This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
Happy Father's Day! And happy first day of summer! But most importantly, Happy DFS MLB! It's Sunday, and that means 15 teams playing and a lot of afternoon action. You need your lineup in by 1:05 p.m. EDT. On the surface, it isn't a great day for pitchers – and not just because they have to worry about gripping the ball these days – but it will hopefully be a great day of baseball, especially for DFS players. Here are a few of my recommendations to kick your summer off right.
Taijuan Walker, NYM at WAS ($9,400): The Mets have Walker starting smack dab between days where they have doubleheaders, but the team won't mind having him on the mound and he may be able to give the bullpen a little rest. In his first year in New York, Walker has posted a 2.12 ERA through 12 starts. That comes after a 2.70 ERA over 11 starts in 2020. The Mets and Nats are two of the bottom three teams in runs scored, so don't expect a particularly high-scoring affair.
Hyun Jin Ryu, TOR at BAL ($8,500): Ryu has been up and down in performance this season, but his 3.43 ERA is very respectable. There's also reason to believe he can improve upon that number, given the 2.30 mark from his previous three seasons. The Orioles are better offensively than some of us expected thanks to guys like Cedric Mullins, but they are still floating around the bottom-10 in runs scored.
Sean Manaea, OAK at NYY ($9,600): Manaea has been on fire recently with a 0.84 ERA across his last five starts. The 29-year-old hasn't allowed more than one run during that stretch, even if he's primarily mowing down an Angels lineup missing Mike Trout (but containing Shohei Ohtani!). Meanwhile, the Yankees are stunningly in the bottom-five in runs scored and in the bottom half of the league in slugging percentage.
Sam Hentges, CLE at PIT ($6,200): This is not about Hentges' numbers. The rookie has really struggled this year mostly pitching out of the bullpen. That being said, he's facing the Pirates. Pittsburgh ranked last in runs scored last season. They will be last this year as soon as the Mets catch up in games played. The Pirates have also produced the majors' lowest OPS. If Hentges can succeed, it's in this matchup.
Christian Yelich, MIL at COL ($4,300): It seems like Yelich is finally turning it around. I still remember when he had an OPS of 1.000 or better during 2018 and 2019. Over the last 21 days, he's managed an .888 OPS and now gets to play at Coors Field. The lefty is also getting to face the right-handed Chi Chi Gonzalez, who comes in with a career 5.25 FIP.
Randy Arozarena, TAM at SEA ($4,000): The Rays carry a lot of lefties in their lineup, which can be a problem when a lefty like Marco Gonzales is on the mound. That's a shame for stack purposes, as Gonzales has struggled to a 5.72 FIP while allowing 2.18 homers per nine innings. Arozarena's power is down this year when it comes to slugging percentage, but he still has 10 homers to go with 11 stolen bases.
Jonathan Schoop, DET at LAA ($2,900): There's value in a second baseman who can hit .270 with some power. Since joining the Tigers, Schoop has posted a .273 average with 13 homers this year. This season just isn't working out for Dylan Bundy, who has put up a 5.33 FIP and has given up 2.12 home runs per nine innings.
Brandon Crawford, SF vs. PHI ($2,800): Crawford's power has ticked up this year, as his .528 slugging percentage and 15 homers will confirm. The shortstop has also stolen five bases for good measure. When Spencer Howard debuted for the Phillies in 2020, he was considered a solid prospect. But so far, that has not panned out in the majors as the righty has struggled to a 5.11 career FIP with a 6.55 road ERA this season.
STACKS TO CONSIDER
You can't really go wrong stacking the Blue Jays or stacking against Harvey considering the former Met has produced a 7.76 ERA in 2021, which would make this his third straight season with an ERA over 7. Because he's been such a disaster, I decided to include Biggio in my stack. That will allow you to save some salary, but still get the upside of this matchup. His batting average may be poor, but he hits righties better than his fellow lefties while accumulating six homers. Vladdie Jr. is, of course, closer in quality to his famous father than Biggio is. After a slow start to his career, Guerrero has already smacked 23 homers with an OPS well over 1.000. Semien has been a nice addition to the squad having bounced back to slash .289/.358/.538 with 18 homers and nine swiped bags.
The best season of Minor's career probably came when he was pitching out of the bullpen for the Royals in 2017, but his return to KC as a starter has not gone as well with a 4.63 ERA that rises to 5.98 at home. Guess getting away from Texas didn't help his numbers. Getting to watch video replay of at-bats has apparently helped Martinez's numbers bounce back with him hitting .307 on the year. Taking out 2020, that would make five full seasons in a row batting over .300. And yet Bogaerts has been an even better hitter this year with a .320 average is .320 and a personal-best .559 slugging percentage. Renfroe rounds things out as a righty facing a southpaw. In his last full season, he hit 33 home runs and has posted a .901 OPS versus lefties since 2019.