have the difficult task of taking on a powerful Twins lineup that has been scorching-hot to start the season, hitting to a formidable .338 wOBA. However, Minnesota has been generous with strikeouts, racking up K’s at a 26.5% clip. Civale’s career K/9 in the minors is 7.7, so it appears that his nine-strikeout outing in his first start may have been an aberration.
Despite a poor first outing, Dylan Cease clocks in as the top-rated pitcher in the Bales Model on Sunday. Cease struggled in his debut, giving up four earned runs – including two home runs – in just 2.1 innings pitched against the Cleveland Indians. He should find more success on Sunday against Kansas City’s slumping batting lineup. Over their last four games, the Royals have averaged only four runs, and Kansas City is hitting to a .297 wOBA on the season.
Kansas City does not strike out a ton (just 23.7% so far), but Cease averaged more than 9.5 K/9 in each of his previous two minor league seasons. Cease is one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, so at just $5,800 on FanDuel, he’s definitely worth a stab. Furthermore, his bargain bin price tag will allow you to pay up for some big bats elsewhere.
Yonny Chirinos struggled at times in his first start, but he ended the day with four scoreless innings and four strikeouts. On Sunday, he’ll face off against a Baltimore Orioles team that has struggled so far in 2020, striking out 28.9% of the time and recording a subpar .292 wOBA. Chirinos proved last season that he’s capable of taking advantage of subpar teams, recording more than 9.0 K/9 in six of his 18 starts. He threw 68 pitches in his first outing, so he should be cleared for 85 to 90 pitches on Sunday. With a higher expected pitch-count, Chirinos is more than capable of paying off his modest $7,900 salary on FanDuel.
David Peterson pitched 5.2 innings against the Boston Red Sox and earned a win in his major league debut. He allowed seven hits, two walks and two earned runs while striking out three batters over 78 pitches. In his second start, he faces an Atlanta Braves team that has come on strong lately, scoring 18 runs in their last two games. Atlanta does strike out quite a bit though, entering Sunday with a 29.8% strikeout rate for their projected lineup. Peterson is enticing at his $6,600 price tag, but he is probably best-suited for GPPs given his opponent.
Zach Davies was strong in his season debut, pitching five innings while giving up two earned runs and notching five strikeouts in a win over the San Francisco Giants. He logged a successful performance in his lone career start at Coors, pitching 5.1 innings and allowing two hits and one earned run. Despite that success, he is only worth consideration in GPPs and is a very risky play. He will be extremely low-owned given the pitching environment.
• 1. Fernando Tatis Jr. (R)
• 2. Trent Grisham (L)
• 3. Manny Machado (R)
• 4. Tommy Pham (R)
• 5. Jurickson Profar (S)
Total Salary: $26,300
Fernando Tatis Jr. once again rates as the top-rated player in the Bales Model on FanDuel. Tatis Jr. has recorded a stellar .471 wOBA and .346 ISO against right-handed pitching and takes on righty Antonio Senzatela at Coors Field. He’s priced up to $4,200, but he is worth spending up for. Manny Machado also has strong numbers against righties, recording a .360 wOBA and .261 ISO over his first eight games.
Despite only scoring one run yesterday in a similar spot, the Padres should once again be highly owned at Coors. They are fadeable in GPPs given the projected ownership, but you should have some exposure to this game in cash lineups.
The Tampa Bay Rays also rank highly as a four-man stack on FanDuel (per the Bales Model):
• 1. Yandy Diaz (R)
• 2. Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (L)
• 3. Jose Martinex (R)
• 5. Willy Adames (R)
Total Salary: $10,800
The Rays draw another strong matchup on Sunday against lefty Tommy Milone. Milone had a rough 2019, pitching to a 5.00 FIP and allowing 1.93 HR/9. Yoshitomo Tsutsugo has been hitting lefties exceptionally well, logging a .371 wOBA and .273 ISO against southpaws so far. Willy Adames has also been hitting the ball well this season, reporting a .340 wOBA and .258 ISO in limited at-bats against lefties.
This stack should see low ownership and offers ample lineup flexibility at only $10,800. That low price-point should enable you to fit in premium bats around it from some of the other games.
For the second day in a row, Brandon Nimmo grades out extremely well at just $2,700 on FanDuel. He is projected to lead off and has dominated right-handed pitching this season to the tune of a .395 wOBA and .240 ISO. He has a 78% bargain rating on Sunday.
Jeff McNeil is slated to bat second for the Mets and is a nice mini-stack option in that same game. McNeil has even better numbers than Nimmo against righties, hitting a scorching .437 wOBA and .325 ISO against them this season. He is a steal at $2,800 on FanDuel.
Trevor Story has been on a tear to start the season, collecting 10 hits and four home runs in only 26 at-bats. He grades out just behind Tatis Jr. as the second-ranked shortstop in the Bales Model and has six Pro Trends heading into Sunday’s matchup. He will likely bat second and holds a 91% bargain rating.