MLB

FanDuel MLB Sunday Night Baseball Single-Game Helper: 8/18/19

Jason Heyward and Anthony Rizzo will have the platoon advantage tonight against rookie Mitch Keller. Which other bats should you zero in on for this single-game slate?

FanDuel's single-game slates are a great way to make any MLB matchup more exciting, and FanDuel is offering single-game contests the Sunday Night Baseball clash each week. What better way to wrap up the MLB week than to play a little DFS on Sunday night?

Single-game contests are a different beast. You have $35,000 to fill out a five-man lineup. There are no positional requirements, but there are three utility spots, one All-Star slot, and an MVP position. The player you put in the MVP spot has his points multiplied by two while the All-Star position gets his points multiplied by 1.5. The three utility places are scored like normal.

This Sunday's game features the Chicago Cubs at the Pittsburgh Pirates, with Jose Quintana and Mitch Keller the pitching probables. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EST. Our models see the Cubs winning by a score of 4.51-4.09.

Anthony Rizzo ($8,000)

Mitch Keller is a promising young hurler for the Pirates, and he put up a dazzling 28.2% strikeout rate this year across 103 2/3 frames in Triple-A. While his MLB sample of 17 innings is tiny, hitters haven't had a hard time squaring him up so far, getting to the rookie for a 41.1% hard-hit rate.

Among the Cubs' big three, Anthony Rizzo has the best numbers against righties, holding a .396 wOBA, 12.0% walk rate and 40.6% hard-hit rate in the split, and he's cheaper than both Javier Baez ($9,500) and Kris Bryant ($8,500).

Kyle Schwarber ($7,500)

Kyle Schwarber has been removed from atop the order, but he's got a .342 wOBA and 12.2% walk rate with the platoon advantage. He'll likely be hitting right behind the aforementioned big three of the Cubbies. The lefty masher has a 48.3% hard-hit rate in August, and he can break the slate with one swing.

Starling Marte ($7,500)

Jose Quintana's 4.44 SIERA is his worst clip since his rookie year, and his 39.3% hard-hit rate allowed is a career-worst mark. He's allowing a 39.5% hard-hit rate to righties.

While Starling Marte hasn't been good this year against southpaws (.288), he will be in the heart of the order, and he's been hot, posting a .380 wOBA in the second half. It's hard to make a great statistical case for many Pirates hitters in this matchup, so you're going to have to make some concessions when rostering Bucs bats.

Jason Heyward ($6,500)

Jason Heyward will likely be one of the slate's most popular players. Moved into the leadoff role, he's pretty darn cheap and has a .359 wOBA and 11.2% walk rate in the split. The only negative with J-Hey is that he'll probably be chalk, but given his salary and spot in the lineup for the team projected to score the most runs in this game, this is a money spot for him.

Kevin Newman ($6,500)

Kevin Newman, the other expected leadoff hitter in this game, is also just $6,500. He'll operate with the platoon advantage against Quintana, a split in which Newman has a .344 wOBA this year with a lowly 11.4% strikeout rate. If you're building a lineup under the assumption that Pittsburgh goes off, he's a great guy to roster, and if you're loading up on the Cubs, Newman can be your one Pittsburgh bat while giving you cap relief so you can get up to Chicago's high-priced studs.