Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
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Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($10,800) – Weather remains an issue for the East Coast games on Sunday. That includes Washington, but the concerns there are less than in some other spots. The current forecast calls for between a 20 and 30 percent chance of precipitation at game time.
That’s not enough to scare me off Scherzer. He continues to be one of the best pitchers in baseball, and he’s pitched to a 2.27 ERA and 12.08 K/9 in 2021. He has an elite matchup vs. the Brewers, who have posted the fifth-highest strikeout rate in the league against right-handers this season. They also rank 29th in wRC+ vs. right-handers, and their implied team total of 3.2 runs is tied for the lowest mark on the slate.
Other Options – Brandon Woodruff ($10,100), Lucas Giolito ($9,600)
Tyler Mahle, Cincinnati Reds @ Chicago Cubs ($7,900) – No value pitcher really stands out on Sunday from a Vegas perspective, but Mahle is underpriced given his strikeout upside. He posted a K/9 of 11.33 last season, and he’s followed that up with a K/9 of 10.01 through his first 10 starts in 2021. The Cubs’ projected lineup has been one of the easiest in baseball to strike out over the past 12 months, posting a 31.7% K rate against right-handed pitchers.
Other Options – Blake Snell ($9,100), Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,500)
Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals @ Minnesota Twins ($4,800) – Perez has become one of the best offensive catchers in the league. He’s crushed against right-handed pitching over the past 12 months, posting a .410 wOBA and .279 ISO, and he’s posted a 131 wRC+ in those matchups this season. He’s facing a mediocre right-hander on Sunday in Matt Shoemaker ($5,300), who has pitched to a 5.48 ERA and 6.04 FIP so far this season.
Other Options – Gary Sanchez ($4,300), Mitch Garver ($4,200)
Tyler Stephenson, Cincinnati Reds @ Chicago Cubs ($3,400) – Stephenson is still making a name for himself in the big leagues, but he was considered a top 100 prospect heading into the season. He crushed the ball in limited playing time last season, and he’s posted a respectable 99 wRC+ so far this year. He’s batting cleanup on Sunday for the Reds, which makes him a viable target at $3,400.
Other Options – Zack Collins ($3,900), Tucker Barnhart ($3,700)
Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($6,200) – This is definitely a bit pricy for Abreu, but there’s a lot to like about him on Sunday. The White Sox are currently implied for 4.9 runs, which is the third-highest mark on the slate, and Abreu will be on the positive side of his splits against left-hander Keegan Akin ($4,200). Abreu has absolutely smashed against southpaws over the past 12 months, posting a .410 wOBA and .380 ISO. He’s displayed even more power in those matchups so far this season, posting a .436 ISO over 45 plate appearances.
Other Options – Yuli Gurriel ($4,300; questionable), Carlos Santana ($4,100)
Andrew Vaughn, Chicago White Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($3,100) – If you’re looking to go cheaper with the White Sox, consider Vaughn. He’s expected to bat toward the bottom of the White Sox lineup, but he has been a menace against left-handers to start the year. He’s posted a .448 wOBA and .385 ISO, which is outstanding considering this is his first season in the majors.
Other Options – Miguel Sano ($3,700), Rowdy Tellez ($2,700)
D.J. LeMahieu, New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers ($4,800) – The Yankees are another team who are expected to hit well on Sunday. Their implied team total of 5.0 runs ranks second on the slate, and they’re taking on left-hander Tarik Skubal ($6,000). Skubal has displayed nice strikeout upside in the majors, but he’s also struggled mightily with walks and home runs allowed. Add it all up, and he’s pitched to a 6.31 FIP in 2021.
LeMahieu is someone who should fare well in this matchup. He’s posted a .393 wOBA against southpaws over the past 12 months, and Skubal has pitched to a 7.20 FIP against right-handed batters.
Other Options – Whit Merrifield ($5,200), Jose Altuve ($4,600)
Cesar Hernandez, Cleveland Indians vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($3,300) – Second base is one of the weaker positions on the slate from a value perspective. Hernandez isn’t a particularly impressive hitter, but he is expected to bat leadoff at a pretty cheap price tag. That’s enough to make him a viable option.
Other Options – Adam Frazier ($4,100), Harold Castro ($2,900)
Alex Bregman, Houston Astros vs. San Diego Padres ($4,600) – Bregman is an interesting option on Sunday. He’s priced down due to a perceived tough matchup vs. Blake Snell ($9,100), but Snell has not been good to start the year. He’s pitched to a 4.50 ERA and 4.12 FIP, and right-handed batters have posted a .391 wOBA against him. Bregman is one of the best hitters in the league against left-handed pitching, so I am not afraid to use him in this matchup.
Other Options – Jose Ramirez ($4,900), Eugenio Suarez ($4,100)
Josh Donaldson, Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals ($3,800) – The Twins are currently implied for 5.1 runs vs. right-hander Brad Keller ($5,500), which is the top mark on today’s slate. Donaldson is expected to bat second at just $3,800, which is enough to make him an excellent option at third base. The fact that Donaldson is an awesome hitter doesn’t hurt either. He’s posted a 132 wRC+ against right-handers so far this season.
Other Options – Gio Urshela ($3,900), Alec Bohm ($3,100)
Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($5,500) – Not only is Anderson one of the most fun players in all of baseball, but he’s also an elite hitter against left-handed pitching. He’s posted a ridiculous .527 wOBA and .351 ISO against southpaws over the past 12 months, so I have no problem paying up for him vs. Akin. In fact, loading up Chicago’s right-handed bats is probably my favorite stack on the slate.
Other Options – Fernando Tatis Jr. ($5,800), Bo Bichette ($5,100)
Adalberto Mondesi, Kansas City Royals @ Minnesota Twins ($3,600) – Mondesi got a late start to the season for the Royals, but he’s scored at least 8.0 DKFP in three of his first five games. He’s already racked up one homer and one stolen base over that time frame and his ability to hit for power and steal bases is extremely tantalizing for DFS purposes. He finished the second half of 2020 on a major heater, racking up six homers and 18 steals over 31 games, and he has the potential to be one of the best fantasy shortstops in the league if he can sustain that level of production moving forward.
Other Options – Gleyber Torres ($4,300), Amed Rosario ($3,400)
Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers ($4,300) – Stanton has struggled since returning to the Yankees’ lineup following a stint on the IL, but his numbers for the season are still very impressive. His Statcast data has been some of the best in baseball, including a 65.2% hard-hit rate and an 18.5% barrel rate. He has historically done his best work against left-handed pitching, so this feels like an elite spot to buy low on him.
Other Options – Aaron Judge ($5,800), Nelson Cruz ($5,000)
Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals ($4,000) – Kirilloff entered the year as the No. 16 overall prospect in baseball, and he has done nothing so far to diminish his reputation. He got off to a bit of a rough start, but he’s posted a 116 wRC+ during the month of May. He’s expected to bat third today for the Twins against Keller, and I like his prospects in that matchup.
Other Options – Andrew Benintendi ($3,500), Kyle Garlick ($2,900)
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