Sunday features an 11-game slate on DraftKings and a 13-game slate on FanDuel, starting at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Three pitchers on today’s slate are priced above the $9,500 mark on FanDuel:
• Blake Snell (L) $10,200, TAM vs. TOR
• Trevor Bauer (R) $9,700, CIN vs. DET
• Zack Greinke (R) $9,600, HOU vs. SEA
After winning the American League Cy Young award in 2018, Blake Snell came back down to earth a bit last season. In 107 innings, he pitched to a 6-8 record and recorded a 4.29 ERA in 23 starts. Those numbers are a bit misleading, though, as he recorded a career high 12.36 K/9 and had a 3.32 FIP, indicating he ran into a bit of bad luck.
He gets a favorable matchup on Sunday against a Toronto Blue Jays team that struck out 29.7% of the time last season and hit a below average .302 wOBA. The strikeouts will be there, but he’s projected to only throw a few innings on Sunday and should be avoided at his elevated price tag.
Trevor Bauer also finds himself in an advantageous spot against a poor Detroit Tigers offense. Bauer struggled a bit in 2019, pitching to a 4.34 FIP — nearly two full runs higher than in 2018 — and gave up 1.44 HR/9. His strikeout totals were still strong, however, whiffing 253 batters in 213 innings (10.69 K/9).
The projected Tigers lineup struck out 26% of the time last season, so Bauer should have no problem collecting K’s on Sunday. He should garner relatively high ownership given the matchup and may be best suited for cash games.
Zack Greinke put together another strong season in 2019, pitching to a 2.93 ERA (3.22 FIP) and allowed just .91 HR/9. His 8.07 K/9 was below that of other top-tier starters, but overall was in-line with his career average 8.22 K/9. On Sunday, he takes on a Seattle Mariners team that struck out a healthy 28.5% of the time last season and struggled to the tune of a .258 wOBA. He has the best on-paper matchup of the trio, but will likely need to outperform his strikeout metrics to pay off his $9,600 price tag.
- Mitch Keller (R) $6,500, PIT @ STL
If you look at Mitch Keller’s 2019 surface stats, you may gloss right over him when considering starting pitchers for this slate. His 1-5 record and 7.19 ERA from last season were ugly, but when you dig a bit deeper, you find that he was very unlucky through his 11 starts. He actually pitched to a 3.19 FIP – four entire runs below his ERA. This suggests that he has some positive regression coming his way.
We may see that come to fruition immediately in 2019 against a St. Louis Cardinals team that strikes out 27.6% of the time and carries a well below-average .296 wOBA. Keller’s 12.2 K/9 from last year is also elite, giving him ample room to outperform his low $6,500 salary.
With the Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into DFS lineups. Today’s top five-man on DraftKings (per the Bales Model) belongs to the Boston Red Sox:
• 1. Andrew Benintendi (L)
• 2. JD Martinez (R)
• 3. Rafael Devers (L)
• 4. Xander Bogaerts (R
• 5. Kevin Pillar (R)
Total Salary: $22,000
The Houston Astros also rank strongly as a four-man stack on FanDuel (per the Bales Model):
• 1. George Springer (R)
• 2. Jose Altuve (R)
• 3. Alex Bregman (R)
• 5. Yuli Gurriel (R)
Total Salary: $14,600
The Boston Red Sox take on lefty Wade LeBlanc, the second lowest-rated pitcher in the Bales Model on Sunday’s slate. This lineup hits left-handed pitching very well, particularly JD Martinez who recorded a stellar .539 ISO and .482 ISO versus southpaws last season.
Andrew Benintendi was also successful in his at-bats against lefties, recording a .340 wOBA and .438 slugging percentage last year. The Red Sox should find success early and often against LeBlanc, who gave up 2.56 HR/9 in 2019 and carried 5.49 FIP on the year.
The Houston Astros are also in a strong spot at home against lefty Yusei Kikuchi. Kikuchi struggled in his first season in the big leagues, pitching to a 5.71 FIP and allowing 2.00 HR/9. That won’t work against a powerful Astros lineup that is still one of the most feared in the game.
Jose Altuve had the best numbers of the bunch against lefties in 2019, recording a stellar .429 wOBA and .346 ISO against them. George Springer was also particularly strong, recording a .383 wOBA and .232 ISO himself. Springer also smashed 11 of his 31 home runs against lefties.
Max Kepler should fare well on Sunday against righty Reynaldo Lopez. In 2019, Kepler was particularly strong against right-handers, recording a strong .350 wOBA and .281 ISO against them. Lopez struggled through his 2019 campaign, pitching to a 5.04 FIP and 4.88 SIERA. His He also allowed 1.71 HR/9, a number that won’t fly against a powerful Minnesota Twins lineup. Kepler is expected to man the leadoff spot on Sunday and has an affordable $3,000 salary on FanDuel.
Also look to Josh Donaldson in that same lineup; Donaldson found success against righties last season, hitting a robust .364 wOBA and .231 ISO (including 30 home runs) against them. He’s just $3,100 on FanDuel and is projected to hit second behind Kepler.
Jesse Winkler stands out as an elite value on FanDuel at just $2,300. He projects to lead off against Spencer Turnbull and had a strong .373 wOBA and .235 ISO versus right-handers in 2019. Turnbull gave up a 46% hard hit rate last season and particularly struggled against lefties, pitching to a .298/.370/.444 slash line against them last year.
Photo credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images.
Pictured above: Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays.