This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
A huge slate of games is on tap for the first full Sunday of the 2015 season. We have 15 of them in all, so that gives us a ton of fantasy options to choose from. There are only four games with over/under totals of 7 runs or less, and three of those include some of the biggest favorites on the day. Sunday is shaping up like a day for the bats to do some damage, but the starting pitcher pricing makes it tough to get a guy you really like and still pay up for some of those bats. I still think it is a day to pay for bats, so you are probably best off looking at one of the plethora of options in that $8,000 and up range on FanDuel as I see very little I really like below that line. Here's an idea of which players I will be targeting.
Dallas Keuchel, Hou, $8,300 – The young Astros right-hander is looking to improve on a solid 2014 season and build off his first quality start of 2015. He gets a Texas line up that is ranked in the bottom five of the league for both batting average and on-base percentage to start the season. They are also in the top third for most strikeouts. Keuchel is a guy who induces a lot of ground balls, and while he tends to pitch to contact, he can strike guys out. While this hurts his strikeout potential, it does help him pitch deeper into games, allowing him to pick up a few extra points. I think he is in line for the win tomorrow opposite Colby Lewis and should have a few strikeouts in a lengthy effort.
Jose Lobaton, Was, $2,300 - The Nationals' backup catcher should be in line for a start Sunday with a day game after a night game. The Phillies are running out Sean O'Sullivan, who is a young pitcher that threw 12 big-league innings last season. He was tagged for nine runs in those 12 innings and has to face the Washington line up in a hitter-friendly ballpark. Lobaton is a switch hitter who will bat from the left side against the righty, and that is a huge advantage at Nationals Park. He is very cheap as well, which makes him the kind of start you need in order to fit in some of those bigger bats elsewhere.
Adam Lind, Mil, $3,800 – Fransisco Liriano was the scheduled starter for Pittsburgh on Sunday, but he is away on paternity leave. That means the Pirates needed an emergency starter, calling up Casey Sadler from Triple-A to make a spot start. Sadler is a righty who has struggled out of the bullpen in his only real big-league action. I think he will be overmatched by a profession hitter like Lind, who has good lineup placement in the Brewers' order behind guys like Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun. He is in a great spot to pick up a few hits and drive in a few runs against a weak right hander in his hitter-friendly home park.
Dee Gordon, Mia, $3,800 - I have no problem paying up for Gordon or calling him a value play at his price. The leadoff hitter for the Marlins gets his preferred splits match up against a young right-handed pitcher for Tampa in Nate Karnes. Gordon was on base a few times in his last game, and was causing chaos with his speed. He stole two bases, scored on a single from second, and garnered a lot of attention and throws over from the pitcher. It's easier to steal on a right handed pitcher as well, so if he gets on tomorrow I think he will be off to the races. With guys like Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton hitting behind him, there's a good chance that if he can get to second base, one of those two will drive him in.
Jed Lowrie, Hou, $2,800 – The switch-hitting shortstop has earned his new 3-hole spot in the batting order with some solid performances early in the season. Lowrie has reached base safely in every game and is a great cash-game option as a cheap hitter at a tough position to find someone that has run-scoring and RBI potential. He has a nice match up against Colby Lewis, who was a guy many daily fantasy players targeted against last year. Lowrie has a lot of ways to get fantasy points between getting on base, driving in runs, and being driven in himself. There is a lot to like.
David Wright, NYM, $3,700 – Wright has been pretty solid to start the season. He has good lineup placement and gets a park bump as he moves from Citifield to Atlanta for this one. He face a solid lefty in Alex Wood, but he is a righty who likes to hit left-handed pitching. Wright is already 2-for-3 with a home run against lefties this season. Last season, he hit .367 with a .412 OBP and an OPS of .912 in 120 at-bats against southpaws. That means he got on base in 41 percent of his at-bats versus left-handed pitching and averaged almost a base per plate appearance. Wood is a solid pitcher, but Wright's success against lefties is hard to ignore.
Bryce Harper, Was, $4,000 – This might be my favorite play of the entire slate at any position. Harper is a lefty with good power who hits the ball well against right-handed pitching. He gets to play in a ballpark that is friendly to left-handed batters against the aforementioned Sean O'Sullivan, who has given up nine runs on 15 hits in 12 innings at the major-league level. Harper should see some pitches with a high WHIP pitcher throwing, because the Nats should have a lot of batters reach base. If that is the case, he will be forced to pitch to Harper and that will give him a chance to produce some runs.
Alejandro De Aza, Bal, $3,100 – The Orioles' leadoff man is red hot to start the season. He hit another home run Saturday and is a proven masher of right-handed pitching. He gets to face Drew Hutchinson, who is a right-handed pitcher, which is his preferred split. He also hits atop the order, so he should see an extra at-bat in his hitter-friendly home park. The way De Aza has swung the stick lately, he is just way too cheap to ignore.
Michael Taylor, Was, $2,600 – The best bargain on the day looks to be Taylor vs. O'Sullivan. The Nationals' leadoff man can score in so many different ways. He picked up another walk, another hit, and a stolen base Saturday. He preceded that game with a home run the night before, and he has a hit in every game so far this season. He is the perfect mix of a guy who can score in many ways, is cheap, and has a good match up against a weak pitcher in a quality hitters' park. It is the perfect storm for fantasy purposes, and he is definitely someone that should be considered Sunday.