We have the first main MLB DFS slate of the season on Thursday, 3/28/19. Below is a list of our best pitchers, hitters, and stacks to target (Three Up) and fade (Three Down) in MLB DFS contests. Note that some of these plays are recommended for Cash and some are best reserved for GPP lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel.
Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster. Remember that more than in other sports, variance is a huge part of baseball. Even Mike Trout can go 0-for-4 on a given night, and Max Scherzer can get lit up by a weak team.
Weather can also play a huge role in MLB DFS on a nightly basis, and lineups are constantly shifting. So always, always check the starting lineups and weather reports when playing for an MLB slate. If a game gets rained out, your player gets zero points!
BEST MLB DFS TOURNAMENTS FOR 3/28
Season Opener: $20 entry, $400k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Four Seamer: $4 entry, $150k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Opening Day Rally: $9.99 entry, $333k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Grand Slam: $44 entry, $100 guaranteed (FanDuel)
Three Up for March 28, 2019
Blake Snell vs. HOU ($9.4k DraftKings, $10.6k FanDuel)
Blake Snell is a great GPP leverage play on Opening Day with a very reasonable price tag on DraftKings. The lefty is coming off a CY Young-caliber campaign and is even capable of dominating an Astros team that traditionally hammers lefties. After all, Snell went 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA and .146 BAA over two starts against Houston last season. He was unbelievable with a 1.27 ERA and 4.21 K/BB ratio at home in 2018, stranding a ridiculous 97.2% of runners when pitching at Tropicana Field. The Astros posted a below-average 34.1% hard contact rate against lefties last year. Their numbers were great across the board otherwise, but Snell is talented enough to overcome this matchup with a fastball (8.9), changeup (7.2), slider (10.6), and curveball (13.2) that all ranked well above average last year, per data collected by Brooks Baseball.
Carlos Rodon @ KC ($7.5k DraftKings, $7.5k FanDuel)
Our value selection at SP and an alternative to consider if you want to stack high-priced hitters on FanDuel is Carlos Rodon. The White Sox southpaw had an inconsistent and injury-riddled 2018 campaign, posting some great numbers (1.83 ERA, .151 BAA) in July and August before struggling badly in September. He’s a candidate to start 2019 out strong with a plus matchup on tap in Kansas City. The Royals posted the sixth-lowest wOBA (.293) and sixth-highest K-Rate (23.4%) when facing LHPs last season. They hit just 67 HRs at spacious Kauffman Stadium last year, the second-lowest mark among A.L. teams. That can be a concern for Rodon (career 12.4% HR/FB ratio), but the Royals’ relatively weak lineup should allow him to be aggressive today.
Other pitchers to consider: Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kyle Freeland, Jameson Taillon, Luis Castillo, Marcus Stroman
Javier Baez @ TEX ($4.6k DraftKings, $3.9k FanDuel)
The Cubs’ offense could start hot in a road series down in warm Arlington. Globe Life Park has a notably high Run Factor and is a favorable venue for powerful RHBs such as Javier Baez. The infielder hit .306 with a .933 OPS and a very impressive 29.7% line drive rate when facing LHPs last season. Since Rangers southpaw Mike Minor consistently pounds the strike zone, Baez should have few issues chasing pitches. When he waits for something he can handle, Baez is one of the premier power hitters in the game. Minor allowed a 1.62 HR/9 ratio and 42.4% hard contact rate at home last season.
Gleyber Torres vs. BAL ($4.4k DraftKings, $3.3k FanDuel)
The Yankees are one of the best options to stack for the early slate on DK or the main slate on FanDuel today. Gleyber Torres and the rest of the bottom of their order should capitalize on a plus matchup against vulnerable RHP Andrew Cashner. The Orioles’ Opening Day starter posted a 5.29 ERA with a matching 5.32 FIP last season and allowed batters to hit .310 with a rough 1.71 WHIP on the road. Torres is a solid Cash with the potential to set the table or do damage himself. As a rookie, he posted a .314/.360/.509 slash line at Yankee Stadium against RHPs.
Other hitters to consider: Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt, Kris Bryant, Rhys Hoskins, Max Muncy, Adalberto Mondesi, Miguel Andujar, Buster Posey, Stephen Piscotty
Dodgers vs. Zack Greinke
This is clearly a stack best reserved for GPP formats since Zack Greinke has a deservedly good reputation and went 3-1 against his former team last season. Yet he allowed 4 HR over 13.2 IP at Dodger Stadium in 2018 and could give up some big flies to the Dodgers’ lefty-heavy lineup. Cody Bellinger is 8-for-20 with 2 HR in his career against Greinke, and a healthy Corey Seager (6-for-20, 2HR) can also give Greinke trouble. Max Muncy started to find his rhythm toward the end of spring training, and the Dodgers added a good RvR hitter in the OF in A.J. Pollock. Add the fact that Justin Turner (10-for-28, 4 XBH, 2 HR) also rakes against Greinke, and you have the makings of a great tournament stack.
Other stacks to consider: Phillies vs. Julio Teheran (Braves), Yankees vs. Andrew Cashner (Orioles), Cardinals vs. Jhoulys Chacin (Brewers)
Three Down for March 28, 2019
Pitcher To Fade
Justin Verlander @ TB ($11.0k DraftKings, $11.4k FanDuel)
At 36 years old, Justin Verlander could show signs of slowing down this season. He did revive his career with Houston and posted some gaudy numbers in 2018 but doesn’t seem like a shoo-in as the most expensive SP on DK today. Verlander gave up a 26.6% line drive rate during the second half of 2018 after posting a stellar 15.8% LD rate during the first half. Facing Blake Snell and the Rays is a tall order since Verlander can’t expect too much run support. He allowed 15 hits and 6 ER (4.63 ERA) over two starts against Tampa last season. The Rays were also better at Tropicana Field with a collective .260 average and the sixth-highest OBP (.341) in the Majors when playing at home.
Hitter To Fade
Nolan Arenado @ MIA ($5.5k DraftKings, $4.6k FanDuel)
Taking Nolan Arenado as one of the most expensive hitters on the Opening Day slate also seems like a misuse of funds. He just inked a HUGE contract with the Rockies and should have another productive season, but his price tag is a bit high considering the matchup at spacious Marlins Park. Miami RHP Jose Urena held RHBs to a .222 average and 0.55 HR/9 ratio last season. He posted a 20.6% K-Rate with a modest 16.7% LD rate at home and should be able to hold Arenado and the Rockies’ lineup in check in a projected low-scoring affair.
Stack To Fade
Indians @ MIN (RHP Jose Berrios)
The Indians were consistently elite as a stacking option last season but are unlikely to blow up on Opening Day. With Jose Ramirez (knee) questionable, Francisco Lindor (calf) out, and Michael Brantley traded to the Astros, this isn’t the same quality of lineup. Cleveland may offer values in the OF, but those inexperienced hitters could struggle against talented RHP Jose Berrios. The Twins’ third-year man owns a fastball that ranked 14 runs above average last season and held the Indians to collective .197 hitting over three meetings. He went 9-4 with a 0.97 WHIP at home in 2018 and is capable of shutting down Cleveland’s weakened lineup.