This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
There are 16 games taking place in MLB on Sunday. You know what that means: there's a doubleheader in there. It's a big day for laundry fans, as the White Sox and Red Sox are playing two. Since those games are only seven innings and are often excluded for DFS purposes, I am not going to be paying any attention to them. Which is a shame, because Chicago is starting Dallas Keuchel and Lucas Giolito. Those are a couple pitchers worth rostering a lot of the time, but not Sunday. Let's get to it!
NOTE: Twins-Angels has now been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.
Aaron Nola, PHI vs. STL ($8,500): Nola has been steady for the Phillies over his career while making a lot of starts, eating up innings, racking up strikeouts, not allowing a lot of homers, and posting a career 3.36 FIP. He also has a 2.79 ERA at home since 2019. After adding Nolan Arenado this offseason, the Cardinals have been better offensively but ranked 28th in runs scored last year.
Shane Bieber, CLE at CIN ($11,500): You might see the Reds are at the top of the majors in runs scored and feel hesitant about Bieber's salary. But remember it's only 14 games and the Reds produced an MLB-low .212 batting average last season. Bieber won the Cy Young last year and already has 35 strikeouts this campaign. If you don't mind paying a hefty salary for a pitcher, I'm not worried about this matchup.
Freddy Peralta, MIL vs. PIT ($8,500): Peralta has been living in the Cubs' nightmares this season. Both of his starts have come against Chicago and he's pitched 11.0 innings while allowing only one run and striking out 18. This is a new opponent for Peralta this season, but the Pirates ranked last in runs scored in 2020, so I'm still enthused.
Chris Bassitt, OAK vs. DET ($6,900): Bassitt's 4.96 ERA does not impress, but he's had to pitch against the Astros and Dodgers and then on the road against the Diamondbacks. Being at home against the Tigers is a much easier matchup with them in the bottom-10 in runs scored and finishing 23rd last season. This should be a nice chance for Bassitt to right that ERA.
Trea Turner, WAS vs. ARI ($3,800): Turner has consistently gotten on base during his career posting a .353 OBP. That and his speed have helped him tally double-digit stolen bases in each of the last five seasons, including four with at least 33 swipes. Meanwhile, Madison Bumgarner has been a total disaster since signing with the Diamondbacks with a 7.64 ERA across 12 starts.
Bo Bichette, TOR at KAN ($3,800): The Blue Jays have some issues with the health of their lineup, but at least Bichette is continuing his upward trajectory from being one of the best prospects in baseball to a great hitter. He's only played 89 career games, but already has a .306 career batting average. Brady Singer had a middling 4.06 ERA as a rookie for the Royals in 2020, but that's jumped to 6.48 through two starts in 2021.
J.T. Realmuto, PHI vs. STL ($3,200): Realmuto is the top name when it comes to hitting as a catcher, but sometimes it's worth paying that salary. A backstop with a career .278 batting average who has multiple 20-homer seasons? Sounds good to me, especially since he's slashed .302/.388/.535 to start this season. John Gant comes in with a career 4.11 FIP, but he's primarily pitched out of the bullpen and is only starting because of injuries to the Cards' rotation.
Carlos Santana, KAN vs. TOR ($2,500): Robbie Ray's numbers improved after being dealt from Arizona to Toronto last season, but he still posted a 5.31 FIP with the Blue Jays. On top of that, Ray has allowed 1.73 homers per nine innings over his last three seasons. While Santana only hit eight homers in 2020, he crushed 34 with a .515 slugging percentage in his last full season.
Franmil Reyes, CLE at CIN ($3,000): Reyes' power dropped a bit last season, but his batting average (.275) and OBP (.344) both marked career highs. I suspect he still has plenty of power with four home runs this year. Wade Miley hasn't allowed a run this season, but managed a 4.72 FIP last year and a 4.50 FIP the year before. And since 2019, he's allowed a .266 batting average to righties.
Cedric Mullins, BAL at TEX ($3,600): Leading off in Baltimore's lineup doesn't have as much upside as in other lineups, but it means something. Mullins also hasn't needed much help so far slashing .396/.458/.585 to start the year. He hit .271 last season with three homers and seven stolen bases across 48 games, which shows some potential. Kyle Gibson moved from the Twins to the Rangers last season and proceeded to post a 5.38 FIP while allowing a career-high 1.60 homers per nine innings.
STACKS TO CONSIDER
Senzatela is a Rockies pitcher with a career 5.07 ERA. This game is at Coors Field. Even though the Mets have some offensive issues, this is the exact matchup to help turn things around. Smith has incredible power with a .616 slugging percentage in 2020. Imagine that kind of power at Coors. Conforto isn't as good against fellow lefties, but he has produced a .922 OPS versus righties since 2019, and Senzatela is right handed. Nimmo's batting average is going to drop eventually (he's not going to threaten to put up Rogers Hornsby-level numbers), but he comes in with a career .395 OBP and enough power to succeed in Colorado.
Kuhl has never had an ERA lower than 4.20 during his career, but it's at 6.75 this year through three starts. He's also allowed 1.46 homers per nine innings over the last three seasons. I swapped in Garcia because Christian Yelich went on the injured list Saturday, but this is still a great matchup for him and his salary is quite manageable. You don't want to use Shaw against a lefty, but he has two 30-homer seasons largely because of his power against righties. And at the catcher position, Narvaez is definitely intriguing in this matchup. He really struggled in 2020, but in 2019 slashed .278/.353/.460 with 22 homers in 132 games.