Thank you to The Lineup Builder (@Derek_Favret) for covering for me yesterday.  I am popping into the Sunday slate as reciprocation.  I wrote much of today’s column from the road while traveling for business and must say I was a little tempted to throw Lane Thomas in as my highlighted player of the day then I remembered he is not good and his career day is now behind us.  Instead, I am providing two pitching names for the awesome title and, frankly, because they have favorable match-ups.  Our main goal with these pitchers is to identify arms that can miss STYX when they are on the hill. Get it, Mr. Roboto…STYX…bats/sticks?  Hang with me as it has been a long week on the road.

I am shaking up Sunday a little by recommending a couple of arms.  My absolute must-start Sunday is Jordan Montgomery, SP: DK: $10,600 / FD: $7,800 facing a weak Detroit lineup.  JoMo is not going to be mistaken for Nolan Ryan when it comes to strikeouts.  In fact, his stat lines are boring with only one win on the young season.  Looking a little deeper finds an ERA just above 3.00 (3.04) and WHIP ever so slightly above 1.00 (1.01).  These are numbers I can certainly live with as JoMo has not given up more than three earned runs or walks in any start this season.  Additionally, he hovers around five K’s per game.  I would like to see that number jump today against a Detroit lineup that appears to swing and miss a lot and even when they do hit, they are not putting up Ruthian stats.  Look for the NYY lineup to provide plenty of run support for JoMo as they face a young Rony Garcia.

The bigger pitching name for today is Lucas Giolito, SP: DK: $9,600 / FD: $10,200 firing against a scrappy Rays squad on the road.  Though it is tough to predict which Rays teams we will see facing off against the ChiSox today, I am confident our guy Lucas is ready for the challenge.  The plan is for Giolito to bounce back from his last start and get back to throwing like Cyolito.  We need Lucas to be stretched out a little more than he has so far this season, averaging just over 5 IP per start.  I would like to see 7 strong today and will accept nothing less than a quality start (6 IP, 3 or less earned runs) with 8-10 Ks.

NOTE: The Streamanator LOVES these two names and has them coming in a #3-4 overall for Sunday.

If you want a fun pivot and have Tums handy, take a look at Luis Castillo who is likely in line for the best pitcher on the worst team award.  And, if you want to really make me happy (and I know you could care less), sign up for the George Kirby experience!

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William Contreras, C/1B: DK: $4,900 / FD: $4,000 – A catcher batting near .300 (sitting at .299 this morning), playing at Coors Field against a rookie pitcher.  End of analysis.  I am buying. Spoiler Alert: Braves stack below…Hittertron LOVES the Braves today and so do I!

Matt Olson, C/1B: DK: $4,600 / FD: $4,100 – The numbers are not Olson-esque, but the weather is heating up and the lefty on righty match-up is one I cannot pass up.  I see Sunday as the day with at least one extra base hit for Olson.  In fact, he probably gets his first Coors HR of the weekend today.  If you want to pivot, I recommend doing so with Paul Goldschmidt, who just came off an extended hitting streak (25 game streak broken in Game 1 of Saturday’s double-header).

Ozzie Albies, 2B: DK: $4,800 / FD: $3,800 – Stop me if you’ve heard this…lefty bat versus righty rookie pitcher at Coors.  Albies, like Olson, is going to have a big Sunday Fun-Day in Denver.  End of Braves stack.

Jose Ramirez, 3B: DK: $6,000 / FD: $4,500 – The Guardians one-man wrecking crew is a must own, especially against the Orioles squad that gives up a ton of runs.  Look for the MLB RBI leader to pad his stats in Baltimore this Sunday.  Need more?  OK, how about Dean Kremer making his first start of the season?  That should be enough for you to roster JRam with confidence.

Kyle Farmer, SS: DK: $4,800 / FD: $3,100 – In support of our back-up SP recommendation today is a sneaky SS name from a team folks are ignoring based on their abysmal record.  Saving money is never a bad thing as we can toss the savings toward JRam at 3b and some other higher priced options at OF.  If you need more fodder, please consider the righty on lefty matchup versus Patrick Corbin who is currently sporting the worst ERA (6.96)for qualifying starting pitchers.

Anthony Santander, OF: DK: $3,400 / FD: $3,300 – The main reason I am writing Santander into the column today is his ability to take a walk coupled with his switch-hitting.  That means he will see more pitches per at-bat than Ryan Mountcastle or Austin Hays.  They will provide about the same amount of HR power (Santander with the most at nine) and RBI (all in the mid- to high-20’s).  None will do a lot on the base paths for steals.  My recommendation is to roster the guy with the price that makes the most sense for your overall roster construction or, if money is not an object, grab the guy you like the most.  To me, they are almost interchangeable.

Julio Rodriguez, OF: DK: $10,000 / FD: $3,400 –  Since my original JROD recommendation (late April), my guy has gone from the Mendoza line to batting almost .270 with six bombs and 16 steals.  It’s happening folks and we are all lucky enough to be witnessing the beginning of greatness.  The one draw-back with JROD is the 60+ Ks.  If you can live with some growing pains (strikeouts) the dude is a must start in my opinion.  I would be ecstatic to hear from readers that stack JROD with Kirby and maybe a name like Ty France or possibly a cash-saving Taylor Trammell option.  Send your comments below if you are stacking my beloved Mariners today.  Pay particular attention to the DK pricing as $10,000 may have been an error on their site this morning.  Seems much too high for any bat.


I’m Only Happy When It Rains

We are not looking at any rain in the forecast for Sunday.  A touch of wind for the NYM/LAD matchup, but not enough to warrant more than normal consideration to any of the players.


Doing Lines In Vegas

Give me the Guardians, Giants, and White Sox all at near even money and the Mariners (who saw this coming), Padres, and Red Sox at plus money on the road.