FanDuel MLB: Sunday Picks

FanDuel MLB: Sunday Picks

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

FanDuel has a full 15-game slate Sunday, with a few interesting games. There are eight pitchers who are -130 favorites or better according to Vegas. That means we have clear chalk in over half of the scheduled games. We also have only three games with a run total under 7.5, so 12 of these matchups are expected to yield a good amount of runs. Here are some of the players to keep an eye on for Sunday:

Starting Pitcher
Michael Wacha ($8,300)
Wacha has given up seven runs in 26 innings over his first four starts, which means he is averaging about 6.5 innings while giving up fewer than two runs every time he steps to the mound. While he has not struck out a ton of batters, he is the only one of the top five priced pitchers not playing against a team in the bottom third of the league for that stat. Even without the strikeouts, Wacha has been one of the better fantasy options to start the season, as he is averaging just shy of 13 FanDuel points per start. The upside of strikeouts is high against a team that is one of the five highest in the league for K/9, and he is a big favorite at -162. We already discussed that he averages fewer than two runs allowed per start, and he has been pitching at least six in almost all of his appearances. A highly probable win from a player who will likely pitch deep into the game and strikeout more batters than usual makes a lot of sense to use in daily fantasy, especially with the price break from a top option like Johnny Cueto.

Catcher
Stephen Vogt ($3,100)
Vogt was rested on Saturday so he should be in the lineup for the Sunday afternoon game. He gets a good matchup with Yovani Gallardo, who struggles with left-handed batters and the long ball. Vogt is one of the few lefty sticks with some power in the Oakland lineup. He hits third in the order and is batting .312 on the season with four home runs. It is conceivable that both those numbers go up after this one. I also like Miguel Montero and Derek Norris, but I like Vogt more at basically the same price.

First Base
Kennys Vargas ($2,200)
Vargas is the really cheap option who can help you win a tournament. He is minimum priced and has a good matchup with John Danks, who struggles against right-handed bats and gives up plenty of home runs to them. Vargas is the guy who plays against left-handed bats in the Twins' platoon and will likely be hitting fifth or sixth in the order. He played in three straight games before his day off and had multiple hits in two of them, including one against this White Sox team against another left-hander in Jose Quintana. Guys like Joey Votto, Anthony Rizzo and Jose Abreu also have good matchups, but none are anywhere near underpriced like Vargas.

Second Base
Jose Altuve ($4,700)
Altuve hit .414 against left-handed pitching in 2014 and goes against J.A. Happ on Sunday. This year, he has started out over .500 against them, so the trend continues. He has not finished with under 3.5 FanDuel points in any of his last nine. He has even scored at least 7.25 in five of his last eight. He may be expensive, but that should only help keep his ownership level down. Despite the lack of home-run power, he can put up big fantasy scores with the best of them, specially in a matchup that favors him heavily.

Shortstop
Jimmy Rollins ($2,700)
Let me start by saying I do not love this pick. While I know that is not a ringing endorsement of Rollins, he seems to be the best house on a bad block today. You can pay up for a guy like Troy Tulowitzski, but he has the wrong splits, a solid pitcher opposing him and is in the wrong park. The same story pretty much fits for Starlin Castro, Marcus Semein and Ian Desmond, who are all the options between Rollins and Tulo. Rollins should be on top of an order expected to score a few runs and opposing a guy with a WHIP over 1.30. At his price, he makes the most sense, though any cheap shortstop who gets a spot high up in the order Sunday may be worth switching him out for.

Third Base
Kyle Seager ($2,900)
Seager was a $4,000 third baseman at points last year. He is a left-handed bat who hits for average and power and is very cheap Sunday. He gets a matchup with Roberto Hernandez, who has struggled some with left-handed bats and also the long ball. He gets a positive park shift Sunday as they play in Houston, which is much more a hitter's park than where he plays his home games up in Safeco field. With top matchups here for the expensive options as well, it makes sense to save for others.

Outfield
Matt Kemp ($3,700)
Kemp is cheaper than his outfield counterpart Justin Upton on Sunday. Both guys have a great match up against Brian Matzek, who has not been great so far this season and is still struggling to get right-handed hitters out. He allowed righties to hit over .300 against him last year, while he limited lefties to under .130. All the right-handed San Diego bats are in play, and Kemp has the best combination of price, upside and lineup placement.

Brett Gardner ($3,300)
Gardner is way too cheap for the skill set he brings to the table. Batting atop the Yankees' order, he has been consistently above average in his last few games. He has scored at least 4.25 points in four of his last five and averaged over four points per game last week. He does his best work against right-handed pitching and will see a pedestrian one in Joe Kelly on Sunday. His speed is a huge asset, as it leads to extra base hits, stolen bases and runs scored, all positive things that give him a nice floor in daily fantasy.

Giancarlo Stanton ($5,100)
Value comes in all different ways, and while his price is high, I think there is a lot of value in Stanton on Sunday. With Nelson Cruz being the same price, and hitting another two home runs Saturday, Stanton will go under owned. He goes up against the weakest pitcher on the slate in Severino Gonzalez, who gave up 12 baserunners in only two innings in his first start. Stanton should put up a big number if he sees some pitches to hit with men on. Worst case: they walk him a few times and he gets a low positive number for his backers.

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Benjamin Ricciardi
Benny is an award-winning sportswriter whose work has been seen all over the daily fantasy landscape. He is the 2014 FSWA winner for best baseball article of the year (web), the co-host of a baseball webcast called "The Curve" (@rotocurve), and a featured writer for DraftKings Playbook and the DFSReport. He believes, as a former athlete and self-proclaimed "NUMBER's GUY", he has the perfect mix of knowledge and know-how to help you win your fantasy matchups. You can follow him on twitter @BennyR11.
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