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

Ranger Suarez of the Philadelphia Phillies. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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.

For an in-depth look at what to expect in this daily article and for how to best utilize the information contained within, check out our handy primer here.

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

  • The first Sunday slate in July begins at 12:05 PM ET with the Baltimore Orioles hosting the Minnesota Twins. The ESPN Sunday night affair features the New York Mets entertaining the San Francisco Giants.

  • Michael Kopech (33% rostered) would be the slate's top streaming option, but the Chicago White Sox have indicated they may skip him this weekend. We'll update as information becomes available, but if he takes the hill Kopech is a must add, facing the Oakland Athletics on the road. However, he's fanned only 12 with 19 walks over his past three starts, spanning just 12 1/3 innings, hence the chance he gets extended rest.

  • Ranger Suarez (42%) is also in a great spot when the Philadelphia Phillies host the Washington Nationals. Suarez has posted a 1.08 ERA and .96 WHIP over his prior five starts, spanning 33 1/3 innings. He's been fortunate, allowing only 24 hits and one homer over this time, but he's also fanned 33 while issuing just eight walks. The Nationals offense has been productive facing southpaws, and doesn't fan much, but Suarez is still in play as he's stifled the Braves, Dodgers and Diamondbacks in this five-game stretch.

  • Trusting Rich Hill (6.0%) is a big ask, but when you consider the Pittsburgh Pirates have a home date with the Milwaukee Brewers, your fears can be assuaged. The Brewers will incur a huge park downgrade, which makes their league worst wOBA and highest strikeout rate facing southpaws even more worrisome. Hill has been in a rut lately, but most of it is bad luck on batted balls as he's only surrendered four homers over his last 68 frames.

  • Those in close head-to-head matchups have an option in the late game with David Peterson (3.0%). Peterson has the chance to put up better numbers since he'll face a lineup fanning 27% of the time with a left-hander on the hill. The Giants also have a lower wOBA facing southpaws. Peterson was recently recalled from the minors and posted six scoreless frames with five punch outs against the Brewers in his return.

Starting pitcher rankings for Sunday

Bullpen usage watch for Sunday

By Todd Zola

  • The Boston Red Sox asked Kenley Jansen to record four outs yesterday and, even though he made things interesting, the veteran closer escaped with this 17th save. Jansen threw 22 pitches, which came on top of 15 hurled on Thursday. The combined 37 over the past three days will likely transfer today's ninth-inning duties to Chris Martin as the club tries to sweep the Toronto Blue Jays on the road.

  • The Seattle Mariners also asked their closer for more than an inning as Paul Sewald worked 1 2/3 innings for his 15th save in an 8-3 home win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Sewald was working on three days of rest, so he should be able to pitch in the rubber game of the weekend series.

  • For those in close head-to-head matchups, stashing (and activating if necessary) a reliever from the ESPN Sunday night game can be the difference between winning and losing. Mets primary closer David Robertson (60.4% rostered) had yesterday off, but he may need another day to recover from throwing 42 total pitches over Thursday and Friday. This renders Adam Ottavino (4.1%) as the target for a save. Ottavino registered his sixth save yesterday, but he needed only eight pitches, and was pitching on two days of rest. Even if Robertson is able to appear, Ottavino is in play for a hold.

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.

Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Sunday

THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Sunday

Prop of the Day

Matt Manning, Tigers, 3.5 strikeouts (-140/+110)


THE BAT X sees Manning putting up 3.0 strikeouts for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 41.0% of the time. THE BAT X believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $23.82.

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.


  • The Rockies have three hitters in their projected lineup today with a high (i.e. over 27%) underlying K% according to THE BAT X (McMahon, Nolan Jones, Brenton Doyle).

  • The wind projects to be blowing in from right at 13 mph in this matchup, the most favorable of the day for pitchers.


  • Considering both his underlying tendencies and the matchup, Manning is projected by THE BAT X to throw 73 pitches in today's outing, which is the third-least of all pitchers on the slate.

  • John Libka profiles as a huge hitter's umpire and is to be calling pitches today.

  • THE BAT X ranks Coors Field as the worst stadium in the majors for strikeouts.

  • A correlation exists between high heat and more offense (and fewer strikeouts), and this game is projected to have the second-hottest weather of all games on the slate today at 86 degrees.