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

Look beyond Alex Cobb's surface numbers and there's plenty to like for his Sunday start against the Cincinnati Reds. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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 toward ESPN 10-team leagues with standard scoring.

Note: This file will be 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

  • If you need to make up some pitching points, don't fret as the Sunday slate is replete with a bounty of options. But first, here is your weekly reminder to set lineups early with the docket beginning early with the 11:35 AM ET tilt between the visiting San Francisco Giants and host Cincinnati Reds in the Great American Ballpark. You wouldn't know it by his 6.25 ERA, but Alex Cobb is earmarked for a turnaround as indicated by a 2.37 xFIP and 2.56 SIERA. Cobb (27% rostered in ESPN leagues) draws a Reds lineup hitting better lately, but they still sport the ninth-lowest wOBA with a righthander on the hill. Cobb's Cobb's 21.3% K-BB% ranks 24th among hurlers with at least 30 innings.

  • If you want to stream Nick Pivetta (46%) you best hurry, as his rostership will no doubt soar once everyone starts tending to their Sunday lineup. Not only is Pivetta supported by rejuvenated Boston Red Sox lineup, he'll face a Baltimore Orioles club with the seventh-lowest wOBA facing righties. Pivetta has recorded a quality start in four consecutive efforts, posting a 1.61 ERA and 0.64 WHIP with 25 punchouts in those 28 frames.

  • There are three more chief targets for a productive spot start. James Kaprielian (4%) takes the hill at home for the Oakland Athletics against a Texas Rangers lineup toting the fourth-poorest wOBA versus righthanders.

  • Pitching for the visitors will be Dane Dunning (10%) who is also in a good spot taking on a unit with the league's lowest wOBA against righthanders.

  • Trusting Kyle Freeland (5%) could be a challenge after fellow Colorado Rockies southpaw Austin Gomber was lit up by the Washington Nationals on Saturday, but for the season, the Nationals are still the 10th-weakest squad with a lefty toeing the rubber.

  • In a surprise move, the Atlanta Braves option Travis Demeritte and promoted top prospect Michael Harris II. He made his major league debut on Saturday, playing center field. Harris II won't play every day, but Demeritte was playing frequently, so his playing time will be split between Harris II and William Contreras (18%). Even so, both are worthy of a roster spot in daily leagues. Contreras is catcher eligible and has seven homers in just 58 plate appearances. Atlanta has been using Contreras in left and as designated hitter, but of course you can click him in at catcher. Harris II has some pop, but his stolen base ability is his main allure. The 21-year-old speedster posted a .305/.372/.506 line with 11 steals in 196 plate appearances for Double-A Mississippi before getting the call.


It's not too late to start another free fantasy baseball league. Leagues drafted this week will start scoring fresh the following Monday.


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.

    • Tommy La Stella (SF, 2B -- 2%) at Tyler Mahle

    • Mike Moustakas (CIN, 3B -- 11%) vs. Alex Cobb

    • Josh Naylor (CLE, RF -- 50%) at Elvin Rodriguez

    • Tyler Naquin (CIN, CF -- 13%) vs. Alex Cobb

    • Christian Walker (ARI, 1B -- 25%) vs. Tyler Anderson

    • Andrew McCutchen (MIL, LF -- 33%) at Miles Mikolas

    • Darin Ruf (SF, 1B -- 9%) at Tyler Mahle

    • Josh Rojas (ARI, SS -- 26%) vs. Tyler Anderson

    • Alejandro Kirk (TOR, C -- 16%) at Patrick Sandoval

    • Evan Longoria (SF, 3B -- 1%) at Tyler Mahle

    Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Sunday

      • Joey Gallo (NYY, LF -- 56%) at Shane McClanahan

      • Eduardo Escobar (NYM, 2B -- 62%) vs. Zack Wheeler

      • Mark Canha (NYM, LF -- 63%) vs. Zack Wheeler

      • Jazz Chisholm Jr. (MIA, 2B -- 96%) at Max Fried

      • Adolis Garcia (TEX, CF -- 52%) at James Kaprielian

      • Sean Murphy (OAK, C -- 72%) vs. Dane Dunning

      • J.T. Realmuto (PHI, C -- 99%) at Chris Bassitt

      • Randy Arozarena (TB, LF -- 89%) vs. Luis Severino

      • Adam Frazier (SEA, 2B -- 64%) vs. Luis Garcia

      • Tyler Stephenson (CIN, C -- 89%) vs. Alex Cobb

      Prop of the Day

      Zack Wheeler Strikeouts Prop is currently Over/Under 6.5 (+115/-155).

      PREDICTION

      THE BAT sees Wheeler putting up 5.0 Strikeouts for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 27.1% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $30.78.

      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 BAT projects Zack Wheeler in the 91st percentile when estimating his strikeout ability.

      • Citi Field ranks as the #5 field in Major League Baseball for strikeouts, according to THE BAT projection system.

      FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER:

      • The New York Mets (19.5 K%, via THE BAT X) project to have the least strikeout-heavy lineup today.

      • The New York Mets have 7 bats in the projected batting order that will have the handedness advantage over Zack Wheeler today.

      • Zack Wheeler's fastball velocity has decreased 1.1 mph this season (95.3 mph) below where it was last season (96.4 mph).

      • Zack Wheeler has been lucky with his strikeouts this year, posting a 10.12 K/9 despite THE BAT estimating his true talent level to be 9.79 - a 0.33 K/9 difference.