FanDuel MLB: Sunday Targets

FanDuel MLB: Sunday Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

We're into the second month of the MLB season and have arrived at the first Sunday in May. Like many Sundays in the MLB season, all 30 teams are in action with the first games starting at 1:05 p.m. ET. We've got a few aces on the mound and some interesting matchups. Here are some recommendations when building your DFS lineups.

PITCHING

Lucas Giolito, CWS vs. CLE ($10,600): Giolito's 5.68 ERA is alarming, but his 4.21 FIP is certainly better. And it's only five starts, including one awful outing that is really skewing things. He's had a 3.43 ERA over the last two seasons and has struck out double-digit batters per nine innings over the last three years. Cleveland finished 24th in runs scored last year with Francisco Lindor, so it probably isn't surprising the offense has dropped off this season.

Joe Musgrove, SD vs. SF ($10,500): Last year, Musgrove surprised by striking out 12.48 batters per nine innings in eight starts. That's not looking like a fluke now, as he's whiffed 12.72 hitters per nine through five starts this year. He also has a 1.24 ERA in his first season with the Padres, which means having a pitcher-friendly home ballpark. Musgrove will be at home Sunday and the Giants' middling offense is not too intimidating.

Corey Kluber, NYY vs. DET ($7,300): Kluber recently recorded his first quality start of the season! I wouldn't be surprised if he has a second Sunday. The Tigers have been terrible offensively, as the only reason they aren't at the bottom of the runs scored list by a wide margin is because the Nationals and Mets both missed out on several games to start the year. Heading into Saturday, the Tigers were just fighting to get over the Mendoza Line as a team.

Carlos Martinez, STL at PIT ($6,800): Martinez's return to being a starter in 2020 didn't work out great, but 2021 is going better so far. Through five starts, he's posted a 3.74 FIP and has allowed only one run in each of his last two starts. The Pirates finished last in runs scored and team OPS last year and currently sit in the bottom-10 in both categories.

TOP TARGETS

Byron Buxton, MIN vs. KC ($4,500): Even if he fully lives up to his prospect status from back in the day, Buxton likely won't continue his torrid start slashing .408/.447/.859. He's been as hot as any hitter, while Brad Keller has definitely not been hot. He sports a 5.07 FIP as opposed to a 9.00 ERA, but has always had issues pitching on the road with a 4.57 ERA since 2019.

Alex Bregman, HOU at TAM ($3,700): Bregman's campaign in 2020 was a step down for him, but we can probably write that off based on his outstanding resume. After all, in 2019 he hit 41 homers and produced a 1.015 OPS. This year, Bregman's hitting more like his old self with a .300 average and .475 slugging percentage. Rich Hill has been dealing with the side effects of his COVID-19 vaccine, but he's still in line to start Sunday. He also comes in with a 5.04 FIP and has allowed over two homers per nine innings this season, so he's struggled even when feeling good.

Jose Abreu, CWS vs. CLE ($3,300): Even though Abreu's underachieved to start the season, he still has five homers. He won the AL MVP last season with a .617 slugging percentage and has slugged .517 over his career. Zach Plesac has surprisingly struggled with a 5.81 ERA. But even when putting up better numbers, he's been homer prone allowing 1.41 home runs per nine innings.

VALUE BATS

Mike Ford, NYY vs. DET ($2,800): Ford is a lefty with some power. Though he's not hit great this year, he slugged .559 in 2019. The salary here is manageable, and I wanted to get a lefty against Detroit's Jose Urena. That's because Urena has allowed a .336 batting average to lefties since 2019.

Raimel Tapia, COL at ARI ($2,700): This game isn't at Coors Field, but Arizona isn't exactly a pitcher's paradise. On top of that, Merrill Kelly has a 6.33 ERA even though four of his five starts have come on the road. Tapia doesn't have a lot of power, but he's a reliable bat with a career .284 average.

Sean Murphy, OAK vs. BAL ($2,700): When you are looking for a catcher, I would definitely check out Murphy. He sports a career .478 slugging percentage, which is good for a catcher, and also gets on base thanks to a .347 career OBP. Murphy's also a righty catcher facing the lefty Bruce Zimmermann and his career 5.83 FIP.

STACKS TO CONSIDER

Red Sox vs. Mike Foltynewicz: J.D. Martinez ($4,200), Rafael Devers ($3,700), Alex Verdugo ($3,200)

Folty went from an All-Star in Atlanta to an afterthought in the blink of an eye. Trying to resurrect his career in Texas has not gone swimmingly so far posting a 5.74 FIP while giving up 2.63 long balls per nine innings. When I think of players going yard in 2021, Martinez is one of the first names that comes to mind. He's hit nine homers in 26 games and has slugged .742. I'm already calling his 2020 a total fluke. Since Foltynewicz is a righty, I decided to go with two lefties. Devers has posted a .975 OPS versus right-handed pitchers since 2019. Verdugo has shown on-base skills since joining the Red Sox with a .365 OBP in a Boston uniform. There's a little power there to boot with a .485 slugging percentage on the Sox.

Cardinals vs. Wil Crowe: Nolan Arenado ($4,000), Paul DeJong ($3,300), Tommy Edman ($3,500)

We don't know much about Crowe, as the 26-year-old has pitched all of 13 innings in the majors. But in those 13 innings, he's put up a 9.06 FIP, which is obviously not good. Crowe's the swing starter for what many consider to be the worst team in MLB, which is enough for me to consider this a matchup to target. Arenado hasn't quite recaptured his 2019 form in his first year away from Colorado, but I still believe in a guy with a career .887 OPS while his .491 slugging percentage in 2021 is decent. DeJong may be hitting .167, but he's a career .246 hitter so I expect that to improve. And he's still hit six home runs this season. Edman is a switch hitter, which is valuable in a lineup light on lefties. And while he doesn't have a lot of power, he has managed a .281 average and 21 steals across 174 career games.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Chris Morgan plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: cmorgan3, DraftKings: cmorgan3.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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