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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's games commence with a 12:05 pm ET start in South Florida with the New York Mets wrapping up a weekend set with the Miami Marlins. Earlier in the week, the Rockies' Kyle Freeland took advantage of the league's weakest offense against southpaws with seven solid frames in loanDepot Park. David Peterson (10% rostered in ESPN leagues) is a similar lefty, putting him in the Sunday streaming mix.
The Oakland Athletics have scored the second-fewest runs in the league, while the Kansas City Royals check in with the fourth fewest. Deploying the opposing hurler against each has become Pavlovian for those adept at streaming pitchers. On Sunday, the clubs square off with Royals starter Brady Singer (11% rostered) having the edge on the Athletics' James Kaprielian (2%). Singer is the better pitcher, and the Royals boast a better bullpen to protect a potential lead, rendering him the better streaming option. Consider Kaprielian only if you're desperate to make up ground in a head-to-head league.
Two more arms to ponder for a spot start are Rich Hill (6%) and Beau Brieske (3%). Hill has been solid in June with a 3.43 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, fanning 21 while issuing just four free passes in 21 frames. The Cleveland Guardians are a pesky lineup, but Hill is savvy and will not let Jose Ramirez beat him. Brieske yielded four runs in five stanzas to the Red Sox in his latest outing, but he posted a 2.22 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in his previous four efforts, which included the potent Blue Jays and Yankees lineups. Brieske is in a great spot to rebound with a road date against the Diamondbacks on the Sunday docket.
While most playing in head-to-head leagues are looking to make up ground on Sunday, sometimes it's necessary to play defense, especially with ERA and WHIP. There are three such decisions on Sunday's ledger, with Jose Berrios the most challenging as he faces the Brewers in American Family Field. The Blue Jays' righty appeared to be back on track, but surrendered three homers to the White Sox earlier this week. If it were any other day, Berrios would be recommended, but if protecting ratios is needed to a win, then he sits. Spencer Strider has the stuff to be matchup-proof, but he's not there yet so he should be on the bench for Sunday's date with the Dodgers. Lastly, Jack Flaherty has tossed only three innings in each of his first two starts, with spotty control in both, so he's a sit, even facing the Cubs.
A couple of solid efforts in the Arizona Complex League do not erase Dallas Keuchel's struggles over the last couple of seasons, but they're enough to earn a start for the Diamondbacks against the Tigers. Spencer Torkelson (49% rostered), Jonathan Schoop (43%), Jeimer Candelario (42%), Robbie Grossman (36%), Riley Greene (31%), Miguel Cabrera (7%) and Eric Haase (2%) are all in play against the veteran lefty. Other batters to fortify your Sunday lineup are Jarren Duran (4%), Alex Kirilloff (25%), Gavin Sheets (1%), Jake Meyers (less than 1%) and Luis Garcia (9%).
Starting pitcher rankings for Sunday
Best Sub-50% Rostered Hitters for Sunday
Best and worst hitters from the day are generated by THE BAT X, a projection system created by Derek Carty using advanced methods like those used in MLB front offices, accounting for a variety of factors including player talent, ballparks, bullpens, weather, umpires, defense, catcher pitch-framing, and lots more.
Alek Thomas (ARI, CF -- 15%) vs. Brieske
Jonah Heim (TEX, C -- 47%) vs. Tetreault
Mitch Garver (TEX, C -- 15%) vs. Tetreault
Andrew McCutchen (MIL, LF -- 30%) vs. Berrios
Nathaniel Lowe (TEX, 1B -- 42%) vs. Tetreault
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Sunday
Bryan Reynolds (PIT, CF -- 94%) at McClanahan
Connor Joe (COL, LF -- 61%) at Ryan
Cody Bellinger (LAD, CF -- 92%) at Strider
Gavin Lux (LAD, SS -- 53%) at Strider
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Today
Prop of the Day
Glenn Otto Strikeouts: Over/Under 3.5 (-160/+126)
THE BAT sees Otto putting up 3.1 Strikeouts for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 41.8% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $31.52.
Note: Expected Value is a measure of how good a bet is, factoring the probability that it will win versus the odds the book is providing. If you were to wager $1.00 100 times on a bet with an Expected Value of $25, you would win some and you would lose some, but in the end you would expect to come away with $25 in profit on your $100 investment.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE OVER
The Globe Life Field roof projects to be closed today, making conditions in this contest -8° colder than the average outdoor game on the slate - favorable for pitching.
Glenn Otto has been unlucky with his strikeouts this year, putting up a 7.36 K/9 despite THE BAT estimating his true talent level to be 8.55 - a 1.18 K/9 deviation.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
THE BAT X expects Glenn Otto to have a pitch count in this matchup, projecting a maximum of 70 pitches.
The Washington Nationals (19.9 K%, per THE BAT X) project to have the 2nd-least strikeout-heavy lineup today.
Globe Life Field projects as the #23 stadium in Major League Baseball for strikeouts, according to THE BAT projection system.
The Washington Nationals have 6 batters in the projected lineup that will hold the platoon advantage over Glenn Otto in this game.