DraftKings picks: Longoria, Sandoval, Archer
With arguably no elite-level starters on the schedule, Sunday could be a great challenge for DraftKings participants. The ability to nab a pair of productive hurlers could be the factor that decides many matchups, even though participants have several options for hitting stacks on this day. The players listed below could be excellent lineup additions.
Evan Longoria (Rays): The third baseman could improve on his lifetime .914 OPS against left-handers (.816 vs. righties) when he faces Blue Jays southpaw Mark Buehrle. Since joining Toronto in 2013, the soft-tossing lefty has allowed opposing batters to post a collective .283 batting average.
Pablo Sandoval (Red Sox): Sandoval could join Longoria as a productive hot-corner option when he brings his career .305/.359/.491 slash line vs. right-handers into a matchup with Orioles righty Bud Norris, who has compiled a 17.42 ERA and a 2.32 WHIP across three 2015 starts.
David Ortiz (Red Sox): The right-handed Norris has permitted an .803 OPS to opposite-sided hitters during his big league tenure, so the left-handed-swinging Ortiz could prove to be a formidable foe for the Orioles starter. The Red Sox slugger has done a considerable amount of damage vs. righties in his career, notching a .972 OPS in those situations (.818 vs. lefties).
Jason Heyward (Cardinals): With a career .278/.369/.463 slash line against right-handers, the outfielder could spark the Cardinals' offense against Brewers righty Mike Fiers, who has posted a 6.75 ERA this season and surrendered a pair of grand slams in his most recent outing.
Salvador Perez (Royals): Perez has accumulated a career .844 OPS vs. left-handers (.719 against righties), which suggests that he could be a productive catcher for DraftKings participants when he faces southpaw John Danks (career 4.30 ERA) at hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field.
Lorenzo Cain (Royals): Cain is off to a terrific start this season, with two homers, five steals and a .390 average in 59 at-bats. He could reach base often and score multiple runs at a hitter-friendly venue against Danks, who has compiled a 4.93 ERA since the outset of the 2012 season.
Ike Davis (A's): The left-handed-hitting first baseman could thrive against Astros righty Asher Wojciechowski, as he has posted a career .816 OPS vs. right-handers (.580 against lefties). Wojciechowski has compiled a 6.00 ERA and a 1.92 WHIP to this point in his rookie season, and he has yet to last more than four frames in any appearance.
Stephen Vogt (A's): Vogt is hitting .373 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 51 at-bats this month, and he could continue to surge when he brings his career .276/.324/.438 slash line vs. righties into the matchup with Wojciechowski.
Gregory Polanco (Pirates): The outfielder could reach base and cross home plate multiple times when he brings his lifetime .731 OPS against right-handers (.474 vs. lefties) into a matchup with D-backs righty Jeremy Hellickson, who has posted a 4.97 ERA since the outset of the 2013 season.
Neil Walker (Pirates): With a career .801 OPS vs. right-handers (.662 vs. lefties), the second baseman is another Pirates hitter who could have success against Hellickson. DraftKings participants may employ a cost-effective stack by combining Polanco, Walker and first baseman Pedro Alvarez.
Chris Archer (Rays): The right-hander may be at the outset of a breakout season, as he has posted a 1.07 ERA, a 0.83 WHIP and 30 whiffs across 25 1/3 innings. He could thrive vs. the Blue Jays, against whom he registered 11 strikeouts across seven shutout frames on April 16.
Hector Santiago (Angels): Santiago has compiled a 2.45 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP this season, and during his most recent start he produced eight K's across six innings of one-run ball at his pitcher-friendly home park. The southpaw could earn a second straight win at Angel Stadium by handling a Rangers lineup that possesses few hitters who thrive vs. lefties.
Drew Pomeranz (A's): Pomeranz allowed four earned runs in each of his past two starts, but DraftKings participants may wish to give him another chance in a favorable matchup with the Astros due to the dearth of quality pitching options available. Houston has the most strikeouts in the Majors with 153, and Pomeranz could accumulate several whiffs at his pitcher-friendly home park. With Wojciechowski as the opposing starter, he could also pick up a win with a quality effort.
Brandon Morrow (Padres): The right-hander has allowed two runs across 14 innings this season at his new pitcher-friendly home venue. He could extend that streak of Petco-enhanced effectiveness when he faces the Dodgers. With Scott Baker (5.47 ERA in 2014) making his season debut in a spot-start for the opposition, Morrow could notch a victory if he delivers a quality outing.
All statistics are accurate through the completion of Friday's games.