Each Sunday we publish our free analysis of the daily plays position-by-position. If you haven't already tried out Daily Fantasy Baseball, now is the perfect time to take it for a test spin. The beauty of Daily Fantasy is the short-term time commitment (one-day games) and the opportunity to win real money fast. To help aid you in the lineup construction process, below is a free sample of the type of daily content that is published over at Fantistics' sister site, MyFantasyFix. I always recommend starting to build your roster around your favorite pitcher of the day and fill out the rest of the lineup spots based on relative value-to-cost. To make this easier, below you'll find our top plays, value plays, and cheap (or punt) plays.Use this as a guide as you set your lineups for FanDuel and DraftKings. Please also tune in to our show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 10AM-1PM ET on weekend mornings as we discussed values once lineups are announced.
Carlos Carrasco @ DET - With no other elite options, Carlos Carrasco headlines a weak lineup of pitchers going on Sunday. Facing a tough Detroit lineup concerns me slightly, but his tremendous strikeout upside and ability to limit baserunners makes him my top play. He has allowed an OPS of just .600 against RHB and .661 against LHB over the course of the last two seasons. At just $8,800 on FD and $9,000 on DK, he will allow for plenty of top offensive players in your lineups (think Abreu, Stanton & Hanley).
Chris Archer vs TOR - The explosiveness of the Toronto Blue Jays lineup does concern me but Archer has been nearly untouchable the last 3 starts and has nearly 20 straight scoreless innings. When Archer met the Blue Jays a couple of weeks ago in Toronto, he dazzled going 7 innings allowing just 2 hits and striking out 11. Moving to a much more favorable ballpark, I'm quite bullish on Archer on Sunday.
Multiple Pitcher Sites:
Drew Pomeranz (OAK) vs HOU - The Astros have the highest strikeout rate of any team in baseball and they rank in the bottom half of the league in wRC+. Pomeranz is quite cheap and is playable on two-pitcher sites considering how shallow the player pool isfor today's action. As a team, Houston has one of the lowest projected run totals at 3.6 runs according to Vegas for tomorrow's action.
Anthony DeSclafani (CIN) vs CHC - Just over 10 days ago (pre-Bryant), DeSclafani baffled the Cubs over 7 innings of work allowing just 2 hits. The Cubs get a rematch on Sunday but this time in Cincinatti. Due to the potent upgrades to the Cubs lineup (ahem, Kris Bryant), I'm not eagar to throw DeSclafani on single pitcher sites but on DraftKings, I believe he makes for a formidable #2 option. He has a decent strikeout rate and the Cubs have the 3rd highest in the majors right now. The Cubs middle of the order is scary (Rizzo, Soler & Bryant) but for just $6,100 on DK, he's an absolute steal.
Note of caution:
Jake Arrieta @ CIN - I'm always nervous playing a starter in Cincinatti but the Reds offense has been nearly nonexistent this season. Even stil, I don't like that he's the most expensive pitcher on FD and DK, especially because Arrieta was significantly better pitching in Wrigley rather than on the road last season during his break-out campaign. I'd prefer to stick with Archer and Carrasco.
As we've mentioned the past couple of weeks, catchers are a difficult position to predict on Sunday. Many teams give their regular backstops some rest so you always need to be aware of those situations. As a result, I don't like to get married to my analysis at the catcher position because it's the one position that's most likely going to change once lineups are announced Sunday morning. For now, here are some guys I think could be quite valuable this weekend. The featured site at the catcher position is DraftKings so our analysis will reflect their pricing.
Buster Posey (SF) vs Tyler Matzek - If you're going to shell out for a catcher, today might be the best time to do it. Posey not only moves into a great hitting environment but he's also facing a weak left-handed pitcher in Tyler Matzek. Hitting in the middle of the order for the Giants, he makes for an elite play yet he's not priced out of too many budgets at only $3,800 on FD and $4,800 on DK. The fact that there's no elite starting pitching going makes it reasonable to invest heavily at the catcher position today since there's such a disparity between Posey and the rest of the field.
Yadier Molina (STL) vs Mike Fiers - Perennial .300 hitter Yadier Molina will cost you peanuts ($2,600 on FD and $3,800 on DK) on Sunday despite starting of the year with 6 multi-hit games on the young season. The matchup against Fiers is decent but not great, although playing in Miller Park is a reasonable lineup boost. He averages 0.50 points per plate appearance on FD and 1.62 points per plate appearance on DK over the last 2 seasons.
Stephen Vogt (OAK) vs Asher Wojciechoski - Another catcher swinging a hot bat but still rather inexpensive is Stephen Vogt. Vogt historically hits well against RHP very well (.345 wOBA with a .799 OPS over the last 2 seasons) and has a .482 wOBA over the last 7 days.
Other names to watch: Brian McCann (NYY) vs Jon Niese, AJ Pierzynski (ATL) vs Jerome Williams
Jose Abreu (CWS) vs Jason Vargas - There's plenty to love with Jose Abreu on Sunday. For starters, he absolutely feasts on left-handed pitching and Jason Vargas hasn't exactly pitched well to start the year. Additionally, Abreu has been on a tear the past 8 games, hitting 3 homeruns and 11 RBIs and has hits in 10 of his last 11 with 4 straight multi-hit performances leading into Saturday's action. He's extremely expensive but I'm willing to pay up for him on Sunday and will likely build most of my lineups around him.
Freddie Freeman (ATL) vs Jerome Williams - Another super option at the first base position is Freddie Freeman. The Braves first baseman has been red-hot over the last week and now gets to enjoy a nice favorable park shift in Philly. Averaging just over 2 points per at-bat on DK over the last two years, Freeman is a nice elite option on Sunday and in quite underpriced on FanDuel at just $3,200.
Adam Lind (MIL) vs Lance Lynn - Adam Lind is my favorite value play at the first base position thanks to his great splits against right-handers as well as Lynn's stuggles outside of Busch Stadium. Lind is hitting in the middle of the Brewers lineup and he'll get to face a league-average righty in Lance Lynn. Over the last two seasons, Lind has a .928 OPS versus right-handed pitching and over the last two years, opposing batters have a wOBA against Lynn of .335 & .316, respectively (compared to .282 and .288 at home over the same time period).
Matt Adams (STL) vs Mike Fiers is a nice play thanks to the platoon advantage for Adams and Miler Park ranks as the 4th most favorable park homeruns by left-handed hitters. After a slow start, Adams has picked it up offensively the last few games with a wOBA of .366 and he's extremely cheap at just $2,900.
Billy Butler (OAK) vs Asher Wojciechowski - it's hard not to give a hard look at Butler simply due to the absolute tear that he has been on recently. Wojchiechowski is a fly ball pitcher so that's working in Butler's favor but playing in Oakland really knocks his value down a bit for me. Pair that will a rising price tag and I probably won't have a ton of shares of his but I can certainly make an argument to get him into your lineups.
Robinson Cano (SEA) vs Kyle Gibson - After the slow start, Robinson Cano's price still hasn't fully rebounded despite his recent hot streak. Kyle Gibson struggles to get left-handers out, allowing just a 0.1% K-BB% and a .754 OPS to left-handed batters over the last 2 seasons. He's a great option playing at home in SafeCo, a place he has hit really well since coming over to the Mariners a couple years ago.
Martin Prado (MIA) vs Gio Gonzalez - While it's not necessarily a great matchup, Martin Prado does hit lefties pretty well (OPS of .896 vs LHP since 2013) and he's been hitting second in the Marlins lineup lately. He also has 7 hits in his last 17 at-bats.
Omar Infante (KC) vs Hector Noesi - Noesi is not a very good starting pitcher and despite receiving unfavorable lineup spots the last few games and seeing his price rise a bit, he's still a pretty good value across most daily sites. Infante has been hitting really well in the last week and he's been averaging 0.48 points per PA on FanDuel and 1.58 points per PA on DraftKings the last 2 seasons. He's a fantastic steal at the site minimum $2,200 on FanDuel.
Marcus Semien (OAK) vs Asher Wojciechowski - Speaking of cheap guys hitting pretty well, Marcus Semien has posted a .361 wOBA over the past 7 days. Unfortunately, he's $4,400 on DraftKings so his recent performance has upped is price. He's a bit cheaper on FanDuel but you'll have to play him at SS. He hits last in Oakland's lineup, which puts a big damper on his ceiling, but he's been playing well on his new team and I'm expecting a pretty high score from Oakland.
Adrian Beltre (LAA) vs Hector Santiago - Things are looking up for Adrian Beltre and he seems to be seeing the ball better (4 walks over the last 4 games compared to 1 walk over his first 4) and has a respectable .379 wOBA over the last week. Historically, he has been a very good hitter against left-handed pitching and Hector Santiago not only has struggled to start the year but right-handed hitters have managed to post an OPS of .750 on average against him over the last 2 years. He's an elite talent with a price discount at the moment so exploit it.
Kyle Seager (SEA) vs Kyle Gibson - If Seager were playing on the road rather than at home, he would have been my top third base play of the day. Unfortunately, he is playing at SafeCo but that's okay because Minnesota's starter, Kyle Gibson, is hardly considered elite. Seager has 3 multi-hit games in the last week and has a .484 wOBA over the same time period. He's extraordinary values on FanDuel and DraftKings at just 3,400 and $4,100, respectively.
Pablo Sandoval (BOS) vs Bud Norris - Who is homerun prone and pitching in a hitter's ballpark? Well, Bud Norris of course! Pablo is very cheap around the industry and while he hasn't exactly been tearing it up at the plate, historically he hits right-handers better than left-handers. At just $2,900 on FanDuel, he's a great value, especially since lefties have a massive .827 OPS against Norris over the last 2 seasons.
Evan Longoria (TB) vs Mark Buehrle- Another great value is Evan Longoria. After slumping for most of April, Longoria went 4-4 on Saturday afternoon and now he draws another great matchup against Toronto's Mark Buehrle. It's still a small sample but over 44 at-bats against Buehrle in his career, Longoria is slashing .295/.333/.409.
Troy Tulowitzki (COL) vs Tim Lincecum - Tulo has been hitting to start the year but the power hasn't been quite what as good as what we've seen from him in the past (currently has a sub-200 ISO). Facing off against a wild Tim Lincecum who'll surely allow plenty of baserunners, it might be just what the doctor ordered to get Tulo back on track as the big time run producer we expect from him. Tulo destroys all starting pitching but his 0.74 points per plate appearance on FanDuel and 2.12 points on DraftKings, he's elite. Just be prepped to pay the stomach wrenching price.
Brad Miller (SEA) vs Kyle Gibson - Miller came into Saturday's action with a 7-game hitting streak and despite the hot streak, he's still minimum priced at FanDuel at $2,200 and very cheap at $3,500 on DraftKings. I don't mind picking on Kyle Gibson today with left-handed Seattle hitters and Miller's salary relief will allow you to play Jose Abreu in your lineups.
Ian Desmond (WAS) vs Daren Haren - Desmond is obviously not as cheap as Miller but I believe he has higher point upside against a declining Dan Haren. At $3,500 on FanDuel, he's not only priced halfway between Tulo and Miller but he's also likely to end up performing close to that range as well. Against lefties since 2013, Desmond has averaged 0.59 Fanduel points plate appearance. At $4,600 on DraftKings, I'd rather go cheap on Miller or pay another $300 to buy into Hanley Ramirez, where he's still eligible as SS.
Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) vs Gio Gonzalez - Stanton has a .439 wOBA against left-handed pitching since 2013 and he's hit homeruns in 3 of his last 4 games. At $4,500 on FD and $5,100 on DK, it's possible you can even look at him as a steal. Either way, I'm feeling really good about any lineup with him and Abreu in the same lineup today, which can be made possible with some really cheap values at second base and shortstop and no elite starting pitching.
Hanley Ramirez (BOS) vs Bud Norris - I salivate a bit when I think about Hanley Ramirez against Bud Norris. Since he's SS eligible on DraftKings, he's a nice play at that position for $4,900 but at only $3,700 on FanDuel, he's a near must-play in the outfield. Over the last week, Hanley has a strong .391 wOBA but even more impressive is his elite 0.75 points per plate appearance since 2013 on FanDuel and an even better 2.14 points per plate appearance on DraftKings. He has multi-hit games in 4 of his 7 games in the past week.
Jayson Werth (WAS) vs Dan Haren - Werth enjoyed his first multi-hit game on Saturday since being activated off the DL. It's another really strong matchup for Werth and he makes for a great value at only $2,800 on FanDuel. That's an absolute steal for someone who has killed it against lefties since 2013, hitting an OPS of 1.003 and putting up average fantasy points of 0.82 points per plate appearance on FD.
Steve Pearce (BAL) vs Wade Miley - Pearce's bat has gone quiet lately but at only $3,000 on FD and just $3,800 on DK, he's too good of a value to pass up against the left-handed Wade Miley. Against southpaws since 2013, he has a .407 wOBA and .948 OPS. Miley has been brutal to begin the year and has allowed plenty of baserunners. Pearce usually draws a favorable lineup position so he should hopefully have plenty of run producing opportunities.
Gregory Polanco (PIT) vs Jeremy Hellickson - I love picking on Jeremy Hellickson when he pitches at home in Arizona. A homerun pitcher playing in one of the most homer friendly parks in the league? That screams value and opportunity. Getting a huge ballpark boost and a strong matchup, Gregory Polanco makes for a very nice value play on both FD and DK, particularly because of the way he has been swinging the bat lately (.392 wOBA over the last 7 days).
Mark Trumbo (AZ) vs Francisco Liriano - With Mark Trumbo, you have had to typically had to try to play for the homerun. This season has been different because Trumbo has hits in all but 2 games to begin the year yet he has just one round-tripper. Even with the nice start to the year, Trumbo is underpriced at $2,800 and has averaged 0.79 points per plate appearance on FanDuel since 2013. At $4,100 on DraftKings, he's a bit too steep with the strikeout risk facing an electric Liriano.
Josh Reddick (OAK) vs Asher Wojciechowski - When Josh Reddick is healthy and on a roll, he's tough to get out. Well, Reddick is swinging a got bat and he's got a plus matchup versus Asher Wojciechowski on Sunday. In the last week, Reddick has a phenomenal .518 wOBA yet remains a nice value, particularly on DraftKIngs at just $3,800. Against right-handed pitching, Reddick has average 0.65 points per plate appearance over the last 2 seasons