Sunday’s Major League Baseball schedule presents a slew of challenges for players. Not only do decisions have to be made early with nine first pitches in the 1 p.m. ET hour, but a lot of players often sit on Sundays as a day of rest. That increases the degree of difficulty and can make it very tough to put together a confident lineup. On the other hand, astute players that pay close attention to lineups and matchups can get an edge over their less-informed opponents.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for May 24:
Pittsburgh – Jon Niese is having all sorts of problems of late and the Pirates should be able to take advantage. Pittsburgh has a lot of solid hitters that are starting to come around. They started off the season very slowly with a low walk rate and some bad batted ball luck, but that has turned around. Niese has allowed 14 runs in 11.1 innings of his last two outings with absolutely no swing-and-miss stuff. His persistent shoulder problems may be popping back up and that’s something to exploit in DFS formats.
Oakland – The Erasmo Ramirez Experience is on tap in Tampa Bay for the series finale and his control concerns are going to benefit the A’s lineup. Oakland has been awful this season, but not because of their offense. Offensively, they’ve been one of the better teams in the American League. Ramirez is due for some positive regression in his numbers, but the A’s hitters are going to be patient with him and that’s when he gets into serious trouble.
Houston – Anibal Sanchez was blasted by the Milwaukee Brewers in his last start and a similar fate may await him against the Astros. Sanchez has had major command problems so far this season with a 1.48 HR/9 and a 13.4 HR/FB% so far this season. The Astros hit for a lot of power. Sanchez may have an all-or-nothing type of start with a lot of strikeouts and a few home runs allowed, but if you can peg the right Astros, home runs are quick points that add up.
Here are the top value hitters for May 24:
Kendrys Morales ($4,000) – Morales has been raking for the Royals with a .937 OPS over his last 10 games. Morales has made the most of his opportunities against righties this season with five of his six home runs and 23 RBI in just 109 plate appearances. He has a .914 OPS against righties as opposed to a .785 against lefties. His .392 wOBA and 153 wRC+ against righties are both among the league’s best.
Brandon Moss ($3,900) – The Tribe right fielder has once again found his power stroke with four extra-base hits in his last 10 hits and he will be batting cleanup against Raisel Iglesias on Sunday afternoon. With warming conditions in Cleveland, the ball should carry very well out to the renovated right field area and don’t be surprised if Moss puts one in the seats against a pitcher who is already showing pronounced splits in his young career.
Seth Smith ($3,800) – It’s one of those good days to use Seth Smith. The lefty slugger with an enormous platoon advantage takes on the wild Aaron Sanchez in Toronto. Toronto is a great hitter’s park and Smith should be able to take advantage of Sanchez’s lack of control and command. The Blue Jays right-hander has allowed a .313/.451/.561 slash and a .437 wOBA to the 103 left-handers he has faced this season.
Here are the top value pitchers for May 24:
Mike Foltynewicz ($5,900) – Foltynewicz has an elite fastball that he can run up towards triple digits and he has generated a lot of swings and misses, specifically on pitches outside the zone this season. The Brewers have quite a few free-swinging right-handed bats and that plays right into Folty’s gameplan.
Francisco Liriano ($8,000) – Control is always a concern with Liriano, not just because of the walks, but because it shortens his outings. Innings pitched are a big deal in DFS formats and Liriano can sometimes be frustrating. The strikeouts are definitely there this season and a 3.38 xFIP suggests that his home run rate will be coming down very soon. Liriano is an exciting streaming option for Sunday against a Mets lineup that has been below average all season.
Taijuan Walker ($6,000) – This one is definitely a bit of a gamble, but Taijuan Walker has swing-and-miss stuff and is much tougher on righties than he is on lefties. Walker takes on a right-handed heavy Blue Jays lineup with some swing-and-miss potential in this start. The concern is that Walker’s command can escape him and not many teams can punish mistakes like the Blue Jays. Approach with caution, but if you want to go contrarian to see what happens, Walker might be your guy.