Like every other Sunday, the schedule is split between 1 and 2 p.m. ET start times and 4 p.m. ET and later start times. Like yesterday’s column, the players and teams will include players from both segments of the day. Sundays are very tricky this time of year as backups get some playing time and teams may be looking forward to days off. At this stage of the game, the All-Star Break can’t get here fast enough for teams that are struggling, so sometimes those teams struggle collectively. Let’s see what we can find to win big on July 5.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for July 5:
Minnesota – This game could turn out to be a full-fledged shootout between the Twins and Royals. Danny Duffy has had some command troubles this season and Ervin Santana is making his first start of the 2015 season. The Twins draw a pitcher with a 5.44 ERA due to a .348 BABIP against and the home run could start to climb as Kauffman Stadium warms up, especially during the day. The Twins are just outside the top 10 in SLG against lefties, but this seems to be a good matchup for them.
Toronto – You’re paying a premium here again, but Justin Verlander is a shell of what he used to be. The command is practically non-existent and the Blue Jays have a lot of guys capable of hitting for power. They dominate lefties, but they also have a .329 wOBA against righties, which ranks third in all of baseball. The sharp bite to Verlander’s stuff is gone and it’s become average. The Blue Jays feast on average or worse pitching and that’s what Verlander has become.
Arizona – The Arizona Diamondbacks are looking for a four-game sweep and they’ll take their hacks against Jorge de la Rosa on Sunday. The Diamondbacks are sixth in wOBA against lefties on the season and has dealt with some control problems throughout the season en route to a 4.59 ERA. Arizona also has a shot to get to .500 today. For a team with no expectations during the season, that’s a big psychological element in this game.
Here are the top value hitters for July 5:
Pedro Alvarez ($3,800) – Alvarez has been disappointing as a whole this season, but Danny Salazar is the type of pitcher that Alvarez can hit one out of the park against. Salazar likes to work up and it seems like Alvarez is a better high-pitch hitter. Salazar’s main problem is the occasional long ball, especially with some of the high exit velocity readings on his fastball. If Alvarez runs into one, he’ll pay for himself with one swing.
Brad Miller ($3,200) – Brad Miller has managed to hold off Chris Taylor for the starting shortstop gig by swinging a good bat of late. He’ll have a platoon advantage on Sunday night against Chris Bassitt. Bassitt is a guy that will show some platoon splits because of his arsenal, and Miller has a .265/.352/.481 slash against righties, with all eight of his home runs.
Matt Duffy ($3,400) – Matt Duffy just continues to hit and he’s been batting in the middle of the order with injuries to Nori Aoki and Hunter Pence. On the season, Duffy is batting .289/.332/.464, which is some excellent production from a middle infielder. Jordan Zimmermann has shown some command issues at various points throughout the season, so Duffy is worth a look in the ESPN Sunday Night game.
Here are the top value starting pitchers for July 5:
Taylor Jungmann ($5,900) – We’ll go right back to this one again. The Reds lineup can’t seem to get things going lately and Jungmann’s first five starts have been very good. He’s an extreme ground ball pitcher with a strikeout per inning upside. He’s been able to avoid the higher BB rates that he had in Triple-A, so it’s worth riding that train until the hitters start to adjust and the scouting reports improve. The Brewers are surging right now and that has a trickle-down effect.
Lance McCullers ($7,200) – Lance McCullers continues to be criminally underpriced. The Red Sox have not had much of an offense most the season and McCullers has averaged over 20 points per start in DraftKings formats. He misses bats and induces weak contact. What more could you want at this price tag? He hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any start this season.
CJ Wilson ($7,400) – It may be a little scary to use CJ Wilson in a good hitter’s park, but the Rangers have not had much success with lefties this season. They rank 25th in wOBA and 28th in wRC+ against lefties on the season. They’ve spent the weekend getting their brains beaten in and Wilson has made some nice arsenal changes to return to being a competent starting pitcher. He has used his changeup more this season, which has been his best pitch, and he has reduced his curveball usage. His curveball was his worst pitch last season. His control has been better across the board and he still has some swing-and-miss upside.