Happy Sunday everyone! Today is very interesting because we have several average pitchers going. There is no clear-cut #1 pitcher, so I expect that ownership levels for any one arm will remain rather low. These are my favorite types of days because if you can nail the right pitcher, you’re going to have a huge edge for a majority of the field. The same is true of hitters. When there is no obvious pitcher to pick on, finding the right hitters because more of a challenge. Hopefully I can steer you in the right direction to help you find the right plays on FanDuel.
Also, please remember to check lineups before rostering anyone today. Sunday means rest for several players. Make sure all of your players are in their respective lineups, and don’t be afraid to make a last-minute pitching change if you see that a team has put out a particularly weak lineup.
Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs, $9900 – Arrieta is likely going to be the safest play at pitcher today. He’s striking out over a batter per inning, and is facing a Pirates team that is ranked 25th in terms of wOBA against right-handed pitchers. He’s had success against this team before, and I expect the Cubs offense to give him the requisite run support he’ll need to secure the all-important win today.
Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays, $8900 – Archer has high strikeout upside as he has struck out 58 batters in only 48 innings of work. Meanwhile his opponent, the Twins, are ranked 26th in terms of wOBA against righties, and have struck out at a rate of 23.3%, which is good for fourth-highest in baseball. This is a very good matchup for Archer, and as long as he’s locating his pitches well, he’s in for a very good day. Opposing starter Kyle Gibson is well overdue for some regression, and I believe Tampa will have a good enough day offensively to give Archer the run support he needs to earn the win.
Stephen Vogt, Oakland As, $4000 – I think you either need to pay up for an elite catcher option, or find a cheap player in a decent matchup. Catcher is always a thin position as the majority of catchers bat low in the order and have no upside. I’m never interested in those types of players, so if you some value plays at other positions, give Vogt a look. He’s crushing right-handed pitchers, while Jeff Samardzija is not having a strong season. He’s struggling against lefties, his ground ball rates are weak, and I don’t expect him to suddenly turn things around in Oakland.
Yasmani Grandal, Los Angeles Dodgers, $2900 – Grandal sat yesterday, so it’s likely he’ll be back in the lineup today. The Dodgers have a very good home matchup with Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick’s metrics against left-handed hitters are extremely weak, and I think he’s in for a very long day against the league’s number one offense (by a very wide margin) against right-handed pitching. Grandal is having a very good season, and with the expectation that the Dodgers will have plenty of base runners against Kendrick, he should see some very good run-producing opportunities today. He’s hitting right-handed pitchers well, and at this price, he should make for a fine play with solid upside.
Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants, $2800 – Belt is a streaky hitter, and right now he’s white-hot. He’s also extremely cheap, and I would continue to ride him until he stops hitting. He has a very favorable matchup with Anthony DeSclafani, who, if you just look at ERA, appears to be having a very good season. However, the metrics against lefties tell a different story. He’s about as bad as Kyle Kendrick in that regard, but you’d never know it if you just looked at a stat like ERA. He’s striking out lefties about half as much as righties while giving up a lot of hard contact. The Giants’ lefties are very cheap, crushing the ball right now, and should make for very good plays once again in the extremely favorable hitting environment in Cincinnati.
Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers, $4400 – Gonzalez is one of my favorite hitters to pay up for. He’s very consistent, and he cleans up for one of the best offenses in baseball. With strong hitters in front of and behind him in the lineup, he’s almost always in position to drive in some runs, or get driven in himself. It’s very important to consider how likely a hitter is to contribute in more than just hits, which is why I gravitate toward the Dodgers a lot, especially against a weaker starting pitcher like Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick really struggles with lefties, so targeting one of the top left-handed bats in the game makes a lot of sense.
Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers, $2800 – Turner is having a terrific season for the Dodgers, and if he’s in the lineup today, I really like him as a cheap play with upside. He’s hitting both righties and lefties well, and although we think of Kyle Kendrick as a pitcher to target with lefties, he’s struggling with everyone and thus nearly every Dodger is in play today. Turner has good power, and with the expectation that the Dodgers are going to have a plenty of base runners all game, he’s a good bet to drive in some runs or score himself.
Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians, $4500 – It’s a tough call between Kipnis and Altuve as the top second basemen, but given Mark Buehrle is nearly impossible to run on, I’m giving the edge to Kipnis. He’s been the hottest hitter in baseball for several games, while no pitcher could possibly be more due for regression than Nick Martinez. His strikeout rate against both righties and lefties is barely over 10%, and his .218 BABIP against lefties is unsustainable. Add in his extremely low 35.7% ground ball rate against lefties, and there’s just no reason to think he’s going to pitch well against a lefty-heavy Indians lineup. Cleveland hitters are strong plays today, and Kipnis is worth spend up on today.
Lonnie Chisenhall, Cleveland Indians, $2500 – I really like Chisenhall as a cheap option in a very good matchup. I’m high on Indians today, which means I’m going to gravitate toward a cheap option with good power and favorable position in the lineup. Chisenhall hit sixth yesterday, and he should be there again today. He’s going to see some very good RBI opportunities in that spot, and at his price, it just takes one swing of the bat to become a terrific value play. Chisenhall has solid skills against right-handed hitters, and he should be able to take advantage of the opportunities he sees today.
Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals, $4200 – My preferred play at third base is to go cheap, and I will likely be using Chisenhall to do that. However, if you’re looking to grab an elite third baseman, Carpenter is the play. Alfredo Simon struggles with lefties, and while he’s mostly been solid this season, he’s prone to some very poor outings. St. Louis is a tough lineup, and I don’t expect Simon to pitch all that well tonight. Carpenter is an elite left-handed hitter that has seen quite a bit of a surge in power this season. He almost never gets a negative score, and I think he’s a fine play tonight if you find yourself with some extra cap space to spend.
Freddy Galvis, Philadelphia Phillies, $2800 – It’s hard to believe this is the same guy that hit well under .200 for much of last season. He’s having a breakout season, and he’s thriving as the number two hitter for the Phillies. He’d be having a much better season if the guys around him could hit, but he’s doing his part, and should continue to produce against a weaker starting pitching in Josh Collmenter. He’s getting on base at a very high clip, and he’s stealing bases as well. Expect that to continue today.
Jimmy Rollins, Los Angeles Dodgers, $2800 – The nice thing about shortstop is you’re forced to save cap space because it’s impossible to spend on anyone. Rollins should continue to hit second, and I really like him against struggling righty Kyle Kendrick. The Dodgers are a top offense today, and Rollins has been swinging the bat a bit better after a very slow start to the season. He’s not the stolen base threat he once was, but he still has some power, and he should be in plenty of run-producing situations today.
Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers, $4000 – Pederson has slowed down a bit at the plate, but a matchup with Kyle Kendrick is a great opportunity to get back on track. His price has come down a bit to $4000, and I think today is a great opportunity to take advantage of the discount and get exposure to a player with high home run upside.
Gregor Blanco, San Francisco Giants, $2600 – Hopefully Blanco continues to lead off in place of Nori Aoki as he’s been much more productive. He’s swinging a hot a bat right now, and I’ve already touched on how much Anthony DeSclafani struggles with left-handed hitters. The Giants are a much better offense with Hunter Pence back in the lineup, and I expect their recent surge to continue in the favorable hitting environment in Cincinnati. Blanco makes for a great value play and source of cap relief if he is leading off for the Giants once again.
Andre Ethier, Los Angeles Dodgers, $3100 – You really can’t go wrong with any Dodgers lefties against a weak right-handed starter. Ethier has been batting seventh, which is frustrating, but given the quality of all of the hitters in this lineup, it’s understandable. With as much success as they’ve been having offensively, a good number seven hitter like Ethier will still see plenty of run-producing opportunities, and I expect him to be a very solid play at a very affordable price tag tonight.