This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Sunday offers an interesting slate. There are no true aces on the main schedule, but there aren't many obvious pitchers to target. That leaves me with a narrower player pool to choose from, so this article will concentrate on a few games with plenty of intriguing options.
With no dominant hurlers, I'll be focused on a combination of skill, salary and matchup rather than simply finding the most talented pitcher and working from there. Keeping that in mind, Jordan Montgomery ($7,400) is my favorite pitcher on the slate. He's managed at least 20 DK points in three of his last four starts and comes in with the fifth-highest strikeout rate on the slate. Montgomery matches up against the Marlins, who have struck out at a 27.9 percent clip against southpaws this season – the highest mark in the league. With both Starling Marte and Adam Duvall out of the picture, the Miami lineup has only gotten weaker.
If utilizing Montgomery is a bit too risky in cash games, Jose Berrios ($8,600) should be a fine play in his Blue Jays debut. He draws against the Royals, who strike out at only a 22 percent clip against right-handed pitching for the season – the fifth-lowest mark in the league. While that diminishes Berrios' ceiling, he should provide a strong floor based on matchup as the Royals have only managed an 87 wRC+ and .143 ISO against right-handed pitching this year. Berrios has a profile that generally says the same thing and he's produced at least 18.4 DK points in seven of his last 10 starts, but isn't generally going to be projected to be the top point-scoring pitcher on a slate. He's a great cash game play, but Montgomery is a better tournament bet based on value and upside.
Adam Wainwright ($9,600) is at one of his highest salary points of the season. That's never a comfortable time to buy in, but he's a fine cash play like Berrios. Wainwright also enters with the sixth-highest strikeout rate among pitchers on the main slate. The Twins aren't among the most enticing matchups, but Wainwright is steady and is at home in a pitcher-friendly environment.
Mitch Haniger ($5,600) was also highlighted yesterday, but the Rangers have thrown some vulnerable pitchers in this weekend series. Mike Foltynewicz is the next man to take the mound and has allowed 2.6 HR/9, the highest mark today. Haniger has posted a .223 ISO and 117 wRC+ against righties to this point in 2021.
Brad Keller has put together four consecutive solid starts where he's only surrendered 0.7 HR/9. However, Rogers Centre is among the best – if not the best – hitter's parks on the slate, so getting exposure is a good idea. Keller has also only struck out 18.6 percent of the batters he's faced this season. While that number has jumped to 23.6 percent in the referenced four-start span, there's enough positive aspects of the matchup to target Jays hitters. Getting exposure to Vladimir Guerrero ($6,300) has rarely been a bad idea this season. And given the state of pitching, there should be some extra cash to pay up for bats.
Ozzie Albies ($5,100) has mashed left-handed pitching to the tune of a .283 ISO. Brett Anderson is among the most contact-prone pitchers today and will be pitching in a hitter-friendly park. The ingredients are there for a big day from Albies, especially with Atlanta's restocked offense.
J.D. Davis ($4,100) doesn't fit neatly as either a bargain or top bat. But given the relatively cheap pitching options, he shouldn't be that difficult to get into lineups. Either way, Davis makes for a strong option for the slate considering his 1.034 OPS against right-handed pitching this season. He hasn't hit all that well since returning from an injury, but Vladimir Gutierrez is a pitcher that plenty of hitters have gotten right against in 2021. Michael Conforto ($3,400) is a true bargain option, though he lacks Davis's numbers against right-handed pitching. The Mets are a strong stack to consider.
Abraham Toro ($3,200) has hit fourth and fifth in the Mariners' lineup against righties since joining the team prior to the trade deadline. The advantage of his matchup has already been highlighted, but he's a value alternative to Haniger while still getting exposure to the matchup against Foltynewicz. Though they won't be written up in the stacks section to avoid redundancy, the Mariners represent another nice stack to roster that should also provide some leverage.
Stacks to Consider
Atlanta figures to be one of the chalkiest stacks on the slate. Charlie Morton is the top pitcher, so correlation suggests it's worth paying up for him and then stacking his offense. That's a solid GPP play with this being a fairly cheap stack besides Albies. Soler has hit lefties well all season and Swanson has been on an absolute heater of late with three homers from his last three games, so it's worth trying to ride the hot hand. If you don't stack Atlanta, any of these players represent a strong one-off roster - particularly Albies and Soler.
Quantrill has seen strong results since earning a consistent role in the Cleveland rotation. How exactly he's done so is less obvious with only 16 strikeouts across 28.1 innings while also walking nine. Quantrill's 5.30 SIERA during that stretch suggests results will get worse if he continues to pitch the same way. The White Sox aren't likely to draw a lot of attention today, making this an intriguing play. Also worth noting is that Reynaldo Lopez is the opposite pitcher to Quantrill, so this is definitely a viable spot to game stack.