Sunday afternoon brings us a massive 11-game slate of baseball to enjoy! Make sure to take advantage of all tools The Quantedge has to offer including our new Vegas Line Movement tool! Let’s just into all the information you’ll need to make your lineup decisions and if your heart desires, feel free to follow me on Twitter @SBuchanan24
New York Yankees (5.2) @ Baltimore Orioles (3.9)
Domingo German (RHP) vs. Davis Hess (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: Yankees -167
Pitcher Breakdown: German will be making his second start of the season after an impressive five innings against the Tigers in which he allowed just one hit while striking out seven. His command was a bit shaky as he walked five, which shouldn’t come as a surprise since he’s struggled with his command in the majors. With the number of big-name pitchers on this slate, he can easily be glossed over despite the Orioles owning the 10th highest K% at 26.6%.
Hess is extremely inexpensive and is coming off arguably his best performance in the majors, striking out 10 Blue Jays through 6.1 shutout innings. I think people will be tempted to maybe hope he can produce some of that magic again but doing so against the Yankees feels tough. As a team, the Yankees own a .345 wOBA with a.185 ISO. For what it’s worth, they do have the 12th highest K% at 25.6%.
Hitter Breakdown: Lefties gave German the most trouble last season, tagging him for .354 wOBA with eight of the 15 home runs he allowed. Per the usual, the Orioles don’t have many fantasy-relevant players to choose from. Jonathan Villar can be an option if needed and Trey Mancini does boast some power against righties. Chris Davis probably already struck out three times before the game started.
The Yankees have the highest run total on this slate so expect them to be popular. If we’re going off the numbers that Hess posted last season, almost everyone is on the table for the Yankees. Aaron Judge, Luke Voit and Gary Sanchez would be my three favorite bats in that order. Hess allowed a .347 wOBA to righties with seven of his 22 home runs last season. Brett Gardner is also very much in consideration although I personally never get him right. Hopefully, your luck is better.
Minnesota Twins (4.1) @ Philadelphia Phillies (4.5)
Jose Berrios (RHP) vs. Zach Eflin (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: Phillies -125
Pitcher Breakdown: Berrios is a completely maddening pitcher to roster. One of his biggest downfalls has been pitching on the road and we saw a glimpse of that in his last start against the Royals. Last season on the road he owned a .341 wOBA with a 4.67 xFIP. At home, .249 wOBA with a 3.27 xFIP. Simply said, he’s hard to trust on the road with his expensive salary to boot.
With Eflin, he blew away the Nationals in his first start, striking out nine en route to five shutout innings. The Twins enter this game with one of the lowest K% in the league at 19.8%. I’m not really interested in going after this Twins lineup with Eflin, especially with the number of left-handed bats they can insert into this lineup.
Hitter Breakdown: If we’re going to run with the belief that Berrios can’t pitch on the road, then I think a Phillies stack is in order. I don’t imagine it will be very popular and the Phillies bats aren’t overly expensive across the board. Lefties really gave him the most trouble on the road to the tune of a .380 wOBA and a 5.47 xFIP. Luckily for the Phillies, they signed this dude Bryce Harper. Also, don’t sleep on Odubel Herrera in your stack either.
Like Berrios, the way to attack Eflin is with left-handed bats and let me tell you, the Twins have plenty. Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler would be my two favorite targets in this game but we also have Marwin Gonzalez and Jorge Polanco to consider as well. I think this game also has some appeal as a game stack as well.
Toronto Blue Jays (3.2) @ Cleveland Indians (3.9)
Marcus Stroman (RHP) vs. Mike Clevinger (RHP)
Over/Under: 7 Moneyline: Indians -147
Pitcher Breakdown: I wouldn’t usually be taking a look at Stroman, especially on an 11-game slate, but here we are. Both of these teams are really struggling offensively and have been the early season targets when it comes to pitching. I think Stroman is very much in play against an Indians team that owns the highest K% in the league at 31.5% with the second-worst wOBA at .241 and the worst ISO at .090.
Clevinger is going to be very popular today going against another team that is struggling offensively. The Blue Jays are ninth in K% (26.6) 24th in wOBA (.266) and 21st in ISO (.141). After a stellar start to open the year, Clevinger will draw high ownership in a game he should find plenty of success in. With the game total as low as it is, this could end up being a pitching duel.
Hitter Breakdown: Honestly I don’t think I have any interest in taking any of the bats in this game. Both teams are struggling at the plate and I feel like the Blue Jays have already burned us four times this season. Jose Ramiez is always an option but even he is struggling to hit for power in the early going. I think unless you’re interested in pitching, this is a good game to steer clear from.
Washington Nationals (3.5) @ New York Mets (3.1)
Max Scherzer (RHP) vs. Zack Wheeler (RHP)
Over/Under: 6.5 Moneyline: Nationals -134
Pitcher Breakdown: If you thought the last game was considered a pitching only game, let me welcome you to the Nationals and Mets. With the lowest projected total on the slate, this game is expected to feature nothing but solid pitching. The potential for big strikeout totals for both pitchers seems quite high as the Nationals and Mets own the second and third highest K% in the league. We all know Scherzer has one of the highest ceilings in the league but Wheeler can also post up some big games. Let’s not forget, he ended last season with an 8.8 K/9 with a 10.7% swing-and-miss rate.
Hitter Breakdown: Like the Blue Jays and Indians, this game isn’t really appealing for hitters. I will say one thing about Scherzer, the home run ball can be an issue with him. Taking a chance on Micheal Conforto in a GPP is a play I wouldn’t hate at all. On the Nationals side, I have the same sentiments about Conforto as I do Juan Soto in a GPP. Good power and a hitter that usually draws high ownership but won’t today. Aside from that, it’s an easy fade on these bats.
Kansas City Royals (4.2) @ Detroit Tigers (3.5)
Brad Keller (RHP) vs. Tyson Ross (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: Tigers -113
Pitcher Breakdown: It feels like Keller is making his 10th starts of the season but **checks notes** it’s only his third. He faces a Tigers offense that is amongst the worst in the league currently with a .257 wOBA (28th) a .090 ISO (30th) and a 27.4 K% (6th). Keller has never shown big strikeout upside in his career but this soft matchup has him penciled in as someone to consider.
I pride myself as being very in tune with what’s going on in baseball. However, I had no damn clue that Ross was even with the Tigers. His best days are behind him and he’s more of a liability on the mound at this point in his career. His command is awful and he’ll put plenty of guys on base, although this Royals club is far from patient. He’s not an option at all on this slate. Move on.
Hitter Breakdown: I think the Royals could actually be a sneaky stack today. Ross has struggled so much against left-handed bats and this lineup is full of them, especially near the top of their order. Adalberto Mondesi tops the list of hitters you want to target along with Ryan O’Hearn, who has a 46.7% hard-hit rate to start the year. Alex Gordon is crushing the ball now so don’t forget about him either.
Hard to get excited about an offense that is almost dead last in every category thus far. Niko Goodrum would be the only bat I have any legitimate interest in if needed. His salary remains low across the board despite batting cleanup for this poor offense. Aside from that, I don’t have much to offer.
Miami Marlins (3.7) @ Atlanta Braves (4.9)
Caleb Smith (LHP) vs. Sean Newcomb (LHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: Braves -170
Pitcher Breakdown: Smith has been getting some love thus far, as our Vegas Line Tool shows the Braves run total has dropped half a run since it opened at 4.9. He intrigues me as a GPP play with his high upside in strikeouts, ending 2018 with a K/9 of 10.2. The problem is, the Braves have been a tough team to strikeout and currently rank with the second highest BB% in the league at 15.
I personally love Newcomb. If he could straighten out his command, he has the stuff to be a dominating pitcher. That’s the issue though, the walks. Last season he ended the year with a 4.4 BB/9 and a 5.1 BB/9 the year before. This Marlins club is not patient and swings the bat freely. Again, I think Newcomb is a GPP viable play but not a cash play.
Hitter Breakdown: No one on this Marlins team hits lefties particularly well. To be honest, I find it hard to believe anyone is going out of their way to grab any Marlins bats into their lineups. If anyone, Lewis Brinson would be who’d I consider if anyone. His numbers last season weren’t stellar but he did have a .155 ISO against lefties.
If you’re following the Vegas lines, the drop in the Braves run total is a call for concern. With that being said, we have some bats in this lineup that will draw strong consideration. Ozzie Albies has to be the top option, as his power against lefties was far greater than against righties. Josh Donaldson is also another power bat to consider. In an injury-plagued 2018, Donaldson still had a .386 wOBA and a .241 ISO vs. lefties. Don’t forget about Ronald Acuna, Johan Camargo and Tyler Flowers. This team makes for one of my favorite stacks of the day.
Cincinnati Reds (3.5) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (4.1)
Anthony DeSclafani (RHP) vs. Chris Archer (RHP)
Over/Under: 7.5 Moneyline: Pirates -140
Pitcher Breakdown: The only way I would roster DeSclafani is if he pitched at AT&T Park for every start, faced an all right-handed lineup and they had 75-foot walls surrounding the park. He’s the Christmas morning to lefties and gives up home runs in bunches. Even in a Pirates lineup that doesn’t boast a ton of power, I’m staying far away.
Archer continues to be a tough pitcher to figure out. I think half the problem is that we have this image burned in our mind about how good he was with the Rays. He still sports that high strikeout upside but gets himself in trouble often. Still, this is a Reds team that is struggling at the plate and has the eighth highest K% and lowest wOBA in the league. I think he’s borderline cash and GPP viable.
Hitter Breakdown: The thing about a Pirates stack is that it looks….ugly. Put five Pirates in your lineup. Gross, right? Regardless, lefties give DeSclafani fits and last season they tagged him with a .385 wOBA and a 4.37 xFIP with 15 of the 24 home runs he allowed. Adam Frazier and Josh Bell are my favorite targets here.
The Reds need to figure out how to hit before they gain fantasy trust back. Joey Votto is sitting out this game so the appeal for Archer has grown on me a bit more. Scott Schebler and Jesse Winker are the only guys I’m considering of the bunch and even then, I’m not overly interested.
Oakland Athletics (4.1) @ Houston Astros (5)
Mike Fiers (RHP) vs. Brad Peacock (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: Astros -147
Pitcher Breakdown: I’m not really loving this spot for Fiers despite the Astros struggling at the plate thus far. We continue to see his strikeout numbers drop from year to year as well as his swing-and-miss rate. With the Astros owning a run projection of five runs and holding steady, I don’t like this chances overall. The Astros also sport one of the lowest K% in the league, so I don’t see much upside for Fiers here.
As for Peacock, he’s feeling the love, as the A’s have dropped from a 4.1 run projected to 3.8 as I write this Sunday morning. On any other team, Peacock would have a solidified spot in a rotation. He has consistently high strikeout upside but does get in trouble with the home runs. With the lack of lefties in this lineup as the normally would, I think Peacock is in consideration here.
Hitter Breakdown: The one concern here for Peacock is his struggles with lefties. Out of the bullpen last season, they tagged him for a .394 wOBA, a 3.98 xFIP and eight of his 17 home runs. They also have been limiting the number of strikeouts with just an 18.1 K%, which is 27th in the league. The A’s have a couple of guys at the top of the order, with Robbie Grossman and likely Kendrys Morales. With Peacock’s struggles with home runs, Khris Davis is always in play.
As for the Astros, you’d really like them to start turning it around offensively. Fiers also struggles with home runs and nearly distributed them to both sides of the plate equally. Carlos Correa has been one of their most consistent hitters to being the year while Robinson Chirinos isn’t drawing the love he deserves as of yet. Michael Brantley, despite his early struggles, continues to be too cheap for batting cleanup in this lineup.
Seattle Mariners (4.5) @ Chicago White Sox (4.6)
Wade LeBlanc (LHP) vs. Ivan Nova (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: White Sox -109
Pitcher Breakdown: I was surprised to see such a high total for this game and I honestly think could be a sneaky source of some fantasy goodness. LeBlanc wasn’t awful last season but he allowed 24 home runs with 18 of them to right-handed bats. This White Sox team has the ability to throw an almost all right-handed lineup in and I expect they do so today. LeBlanc isn’t an option for me anywhere.
Nova drives me insane. I think he might be one of those weird pitchers that have cost me more money than I’d like to admit. This goes for both rostering him and stacking against him (unsuccessfully). He’s not going to walk many guys but he won’t strike out much either. He’s just kind of….there. Attack him with lefties and you should find some success.
Hitter Breakdown: The Mariners offense continues to click and I think they won’t get the love they deserve as the season moves on. The good news is, you’re reading this so you CAN give them the love. Jay Bruce is my favorite target on Seattle along with Mallex Smith and Omar Navarez. Domingo Santana is one of the most underrated hitters in the game, don’t forget about his raw power either.
On the White Sox, I think we have a lot to consider here. Jose Abreu will draw low ownership despite a .380 wOBA and .260 ISO against lefties. He’s one of my favorite GPP plays of the day. Leury Garcia doesn’t have much power but batting leadoff and a .349 OBP against lefties last year has me intrigued. Tim Anderson is also crushing the ball right now and his .192 ISO against lefties last season is good for me to roster him today.
Chicago Cubs (4.4) @ Milwaukee Brewers (4.7)
Kyle Hendricks (RHP) vs. Zach Davies (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: Brewers -120
Pitcher Breakdown: On a huge slate like this, I don’t really have interest in Hendricks or Davies. Neither player owns enough strikeout upside to consider and the high run total doesn’t make me feel good about either side. If this was a smaller slate, I could see how some people may want to consider Hendricks but not on a huge slate like this.
Hitter Breakdown: What I am interested in is the bats in this game. The lefties on the Cubs draw my immediate interest against Davies. Davis has already struggled against lefties and last season sported a .337 wOBA with a 5.06 xFIP. Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber come to mind immediately with the power they own. One interesting name to consider is Daniel Descalso. He has one of the highest hard-hit% in the league currently and his three multi-hit games under his belt already.
While Hendricks doesn’t perform poorly against one side of the plate in particular, the 4.7 run projection for the Brewers is hard to ignore. Travis Shaw continues to be too cheap for his position in the batting order and the power he owns. I don’t think I have to remind you about Christian Yelich so I’m just going to bold his name and give you a thumbs up. I think this is a great game to do a mini-stack of both teams and could prove to be one of the keys of this slate.
Best Overall Pitcher: Max Scherzer (duh, but don’t forget about Zack Wheeler)
Best Value Pitcher: Marcus Stroman (yikes!), Sean Newcomb
Best Overall Hitters: Aaron Judge, Ronald Acuna, Jose Abreu
Best Value Hitters: Ryan O’Hearn, Ozzie Albies
Home Run Call of the Day: Luke Voit
Stacks: Braves, Cubs, Royals (!)
Bet of the Day: Astros -147