Sunday features an eight-game MLB main slate, and the action on DraftKings gets underway at 1:35 p.m. ET. Let’s look at the infield and outfield options and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
Max Fried, Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins ($9,200) — This one doesn’t require too much thought. One of the best pitchers in baseball is facing one of the worst offenses in baseball. Fried has a 2.86 xFIP, 40% O-Swing rate, 13% swinging strike rate and 23% K rate. The strikeout rate should actually be higher based on the swing and misses, but Fried is frugal with his pitches. He stays in the zone. This limits walks (4% BB rate) and allows for him to pitch deeper into games (55 innings pitched — 12th best). His pitch count austerity opens him up to hard contact because he lives in the zone (32% hard contact), but he also limits fly balls (27%). Finally, Miami is terrible against right-handed pitching — 78 wRC+, .273 wOBA, .125 ISO and 31% K rate.
Other Option — Sonny Gray ($8,200)
Kyle Freeland, Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals ($6,100) — Getting out of Colorado is always good for a Rockies pitcher. Although Freeland is a ground ball pitcher (29% fly ball rate), nearly all of those 29% have been hits in Coors. Pitching in Washington and against Washington is a major relief for Freeland and his .349 BABIP. At home in Coors Field, Freeland has only allowed three home runs, but he’s surrendered 12 doubles (Coors is a home run friendly park, but it’s often overlooked how the big alleys boost doubles). On the road, Freeland has allowed two earned runs in 15.1 innings (2.97 xFIP). Washington has a 79 wRC+, .283 wOBA, .073 ISO and 25% hard contact rate against right-handed pitching.
Other Option — Nick Pivetta ($7,800)
José Ramírez, Cleveland Guardians at Detroit Tigers ($5,600) — Again, not a lot of thought needed for this one. One of the best hitters in baseball is taking on a young pitcher that is still trying to figure things out. Ramírez has a .467 wOBA, .342 ISO and 217 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. In a small sample size, Elvin Rodriguez has struggled against left-handed batters — .440 wOBA, .300 ISO and 3.9 HR/9. It’s only been two appearances but these struggles are normal for all young pitchers
Patrick Wisdom, Chicago Cubs at Chicago White Sox ($4,500) — By now, everyone knows who Wisdom is. In 2021, he was the archetypal power hitter with the Casey Jones approach — home run or strikeout. Against right-handed pitching, he has a .229 ISO and 42% hard contact rate. Dylan Cease ($9,800) is elite, but the hard throwing pitcher allows hard contact to right-handed batters — .220 ISO, 1.8 HR/9 and a 48% fly ball rate.
Other Options — Trevor Story ($5,700), José Abreu ($4,500)
Josh Naylor, Cleveland Guardians at Detroit Tigers ($3,200) — Elvin Rodriguez may be a star someday and he may not — Tigers No. 19 prospect. Whether or not that day comes, does not matter because on Sunday, he is still a struggling young prospect. Naylor has a .420 wOBA, .290 ISO, 183 wRC+ and a 12% K rate against right-handed pitching.
Ramón Urías, Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox ($3,200) — Over the last week, Urías has a .550 wOBA, .263 ISO and 9% K rate. Last season, Urías put together several hot streaks and plenty of cold streaks. Now is the time to strike. He provides salary relief and multi-position eligibility. He’s also been a much better hitter on the road this season (.357 wOBA on the road, .228 wOBA at home).
Other Options — Andrew Vaughn ($3,500)
J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($5,400) — Even hotter than Ramón is J.D. Over the last week, Martinez has a .610 wOBA (11 hits and 10 runs). Against left-handed pitching, he has a .469 wOBA and .214 ISO. Bruce Zimmermann ($5,500) has been decent this season, but the wheels have started to fall off the wagon over his last two starts (nine earned runs). With a 16% K rate against right-handed batters, it was only a matter of time. Right-handed batters have a .348 wOBA, .200 ISO and 1.6 HR/9 vs. Zimmermann.
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays ($5,900) — His matchup isn’t great, but most of the outfield options on this slate are in nonpreferred matchups. If the matchups aren’t great, then take the best bat. Judge has 32 barrels and a 63% hard-hit rate (96 mph average exit velocity). His traditional stats and advanced stats are out of this world — .478 xwOBA, .440 wOBA, .359 ISO and a 198 wRC+.
Other Options — Byron Buxton ($5,800)
Tyrone Taylor, Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($2,500) — His salary has not caught up to his hitting. Taylor has eight hits, eight RBIs and two home runs over the last week — 58% of his contact has been hard with an average exit velocity of 93.4 mph and a launch angle of 21.1 degrees. In 93 games as a rookie last season, he had a .333 wOBA and .210 ISO.
Kiké Hernández, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($3,700) — Pick on Bruce Zimmermann with the lefty specialist. Kike has always hit lefties well, especially bad ones. Over his nine-year career, he has a .351 wOBA, .216 ISO and 122 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. This season hasn’t been much different — .366 wOBA, .233 ISO and a 140 wRC+.
Other Options — Kevin Kiermaier ($3,500)
TEAMS TO STACK
Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals — Josiah Gray ($7,300) is one of the worst pitchers on the slate. The problem is that the Rockies have one of the worst lineups on the slate, and they’re notorious for their struggles outside of Coors Field. That’s not the only problem, the Rockies are not cheap either. This stack could go low owned. The Dodgers’ former No. 1 prospect, Josiah Gray, has allowed a .438 wOBA, .355 ISO, 38% hard contact rate and 3.1 HR/9 to left-handed batters. He’s been better against right-handed batters, but he’s still giving up big hits — .202 ISO, 35% hard contact and 1.7 HR/9. Ryan McMahon ($5,100) and Charlie Blackmon ($4,900) are the left-handed bats that should be in most stacks. Yonathan Daza ($3,600) provides salary relief, and he’s been a good hitter outside of Coors (.378 wOBA and a 143 wRC+).
Chicago White Sox vs. Chicago Cubs — Marcus Stroman ($7,800) is off to a great start this season. He’s going around five or more innings in each game, and he’s only allowed more than two runs in one of his six starts. Look closer at those six starts. He hasn’t faced anyone. Each team ranks in the bottom half of the league in wRC+. Most DFS players will ignore this stat and it is one of the reasons that this stack could fly under the radar. Another reason for low ownership is that this lineup has disappointed so far this season, but that has suppressed their salaries. José Abreu ($4,500) and Tim Anderson ($5,200) are no-brainers in this stack. They are killing the ball lately. Over the last week, Abreu has a .569 wOBA and Anderson has a .510 wOBA. Andrew Vaughn ($3,500) is still affordable, but not for long because he’s on a heater himself — .458 wOBA over the last week. Adam Engel ($2,000) hasn’t been great, but he’s played much better than his salary indicates and provides salary flexibility.
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