Welcome to our MLB Daily Fantasy Breakdown! Today, we have a nice slate of Sunday baseball.
I’m really happy that FanDuel is starting to break Sunday down a little better. The all day slate is great in theory, except when only 10 teams have lineups out by lock. This gives players who are less comfortable with the risk the opportunity to play with more comfort.
Today, we will break everything down position by position. If you like what you see, don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter @researchandwin and let us know we helped you or yell at us for leading you down the wrong path.
With that out of the way, let’s move on to the picks:
CLAYTON KERSHAW – It’s that day of the week where we can just plug and play away with Kershaw on the mound. He is in prime time tonight, and I always like to roster a guy in the late game so I have some action all day. The Mets strikeout a lot, and they are definitely better against righties than lefties. In cash games, there is no reason to go any other way with Kershaw on the mount. In tournaments, I could see maybe moving off of him, but still, way too many times the winning tournament lineup has Kershaw in it.
DREW POMERANZ – Pomeranz isn’t going to get a ton of love because he pitchers for a bad team and is in a hitter’s environment. Archie Bradley is the pitching competition today, and that bodes well for the Padre offense. If that is the case, that bodes well for Pomeranz’s chance at a win today. The Diamondbacks showed they could be shut down, by Christian Friedrich none the less, so Pomeranz to me offers a nice low owned, high upside play tonight.
JULIO TEHERAN – I love Julio Teheran at home, and against a team that doesn’t have a lot of lefties to worry about. If Stanton and Yelich don’t play, which it appears as if they won’t, Teheran could challenge for top pitcher of the night and a better point per dollar play IF IF IF the Braves offense can put anything together in terms of run support.
JONATHAN LUCROY – How can you ignore Lucroy at this point? He has been our top catching option the last two nights, and nothing has changed in terms of matchup. Brandon Finnegan has given up almost double digit homeruns on the year, and this is a team that can hit them. Without question, Lucroy makes for a high upside cash game play, and his price isn’t unreasonable yet.
BRIAN MCCANN – McCann gets a good matchup, but he also has a strong history against Odorizzi. He makes a bit of a cheaper play than Lucroy, but I’m really only going to go there if Lucroy ends up sitting for the day. It isn’t a sexy play, but I prefer to either spend up on catcher, or dig the bottom of the barrel.
DAVID ORTIZ – First base is a position I want to spend up on today, but considering the pitcher, you may need to spend down on. Ortiz has been tearing through the league this year, and today gets a perfect matchup against R.A. Dickey. This Red Sox team has been terrorizing baseball this year, and today should be no different.
ANTHONY RIZZO – If you were inclined to spend down today a bit, Anthony Rizzo makes a nice tournament option. He is under 4k, hitting in his home park, and gets a pitcher he could definitely take advantage of. He has been very bad in his last dozen or so games, but all that matters is today.
KELBY TOMLINSON – Yes, I am advocating Kelby Tomlinson today. The answer is very simple: you will need cheap bats to fit in Kershaw. Tomlinson is in an ideal environment in Coors and gets a lefty, so he should almost certainly be in the lineup. He is a cheap option to have some exposure to Coors today.
DEVIN TRAVIS – For me, though, I’m going to have to go with Devin Travis at the position. He is just above minimum price, batting fifth and going against David Price. Typically, one of those things, Price, would cause concern, but honestly, he hasn’t played as I thought he would have this year, so I have no problem rolling out Travis who should be in a prime position to pick up some RBI’s.
HERNAN PEREZ – Perez was absent from the lineup yesterday, but should be back in today. The Brewers are expected to score just shy of five runs, so you’ll want some exposure. I will be looking to Perez, who should be batting second, with Villar ahead, and Braun, Lucroy and Carter behind. That is enough to get me on board, and at his price, in a matchup where he could pretty easily see double digit points, makes him a cash game lock for me.
JOSH DONALDSON – In truth, I really want to lock Donaldson in today, but with some other plays I really want to make, it will be very, very hard. He is priced under 4k, against a lefty and is one of the best hitters in the game against lefties. I will have ample exposure to him in my tournament lineups [I feel like today an Ortiz/Machado/Donaldson core might take a tournament down].
MANNY MACHADO – I love this matchup for Machado today, who appears to have found his swing again. He gets Mike Clevinger and wind blowing out to center field. If a homerun isn’t in the cards today, I would have to believe an extra base hit or two is. He is my overall top hitter of the day.
XANDER BOGAERTS – Bogaerts is not only on a team expected to score just shy of five runs, but also has an outstanding history against Dickey. This is especially important for knuckleballers, as if a strong argument can be made that BvP means more against this type of pitcher due to the intricacies of the knuckleball. He’s a great option today.
MARK TRUMBO – For whatever reason, I always like to play Trumbo and Machado together. They are in some ways very similar in terms of how they handle right handed pitching. I like the idea of getting exposure to both tonight, and Trumbo is really exercising his power to start the year out. He gets a very good matchup today, batting in the heart of the order.
RYAN RUA – Rua is in the six spot today against Francisco Liriano, who has really been an on and off pitcher this year. Rua is a cheap option tonight and as we’ve said repetitively, we need those in order to fit Kershaw in.
IAN DESMOND – From one Ranger to another, we need to mention the white hot Ian Desmond. Desmond has continued to knock the ball around and be a vital part of this Rangers offense, and will be hitting at the top of the order again today. He should see five at bats, and has a great chance to get one out of the park tonight.
MATT SZCZUR – I get it, the name isn’t great and most probably don’t even know who Matt Szczur is. He is hitting ninth [bleh] on a team expected to score just shy of six runs! Unless Vincent Velasquez is pitching lights out, this means that Szczur could find himself batting in front of guys like Fowler, Heyward, Bryant and so on. If he can get on base, which he has done well to start the 2016 season, he could be a low priced, low owned piece of a six run team.
MELVIN UPTON – Matt Kemp is just a bit cheaper, and has preformed better over this series, but that doesn’t mean we should sleep on Upton. Thus far, Upton has been more consistent than Kemp, and Archie Bradley is going to give up runs in this game. The 1-4 in this order is another of my favorite stacks for a team that wouldn’t surprise me if they had the highest scoring offense on the night.