This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
There are a few quality pitchers set to take the mound Sunday, but the options at the position aren't that great overall. We could see plenty of scoring across baseball, which could lead to some big stat lines on DraftKings. Let's jump into the matchups and discuss which players stand out.
Zack Wheeler ($10,700) did not pitch well against the Braves in his last outing, giving up five runs and 14 baserunners across five innings. He also recorded just two strikeouts, which was his lowest total since his second start of the season against the Nationals. The Braves represent a tough team to try and slow down, so he'll be faced with a much easier matchup here against the Royals and one of the worst lineups in baseball. Wheeler should be one of the most popular starters for this slate, and rightfully so.
With the Cardinals trying to make a playoff push, Jack Flaherty ($9,700) has stepped up in a big way. He hasn't allowed a run in any of his last three starts, two of which came against good lineups in the Cubs and Dodgers. He's been excellent for an even longer stretch, recording a 0.79 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP over his last seven starts. Considering the roll Flaherty's on right now, he makes for an excellent option against the Reds.
If you're looking for a really cheap pitcher to load up on bats, taking a chance on Thomas Pannone ($4,600) in tournament play might not be the worst idea. Although he won't start, he is expected to pitch the bulk of the innings behind Wilmer Font. Pannone filled the same role in his last outing against the Rangers and pitched four shutout innings. Now faced with a matchup against a Mariners team that has struck out the most times in baseball, he could actually provide some value at such a low price.
Whoever is facing the Orioles is likely going to be one of the chalk stacks of the night. It will be the Red Sox this time around, who have scored 13 runs in the first two games of this series. Left-hander Ty Blach will get the start and he's been awful, allowing 17 runs - including 16 earned - over 10.1 innings this season. J.D. Martinez ($5,400) stands out as a top target with his 234 wRC+ against lefties. Sam Travis ($3,800) should be in the lineup with a lefty on the mound, making him a more cost-effective option to consider.
The Indians will close out their weekend series against the Yankees by facing CC Sabathia, who is going to be activated from the IL to make this start. He's struggled in what will be the last season of his career, recording a 5.92 FIP and allowing 2.4 HR/9. Right-handed hitters have recorded a .371 wOBA against Sabathia and the Indians certainly have plenty of players who can do damage from that side of the plate. Francisco Lindor ($5,000), Jose Ramirez ($5,200) and Carlos Santana ($5,300) should all be popular picks.
The matchup between the Red Sox and Orioles has the potential to be a high-scoring affair on both sides with Nathan Eovaldi set to start for the Red Sox. He's pitched in relief since being activated off the IL, but the Red Sox don't have much of a choice but to start him with some of the injuries they have suffered to their rotation. Eovaldi isn't expected to throw more than 60 pitches, so the Orioles could also get an extended look at the Red Sox's underwhelming bullpen. They have a few intriguing hitters that could thrive, including Trey Mancini ($5,000) and Anthony Santander ($4,400).
Blue Jays vs. Yusei Kikuchi (Mariners)
The Blue Jays are a much more exciting offensive team now that they have called up some of their top prospects. They'll have an excellent opportunity to keep things rolling against Kikuchi, who comes in with a 6.00 FIP and a 1.52 WHIP. Bichette is hard to pass up considering his 179 wRC+ since being recalled from the minors. Grichuk is also at the top of his game right now, hitting .306 with seven home runs and four doubles over his last 18 games.
Mets vs. Glenn Sparkman (Royals)
In a surprising turn of events, Sparkman held the Cardinals to two runs - with one earned - over six innings in his last start. However, he's largely struggled this season with a 5.77 FIP, so this is a prime spot to deploy the Mets. Sparkman's also given up 1.9 HR/9, leaving Alonso and Conforto with plenty of upside. While Rosario doesn't provide much power, he is 29-for-77 with four doubles across his last 17 games.
Braves vs. Tony Gonsolin (Dodgers)
Gonsolin has looked sharp in his last two outings, allowing one run across 10 innings. However, he struggled with a 4.39 FIP and a 1.50 WHIP at Triple-A, so he's not exactly a dominant force. The Braves boast one of the better hitting teams at home all season, posting a 110 wRC+ at SunTrust Park. They promise the potential for a productive afternoon while possibly also not being included in a ton of entries. Acuna is the key player to build any Braves stack around with his 35 home runs and 29 stolen bases. And he's also already scored a career-high 104 runs, thanks to a .380 wOBA.