Welcome to our MLB Daily Fantasy Breakdown! Today, we have a nice slate of Sunday baseball.
As usual, the bigger money is on the earlier part of the slate, so that is where the focus will be for the most part. It looks like we have some nice options at all levels for pitching, and the hitting looks to be in pretty good position as well. Let’s make tonight a good one, as there are a number of great contests that are being offered on FanDuel. If you don’t have an account, use our link to sign up for FanDuel.
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. Also, make sure to check out our baseball research portal by clicking on this sentence.
With that out of the way, let’s move on to the picks:
NOAH SYNDERGAARD – In what has been a pretty crazy season, I can’t remember when the last time I suggested Syndergaard. It has to have been months. He was a staple earlier in the year, but lately, I find myself moving past the Mets pitching options. Honestly, it seems like their opponents in this game, the Rockies, might have a better pitching staff in recent memory. Still, this is a young man with a great deal of talent, and while the Rockies are a strong offense, they can just as easily be shut down. He’s priced fairly, and is at home for this one, so I feel a little more comfortable. I think he’s my top cash game play today.
MICHAEL PINEDA – OK, so we’ve got two straight games of good Pineda, and he has a really nice matchup against the Rays, who just don’t hit right-handed pitching well. There is always a pretty big risk with him, and the Rays have been hitting other right-handers in this series well, so I am a little bit on edge. Ultimately, there aren’t a ton of guys who have double-digit strikeout upside, and that is what you are going to need to win a tournament. He’s $9k and $9.9k respectively between FanDuel and DraftKings, and I think those are both good prices.
BLAKE SNELL – Snell made his major league debut against these Yankees, and had a pretty good showing in the process. We’ve seen some upside out of him, and while the Yankees don’t always strike out a ton, they can be put on edge, and if they are, the strikeouts will come. I think I do favor the Pineda side of the matchup a little bit more, but if you want to be slightly contrarian, I think Snell makes sense, as most people will go to Pineda.
JASON CASTRO – Today, I am punting the catcher position. There are two guys I really like in tournaments. The first is Jason Castro, who gets a nice matchup against Mike Pelfrey. We know Pelfrey is a gas can, and this Astros lineup is not one to take lightly. I suspect Castro will be looked over for his teammate, Evan Gattis, but Pelfrey has been a bit worse against lefties, which makes me look Castro’s way. He has no floor, but does have a pretty big ceiling.
MIKE ZUNINO – Punt number two on the day would be Mike Zunino, who historically has been a poor hitter, but sure does have a lot of power. Brian Matusz will be making a spot start today for the Cubs, and that means I’m going to be looking at the Mariners, especially the righties. Zunino costs you practically nothing, and if he can get ahold of one, he’ll pay over his salary easily.
JOEY VOTTO – Votto has been a man possessed coming out of the All-Star break, and today, he will get a matchup against Paul Clemens. I cannot fathom a way that Clemons is able to get around Votto. At this point, his floor in this matchup is just into double-digits, and his ceiling is well into double-digits. He’s the most expensive option on both sites, but it is well warranted.
DAVID FREESE – If you are looking for someone that should carry little to no ownership, I would look to Freese. He is priced more on FanDuel than DraftKings, which is saying something, as the pricing on DK is usually tighter. Freese comes in as our seventh best matchup for first basemen, but it is behind a few guys with limited action, so it’s really like third. He could very well have a nice game and carry low ownership, making him an excellent tournament option.
BRIAN DOZIER – Dozier is a pretty easy choice as the top play at second base tonight. He has been excellent against left-handed pitching on the year, and Carlos Rodon has struggled with right-handed batters all year, when not injured. Sometimes, it is just as simple as that. He will cost you, but he is also likely to return a good result.
JURICKSON PROFAR – Profar should be in the lineup, and is way too cheap on FanDuel to not make your lineup. At just $2.6k, he should be able to put together a nice outing, and let you spend up elsewhere to enhance your lineup. I will probably have as much exposure to him as I do to Dozier is my tournament lineups.
JAKE LAMB – Lamb has been pretty cold at the plate as of late, but we’ll hope that a matchup with Bud Norris will wake his bat up. Norris has been giving it up to lefties, especially as of late, and Lamb has been excellent in general this year, but especially against right-handed pitching. He is priced fairly for the upside he brings to the table.
EVAN LONGORIA – Longoria is an excellent tournament play today, especially on DraftKings, where he is $3.9k. That is very cheap considering Pineda has some struggles with home runs, and Longoria has hit his fair share of them thus far on the year. I think he is likely to be under-owned everywhere, and makes an excellent differentiation play.
ALEDMYS DIAZ – Somewhat surprisingly, Diaz did not see the lineup on Saturday, so we can almost be sure that he will be in today. It will be interesting to see how Andrew Cashner does in Miami, but he will face a tough initial test against the Cardinals. Diaz has done well against right-handers this year, and I don’t see why that would change tonight.
JONATHAN VILLAR – Villar is sitting at a nice price for today’s matchup against Francisco Liriano. Villar has been one of my favorites all year, because he does so much that can help you earn fantasy points. I like guys that have some pop in their bat and can steal bags, which is all a part of Villar’s appeal. I will have a lot of him today.
NELSON CRUZ – Well, if I mentioned Mike Zunino as a good play against a lefty, what does that make Cruz? For one, dramatically underpriced on DraftKings. It looks like there are about 20-25 guys priced ahead of him, which means he will be very, very heavily owned today. This could be a situation where it could be dangerous to fade, as we know how good Cruz can be against lefties.
FRANKLING GUTIERREZ – If Cruz is too cheap, I don’t know what the heck to say about Gutierrez. He’s been really good in these matchups against left-handers this year, and he’ll usually bat second. He’s priced very, very cheap on both sites, and will likely see high volume of ownership as well.
ADAM DUVALL – Duvall is still priced very fairly on both sites, and gets an excellent matchup today against Paul Clemens. I think you will see a lot of Reds stacks today, but it totally makes sense. I don’t mind stacking the top 5, as they should be good bets to make value. Duvall should be considered highly likely to take one out of the park tonight against a sub-par pitcher.
MIGUEL SANO – Sano is a tale of two players depending on what site you are looking at. On FanDuel, he is one of the highest priced outfielders on the slate. On DraftKings, your fingers could get sore scrolling down to him. Again, this should lead to pretty high ownership on DK, but it is a very nice matchup against Rodon. To me, he’s a guy I would take a stand on one way or another. Play him everywhere, or play him nowhere.
BRYCE HARPER – For awhile, I kept making comparisons between Harper and Mike Napoli and their pricing vs. output. Finally, I stopped, because truthfully, it is unfair to Napoli. While Napoli is having one of his best seasons [yes, you can be having one of your best seasons even hitting .246], Bryce Harper is having one of the worst seasons following an MVP win that I can remember. He is hitting .234. I know this has a lot to do with taking walks and not getting into rhythm, but at the same time, we aren’t paying for excuses. The matchup against Matt Cain is a good one, but I can’t convince myself to do it.