This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Sunday sets up to be a fairly easy cash slate to build lineups, but presents more challenges from a GPP perspective. The pitching roster rates are likely to condense around 2-3 pitchers because there aren't many appealing options after the top-valued pitchers on the slate. I've tailored the stacks and pitching considerations knowing this, so hopefully this piece will not only point out decent individual plays but also general construction ideas.
Tyler Mahle ($9,800) has been in strong form of late posting over 30 DraftKings points in two of his last four starts and 22.6 DK points on another occasion. While that's not predictive, it shows he offers the ceiling to return value for his high salary. On this slate, Mahle also faces a great matchup with Miami logging a team wRC+ of 71 (28th in the league) across the last 14 days and also striking out at a 26.6 percent rate (third-highest in the league) during that same span. Add in the fact that Mahle gets to pitch in Miami rather than at home and this appears to be a perfect setup for him to deliver.
In contrast to Mahle, Jose Berrios ($9,100) is coming off a horrific outing where he allowed four earned runs across only three innings. Hopefully, that will be enough to scare off some roster rate, as he faces a dream matchup against the Tigers. For parts of the season, Detroit has proven to be a relatively formidable matchup. However, that hasn't been the case of late as they have fanned at a top-10 clip as a team over the last two weeks. They've also held awful marks of a .130 ISO, .275 wOBA and 71 wRC+ during that same stretch. This is a good spot for Berrios to get back on track.
Finding a third pitcher that wasn't among the top tier is a difficult task on this slate. But if you want to get different, it may be worth taking a risk on Erick Fedde ($7,600) against the Mets. The Mets have been in a very well publicized tailspin at the plate, while Fedde just showed the ability to take advantage of soft matchups in his latest start with a career-high 10 strikeouts against Miami.
As for some of the other options: Kwang Hyun Kim will reportedly be limited to around 60 pitches against the Pirates. Tylor Megill has flashed intriguing skill, but has been blasted by lefties and the Nationals have several decent left-handed hitters in their lineup. Finally, Tanner Houck should be the pick based on skills but has only thrown five innings once in seven appearances since Jul. 16.
Juan Soto ($5,500) draws the aforementioned matchup against Megill. It's dangerous to lean on splits by handedness in small samples, but Megill has shown an extreme homer problem against lefties by allowing nine long balls across 27 innings (3.0 HR/9). Soto hasn't delivered the power expected of him this season, but he's in a solid spot to produce today.
Brandon Lowe ($5,500) is also in a favorable position to deliver DK points locked into the leadoff spot and enjoying the benefit of playing in one of the league's better hitter's parks in Camden Yards. Add in Spenser Watkins' inability to generate whiffs, and Lowe is likely to get to value whether it be via the long ball or through getting on base, scoring and driving in runs.
Aristides Aquino ($2,600) has been in the lineup against lefties of late, and that should remain the case with Jesse Winker still sidelined. Some of the normal factors I look for in choosing hitters don't apply, as Aquino is hitting in a pitcher-friendly park and is likely to bat towards the bottom of the order. However, Jesus Luzardo has allowed at least one home run in eight of his last 10 appearances and multiple long balls in three of them. Meanwhile, Aquino has managed a .259 ISO against lefties this season and a .258 career mark. There's a lot of swing and miss in his profile, but that is balanced out by his low salary.
I highlighted the positive hitting situation for the Rays when discussing Lowe above, but the Orioles offer many of the same things in their lineup. The Rays are rolling out Chris Archer and Josh Fleming to cover the majority of Sunday's innings. That's not exactly a scary duo. Anthony Santander ($3,300) is the value the jumps out, as he's posted the second-highest ISO on the team against right-handed pitching.
Stacks to Consider
As implied by the salaries, perhaps this isn't the highest-powered stack on the slate. However, Jax has all the skills – or lack thereof – to make this a great spot for the Brewers. He's allowed at least one homer in each of his last four starts, and multiple long balls in two of his last three. Jax also has struggled with an 18.1 percent strikeout rate, so the Brewers should be able to put a lot of balls in play, even if they aren't home runs. And he also has a nine percent walk rate, creating another avenue for the Brewers to get on base and deliver fantasy points.
This represents another affordable stack. Luzardo's struggles were noted earlier in the article and each of these hitters have made left-handed pitchers pay for their mistakes this season. In addition to rostering stud starting pitching with this stack, one-off power bats and perhaps a more high-powered stack could also be viable in terms of value.