I’ll be digging into the MLB slate on Sunday and will be bringing you some top plays to consider on FanDuel. I’ll be focusing on the ten-game main slate that kicks off at 12:05 central so this article won’t cover the afternoon or night games. Be sure to stay on top of all the lineups on RotoGrinders.
Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros, $10,500 - I’m giving the nod to Keuchel as my favorite arm on this slate as I like the discount he offers from Noah Syndergaard and the safety he offers over Chris Archer. So far, this season, he looks like the terrific version we saw in 2015 with an elite ground ball rate and low hard hit rate. He doesn’t offer the strikeout upside of a Syndergaard or Archer, but he can go get you seven or eight innings and I prefer his matchup to that of Syndergaard’s or Archer’s. Oakland’s offense has been disappointing all season long as they are 21st in team wOBA on the season and have struck out at a 24% clip. Keuchel shut them down earlier this year and is a big Vegas favorite at -185.
I think this is a slate to spend up one of the three top arms so outside of Keuchel, I would look towards Noah Syndergaard and Chris Archer. I worry about Syndergaards’s leash with his starts getting pushed back and he also draws a tough offense in the Washington Nationals. At his price, those two factors push Keuchel ahead of him in cash games, but this is still a guy with a 28.6% career strikeout rate so he’s firmly in play for GPPs. Chris Archer is an interesting GPP option as he’s posted strikeout rates of 27% and 29% the past two years and Toronto has been slow out of the gate this year. He’s also traditionally had plenty of success against this team as he’s dominated guys like Jose Bautista and Russell Martin. However, he’s also scary in that his control is not always there and he’s typically pitched much better at home than on the road. Toronto is looking better and this is a big negative park shift so I much prefer Keuchel for cash games, but I like the upside for him in GPPs at $9,100. If you’re looking for a cheap arm to load up on bats in GPPs then I’d roll the dice with Miguel Gonzalez, but I’d stick to spending up for pitching for the most part on FanDuel.
Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers, $2,800 – Sunday is typically a rest day for some catchers so there will be some value open and it’s a position that you have to pay attention to. The nice thing with Martinez is that we don’t have to worry about any rest as he’s the Tigers’ DH and he’s very affordable at $2,800. Miguel Gonzalez is a solid pitcher so I’m not going out of my way to grab Tigers’ bats, but Martinez has been more productive recently and grades out as the top points per dollar play at catcher according to the RotoGrinders’ current projections.
Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals, $2,900 – Double check he’s in the lineup but with the rain out yesterday, I’m hopeful he’s in there. I like to go home run hunting against Phil Hughes, and while the ballpark isn’t great, Perez has shown plenty of power to start the year and is affordable at just $2,900.
Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals, $3,600 – Arroyo surprisingly pitched a quality outing in his last start against the Cubs, but he’s been knocked around in his other three starts and I’m going to attack every time he pitches. The Cardinals hammered him earlier this year and Arroyo struggled against LHB even in his younger days (career .354 wOBA). Carpenter started the season slow, but he’s a terrific hitter and the big issue I’m watching is the weather in St. Louis.
Edwin Encarnacion, Cleveland Indians, $3,800 – Freddie Freeman and Eric Thames are great options to consider as well, but I’m hoping Encarnacion goes overlooked in GPPs. This game in Cleveland is tied with the game in Milwaukee for the highest total so it’s a great spot for hitting. Encarnacion has been spotty to start the year so his ownership should be down, but he power is still there and we know from previous years he has multi-home run upside. The Indians will face a rookie RHP making his first start in De Jong and his minor-league numbers are not overly impressive, so this is a nice spot for Cleveland bats.
Starlin Castro, New York Yankees, $3,200 – The Yankees are red-hot right now and have been one of the top teams to target, and their RHB look to be in a nice spot again. Wade Miley isn’t a bad pitcher, but he’s had issues with RHB in his career allowing a .331 wOBA and over 1.0 hr/9. Despite allowing a 38% hard hit rate to start the year, he has a low BABIP at .189 so he’s due for some regression, and Castro has been on a tear in the middle of the New York lineup.
Outside of Castro, there are several quality second baseman as Robinson Cano is facing a homer-prone RHP in Josh Tomlin and Jonathan Villar is trending upwards in a plus matchup. Jason Kipnis and Jose Altuve are also options to consider.
Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles, $3,300 – The matchup isn’t perfect as Jordan Montgomery has been solid to start the year, but he is a fly ball pitcher facing a powerful offense. I think this price is just too low for a guy like Machado as he’s a guy that typically hovers in the $4,000 range. I think this is a buy-low spot and I’ll continue to attack him at this price point as he’s too talented of a hitter to not break out and he’s showing signs of life recently.
I had mostly written Jose Reyes off, but if you’re looking for a punt at third base then it’s worth noting that he’s scorching hot over his past three games. He has six hits and two home runs over his past three games and Joe Ross does have large platoon splits.
Aledmys Diaz, St. Louis Cardinals, $2,900 – In terms of stack affordability, the Cardinals are a great option as all their bats are $3,600 and under. As mentioned, they are facing Bronson Arroyo and hung six runs on him in only four innings pitched earlier this year. At $2,900, Diaz is likely to be hitting second so he offers great cheap exposure to the Cardinals and he currently grades out as the top points per dollar shortstop according to the RotoGrinders’ projections.
Matt Holliday, New York Yankees, $2,900 - I had some of the wrong portions of the Yankees lineups yesterday, including Holliday, but I’m going right back to the well with him today. He’s affordable and should be hitting in the heart of the order with the platoon splits in his favor. Over the course of his career, he’s posted a .389 wOBA against LHP and that’s not all Coors Field driven as his career road wOBA against LHP is .373. Aaron Judge is also certainly in play as I like the Yankees’ right-handed power, but I’m highlighting Holliday as he comes at a big discount from Judge.
Dexter Fowler, St. Louis Cardinals, $3,300 – As mentioned above, I’m looking to attack the cheap price points of the Cardinals facing Bronson Arroyo. Fowler is a very affordable bat to plug in for cash games at just $3,300. He’s busted loose from his early season slump posting four straight multi-hit games and I think he’s a great option in all formats at this price point.