Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
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Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians vs. Seattle Mariners ($11,000) – Bieber stands out as the easy top choice at pitcher. He hasn’t been quite as dominant as he was last season, but his numbers are still excellent. He’s pitched to a 2.96 ERA and a 12.92 K/9, and he’s in a great spot Sunday vs. the Mariners. They’ve struggled against right-handers this season, ranking 24th in wRC+ and fifth in strikeout rate, and their implied team total of 3.0 runs is the lowest mark on the slate. Bieber is also a sizable -225 favorite, so he checks a lot of boxes on Sunday.
Other Options – Carlos Rodon ($10,200), Aaron Nola ($9,600)
Pablo Lopez, Miami Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves ($8,700) – Lopez has quietly blossomed into the Marlins’ ace over the past two seasons. He pitched to a 3.61 ERA last season, and he’s lowered that mark to 2.76 in 2021. He’s also striking out more than a batter per inning, which gives him some upside in that department, as well. The Braves own the eighth-highest strikeout rate vs. southpaws this season, and their implied team total of 3.6 runs is tied for the third-lowest mark on the slate. Add it all up, and Lopez is underpriced at $8,700.
Other Options – Framber Valdez ($8,200), Drew Smyly ($6,000)
Yasmani Grandal, Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers ($4,700) – The White Sox have done damage offensively all year, and they’re in a fantastic spot on Sunday. They’re taking on Kyle Funkhouser ($4,000), who will be making the first start of his MLB career. He’s been OK out of the bullpen this season, but he pitched to a 7.27 ERA over 17 1/3 innings in 2020. Funkhouser is projected to spearhead a bullpen game for the Tigers, and the Tigers own the third-highest bullpen ERA in the league this season.
Grandal is having another excellent year at the plate, posting a 140 wRC+ through his first 45 games. His numbers are better against left-handers than right-handers, but we’re not entirely sure who Grandal will see the majority of his bats against. Regardless, he owns an above-average wRC+ in both splits, particularly at the catcher position.
Other Options – J.T. Realmuto ($4,900), Omar Narvaez ($4,300)
Tucker Barnhart, Cincinnati Reds vs. Colorado Rockies ($3,700) – The Reds have a pair of strong offensive catchers in Barnhart and Tyler Stephenson, but Barnhart will be behind the dish on Sunday. They’re taking on a right-handed pitcher in Antonio Senzatela ($6,300), which gives Barnhart the advantage as a left-handed batter. He’s posted a 123 wRC+ in that split this season.
Other Options – Christian Vazquez ($3,700), Riley Adams ($2,000)
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays @ Boston Red Sox ($5,000) – This price tag makes absolutely no sense. Guerrero has raked this season, posting a 200 wRC+ while leading the league with 20 homers. The Blue Jays are also implied for 5.3 runs vs. left-hander Martin Perez ($7,700), which is tied for the second-highest mark on the slate. He deserves to be priced closer to $6,000, so let’s take advantage while we can.
Other Options – Jose Abreu ($5,300), Joey Votto ($4,600)
Dan Vogelbach, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,000) – I call this guy Vogelbombs because he’s always swinging for the fences. He hasn’t displayed quite as much power this season as he has in the past, but he has started to heat up recently. He’s gone yard in two of his past four games, and he definitely has the potential to do it again vs. right-hander Wil Crowe ($6,900). Crowe has allowed an average of more than two homers per nine innings so far this season, and he’s pitched to a 6.08 xFIP against left-handed batters in particular.
Other Options – Yuli Gurriel ($4,200), Yandy Diaz ($3,200)
Jonathan India, Cincinnati Reds vs. Colorado Rockies ($4,600) – India has taken over as the Reds’ leadoff hitter recently, and he’s done an admirable job in that spot. He’s in his rookie season, but he’s posted a 110 wRC+ when hitting out of the leadoff spot this season. He’s been basically equally good against both right- and left-handed pitchers, so I have no problem using him against Senzatela.
Other Options – Jose Altuve ($5,300), Marcus Semien ($5,100)
Luis Urias, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,100) – Like India, Urias has also served as his team’s leadoff hitter of late. He isn’t a household name yet, but Urias was ranked as the No. 24 overall prospect according to FanGraphs back in 2019. He’s fared well hitting out of the leadoff spot this season, posting a 116 wRC+. The Brewers are another offense implied for 5.3 runs on today’s slate, so they’re an appealing team to target.
Other Options – Jean Segura ($3,900), Mike Brosseau ($3,400)
Yoan Moncada, Chicago White Sox @ Detroit Tigers ($5,100) – Moncada was once considered the top prospect in baseball, and he was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Chris Sale to the Red Sox. He hasn’t exactly reached those heights in the majors, but he has developed into a strong hitter. He bats from both sides of the plate, but the majority of his success has come against right-handed pitchers. He’s posted a 148 wRC+ in that split, which makes him an appealing target vs. Funkhouser and the rest of the Tigers’ bullpen.
Other Options – Alex Bregman ($5,300), Eugenio Suarez ($4,800)
Alec Bohm, Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees ($2,600) – I just can’t quit Bohm. He hasn’t hit at all this season, but he was sensational in his first taste of MLB action in 2020. He’s also raked at every level in the minor leagues, so I’m expecting his bat to heat up eventually. He has managed to record at least one hit in each of his past four games, so perhaps he’s starting to turn a corner.
Other Options – Mike Brosseau ($3,400), Jace Peterson ($3,000)
Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies @ Cincinnati Reds ($4,900) – Story has played just three games since returning to the lineup, and he’s gone just 1-for-10 over that time frame. That said, he’s worth some consideration on Sunday vs. Reds right-hander Tony Santillan ($5,500). Santillan will be making his first major league appearance, and while he’s pitched well in Triple-A this season, he’s not considered a big-time prospect for the Reds. The Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati is also one of the few venues that can match Coors Field in terms of offensive output, ranking as the second-most hitter-friendly location, per ESPN’s Park Factors.
Other Options – Xander Bogaerts ($5,400; questionable), Bo Bichette ($5,000)
Amed Rosario, Cleveland Indians vs. Seattle Mariners ($3,800) – Rosario is having the best season of his career at the plate in his first year with Cleveland. That isn’t saying much – he never posted a wRC+ of better than 99 with the Mets – but he’s displayed a much better eye at the plate this season. His walk rate has increased to a career-best 7.3%, while his strikeout rate is down to a career-low 18.4%. Being more selective has allowed him to do more damage when he does make contact. He’s posted a 41.4% hard-hit rate this season, which represents another career-best. He’s a bit underpriced against Logan Gilbert ($6,700), who has pitched to a 4.98 ERA this season.
Other Options – Jorge Polanco ($4,300), Kyle Farmer ($3,300)
Jesse Winker, Cincinnati Reds vs. Colorado Rockies ($5,900) – Winker has always been able to hit right-handed pitching, but he’s taken his game to another level this season. He’s been insanely good in those matchups, posting a 207 wRC+, and 16 of his 17 homers have come in those matchups, as well. Don’t be surprised if he hits a homer or two against Senzatela.
Other Options – Christian Yelich ($6,100), Nick Castellanos ($5,200)
Brian Goodwin, Chicago White Sox @ Detroit Tigers ($2,600) – There are some awesome value options in the outfield on Sunday, but it’s hard to look past Goodwin. Not only does he play for the team with the highest implied team total, but he’s also expected to bat second in the lineup at just $2,600. Ultimately, that combination is just too good to pass up.
Other Options – Yordan Alvarez ($4,100), Leury Garcia ($3,300), Michael Brantley ($3,200)
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