This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
The DraftKings main slate consists of 10 games, cutting out all start times after 2:10 PM EDT. Pitching available in those contests dictates paying down, which should leave plenty of salary to distribute to the many attractive stacking options at the plate.
Freddy Peralta ($9,200) has been the most skilled starting pitcher on the slate, as measured by K%, K-BB%, and SIERA. The Braves certainly aren't the most advantageous matchup to draw, but Peralta is the one pitcher on the slate I'd be willing to spend more salary on.
Otherwise, it looks most advantageous to try to locate value in the mid and low-salaried options. Robbie Ray ($7,200) stands out in that regard. For the first time in his career, Ray has a walk rate below 10 percent. That result has been backed by a career high rate of his pitches finding the strike zone and an impressive 66.9 percent first-pitch strike rate. He's remained homer prone (2.1 HR/9), but the Phillies strike out at a 29.5 percent rate against southpaws – third-highest in the league. Therefore, while it's foreseeable that the Phillies go yard against Ray, those long balls will hopefully be limited to solo shots and he should be able to rack up plenty of strikeouts to offset any damage.
The numbers don't say it, but I'll continue to roster Kyle Hendricks ($6,800). That's particularly true at the right value and right matchup. Both are present Sunday as Hendricks will square off against the Tigers, who have managed only a 90 wRC+ and 27.4 percent strikeout rate as a team against right-handed pitching.
Kris Bryant ($5,800) has crushed 10 home runs this season, five of which have come against left-handed pitching. Put differently, despite having 111 plate appearances against right-handers and 33 against southpaws, his number of homers against pitchers of each handedness is equal. That's an outlier type run that isn't going to continue forever, but it's worth riding the hot hand on this occasion.
It's admittedly a bit odd to put Mike Yastrzemski ($5,600) in the "top hitters" section of this article given his lack of early-season production. However, he's hit the ball well since returning from the injured list (90.4 average exit velocity) and will draw a matchup against Mitch Keller, who has been hit hard in general but even more so by lefties. Make sure Yastrzemski is in the lineup before lock. He sat out Saturday, but his absence was expected to be short and seemed to be precautionary.
Vladimir Guerrero ($6,000) has been on a tear and could very well homer for the third consecutive game. Bo Bichette ($5,400) hasn't had the same results as Guerrero of late, but has hit four balls over 100 MPH since Thursday. Some of those have been beaten into the ground, doing little good for fantasy managers. On the other hand, Chase Anderson is known as a flyball pitcher and also is prone to surrendering the long ball with 1.4 HR/9 this season.
Austin Meadows ($3,600) continues to be misvalued. Marcus Stroman isn't necessarily a pitcher to pick on – particularly on this slate – but Meadows' statcast metrics suggest he's been unlucky to start the season. While not predictive, those numbers do indicate there is nothing wrong with his swing and is therefore a great play at a deflated salary.
Michael Chavis ($2,300) should remain in the Red Sox lineup with left-hander Jose Quintana on the mound. Quintana has been awful in nearly every start this season, so getting exposure to Boston on the slate looks like a smart - yet simple - strategy. Chavis offers a way to do so cheaply, just ensure he's in the lineup prior to lock.
Andrew Vaughn ($2,600) has been a regular feature on the bargain bats section of the article. However, his salary has yet to adjust despite seeming very clear he's becoming more comfortable facing major-league pitching. In his last 10 games, Vaughn has slugged .500 and has a .868 OPS. Yet, his value has moved negligibly, if at all.
Stacks to Consider
Chase Anderson is vulnerable on the slate from a skills perspective and the hitter-friendly environment of Dunedin doesn't figure to make things any better. There are any number of directions to go with players rostered in the stack. Of course, Guerrero is always in play. As for value options, a few intriguing names include Rowdy Tellez ($3,300) and Lourdes Gurriel ($3,100), both who can put up points in a hurry but have gotten off to slow starts.
The Yankees draw a strong matchup in one of the slate's better hitting environments. There aren't a lot of cheap options I'd try to shove into the stack, which makes the Blue Jays slightly more appealing based on budget concerns. On the other hand, this is a slate where paying down at pitching is feasible, which could allow for jamming Yankees' hitters into a stack.
It feels like the Red Sox get a mention in every Sunday preview, but they'll stop being highlighted when they stop receiving extremely attractive matchups. Quintana has not looked like a major-league caliber pitcher this season and the Red Sox offense remains potent. As stated earlier, including Red Sox into lineups remains a viable strategy for any Sunday slate.