Mike Trout, OF, vs. Bos (Rodriguez), $23: You don’t need me to tell you Trout is the best player in baseball, but he’s posting a .325/.400/.675 line against left-handed pitchers this season, and he’s affordable here if you decide to go with bargains with starting pitching (see below). There are also a lot of aces on the hill Sunday, so taking advantage of an elite hitter like Trout against a southpaw making just his 10th start of his career (although he’s been solid through his first nine) makes sense.
Tim Cooney, SP, vs. Mets (Niese), $25: He has a 3.31 ERA over his last three starts and has 17 strikeouts over 18.2 innings. Of course, that’s a tiny sample, but the Cardinals are -135 favorites Sunday while facing a Mets team that’s scored the second-fewest runs in MLB. Cooney is literally the cheapest starting pitcher during Sunday’s slate (weather is a concern here, as rain is possible).
Marco Estrada, SP, vs. TB (Archer), $42: He hasn’t pitched as well of late and is going against Chris Archer, but Estrada owns a 3.52 ERA and 1.18 WHIP on the year and will be facing a Tampa Bay offense that has the fourth-worst OPS against RHP (.665). Going this cheap on starting pitchers will allow us to be far more aggressive on the hitters.
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Buster Posey, C, at Ari (Corbin), $19: He had to come in to play catcher Saturday after starting at first base when Andrew Susac left injured, but hopefully Posey will still be in Sunday’s lineup hitting cleanup as usual. He’s batting .318, and his 63 RBI would actually lead the American League, so to call him the best catcher in the game would be an understatement. Posey also faces a lefty Sunday, whom he owns a career .949 OPS against.
Ryan Howard, 1B, vs. Mia (Haren), $14: He has 12 homers over 238 at bats versus RHP this season and faces Dan Haren, who’s served up 10 long balls over 48.2 innings against left-handed batters.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B, at LAA (Santiago), $11: He has an .845 OPS with an 11:12 K:BB ratio versus southpaws and owns a career 1.278 OPS against Hector Santiago, albeit in a small sample. Pedroia’s price seems cheap here relative to the rest of the second basemen and batting toward the top of Boston’s lineup.
Troy Tulowitzki, SS, at SD (Cashner), $16: He’s typically better against lefties and obviously preferable hitting in Coors Field, but shortstop is so thin, and even in a down year, his .836 OPS leads every player at the position.
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Kris Bryant, 3B, at ATL (Miller), $17: This isn’t the greatest matchup but more of a reflection upon the rest of the third base options Sunday and Bryant’s price.
Justin Upton, OF, vs. Col (Butler), $15: He hits cleanup and owns a .919 OPS at home this season. Upton is on pace to finish with 83 runs scored, 26 homers, 86 RBI and 30 steals yet there are 33 outfielders priced higher than him Sunday.
Nelson Cruz, OF, at NYY (Sabathia), $17: He’s slowed down in a big way after such a hot start, but Cruz is still batting a ridiculous .388/.474/.791 against lefties this year, and CC Sabathia has allowed a whopping 18 homers over 75.1 innings to go along with a .331 BAA and a 1.66 WHIP against RHB this season.