We have another great day of Sunday baseball with a typical 15-game slate for our FanDuel contests, which include some great options on the mound and at bat. As always, check the MLB Weather Page to make sure you don’t take a player in a game that’s likely to get postponed.
Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets, $11,800 – I don’t mind taking the discount with Max Scherzer for tournaments, but I think Syndergaard is the safer option and has elite upside in this spot. Syndergaard has been terrific this year posting a 2.22 xFIP and 31% strikeout rate and is installed as huge -240 favorite to pick up the important win on FanDuel. He’s facing a Milwaukee team that is getting a negative park shift and strikes out a MLB leading 26.6% against right-handed pitching. When you combine his 31% strikeout rate and Milwaukee’s elevated strikeout rate against righties, this is a spot where we certainly could see Syndergaard post double-digit strikeouts.
Michael Pineda, New York Yankees, $7,500 – I like to find a cheaper pitching option to roll the dice on in tournaments so that I can load up on some bats. Today, I’ll roll with Pineda as my cheap option. He’s not safe considering he’s been knocked around a bit this year and only has one win on the season, but his numbers do say he’s been a little unlucky. His xFIP is three runs lower than his ERA and he is getting a favorable park shift heading to Oakland. The A’s have been cold and are missing Josh Reddick and Jed Lowrie, so I think we could see some positive regression in this matchup.
Russell Martin, Toronto Blue Jays, $2,200 – Catcher is a position I’m looking to punt today as there are some other bats I’m prioritizing. With it being Sunday and lots of catchers resting, you’ll have to check the lineups to see if Martin is playing, but I like him as a punt if he’s in there. He’s been terrible this year, but he’s been a better hitter in the past than what he’s shown this season. I like this Toronto offense today and Phil Hughes has been terrible against righties, so I like the matchup here.
A.J. Pierzynski, Atlanta Braves, $2,300 – I never like to target any Braves bats outside of Freddie Freeman, but I’m looking to stay in this $2,300 price range at catcher. Jerad Eickhoff has had a breakthrough year but he’s come back down to earth recently, and still really struggles with lefties. He’s allowing a .385 wOBA to lefties and given the Braves terrible lineup, A. J. typically finds himself in a favorable lineup spot.
Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays, $3,900 – Phil Hughes was day to day with shoulder fatigue, but is expected to pitch today - which is a good thing for some of these Toronto bats. Phil Hughes has really struggled with right-handed power over the past few years (1.74 HR/9 to righties this year, and 1.88 HR/9 last year) so I love this spot for Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. The Jays are known as a team that mashes lefties, but most of Encarnacion’s power has come against right-handed pitching recently. He hit 33 of his 39 homeruns last year off of right-handed pitching, and seven of his nine homeruns this year have come against right-handed pitching.
Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles, $4,000 – I also like Freddie Freeman here, but I didn’t want to list two Atlanta bats or you might stop reading. Instead I’ll roll with Davis against Jerad Weaver. Weaver’s velocity is now non-existent and his strikeout percentage is now just 12.8%. The biggest issue with Davis is his propensity to strikeout, so that should be mitigated today in the matchup with Weaver and he should be able to put the ball in play. He has huge power when he makes contact, so despite the negative park shift, he’s definitely on home run alert today.
Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners, $4,200 – I’m going to be looking to attack this Cincinnati team whenever they are at home as their starting pitching is sub-par and their bullpen is terrible. Alfredo Simon is certainly someone to attack as he’s getting hammered this year to the tune of a 10.34 ERA and 5.28 xFIP. He’s always struggled with left-handed bats and that has been especially true this season as he’s allowing a 39% hard hit rate, .506 wOBA and 3.6 HR/9 to lefties. Cano has rebounded this year and is one of my favorite options on the slate regardless of position.
Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds, $2,700 – I’m expecting plenty of runs from the Seattle bats today, but the Reds also have a solid team total of 4.2 runs. Cincinnati is a great hitter’s park and Wade Miley is prone to right-handed power allowing 1.62 HR/9 to righties this year.
Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners, $4,200 – The Mariners check in with the top team total on the day at 4.7 runs and it’s hard not to love them against Alfredo Simon and this awful Reds bullpen. As mentioned in the Cano writeup, Simon has terrible this season and I’ll be targeting these Seattle lefties heavily, Seager included.
Eugenio Suarez, Cincinnati Reds, $2,900 – As you can tell I’m targeting this game in Cincinnati for some runs as it checks in with a total of 9, which is tied for highest on the day. I prefer the Mariners side of the ball, but their bats are also much more expensive so the Cincinnati righties like Phillips and Suarez provide some nice salary relief if you’re looking to squeeze in a guy like Syndergaard.
Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles, $3,900 – I also like Zack Cozart but his price is elevated on Fanduel so I’ll roll with Machado as they are the same price. Machado’s price has really dropped and he’s now SS eligible, which is a tough position to fill. Machado has actually hit righties better than lefties, and Jered Weaver is a shell of his former self, so this matchup is certainly not one to fear. He’s posted a 38% hard hit rate over the past two weeks and the Orioles have the second-highest team total on the board at 4.59 runs.
Troy Tulowitzki, $3,100 – I don’t love shortstop today, so this is a position that I’ll consider punting if lineups come out and there is a cheap SS hitting in a positive lineup spot. I much prefer Encarnacion and Bautista for Toronto, but I like this Toronto offense today and Tulo is affordable. He’s hit the ball better recently posting a 31% hard hit rate, and provides some correlation with some of the other Toronto bats I like.
Also Consider – Zach Cozart
Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays, $4,400 – Toronto has the third highest team total on the slate and after yet another dud yesterday, I’m hoping we see them low owned today. I love this spot for both Bautista and Encarnacion as they are both similar in that most of their recent power has come against right-handed pitching. As mentioned above, Hughes has shown reverse splits and Bautista hit 35 of his 40 homeruns last year against righties, as well as 7 of 8 this season.
Leonys Martin, Seattle Mariners, $3,400 – I had Seth Smith written up here, but the Seattle lineup just came out and there’s no Seth Smith. I was hoping to see Martin a little cheaper, but he’s leading off for my favorite offense of the day. He’s shown solid power upside this year and has been red hot at the plate over his past four games.
Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers, $3,000 – Pederson is not a safe cash game play, but he does offer big tournament upside with his power. I like this spot for him as he should be low owned as the Dodgers lineup may not be out, and he’s facing a hittable righty in Colin Rea. Rea is a groundball pitcher with a middling strikeout rate, so Joc should be able to make some contact today. Pederson has also performed better against ground ball pitchers in his career posting a .538 slugging percentage compared to just .410 against fly ball pitchers.