At the moment, baseball is the center of the sporting universe, as the NHL and NBA playoffs have ended. Also, the World Cup hasn't started yet. As always, there are 15 games Sunday, and the first one starts at 1:05 PM ET. Here are my recommendations for your daily fantasy lineup.
James Paxton, SEA at TAM ($53): Paxton has a career FIP of 3.11, which is good, but over the last three seasons his FIP has been below 3.00. He's also struck out 11.04 batters per nine innings this year. The Rays are in the bottom 10 in runs scored and home runs, so the matchup is looking good for the Canadian hurler.
Rick Porcello, BOS vs. CWS ($41): Porcello has rebounded from last year's struggles, as he has a 3.59 ERA to go with a 3.40 FIP. He also has an 8-2 record, thanks in part to the fact the Red Sox have one of the two best offenses in the league. The Sox of the White variety aren't as strong offensively as their Boston counterparts. Chicago is in the bottom four in MLB in runs scored.
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Jonathan Lucroy, OAK vs. KAN ($8): Lucroy's power has been down, but at lot of that has been due to struggles against lefties. He has a .306 batting average and .421 slugging percentage against right-handed pitchers, and he's traditionally hit better against righties. Brad Keller has a 2.12 ERA, but mostly he's been working in relief. He only has two starts in his career, and his FIP is 3.27. Keller has yet to prove himself as a starter.
Edwin Encarnacion, CLE at DET ($24): Encarnacion's OBP is down, but his .507 slugging percentage makes up for that. He has 16 home runs in 56 games, and he's hit at least 34 homers in his last six campaigns. The Tigers are starting Artie Lewicki, which is a name you might not be familiar with. The 26-year-old has appeared in 11 games in his career, two of them starts, and his career ERA is 4.66.
Cesar Hernandez, PHI vs. MIL ($16): Hernandez has a career slash line of .282/.359/.381, but this year his OPS is .776. He has seven home runs, close to his career high of nine, and he already has 10 stolen bases. Brandon Woodruff has pitched 19.3 innings this season, some of them in relief, and he has a 6.05 ERA.
Anthony Rendon, WAS vs. SFG ($18): Rendon has been a formidable hitter in his career, but he's been particularly good against southpaws. He's consistently crushed lefties including this year, and he's traditionally hit better at home as well. San Francisco's Derek Holland is left handed, and he also has a 4.63 FIP. That's in line with his career FIP of 4.57, and he's also struggled with allowing home runs.
Eduardo Escobar, MIN vs. LAA ($18): Escobar is absolutely tearing it up this year, posting a .290/.343/.570 slash line. He's hit 12 homers after hitting 21 in 129 games last season as well. Nick Tropeano has a 4.69 FIP this season for the Angels after posting a 5.32 FIP in 2016, the last year he pitched. He also has a 1.45 HR/9 rate after having a 1.84 HR/9 rate in 2016, which bodes well for Escobar adding to his home run total.
Michael Brantley, CLE at DET ($22): Brantley has always hit well when healthy, but this season he's been healthy AND raking. He's slashed .324/367/.541 with 10 homers in 51 games. As previously noted, Artie Lewicki has a career 4.66 ERA and 1.86 WHIP with only two starts to his name.
Teoscar Hernandez, TOR vs. BAL ($18): Hernandez has never been great at getting on base, but when he connects he has shown a ton of power. His career slugging percentage is a robust .516. Alex Cobb has a 6.19 ERA, and on the road he has a 6.43 ERA and 1.74 WHIP.
Tommy Pham, STL at CIN ($15): Pham exploded onto the scene with a .306/.411/.520 slash line last season. That is an outlier, but his career numbers of .274/.361/.448 is still impressive. He also hit 23 homers and stole 25 bases last year, and he's on pace to go 20/20 again. Anthony DeSclafani has made on one start for the Reds this season, and he allowed four runs in five innings.