Welcome into the Sunday edition of the FanDuel fantasy MLB column. We have a large 12 game slate on tap for today so let’s get to it.
We’re all set for another glorious Sunday of fantasy baseball action but we have to check in with how we did yesterday quickly. It was a real sweat at the end of the night, as Lance McCullers was super chalk and we went with Johnny Cueto. Things were looking very grim because Cueto wasn’t striking anyone out and he got ambushed for two runs in the first two batters he faced. He shut the door after that and the Giants won, pushing us into all our 50/50s. It wasn’t comfortable, but we’ll take the win and run.
Let’s dig into the fun slate on tap today!
Starting Pitcher, High End Spend
Gerrit Cole, $10,400
.300 (15 for 50), 23.1 strikeout rate
I’m not sure what Cole has to do to be priced like one of the best pitchers in baseball, but I’m loving that he’s not. His low score so far this year is 43 points, and that was last time out against the Angels. Today, he draws the Oakland A’s and they are a legitimately tough matchup by the numbers. They’re top five against righties in a lot of offensive categories and about league average in strikeout rate. It just doesn’t matter that much to me because Cole has been just about matchup proof so far. He’s gone seven innings every time and has at least eight strikeouts in four of the five starts. Cole is the most expensive but he still feels too cheap given his upside.
Also Consider: Jose Berrios, $9,500 (Cincinnati is a much better matchup by the numbers.)
J.A. Happ, $8,800
.290 (9 for 31), 29.0 strikeout rate
Happ has been a little up and down so far this year but even the down starts have been around 35 FanDuel points. He’s at home today and gets a Texas lineup that has really struggled against lefties this year. They rank 17th or worse in average, OPS and wOBA. The strikeout rate is league average but is also closing in on 25 percent. The lineup they’re trotting out right now just isn’t all that scary, especially without Adrian Beltre. Happ has shown strikeout upside with at least eight in four out of five starts. It is fair to note that Happ’s K/9 has taken a huge leap this year but he should still have a rock solid game today.
Also Consider: Rick Porcello, $9,200 (It’s an expensive mid-range today but the middle class is awfully unappealing.)
Nick Kingham, $5,500
The interesting pitching prospect will make his major league debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates today and he’s at least a GPP option. He’s always had some promise in his minor league career and even though it’s not a great matchup, he’s minimum priced for a pitcher. You can basically play any bat you want along with him and if he can get you about 30 points, that’s a win. His strikeout and groundball rate are very good this year in AAA. There’s no way to tell what you’ll get in a debut but Kingham has some potential today.