This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
This part of the MLB season can feel like you're really churning through it. The All-Star break and the trade deadline are done and the playoffs are a couple months away. Don't get deterred as DFS baseball is still here to keep things exciting. There are nine games on the slate, with the first starting at 1:35 p.m. EDT. Here are my recommendations.
Corbin Burnes, MIL vs. CIN ($11,300): It's been a step down from a campaign that ended with a Cy Young, but Burnes is still an elite pitcher with a 2.49 ERA and 3.09 FIP while striking out 11.49 batters per nine innings. The Reds sit 18th in runs scored, but did trade Brandon Drury at the deadline.
Spenser Watkins, BAL vs. PIT ($7,600): Over his last six starts, Watkins has posted an 1.85 ERA. While he still has a 3.80 on the season, I'm willing to take a shot on the sophomore pitcher as the Pirates rank 28th in offense and team OPS.
Adrian Sampson, CHC vs. MIA ($7,500): Sampson has registered a 3.74 ERA, but with a 3.29 FIP. And since joining the Cubs, he's managed a 2.93 ERA at home. The Marlins are in the bottom-seven in runs scored and maintain a .300 OBP, so I give Sampson the advantage in what has the makings of a low-scoring affair at Wrigley.
I could probably just toss out the fact Rafael Devers ($4,200) has a .315/.372/.590 slash line and be done with it. However, I'll also note he's posted a 1.023 OPS versus righties. Brad Keller is a righty, one with a 4.61 ERA through 20 starts.
While Cedric Mullins ($3,400) has seen the surprise power that led to 30 homers in 2021regress toward the mean, he's still doing damage out there with 24 steals and a .795 OPS against righties. Meanwhile, Bryse Wilson has struggled to a 6.20 ERA and has been obliterated by lefties as they've hit .390 against.
Darick Hall ($3,100) is a righty-only option to the extreme as the Phillies have literally only let him make six plate appearances against fellow southpaws. On the other hand, he's produced a .918 OPS against righties and an 1.032 OPS at home. The Nationals are starting the righty Cory Abbott on Sunday, who comes in with a career 7.20 FIP. My only fear is a lefty coming out of the bullpen and getting Hall subbed out of the game, but hopefully he at least gets a couple cracks at Abbott.
Across the last three weeks, Luis Urias ($2,900) has an .843 OPS to go with an .836 home OPS on the year. Graham Ashcraft has posted a 4.96 ERA on the road and has also allowed righties to hit .335 against.
Stacks to Consider
The Phillies were quick to jettison Howard by trading him during his second MLB season. It's not hard to see why with a 6.82 ERA this year, in line with his career 6.90. Howard has also given up a whopping 2.88 homers per nine innings, so I'd bet on at least a couple White Sox going yard Sunday.
As someone with five 30-homer seasons to his name, Abreu is primed to take advantage of this matchup. He's also registered a .983 road OPS in 2022. Vaughn hasn't shown quite as much power, but has still hit .294 with a .345 OBP while his OPS in away games is .896. Jimenez missed the bulk of the season with injury, but he's gotten healthy and hot with a 1.171 OPS the last three weeks.
I'm flipping this matchup around. But Giolito, in spite of a much-better track record than Howard, is having almost as bad of a season. We're talking a 5.06 ERA while allowing 1.60 home runs per nine innings. Righties have also hit .328 against Giolito, so I'm offering two in this stack.
Garcia has produced 18 homers and 15 steals along with an .841 OPS during the last three weeks. Seager has actually hit lefties and righties fairly equally in his career, which is abnormal for a southpaw and encouraging when this game gets into the bullpens. He's been much better at home with a .950 OPS in his new ballpark. Semien may have set unattainable expectations with 45 home runs and 15 stolen bases last season, but his 15 and 19 of each is nothing to sneeze at.
It's weird the Cubs didn't deal one, two, or frankly all three of these guys at the deadline, but those decisions are in the books and now this stack is here. Luzardo enters with a 3.97 ERA, which isn't great but also based on only seven starts. Last year, he posted a 6.61. And since 2020, Luzardo has recorded a 6.93 road OPS . That involves time with two different teams, but that number is poor enough to overcome that caveat.
Even if you don't need a catcher on FanDuel, Contreras is worth it with an .863 OPS versus lefties the last two years and is happy to still call Wrigley home, with an .889 OPS this season. Happ is a switch hitter, but he'll be glad to see a southpaw considering his .892 OPS in those matchups and a .904 at home. Hoerner has batted .298 with six homers and 12 stolen bases. And like his teammates, he's better at home with an .824 OPS.