This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
You may be thinking you know what Sunday in Major League Baseball means. All 30 teams in action, basically every game in the afternoon, lots of options for your daily fantasy lineup. However, this first Sunday of the season is a bit different. For starters, the game between the Mets and Nationals has been postponed. Even with that, there are 12 games on the slate. The first games start at 1:05 p.m. ET. Here are some ideas to consider when setting your DFS lineup.
Zach Davies, CHC vs. PIT ($8,200): Davies was one of the key names in the trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Padres and his numbers likely won't be as good away from Petco Park. He may end up looking more like the guy with the career 4.15 FIP. However, I'm still a big fan of Davies today because of the matchup. The Pirates had an atrocious offense last season finishing last in runs scored with a .641 OPS as a team. That was 2020, but it's way too early to look at this year's numbers.
Ian Anderson, ATL at PHI ($9,000): In terms of skill on the mound, Anderson is probably my favorite pitcher today. He made six starts during the regular season last year and posted an 1.95 ERA while striking out 11.41 batters per nine innings. The Phillies have a few formidable bats in their lineup, but this isn't exactly the Dodgers' lineup. So if you want to bet on pitching talent, Anderson is the way to go.
Chris Paddack, SD vs. ARI ($7,800): Paddack struggled a bit last year, but his issues were largely away from home. Unsurprisingly, he's posted a career 3.41 ERA at Petco and a 4.02 ERA on the road. While the Diamondbacks finished 18th in runs scored last year, they also managed a .312 OBP.
Aaron Civale, CLE at DET ($8,400): In his 2019 rookie campaign, Civale produced a 2.34 ERA. That number jumped last season to 4.74, but with a 4.02 FIP. He revamped his delivery during the offseason and added a split-change to the mix, so what kind of pitcher will the 25-year-old be now? A matchup against the Tigers, who finished 23rd in runs scored last season, is a good place to find out.
Mookie Betts, LAD at COL ($4,800): Oh, you know, just an MVP winner surrounded by talent hitting in Coors Field. He carries a career .895 OPS and is a righty facing a lefty in Austin Gomber. Gomber's career numbers aren't terrible, but you have to remember he mostly pitched in relief for the Cardinals.
Xander Bogaerts, BOS vs. BAL ($3,700): The Red Sox' lineup isn't what it used to be, but Bogaerts is the same masher at shortstop. He's had a slugging percentage over .500 in each of his last three seasons and can even still a few bases with eight last year. Bogaerts is facing Baltimore's Bruce Zimmermann on Sunday, who has pitched in all of two games over his MLB career yielding a 7.71 ERA.
Andrew Benintendi, KC vs. TEX ($2,900): Last year for Benintendi was a disaster, but maybe what he needed was a change of scenery. He still has produced a career .273/.353/.435 slash line and can probably tee off on a righty if given the right opportunity. Jordan Lyles had a 7.02 ERA for the Rangers last season and somehow is still in the starting lineup. Why not take advantage of this opportunity while you can?
Jay Bruce, NYY vs. TOR ($2,300): For as long as Luke Voit is out and as long as there is a right-handed pitcher on the mound, Bruce offers an opportunity to provide bang for your buck. He didn't see a ton of action last year, but still managed a .941 OPS versus righties. Bruce gets to face righty unproven pitcher T.J. Zeuch and his upside is high for his salary with so much talent around him in the lineup.
Jared Walsh, LAA vs. CWS ($2,200): Walsh has some heat coming into this season after he slugged .646 in 2020. He's clearly better than Albert Pujols at this point. Dylan Cease has allowed 1.85 homers per nine innings in both of his MLB seasons, so he's definitely a threat to allow a long ball here.
STACKS TO CONSIDER
Hoffman has spent his entire career in Colorado. That will mess with an ERA, so you might want to put an asterisk on Hoffman's 6.40 ERA. However, his FIP - which of course adjusts for certain factors - is still 5.52. And he's spent a lot of time pitching out of the bullpen. Being a starter is decidedly harder. We're still figuring out what kind of hitter Arenado will be away from Colorado, but he still posted an .866 road OPS during his last full season with the Rockies. Goldschmidt may have dropped to a .260 average in 2019, but he hit 34 homers while upping the average to .304 last season. We haven't seen a full season's worth of games from Edman, but in 2019 he managed to crush 11 homers and steal 15 bases across 92 outings.
It's Petco Park, but the Padres' offense is so stacked I'm not concerned. I'm also quite a fan of this matchup. Widener has pitched in 12 games and made no starts. In his 20.0 innings of action at the MLB level, he's allowed 2.25 homers per nine innings. Everybody loves Tatis and with good reason with his bat producing a career .925 OPS at home. Some people think Myers' .959 OPS last season is an aberration, but he's still someone who notched double-digit homers and stolen bases in four prior campaigns. I wanted to get a lefty into the matchup, so I'm going with Cronenworth and his .831 OPS last year as a rookie.