Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Sunday’s MLB games

Look for our fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings, hitter upgrades, and downgrades daily to help you make smart fantasy baseball lineup decisions and for MLB betting tips. MLB game odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is geared towards ESPN 10-team leagues with standard scoring.

Note: This file has been updated with any overnight pitching changes or weather-related game postponements, along with the addition of the latest MLB game odds as of the indicated time of publication.

What you need to know for Sunday’s MLB Games

By Todd Zola

  • Sunday is always a key day for fantasy managers in head-to-head leagues as the scoring period usually runs Monday through Sunday. Hopefully, you have one of the many aces slated to start on your active roster. If you still need to make up some ground on the pitching side of the ledger, Chicago Cubs southpaw Justin Steele (9% rostered in ESPN leagues) is one of the top streaming candidates. The sophomore has altered his pitch mix from his rookie campaign, throwing more four-seam fastballs and sliders while all but abandoning his sinker and curve. His first two starts went well, but he was hit hard by Tampa last time out. Look for Steele to rebound at home against a weak Pittsburgh Pirates lineup.

  • Cole Irvin (8%) takes the hill for the Oakland Athletics at home against Spencer Howard and the Texas Rangers. Irvin does not miss many bats, and the Rangers offense is averaging the third-most runs per game, but the schedule does not avail many streaming options, so Irvin is in play. The lefthander is averaging close to 5 2/3 innings over his first three starts, a mark above the league norm as many starters are averaging fewer than five frames to begin the season.

  • In the break glass in case of emergency department, both starters in the finale of the series in Motown between the host Detroit Tigers and visiting Colorado Rockies are in play, though each is risky. That said, if you’re behind and need to make up ground, taking a chance is warranted. Chad Kuhl takes the hill for the guests. He’s ranked higher on our Sunday grid. However, using a lefthander at home against the Rockies has proved fruitful for several years, putting Tyler Alexander (2%) in the mix as a streamer and low-cost DFS play.

  • A lot has been made of Gerrit Cole’s slow start as he’s sporting an uncharacteristically high 6.35 ERA and 1.41 WHIP after three games. Specifically, many are questioning whether he’s being negatively affected by MLB’s continued crackdown on grip enhancers. The numbers suggest otherwise as his early-season four-seam velocity and spin rate are higher than last season’s levels. Cole just hasn’t been as sharp. Look for him to begin his ascent back to the elite level on Sunday against an overachieving Guardians club. Deploying Cole in DFS and backing him in a strikeout prop 6.5 or fewer should prove profitable.

  • Los Angeles Angels and Baltimore Orioles should put up some tallies in Anaheim. The starters, Jose Suarez for the Angels and Chris Ellis for the Orioles are each ranked in the lower quartile. Baltimore’s righthanded brethren, including Anthony Santander (63%), Austin Hays (55%), Jorge Mateo (7%) and Ramon Urias (1%) are all in play as fantasy streamers of part of a low-investment DFS stack to free salary for pricey pitching. The Angels Brandon Marsh (18%) and Tyler Wade (5%) both enjoy the platoon edge in one of the friendliest venues for lefty power. Taylor Ward (4%) is also in play, despite hitting from the right side.

Starting pitcher rankings for Sunday


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