While the NBA regular season is wrapping up this Sunday, Major League Baseball is ready to stuff your Easter basket full of plenty of fantasy baseball goodies. There are 10 games on the main slate Sunday afternoon, which gets underway on DraftKings at 1:05 p.m. ET.
As always, make sure to keep a close eye on pregame lineups and the latest player news by installing the DK Live app and following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the season continues.
Drew Rasmussen, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Oakland Athletics ($8,300) – The Rays are the last undefeated team in the Majors and have been dominant in their 8-0 start. Granted, they have only played the Tigers, Nationals and Athletics, but that soft schedule continues as they wrap up their series against Oakland. Rasmussen has been part of their strong start with six shutout innings against the Nats last week, striking out seven and allowing just two hits for 30.3 DKFP. Rasmussen only needed 66 pitches to get through his six dominant innings in that contest.
Last season, Rasmussen was also impressive, going 11-7 with a 2.84 ERA and 3.26 FIP. He’s shown even a little more velocity this spring, and he could see his strikeouts continue to tick up if he sustains that increase. Regardless of his long-term outlook, he should at least be able to return outstanding value at this salary in this matchup, so building around Rasmussen makes sense on Sunday.
Other Options – Freddy Peralta ($9,500), Jon Gray ($8,600)
Hunter Brown, Houston Astros at Minnesota Twins ($7,900) – Brown looked good last year and showcased electric stuff in his start against the Tigers. He still gave up four runs in 4 2⁄3 innings in a no-decision and earned 7.1 DKFP. Brown’s fastball reached 98.5 mph and he forced eight swinging strikes while totaling five strikeouts.
Last year, Brown allowed just two runs in 20 1⁄3 innings while piling up 22 strikeouts. He’ll try to showcase better command in his second start of the season. With the Astros’ lineup behind him and a solid matchup against the Twins, Brown brings enough upside to be the best value play on this slate.
Other Options – George Kirby ($8,100), Tyler Wells ($6,700)
Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers ($5,600) – Goldschmidt is a solid hitter to consider on just about any slate, and Sunday afternoon sets up well for the veteran. He has started the year 10-for-28 with seven walks, two doubles, a home run, a stolen base. In his eight games he has averaged 9.3 DKFP per contest after going 1-for-5 with a double on Saturday. On Sunday, he’ll face Freddy Peralta ($9,500), who he has gone 7-for-16 (.438) against in the past with five extra-base hits including a pair of home runs.
Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Oakland Athletics ($5,000) – Like many of the Rays, Franco has started the season red hot. He is 12-for-33 (.364) with three doubles, three home runs and a pair of stolen bases. He has an impressive .481 wOBA and .364 ISO with his 46.2% hard-hit rate and 19.2% barrel rate. His combination of power and speed give him multiple ways to produce and make him a strong consideration to anchor your Sunday afternoon lineup.
Other Options – Gleyber Torres ($5,200), Nolan Arenado ($5,000)
Josh Jung, Texas Rangers at Chicago Cubs ($3,400) – Jung has been locked into the No. 5 spot in the Rangers’ lineup, and the former top prospect has shown some nice upside. He hit .269 (7-for-26) with a double, two home runs, four RBI, a .368 wOBA and a .269 ISO over his first seven games of the season, averaging 8.4 DKFP per contest. He and the Rangers will try to avoid a sweep in Chicago as they face Jameson Taillon ($8,400) on Sunday. Jung’s power potential makes him a great option at this affordable salary.
Brice Turang, Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($2,600) – The Brewers 23-year-old rookie provided a nice spark for Milwaukee in his first seven games this season. He went 6-for-23 (.316) with a double, a home run and two stolen bases, averaging 9.3 DKFP per contest. He sat out Saturday against a lefty but should return to the lineup against Jake Woodford ($5,400) in one of the better matchups on this slate.
Other Options – Brian Anderson ($3,400), Anthony Volpe ($3,100), Alec Burleson ($2,800)
Bryan Reynolds, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago White Sox ($5,600) – It’s hard to ignore someone averaging 18.5 DKFP per game and with at least 12 DKFP in six straight games even if they play for the Pirates. Reynolds tried to get out of Pittsburgh this offseason, but has only boosted his value with a scorching hot start to the season. In his eight games, he is 14-for-33 (.424) with two doubles, a triple, five home runs an impressive .568 wOBA. On Saturday, he only went 1-for-5 but still had 12 DKFP since he added his second stolen base of the season. Finding a ton of value in the Pirates lineup is tricky, even in a good matchup against Michael Kopech ($8,000), who was shelled in his first start of the season, giving up seven runs and five home runs in 4 2⁄3 innings. Reynolds and the rest of the Pirates will look to continue Kopech’s struggles on Sunday.
Luis Robert Jr., Chicago White Sox at Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,200) – There’s good potential for power production on the other side of the White Sox-Pirates match up as well since Johan Oviedo ($6,200) gave up five runs and three homers in 4 2⁄3 in his first start of the season as well. Robert is one of the White Sox bats who make sense against Oviedo on Sunday. The 25-year-old has been healthy and productive to start the season, going 15-for-41 (.366) over his first eight games with four home runs, 10 RBI, a .464 wOBA and 206 wRC+. Robert hasn’t attempted any steals yet, but he does have four multi-hit games in his past six contests.
Other Options – Yordan Alvarez ($6,000), Adam Duvall ($4,900)
Myles Straw, Cleveland Guardians vs. Seattle Mariners ($3,300) – There are several ways to find good value in the outfield, and one way is to consider leaning into a speedster like Straw. His power stats are not impressive at all, but he has at least 9.0 DKFP in five of his past six games and has averaged 11.6 DKFP in his nine games this season. Straw is the kind of player that has gotten a huge boost from the new rules and has a perpetual green light on the basepaths.
He has an eight-game hitting streak coming into Sunday and has six stolen bases on the year while going 10-for-27 (.370) with eight walks and a .528 OBP. That means he has reached base in more than half his plate appearances, and with so much potential for creating havoc on the bases, Straw can return plenty of value as a cheap play as the Guardians try to avoid a sweep at home against George Kirby ($8,100) and the Mariners.
Garrett Mitchell, Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($2,700) – Like his teammate Turang, Mitchell got Saturday off against a lefty but should be back in the lineup Sunday against Woodford. Mitchell has been extremely impressive, going 8-for-24 (.333) with a double, a triple and three home runs in his seven games for an average of 11.4 DKFP per game. He actually climbed to the Majors with a reputation as a speedster and stole eight bases in 28 games last year, but he has yet to attempt a theft this season. He brings upside with both his power and his speed, and he and Turang can be a nice mini-stack with Brian Anderson ($3,400) that not only brings great upside but also saves you lots of salary to spend on other stars.
Other Options – Luke Raley ($2,500), Jack Suwinski ($2,500), Akil Baddoo ($2,000)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.