After a fairly calm stretch of weather, Sunday presents bonus baseball with the Cardinals and Braves making up Saturday's postponement with a day-night double header. The nightcap is the prime-time ESPN affair.
This is the first time in a while the docket lacks a starting pitcher with a projected game score of at least 60. The relative lack of quality at the top of the card should make it easier to make up ground on the pitching side of the ledger for those grinding out a head-to-head win.
Here are the Sunday's pitchers and hitters in favorable spots to end your week on a high note. Each is available in more than half of ESPN leagues.
Dylan Bundy (R), rostered in 46% of ESPN leagues, Los Angeles Angels vs. Detroit Tigers: Bundy continues to be one of the first half's biggest disappointments, at least on the surface. According to expected ERAs in the 4.00-4.50 range, Bundy's 6.98 actual ERA is artificially inflated. A low 58.4% left-on-base mark isn't helping, but he's doing himself no favors with 14 homers in 59 1/3 innings. The Tigers check in with a below-average home run rate along with an above-average strikeout clip availing Bundy a good post to turn things around.
JT Brubaker (R), 28%, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cleveland Indians: Brubaker continues to post a quietly effective campaign. Home runs were an issue as he surrendered 10 in his first 49 1/3 frames, but he hasn't allowed any in his last three outings, spanning 15 2/3 innings. The Indians will experience a big park downgrade and will be without their designated hitter in this interleague affair between neighboring cities.
Shane McClanahan (L), 18%, Tampa Bay Rays at Seattle Mariners: As is typical for young pitchers, McClanahan's rookie season has featured ups and downs. Compiling 46 punch-outs with only 13 walks in 38 2/3 stanzas is encouraging, though 41 hits with seven homers shows inconsistent command. The Mariners score the 10th-fewest runs per game while fanning the fourth most, putting McClanahan in position for a solid effort.
Tony Gonsolin (R), 43%, Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks: On paper, this could be the best matchup of the four streamers, but Gonsolin lasted only 3 2/3 innings last time, so the best you can hope for is the minimum five frames to qualify for the win. Gonsolin's control has also been poor since returning from the IL, as he has issued eight free passes in just 5 1/3 frames. However, he also fanned nine and the Diamondbacks offense is one of the weakest in the league.
Bullpen: Sunday's doubleheader means increased opportunity for saves by the Braves' and Cardinals' bullpens. Atlanta's Will Smith and St. Louis' Alex Reyes are rostered in most ESPN leagues. However, the Braves' Chris Martin and the Cardinals' Giovanny Gallegos are widely available and could be called upon if either of the respective clubs are in a position to sweep the pair.
For the latest team-by-team closer situations, please consult our Closer Chart.
Catcher -- Elias Diaz (R), 1%, Colorado Rockies vs. Milwaukee Brewers (LHP Eric Lauer): The algebra here is straightforward: Dom Nunez, the Rockies' other catcher bats lefthanded, so Diaz is virtually assured of playing. This is even more relevant on a Sunday when many backstops receive the day off. Diaz has been in a rut all season, but he hits better at home and Lauer has administered a generous eight homers in just 33 innings.
First base -- Nate Lowe (L), 48%, Texas Rangers vs. Minnesota Twins (RHP Kenta Maeda): Lowe has really stung the ball in June, though he hasn't yet been rewarded, at least in terms of power. His average exit velocity on fly balls is well above average, which should be a harbinger of an increase in home runs.
Second base -- Ty France (R), 40%, Seattle Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays (LHP Shane McClanahan): Since returning from the IL in late May, France has been raking with a 323/.390/.484, including carrying a seven-game hitting streak into Saturday's action. Hot streaks unto themselves are risky to ride, but a stingy 11.4% strikeout rate in this 25-game stretch suggests France is feeling comfortable.
Third base -- Jon Berti (R), 7%, Miami Marlins at Chicago Cubs (RHP Alec Mills): The Marlins stole five bases on the Cubs Saturday, and even though Berti didn't take advantage, he's been known to compile bags in bunches. He's sporting a 44% on-base clip in June, so it's only a matter of time before he takes advantage.
Shortstop -- Brendan Rodgers (R), 10%, Colorado Rockies vs. Milwaukee Brewers (LHP Eric Lauer): Shortstop is a tough spot to find a fill-in on Sunday, so let's double down on the Rockies facing a homer-prone lefty. Add outfielder Yonathan Daza to the fray, though he doesn't possess as much pop as Rodgers.
Corner infield -- Rowdy Tellez (L), 3%, Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Matt Harvey): A recent skid has found Tellez on the bench, even against righthanders. As such, call this a hunch that he's in Sunday's lineup -- and if he is, facing Harvey could be just what Tellez needs to earn more playing time. The veteran righty is the lowest-ranked arm on the board and working in a hot and humid Camden Yards is not a good thing.
Middle infield -- Kolten Wong (L), 37%, Milwaukee Brewers at Colorado Rockies (RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez): This will be Wong's third game back from a long IL stint, so he should be ready to take advantage of another subpar hurler, as Gonzalez and Harvey are neck and neck for the worst starter on Sunday's schedule. Wong's first half has been interrupted by a couple of IL visits, but in between, he has been pacing towards a career-high slugging mark.
Outfield -- Hunter Renfroe (R), 32%, Boston Red Sox at Kansas City Royals (LHP Mike Minor): Part of Renfroe's allure is enjoying the platoon advantage that should ensure he's in the lineup. It doesn't hurt he has put up a .958 OPS against lefties this season.
Outfield -- Kevin Pillar (R), 4%, New York Mets at Washington Nationals (LHP Patrick Corbin): Corbin's slider continues to be ineffective, and without it, he's a pedestrian hurler. It hasn't manifested yet this season in only 29 plate appearances facing southpaws, but historically, Pillar excels against lefty pitching.
Outfield -- Chas McCormick (R), 2%, Houston Astros vs. Chicago White Sox (LHP Dallas Keuchel): McCormick has played regularly lately, first filling in for Michael Brantley and now Kyle Tucker. He has quietly been a productive cog in a potent lineup, as evidenced by a .956 OPS over the last two weeks.