DraftKings MLB: Sunday Picks

DraftKings MLB: Sunday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

PITCHER

Danny Salazar, CLE at PHI ($10,800): You can find the Phillies near the bottom of the majors in several offensive categories, including team batting average (.231) and RBI (71), and last in times being shut out (10). Salazar certainly has the shutout and K potential one looks for in a starter, as he'd had between seven to nine strikeouts in three of his first four starts of the season. He's also holding opposing hitters to a .139 average in 23 innings, and scored 22.2 to 31.9 fantasy points over his first three starts.

John Lackey, CHC vs. ATL ($9,300): Lackey had a rough outing in his last trip to the mound against the Reds, but the Braves could well be just the cure for any hangover that may be lingering. Atlanta has hit just five homers this season, by far the fewest in the majors. They've also driven in the third-fewest runs (74), sport the fourth-lowest batting average (.229) and have already been shut out eight times. Lackey had scored 23.6 and 38.8 fantasy points, respectively, before struggling against Cincinnati

CATCHER

Stephen Vogt, OAK vs. HOU ($3,400): This one is best not to overthink, especially considering the difficulty that rostering a viable catcher can be. Vogt has always hit right-handed pitchers well, tallying a .329 wOBA, .174 ISO and 30.2 hard contact rate against them over his career. Meanwhile, Doug Fister gets crushed by left-handed batters, allowing a .477 wOBA and five homers to 52 batters from that side this season. He's also given up a .328 wOBA and 42 homers to lefties on the road over his seven-plus major league seasons.

FIRST BASE

Hanley Ramirez, BOS vs. NYY ($4,100): Ramirez has had success against righties in his career, tallying an outstanding .366 wOBA and 160 of his 211 career homers against them. Nathan Eovaldi happens to be one of the pitchers that has helped him build that resume, as Ramirez has a .385 batting average (5-for-13), including a double and a homer, and four RBI against him. They'll meet at Fenway, where the Green Monster is always a willing facilitator to fantasy production, especially to right-handed pull hitters like Ramirez. Meanwhile, Eovaldi has seen 41.7 percent of his pitches that right-handed bats have made contact with get pulled to left field, and he's given up a substantial 39.1 percent hard contact rate to the 33 right-handed hitters he's faced away from Yankee Stadium in 2016.

SECOND BASE

Derek Dietrich, MIA at MIL ($3,600): One of the trickle-down effects of Dee Gordon's 80-game suspension is the opportunity that is expected to be afforded to Dietrich, who has always hit right-handed pitching, and Brewers starter Wily Peralta, very well. The Marlins' infielder has a .500 batting average (5-for-10) with a double, a homer, two RBI and a walk in his career against the Milwaukee righty. Dietrich is also already sporting a .427 wOBA and .276 ISO against right-handed pitchers this season, along with a 36.4 percent hard contact rate. Those numbers hold up under a career microscope as well, as Dietrich has totaled a .340 wOBA and 20 of 25 career homers against that handedness. The hitter-friendly confines of Miller Park only enhance his appeal.

THIRD BASE

Eugenio Suarez, CIN at PIT ($4,200): Pirates starter Jeff Locke would just as soon not see Suarez, considering the Reds' shortstop has blasted him over nine career at-bats to the tune of a .556 average, with a homer, three RBI and a walk. Meanwhile, Suarez's success against southpaws this year is becoming the stuff of legends, as he's tallied a .548 wOBA, .360 ISO, 42.9 percent hard contact rate and jaw-dropping 37.6 percent HR/FB rate. While those numbers are: a) naturally unsustainable over the long term; and b) amassed over just 28 plate appearances, Perez's .353 career wOBA versus lefties helps make a case that his success is legitimate. What's also becoming more legitimate by the start is the way right-handed hitters have had their way with Locke this season, as he's surrendering a .448 wOBA over a 78-batter sample.

SHORTSTOP

Zack Cozart, CIN at PIT ($3,400): Given what we've just established about Locke, we double-dip on the Reds with the man who will likely precede Suarez in the lineup. The Cincinnati leadoff man, who's slashing .361/.355/.556 over his first 72 at-bats, has walloped southpaws to the tune of a .384 wOBA over 21 plate appearances in 2016. That falls perfectly in line with the identical figure he produced against left-handers in 2015 over a larger 52 plate-appearance sample. Cozart also has a decent history against Locke, as he's managed three hits—including a double and a homer—along with four walks in 17 plate appearances.

OUTFIELD

Kevin Pillar, TOR at TB ($3,200): Pillar carries a nice upside at his reasonable price, and he brings the added benefit of having fared well against Rays starter Jake Odorizzi in past encounters. Pillar has slashed .364/.364/.818 against him over 11 career plate appearances, with two doubles and a solo homer. Odorizzi has also proven to be a reverse-splits pitcher, both this season and during his career. He's giving up a .374 wOBA to right-handed hitters over a 75-batter sample in 2016, and a .324 wOBA to them over his career. His current struggles with control and pitch count could also lead him into some dangerous scenarios against a potent Blue Jays lineup, something Pillar could certainly benefit from.

Charlie Blackmon, COL at ARI ($3,900): Blackmon made a successful return from his DL stint over the last two games, managing a pair of multiple-hit games that also generated double-digit fantasy points. He now draws a pitcher in Shelby Miller who's been hard-pressed to get anyone out in 2016, and who's surrendered a .401 wOBA and five homers to lefty bats this year. Those hitters have put the screws to the ball when they've connected, as they've amassed a 41.9 percent hard contact rate. Although Blackmon has struggled this season over a small sample against the right-handers he usually crushes, his .341 wOBA and 35 career homers against that handedness would seem to point to a correction. He also comes with the added bonus of a potential fifth at-bat due to his leadoff role, and the possibility of a stolen base or two if he gets on.

Jason Heyward, CHC vs. ATL ($3,900): Heyward represents an opportunity to capitalize on Julio Teheran's infamous struggles versus left-handed hitters. The veteran slugger is still seeking his first homer in a Cubs uniform, and the matchup may well facilitate that. Teheran has surrendered a .350 wOBA lifetime to left-handed hitters, and a .407 wOBA and four homers to them this year. Heyward has mashed right-handed pitching to the tune of a .364 wOBA, .178 ISO and 31.6 hard contact rate over six-plus major league seasons, and also launched 75 of his 97 career home runs against them.

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. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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