Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
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Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($11,000) – The Brewers have come seemingly out of nowhere to possess one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. That includes Burnes, who has pitched to a sparkling 1.17 FIP through his first nine starts this season. He’s averaged nearly 14 strikeouts per nine innings, and opposing batters have managed just a 26.4% hard-hit rate when they have managed to make contact. That’s a filthy combination.
He takes the mound in a nice spot on Sunday. The Diamondbacks rank just 25th in wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers this season, and their implied team total of 3.0 runs is the top mark on the slate. Burnes is also the largest favorite on the slate at -221, so he checks all the boxes.
Other Options – Trevor Bauer ($10,700), Dylan Cease ($9,400)
Chad Kuhl, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Miami Marlins ($5,800) – Kuhl is not a particularly good pitcher – there’s a reason he’s priced at just $5,800 – but he does have some strikeout ability. He’s posted a K/9 of at least 8.12 in each of the past four seasons, which gives him some sneaky upside Sunday vs. the Marlins. They’ve struck out at the fifth-highest rate in the league against right-handed pitchers this season, and their projected lineup owns a ridiculous 35.5% strikeout rate against right-handers over the past 12 months.
Other Options – Max Fried ($7,200), Dane Dunning ($4,900)
Yasmani Grandal, Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers ($4,800) – The White Sox stand out as the clear top offense on today’s slate. They lead all teams with an implied team total of 5.4 runs, and they have two stud catcher options to consider in Grandal and Yermin Mercedes ($4,900). However, opposing pitcher Jose Urena ($6,500) has been far worse against left-handed batters than right-handed batters so far this season. Opposing LHB have posted a .351 wOBA, while RHB have struggled to a .285 wOBA. That gives Grandal the clear edge for me.
Other Options – Salvador Perez ($5,000), J.T. Realmuto ($4,700)
Tyler Stephenson, Cincinnati Reds @ St. Louis Cardinals ($3,100) – 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 started to heat up recently. He’s scored at least 6.0 DKFP in five of his past seven games, and he’s posted a 198 wRC+ in June. Stephenson is also expected to bat cleanup at just $3,100, which is an excellent combination for the catcher position.
Other Options – Manny Pina ($3,700), Martin Maldonado ($2,700)
Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds ($4,400) – Goldschmidt has had a quiet start to his 2021 season, but he has historically been one of the best hitters in baseball against left-handed pitching. He posted a 181 wRC+ in those matchups last season, and he’s averaged 10.65 DKFP per game when facing a left-hander dating back to 2014. He’ll be facing a left-hander on Sunday in Wade Miley ($7,400), so Goldschmidt has appeal at just $4,400.
Other Options – Jose Abreu ($5,400), Alex Kirilloff ($4,500)
Carlos Santana, Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins ($4,100) – The Royals are taking on Bailey Ober ($4,000) on Sunday, who will be making just the second start of his major league career. He was roughed up in his first outing, allowing four earned runs and two homers in just four innings. The Royals are currently implied for 5.1 runs vs. Ober, which is the second-highest mark on the slate. Santana has quietly had an excellent season at the dish, so I like his chances in this matchup.
Other Options – Miguel Sano ($4,100), Rowdy Tellez ($3,300)
Jose Altuve, Houston Astros @ Toronto Blue Jays ($5,400) – Trash cans or not, the Astros continue to rake against left-handed pitchers. They rank second in wRC+ vs. southpaws in 2021, and Altuve has been a big part of their success. He’s posted a 137 wRC+ against left-handers this season.
The Astros will be facing left-hander Steven Matz ($8,100) on Sunday, and he’s fallen back to reality after a great start to the year. He’s been fantastic against left-handed batters, but he’s had some trouble against righties. That bodes well for Altuve and the rest of the Astros’ lineup, which is heavy on right-handed bats.
Other Options – Whit Merrifield ($5,300), Brandon Lowe ($4,900)
Luis Urias, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($3,400) – No one thought that the Brewers’ hitting would be their big problem this season, but that’s exactly what’s happened. They rank just 22nd in runs per game, but they’ve still found plenty of success thanks to their dominant pitching staff.
Urias is expected to bat leadoff for the Brewers on Sunday, and he’s had some success against left-handed pitchers this season. He’s posted a 106 wRC+, and while that doesn’t jump off the page, it’s good enough considering his lineup spot and salary.
Other Options – Josh Harrison ($3,500), Jonathan India ($3,300)
Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians @ Baltimore Orioles ($5,000) – This is a pretty cheap price tag for Ramirez given how good he’s been against right-handers this season. He’s posted a 155 wRC+, and he’s already clubbed 11 home runs vs. right-handed pitching. Opposing pitcher Jorge Lopez ($5,200) has actually been better against LHB than RHB this season, but Ramirez still has the edge in this matchup.
Other Options – Alex Bregman ($5,500), Yoan Moncada ($5,400)
Hunter Dozier, Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins ($3,300) – Dozier is a cheap way to get exposure to the Royals on Sunday. He’s struggled at the plate to start the year, but he has historically been a solid hitter as well. He hit 26 homers back in 2019, and he’s posted a career-best 44.2% hard-hit rate so far this season. As long as he keeps making that kind of contact, his results should improve.
Other Options – Justin Turner ($4,400), Kelvin Gutierrez ($2,300)
Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Houston Astros ($4,800) – Bichette should simply never be priced below $5,000. He’s been slumping a bit recently, but he possesses one of the highest ceilings in fantasy given his skill set. He has the ability to hit for power and steal bases, and players who can do both are becoming exceedingly rare.
He’s taking on Luis H. Garcia ($8,900) on Sunday, who looks like a prime regression candidate moving forward. He’s pitched well to start the year, but his 4.15 xFIP is more than a full run higher than his traditional ERA.
Other Options – Tim Anderson ($5,000), Carlos Correa ($4,500)
Jose Devers, Miami Marlins @ Pittsburgh Pirates ($2,500) – I am a sucker for a cheap leadoff hitter, and Devers is expected to fill that role for the Marlins on Sunday. He’s batted leadoff in each of the Marlins past two games, and he had two doubles in Friday’s contest vs. the Pirates. Rafael Devers is also his cousin, which is worth nothing in DFS but is kind of cool. I wish I had a cousin who played professional baseball.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Jose Devers is not in the starting lineup for today’s game.
Other Options – Willy Adames ($4,000), Amed Rosario ($3,900)
Juan Soto, Washington Nationals @ Philadelphia Phillies ($5,200) – I am going to continue to buy low on Soto at every opportunity. His numbers are still very strong against right-handed pitchers this season – he’s posted a 132 wRC+ — but they’re still paltry compared to his marks from last season. Vince Velasquez ($8,300) has surrendered a .360 wOBA to opposing LHB this season, so this seems like a great spot for Soto’s renaissance to begin.
Other Options – Christian Yelich ($5,400), Adam Eaton ($4,400)
Cedric Mullins, Baltimore Orioles vs. Cleveland Indians ($4,000) – The Orioles could be a sneaky stack option on Sunday. They’re currently implied for 4.8 runs, which is tied for the fourth-highest mark on the slate. They’re also very affordable. Mullins is one of only two batters in their projected lineup who is priced above $3,700, and Mullins still seems very affordable given his numbers this season. He’s raked against right-handed pitchers, posting a 158 wRC+, and he’ll be taking on a right-hander in Cal Quantrill ($5,700).
Other Options – Andrew Benintendi ($3,600), Kyle Garlick ($3,000)
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