The baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint. That is certainly readily apparent in late August. You've been playing daily fantasy baseball for months, but don't fall off the pace. At this point, we have almost a full season of data on these players. It's your typical Sunday. Lots of games in the afternoon, where things can get a little hot. That tends to help offense. Here are my lineup recommendations.
Zack Greinke ($49) has made two starts since being dealt to the Astros. In both games, he went six innings, allowed two runs, and got the win. On the season, he's managed a 2.91 ERA, even though his former home ballpark was in Arizona. The Athletics own a good offense, but they also have a stadium that is very pitcher-friendly.
It's a Zack Attack! Zack Wheeler ($41) enters with a 4.36 ERA, but a 3.53 FIP. Plus, he's been pitching better of late with a 3.26 ERA over his last seven starts. The Mets are taking on the Royals, who rank in the bottom-five in runs scored. That bodes well for Wheeler's quest to stay hot.
Normally, it's great to use pitchers starting against the Marlins and Tigers. However, the Tigers are facing the Rays, who are a good bet to use an opener. As for the Marlins, they'll be up against the Rockies in Coors Field. It's hard to recommend Peter Lambert in Denver. So let's call this two anti-recommendations.
Who has the worst offense of the "real" MLB offenses, which is to say the ones that aren't in Detroit and Miami? That would be the White Sox. Griffin Canning ($38) of the Angels is getting the start against Chicago. The rookie has recorded a 4.54 FIP and has struck out 9.50 batters per nine innings.
Bryce Harper has been making a splash recently, but he's a lefty, and so is San Diego's starter Joey Lucchesi. You want to find yourself a righty to use in this matchup, as Lucchesi has slumped to a 6.15 road ERA. My recommendation is Rhys Hoskins ($12) based on his 1.029 OPS versus left-handed pitchers.
Anthony Rizzo ($16) has been the model of consistency during his career. He's hit over 100 RBIs in his last four seasons, over 30 homers in four of his last five seasons, and hasn't posted a batting average under .273 in that time. Mitch Keller has only made four starts this year and has registered a 7.94 ERA in those outings.
Randal Grichuk ($22) has been hot in August, with a .333 batting average and six home runs this month. He's also produced more at home, thanks to an .818 OPS in his own ballpark. The outfielder also represents a potent hitter of home runs, and Seattle's Yusei Kikuchi has had issues allowing the long ball as a rookie as his 2.21 homers per nine innings mark shows.
Alex Dickerson ($16) wasn't getting much of a run with the Padres, and then he got hot when he joined up with the Giants. But then he got hurt, and just only returned. This is a good game for him to try and find that earlier magic. Not only is he playing at Arizona's ballpark, but is starting against Merrill Kelly on the mound with his 6.29 ERA over the last 10 starts.
Ynoa has spent the bulk of his career pitching out of the bullpen, but that hasn't helped him keep his ERA down. His career number sits at 5.53, but it's even worse this year at 5.93. Ynoa has allowed 2.27 home runs per nine innings, which is somehow better than his career average. Since he is a right-handed pitcher, I've decided to recommend a couple of Red Sox who tend to sit against lefties along with a guy enjoying a breakout season.
The guy having the breakout season is Devers, as he's taken his game to a whole new level. He's already scored 100 runs, and soon enough will have 100 RBI as well. If you want some numbers that aren't teammate-dependent counting stats, the 22-year old also has produced a .376 OBP and .584 slugging percentage. Those counting stats do make sense in context, as Devers possesses a ton of talented teammates around him.
Benintendi is actually having his best season against lefties, with a .850 OPS versus southpaws. That's encouraging because it also means it's less likely a pitcher out of the bullpen will give him trouble. Benintendi's not hitting a ton of home runs, but he's on pace to record double-digit homers and stolen bases for the third straight year.
Moreland's splits are really striking this year, though it's something of a small-sample size. That's partially because he sits against lefties a lot. When a righty is on the mound, Moreland has registered a .907 OPS this year, with an .805 OPS against righties since 2017.
Angels vs. Dylan Cease (White Sox)
Cease was considered one of the best prospects in Chicago's organization before his call up, but it hasn't been going well for him so far. The rookie has only made seven starts, and has struggled with a 5.54 ERA. Cease has struggled particularly against lefties, who have crushed him with a .317 batting average. As such, keep an eye on any southpaws the Angels can roll out.
I wanted to find one more Angel who isn't Trout to recommend. However, I wasn't too enthused about most of the options, and also wanted to make it clear Trout was worth any price in this matchup. He's the best player in baseball. We all know that. Just pony up and enjoy the ride.
Fletcher has carved out a role with the Angels thanks to being able to fill a utility role. He's also earned his spot in the lineup, as he's impressed with a .289 batting average and .348 OBP. He doesn't boast a ton of power, but he does have an .830 home OPS.
Calhoun is a lefty, so he has that going for him. His batting average isn't great, but he'll make up for that if he hits a homer. A lot of his hits have resulted in damage, as the 22 home runs will confirm. Put the lefty in your lineup and hope he goes long. Cease has allowed 1.85 homers per nine innings, so there's a good chance of that.