Welcome to my first MLB article of the year as we take a look at the Sunday slate on FanDuel. Sundays are always an interesting day for daily fantasy baseball because it’s the day that players are most likely to rest. Many starting catchers will get today off, and some position players will as well. Always make sure to check starting lineups before inserting a player into your roster. The action starts early, and hopefully some of these picks will help you earn some money today. Good luck!
Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners, $11400 – Max Scherzer is a fine option, but I prefer King Felix today. He’s pitching in a much better park, and, overall, he’s much more efficient pitcher. In general, Hernandez is more likely to pitch eight or even nine innings, and I feel both pitchers have the same strikeout upside against their respective weak opposing lineups. I also expect both to be in line for the win. It’s a close call between the two, and you can’t go wrong either way, but I do prefer King Felix because I think he’ll end up pitching more innings.
Tyson Ross, San Diego Padres, $8600 – If you wish to avoid the three stud pitchers at the top of the list, Ross is an excellent mid-tier option. He’s always pitched very well at home, he strikes out about a batter per inning, and he’s facing a Giants offense that’s not particularly impressive against right-handed pitching. I think something along the lines of seven innings with seven strikeouts and an earned run is likely, and he should be in line for the win with Jake Peavy toeing the rubber for the Giants.
Miguel Montero, Chicago Cubs, $3100 – Montero draws a solid matchup against Jordan Lyles, a pitcher that tends to struggle with left-handed hitters. He also gets the benefit of hitting at Coors Field, which is a terrific park for batters. There are no hands-down, must-play options at the catcher position, so it makes a lot of sense to get exposure to a player in a projected high-scoring offense that’s hitting in an extremely favorable environment.
Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals, $2800 – This pick isn’t so much about Ramos as the quality of pitcher he’s facing. Sean O’Sullivan is likely one of the weakest pitchers starting today, and while the Nationals have struggled out of the gate, I like their chances to score a few runs today. O’Sullivan struggles with righties and lefties, and Ramos is a good enough hitter to take advantage of his mistakes. Make sure Ramos is in the lineup, and if he is, he’s worth using in both cash game and GPP lineups.
Justin Morneau, Colorado Rockies, $4100 – I don’t buy Kyle Hendricks’s numbers from last year for a second. At first glance, he looks like a pitcher to avoid, but his ground ball rate and K rate against lefties aren’t very good, and he also somehow managed to sport a 2.6% HR/FB rate against lefties. That’s some extremely good fortune, and he’s due for some regression. I’m willing to bet that more than 1 of 25 fly balls is going to leave Coors Field, and given the quality of lefties, including Morneau, that he’ll be facing, I expect Colorado to score a bunch of runs. Morneau should have plenty of run-producing opportunities in this game, and he’s simply too cheap to avoid.
Adam Lind, Milwaukee Brewers, $3800 – Lind draws a very favorable matchup with Casey Sadler, an inexperienced righty making a spot start because Francisco Liriano is on paternity leave. Sadler doesn’t have any impressive pitch in his arsenal, and he’ll likely rely on inducing ground balls to make his way through the game. I don’t think that’s going to work, and I expect the Brewers, Lind especially, to jump all over him. Lind crushes righties, and he’s a very solid option hitting in the friendly confines of Miller Park.
Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates, $3600 – The overall quality of Pittsburgh’s lineup takes a hit without McCutchen, but I still like Walker’s individual matchup. Kyle Lohse has poor splits against lefties, and he’s coming off of a terrible Opening Day start. I don’t think Pittsburgh is worth stacking, but I do like Walker, a switch hitter who hits much better from the left side of the plate. Second base is generally barren, but Walker has power and solid upside, and if I’m going to be forced to roster a second basemen, I want one with home run upside in a solid matchup and park.
Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox, $3500 – I much prefer Walker, but Pedroia is the type of hitter that always seems to do something each game. He rarely gets you a zero, and he has enough power and upside to get you a big score as well. Tanaka is pitching hurt, and he’s unable to throw his four-seam fastball due to injury. He wasn’t effective against the Blue Jays on Opening Day, and he won’t be against Boston either. I think the Red Sox do well today, and Pedroia will likely play some part in that.
David Wright, New York Mets, $3700 – Wright has been crushing left-handed pitching his entire career, and while Alex Wood is a good, young pitcher, I’m going to side with Wright today. His splits against lefties are too good to ignore, and Wood isn’t the sort of pitcher that you need to actively avoid. Wright is attractively priced at $3700, and he’s my top play at the third base position.
Pablo Sandoval, Boston Red Sox, $3000 – Sandoval is too cheap hitting in the middle of a potent Boston lineup. He’s going to see many opportunities with runners on base, and he should be targeted until his price is more reflective of his potential upside. As I said in Pedroia’s blurb, I don’t believe Tanaka will pitch well tonight, and this tough lineup will make him pay for pitching hurt. Sandoval should return a solid score for a relatively small investment tonight.
Jose Reyes, Toronto Blue Jays, $3800 – Clearly, Troy Tulowitzki is the top option, but he’s very expensive and may be difficult to roster. Reyes is a solid alternative who draws a favorable matchup with righty Chris Tillman. Tillman isn’t a bad pitcher by any means, but Reyes can hit just about anyone, and he possesses both home run and stolen base upside. Not many hitters can say that, and I much prefer to roster a shortstop that possesses real upside than punt with a player that is unlikely to get me much more than a single.
Jed Lowrie, Houston Astros, $2800 – Lowrie is very cheap, and I really like him against Colby Lewis. Lewis has very poor splits against lefties, and Lowrie has been swinging a hot bat for Houston to start the year. Lowrie hits well from both sides of the plate, and given the poor quality of opposing pitcher, and the favorable hitting environment in Arlington, he makes for a great cap-saving option that still offers home run upside and the ability to post a very solid score.
Corey Dickerson, Colorado Rockies, $4800 – Dickerson is just too good of a play to pass on tonight. Obviously he gets all of the benefits of hitting at Coors Field, but he also draws an extremely favorable matchup with Kyle Hendricks. I’ve already stated how I don’t buy Hendricks’s success at all against lefties, and I think he’ll be exposed tonight. The Colorado lefties are simply too good, and Coors Field is terrible for pitchers that can’t keep the ball on the ground. Dickerson is an elite play today, and I think every effort should be made to fit him in.
Anthony Gose, Detroit Tigers, $3100 – Gose has been terrific as Detroit’s leadoff hitter, and I expect another solid day against lefty TJ House. The Tigers smash lefties, and this lineup is full of hitters that will drive Gose home when he gets on. Add in the stolen base upside and you have one of the best value plays of the day.
J.D. Martinez, Detroit Tigers, $4000 – Martinez is proving that last year’s breakout was real, and he has a great matchup with lefty TJ House. House is going to have serious problems with Detroit, and I expect Martinez to see plenty of at-bats with runners on base. He has a good chance to hit a home run and is a top play at only $4000.