This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
It's the first Sunday of May, making this one of the first days of the season that really feels like "baseball season". There are eight games in the early-afternoon portion of the schedule that has become the required choice at FanDuel for Sunday's MLB DFS contests. With the first pitch at 1:35 p.m. EDT, here are my lineup recommendations.
Joe Ryan, MIN at CLE ($11,000): "Safe" picks at pitcher sometimes feels like an oxymoron, but Ryan seems as close to a good choice as anybody Sunday with a 5-0 record and a 2.37 ERA. The Guardians rank bottom-five in offense and last in home runs. They scored more runs in 2022, but were still a team that struggled to hit homers.
Joey Lucchesi, NYM vs. COL ($8,300): This is about the matchup, and the likelihood of Lucchesi picking up a win. The Rockies aren't great scoring runs, and this game is away from Coors Field. If they're that low in the offensive rankings, you know they're struggling.
Mason Miller, OAK at KC ($7,700): Miller's first two MLB starts were dicey, but his third saw him go seven innings while allowing no runs or hits versus the Mariners. The Royals sit bottom-five offensively and list a sub-.300 team OBP, so maybe Miller can pull off a similar stat line.
When you have a career .534 slugging percentage and hit 53 home runs as a rookie, you become synonymous with power. That's Pete Alonso ($3,900) for you, and he's at 11 homers this year even though his .240 average is below the .267 over the previous two years. Don't think Ryan Feltner's numbers are a product of Coors Field since he's produced a 5.38 road ERA over his career while allowing 1.5 home runs per nine innings.
At this point, we can probably just say that Ian Happ ($3,100) is a really good player considering he's slashed .298/.421/.482 with four homers and four stolen bases. While a switch hitter, he's registered an .815 OPS against righties since 2021. Sandy Alcantara's struggles are surprising, but real. Even if you look beyond the 5.09 ERA through six starts, he's also at a 4.26 FIP, his strikeouts are down, his walks are up, and his line-drive percentage is a whopping 21.2.
In his first full season with the Phillies, Brandon Marsh ($3,100) is putting up some wild - and unsustainable - numbers. However, the lefty had slashed .267/.334/.433 versus righties over his career. Tanner Houck is back starting and has posted a 5.34 ERA, in part because lefties have gone .277 against.
To the extent Rodolfo Castro ($2,600) has had any MLB success, it's come feasting on lefties with a career .956 OPS against them. Yusei Kikuchi is very lucky to have a 4-0 record. Not only does he have a 4.02 ERA – so he's clearly been getting offensive support – but he actually has a 5.42 FIP. And that comes after a 5.61 FIP in 2022.
Stacks to Consider
You can't get away with striking out 4.73 batters per nine innings in the majors. Quantrill has a 4.73 ERA doing that and a 4.74 FIP which shows it's not down to bad luck. While a righty, he's actually shown a propensity to shut down lefties but get destroyed by fellow right-handers. And righties have hit .273 against Quantrill the last couple campaigns, so I'm going with three here.
Buxton isn't a threat to win a batting title, and not just because he rarely plays enough to qualify. And this year, his incredible power has been supplemented with a .255 average and .346 OBP. As He's also slugged .535 with eight homers and has slugged .558 the last five seasons. Polanco missed the start of the year, and so far his numbers have gone against his usual tendencies. Looking at a larger sample size, he's recorded an .824 OPS versus righties and an .814 on the road. Taylor has managed three seasons with double-digit homers and steals. And he's at four of each this year.
Two of these hitters - and this starter - are new to their teams. One of them, Walker, is struggling with a 6.91 ERA while giving up 2.20 home runs per nine innings. In his new home ballpark, he's really struggled with a 7.27 ERA.
Devers, a career .281 hitter, should improve his current .255 mark. But the power is still there as he's slugged .562 with 11 home runs. Yoshida's deal coming over from Japan turned heads, but he's responded with a .315/.400/.537 slash line with six homers and two steals. It's early, but he's also performed better against righties and on the road. Turner hasn't supplied much power, but he's batting .267 with a .359 OBP. While Walker is a righty, he's actually allowed a .279 to right handers in 2023.