The Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles are scheduled for the MLB Leadoff showcase to start the day on Sunday. The main slate of fantasy baseball on DraftKings gets underway at 1:35 p.m. ET and includes the nine games that start between 1:30 p.m. ET and 2:35 p.m. ET. There are five divisional matchups in the mix on Sunday, including two games from the NL East, an AL East matchup north of the border and a Texas-sized rivalry wrapping up a series in Arlington.
Be sure to keep up with the latest player news and lineups leading up to the first pitch of each game. You can do that by installing the DK Live app and following DraftKings Network on Twitter (@DKNetwork). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the dog days of summer continue.
Spencer Strider, Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins ($10,500) – Strider has been one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball this season, going 9-2 with a 3.73 ERA and 3.11 FIP while leading the league with 146 strikeouts and 14.33 K/9. That strikeout rate is over 2.0 strikeouts higher than any other qualifying pitcher. He did stumble a little earlier this month, but he kept the strikeouts flowing enough to still make him a viable play in almost every outing. He has recovered nicely in his past two starts, allowing just one run in back-to-back outings while striking out 19 in 13 innings against the Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies.
Strider has over 24 DKFP in nine of his 16 starts this season and has averaged 24.7 DKFP per contest. He has shown he has an incredibly high ceiling due to his strikeout rate, which also helps him have a high floor. Earlier this season when he faced Miami, Strider had his best game of the season with 46.8 DKFP. In that game, he allowed just two hits in eight shutout innings while striking out a season-high 13. The Marlins offense has been better lately, but the Braves have been dominant during their current homestand, going 5-0 with an aggregate score of 36-7. Strider began the homestand with a win over the Twins, and he’ll look to close it out with another win on Sunday afternoon. He’s worth spending up on if possible since he brings such a high ceiling in this matchup with Miami.
Other Options – Kevin Gausman ($11,000), Andrew Abbott ($9,200)
Jordan Montgomery, St. Louis Cardinals vs. New York Yankees ($7,800) – The Yankees shipped Montgomery to St. Louis last season in the trade that brought Harrison Bader ($3,600) to the Bronx. Montgomery will be trying to defeat his former team to earn his new team the series win after a split of Saturday’s doubleheader. Montgomery’s season-long numbers are decent, but he has been especially sharp lately and should be in a good spot against the Yankees, who have only hit .230 as a team against lefties, the fourth-worse in the majors. New York’s offense had a miserable June, scoring the second-fewest runs of any team in the month with a league-worst .208 team batting average for the month and just a .284 team wOBA, which was worse than every team in the majors except the Kansas City Royals.
Montgomery comes into this matchup trending in a much better direction and will look to continue their offensive woes. In his five most recent starts, Montgomery has allowed only one earned run or fewer four times while compiling an impressive 1.71 ERA and 2.78 FIP. He has 30 strikeouts in 31 2⁄3 innings over that span and has at least six strikeouts in each of his four most recent starts. He doesn’t have the sky-high strikeout ceiling that Strider brings, but he’s a very solid SP2 option from under $8K. He beat the Houston Astros at home in his most recent start, and he’ll look to duplicate that result in this potential revenge game narrative.
Other Options – Ranger Suárez ($8,000), Colin Rea ($5,600)
Trea Turner, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals ($5,500) – The Phillies have one of the best matchups of the day on Sunday afternoon as they take on Trevor Williams ($5,400) and the Nats. Williams has gone 4-4 with a 4.28 ERA and 5.34 FIP on the season and has given up 16 homers in 16 starts, allowing a .372 wOBA in his 40 2⁄3 innings on the road. Turner will try to continue those road woes and also continue his strong series against his former club. He comes into Sunday afternoon’s contest riding an eight-game hitting streak. During that streak, he’s hitting .344 (11-for-32) with two doubles, a home run, five stolen bases and an average of 13.4 DKFP per game. Turner is up to 18 stolen bases on the season, and his ceiling is always high when he’s aggressive on the bases since he brings multiple ways to pile up fantasy points from his prime second spot in the Phillies’ batting order.
Jose Altuve, Houston Astros at Texas Rangers ($4,700) – Altuve went 0-for-4 on Saturday after posting double-digit DKFP in four straight contests. He has been able to move past a heel injury that cost him time earlier this week and seems to be settling into a good rhythm after all his injuries to start the year. In his past 11 games, he has hit .316 with a .435 wOBA, three home runs and two stolen bases. Like Turner, he can provide production on the basepaths or with power at the plate. Throughout his career, Altuve has typically been very productive against lefties and should be set up for success against Andrew Heaney ($7,200) in the series finale. Altuve is 11-for-28 (.393) in his past meetings with Heaney, including a pair of home runs.
Other Options – Matt Olson ($6,500), Austin Riley ($5,500), Alex Bregman ($4,500)
Maikel Garcia, Kansas City Royals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($3,000) – Garcia has been able to settle into the everyday role at the hot corner for the Royals and has been productive whether hitting in the middle of the order or batting leadoff like he did on Saturday. Over his past 20 games, Garcia is hitting .308 (24-for-78) with two doubles, a triple, a home run, eight stolen bases and a .324 wOBA. He had multiple hits in each of the first two games of this series against the Dodgers and has double-digit DKFP in eight of his past 14 matchups. He brings a lot of upside from just $3K and is a good option to save salary without sacrificing any ceiling.
Jared Young, Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Guardians ($2,200) – There are plenty of big-name 1B to choose from on this slate led by the red-hot Matt Olson ($6,500). If you choose to go a different way and try to save salary at this spot, though, Young brings very good upside at barely more than the minimum salary. Young hit .326 with 13 homers and a .441 wOBA in 52 games in Triple-A to start the year and has stepped in nicely at 1B since being called up on Tuesday. Young collected double-digit DKFP in each of his first three games before coming up empty Saturday. He is 4-for-11 (.364) overall with two triples and a home run in his time in the majors.
Other Options – Owen Miller ($3,500), David Hamilton ($2,400), Jared Triolo ($2,000)
Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins ($6,600) – Acuña has been nothing short of sensational all season. He is averaging an insane 12.9 DKFP per game over his 82 games this season and already has 21 home runs and 37 stolen bases this year. He’s been even better lately double-digit DKFP in 10 straight while averaging 18.3 DKFP per contest. He has hit safely in 12 straight games while going 18-for-49 (.367) with six homers, seven stolen bases and a .514 wOBA. The 25-year-old has been the top fantasy hitter in baseball and is totally locked in at the plate right now. He always seems to pound the Marlins, so even a matchup with Sandy Alcantara ($7,500) isn’t enough to make me pivot away from Acuña on this slate.
Kyle Schwarber, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals ($4,800) – Schwarber smashed his 22nd homer of the season on Saturday, and nine of those Shwarbombs have come in his past 24 games. During that span, he is hitting only .234 but has a .340 ISO and .393 wOBA. While he is a little boom-or-bust, Schwarber brings a very high ceiling from under $5K into his tasty matchup with Williams. In their past meetings, Schwarber has gone 10-for-31 (.323) with four home runs and six walks. Schwarber and Turner are a solid 1-2 stack to consider in this matchup against Williams as they look to continue their offensive momentum after scoring 19 runs on Saturday to claim their fifth win in their last six games.
Other Options – Mookie Betts ($6,400), Adolis García ($5,700), Michael Harris II ($4,400)
Jordan Walker, St. Louis Cardinals vs. New York Yankees ($3,000) – Walker was all the rage coming out of Spring Training, but the prospect struggled a little bit and spent most of May in Triple-A. Since returning in early June, though, Walker has been outstanding. In his past 19 games, he’s hitting a blistering .364 (24-for-66) with four doubles, four home runs and a .447 wOBA. He did lose his 17-game hitting streak earlier this week, but he remains a great value option at just $3K with a very good ceiling.
Blake Perkins, Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates ($2,000) – Perkins is expected to hit leadoff for the Brewers against lefty Rich Hill ($6,200) on Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh. Perkins is a switch-hitting outfielder who has been providing good production when given the opportunity over the past few weeks and can help fill in against lefties like Hill. Perkins has four multi-hit games in his past 11 games with multiple plate appearances and has gone 14-for-44 (.318) during that span with one double, one home run and one stolen base. While no one will be confusing Perkins for Acuña just yet, he does bring enough upside at this minimum salary to be a great value play that may allow you to pay up for the Braves superstar or other big bats you are targeting on Sunday’s slate.
Other Options – TJ Friedl ($3,900), Henry Davis ($2,800), Corey Julks ($2,500)
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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.