After the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates lead off the action on Sunday, they’re followed by an overstuffed early afternoon slate as part of Sunday’s main DFS contests on DraftKings. The main slate begins at 1:35 p.m. ET and includes seven divisional matchups. There is some potential weather in a couple of spots, but for the most part, it looks like a solid 10-game slate with 20 teams of options to sort through to find the very best matchups.
As always, 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.
Nathan Eovaldi, Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners ($11,000) – Eovaldi has been dominant throughout his first season in Texas and has helped enable the Rangers to climb to the top spot in the NL West despite an injury to Jacob deGrom. Nate has been especially Nasty over his past six starts, going 5-0 with a 0.77 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 46 2⁄3 innings. His strikeout numbers have actually been down a little bit overall, but he has effectively held opponents in check. He has only allowed more than one run in one of those past six starts while posting over 27 DKFP four times, including two starts with over 43 DKFP.
Eovaldi also gets a great matchup against the Mariners who were shut out on Friday and have been outscored 18-6 so far in this series. Seattle tacked on three runs in the ninth after Saturday’s game was a blowout, but before that had managed only 11 runs over their previous five games combined. The Mariners have hit just .225 on the road this season with a .299 wOBA, an average of 4.6 runs per road game and the fourth-highest road K% in the Majors. Eovaldi should be able to continue their road woes and his recent dominance, so he’s definitely worth considering if you have the salary cap to afford him.
Other Options – Joe Ryan ($11,000), Taj Bradley ($8,800)
Ben Lively, Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($7,500) – Lively had been a nice addition to the Reds’ rotation after signing as a free agent back with the team that drafted him back in 2013. In between his tenures with the organization, he played for the Phillies, Royals and Diamondbacks before spending parts of three seasons with the Samsung Lions in the KBO. In his return last year, he didn’t ever get the call from Triple-A, but this season he has gone 3-2 with a 1.99 ERA and 3.54 FIP to go with 24 strikeouts in 22 2⁄3 innings.
In each of his three starts, Lively has posted at least 23 DKFP, while facing difficult lineups. He threw 5 2⁄3 shutout innings at Fenway Park in his most recent outing, striking out six on his way to his third win and 25.2 DKFP. The Brewers' offense has struggled this season and is also dealing with multiple injuries, so this should be a good spot for Lively to keep rolling.
Other Options – Triston McKenzie ($8,100), J.P. France ($7,000)
Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals vs. Colorado Rockies ($5,500) – Witt is in the top five in the Majors with 18 stolen bases after going 3-for-5 on Saturday with a stolen base and 16 DKFP. He now has five stolen bases and three home runs in his past nine games, while going 12-for-38 (.316) during that span and averaging 12.9 DKFP per game. Witt has hit especially well against lefties this year, going 14-for-48 (.292) with a .404 wOBA. Six of Witt’s 10 homers have also come in day games, so he has multiple splits in his favor. He should be in a great matchup against a struggling Kyle Freeland ($6,000), as the Royals try to avoid the sweep Sunday afternoon.
Spencer Steer, Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($4,300) – Steer is a great way to save some salary at 1B, but still get stud production. The 25-year-old just won Rookie of the Month for May and had two hits, two walks, two stolen bases and an impressive 26 DKFP on Saturday against Milwaukee. He has double-digit DKFP in seven of his past 10 games while going 17-for-38 (.447) with three doubles, a triple, two homers and an average of 13.4 DKFP per contest.
Other Options – Josh Jung ($5,300), Jonathan India ($5,200), Ryan McMahon ($4,800)
Brandon Drury, Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros ($4,100) – Drury is another great target in the midrange that has been delivering top-shelf production at his affordable salary. He can fit in at either 1B or 2B, depending on your roster construction and has typically been hitting in the middle of the order behind the dynamic duo of Shohei Ohtani ($6,400) and Mike Trout ($6,200). Drury is 19-for-60 (.317) over his past 16 games with seven doubles and three home runs. He has had a few very productive hot streaks over the past couple of seasons and appears to be in the midst of another such run right now.
Royce Lewis, Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Guardians ($3,600) – It was a long road back from an ACL tear for Lewis, but he was able to return to the lineup the first day he was eligible to be activated from the 60-day IL, which happened to be exactly one year after he suffered the catastrophic injury. The top prospect has shown plenty of potential since returning and quickly become one of the best bats in the middle of Minnesota’s batting order. He went 11-for-33 (.333) with four homers and four stolen bases in his eight rehab games and homered in two of his first five games back, while hitting safely in four of those contests. He and the Twins will face Triston McKenzie ($8,100) in his first start of the season after returning from an injury of his own.
Other Options – Ezequiel Duran ($2,900), Maikel Garcia ($2,400)
Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals ($6,300) – Harper still hasn’t quite returned to full speed since starting the season late following his Tommy John surgery. After going 2-for-4 on Saturday, Harper is hitting .300 in his 27 games with three homers, three stolen bases and a .371 wOBA overall. He has four multi-hit games in his 10 most recent contests, while going 10-for-36 (.278) with one homer and one stolen base. He should be in a good matchup as he finishes this weekend’s series back at Nationals Park. He’ll face Trevor Williams ($6,300), who has allowed 10 home runs this season in 11 starts and has allowed lefties to hit .299 with a .353 wOBA. Harper’s teammate Kyle Schwarber ($5,000) has more historical success against Williams and is a good play as well, but Harper has been more consistent lately and seems to be settling into a good groove.
George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays at New York Mets ($5,000) – Springer stole his 10th base of the season on Saturday, and like many players, is on pace to set a career-high in thefts. He has also added eight home runs and is hitting .262 with a .355 wOBA. He has been much better than those numbers lately, though, hitting .379 (22-for-58) over his 15 most recent games with three homers four stolen bases and a .470 wOBA. He is a very solid play right now at $5K from atop a strong Blue Jays lineup as they wrap up their three-game set in New York against the Mets. They’ll be looking for the sweep but have to take down Kodai Senga ($9,300).
Other Options – Fernando Tatis Jr. ($6,200), Eloy Jiménez ($4,400)
Jesús Sánchez, Miami Marlins vs. Oakland Athletics ($3,200) – Sánchez missed a couple of weeks with a right hamstring strain, but it looks like he’s back to being a regular for the Marlins in their matchups against right-handed starting pitchers. He went 3-for-4 with a home run on Friday and then went 1-for-3 with two walks on Saturday, while hitting cleanup in both contests. Sánchez was just starting to heat up prior to the injury and has gone an impressive 15-for-32 (.469) in his 11 most recent games with six doubles, three home runs and a .591 wOBA. He and the Marlins will look to finish out their sweep of the A’s against Paul Blackburn ($7,100), who will be making just his second start of the season, but has let lefties like Sánchez post a .340 wOBA against him in his career. Sánchez brings big-time power potential to a great matchup at this minimal salary.
Drew Waters, Kansas City Royals vs. Colorado Rockies ($2,000) – If you have to go with a punt play to get the players you want in other places, Waters has some interesting upside at the minimum salary. The 24-year-old switch-hitter is viewed as a part of the Royals’ future outfield and was making a strong case for an Opening Day job before a strained oblique set him back. After extended Spring Training, he looked great during his 13-game rehab assignment, hitting .327 with two homers, two stolen bases and a .439 wOBA for the Omaha Stormchasers in Triple-A. He has an ugly 40.9% strikeout rate in his first seven games since returning, but he did hit his first homer of the season in the Majors on Friday and had another hit on Saturday to raise his average to .227 with a .273 wOBA in his limited action. He has both power and speed potential and has hit lefties well during his time in the minors. A good matchup against Freeland makes him a cheap play worth a look as a bargain OF on Sunday.
Other Options – Max Kepler ($3,500), Jonathan Davis ($3,100), Akil Baddoo ($2,700)
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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.