We’re in the first big week of MLB DFS, and there’s a great slate on tap for Tuesday, 4/2/19. 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 4/2
Touch ‘Em All: $20 entry, $350k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Four Seamer: $4 entry, $100k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Rally: $9.99 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $20,000 to 1st!
Grand Slam: $44 entry, $100 guaranteed (FanDuel)
Three Up for April 2, 2019
Jose Berrios @ KC ($9.7k DraftKings, $9.7k FanDuel)
A preseason breakout candidate with the potential for a CY Young-caliber campaign, Berrios certainly started off on the right foot with a dominant showing (7.2 IP, 10 K, 0 ER) against the Indians on Opening Day. He’s always had talent with an average speed of 94 MPH on a heater that rated 14.4 runs above average last season according to Brooks Baseball. Berrios went 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 9.69 K/9 ratio over four starts against the Royals last season. Kansas City was an easy target with the second-lowest wOBA (.303) and third-fewest runs scored (638) amongst A.L. clubs last season.
The Royals own a collective batting average of just .219 with a .276 wOBA so far this year and will be even less dangerous in their spacious home ballpark. Since Berrios is not typically a ground-ball pitcher, the spacious confines of Kaufmann Stadium should help him dominate. Therefore, Berrios owns the second-highest per-dollar rating with a ceiling of 78 FanDuel points tonight according to models on FantasyLabs.
Zack Greinke @ SD ($7.6k DraftKings, $8.8k FanDuel)
We predicted that Zack Greinke would get rocked by his former club (the Dodgers) in our Opening Day preview, and now we’re predicting that he’ll bounce back and exceed value in a far better matchup. Despite their big offseason signings, the Padres are still sporting a weak .290 wOBA with a 23.1% K-Rate to open the year. Greinke is 5-1 with a 9.35 K/9 ratio over his last 10 starts against the Pads and 2-1 with a 2.39 ERA over his last six trips to spacious Petco Park. While his command failed him in a rough outing at Dodger Stadium, Greinke simply has to regain his confidence to succeed in this plus spot. His low ownership should make him a premier GPP option at a tempting price point on DraftKings.
Other pitchers to consider: Max Scherzer, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kyle Freeland, Marcus Stroman
Trea Turner vs. PHI ($4.9k DraftKings, $4.8k FanDuel)
The new face of the Nationals is off to a torrid start with 5 hits, including 2 HR, and 4 SB over their first series this season. Trea Turner is an absolute stud play in DraftKings’ scoring format as the preseason favorite to lead the Majors in stolen bases. Phillies fourth-year RHP Zach Eflin allowed 10 SB in 13 attempts last season and might have trouble holding Turner on first base. Turner stole 43 bags on 52 attempts last year and is clearly in his prime at just 25 years old. He owns a .366 wOBA in his career at Nationals Park, while Eflin was tagged for 7 runs over 8.1 IP in his two trips to that stadium last season.
Domingo Santana vs. LAA ($4.0k DraftKings, $4.1k FanDuel)
Domingo Santana is on the verge of a breakout season with the surging Mariners offseason. He’s 7-for-20 with 3 HR and 4 BB to post a 1.308 OPS so far against RHP and faces a veteran righty in Trevor Cahill with a 13% HR/FB ratio in his career. Cahill allowed a 47.6% hard contact rate in his first start of the season, posting a notable dip in velocity with a fastball that averaged 91.7 MPH. Santana rated 4.5 runs above average when facing fastballs last season. He could easily turn on one of Cahill’s offerings and go yard. Santan has a ceiling of 31.5 FanDuel points tonight per FantasyLabs.
Other hitters to consider: Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, Cody Bellinger, Andrew Benintendi, Mallex Smith, Nolan Arenado, Edwin Encarnacion, Teoscar Hernandez, Jay Bruce, J.T. Riddle
Astros vs. Shelby Miller
Nothing fancy here, just the best all-around offense in the MLB against one of the most consistently vulnerable pitchers. Shelby Miller posted a disastrous 10.69 ERA with a 31.3% HR/FB ratio over five Major League appearances last year. Plus, he was shelled in the Minors. He allowed 18 baserunners over 8.2 IP this spring and faces the team that led the Majors in run differential last year. Miller moves to an offense-friendly park in Arlington, Texas, and will likely face a slew of lefties tonight. He’s allowed LHB to post a 35.6% hard contact rate and .336 wOBA in his career.
That makes Michael Brantley, Tyler White, and Tony Kemp (if starting) quality options to add to this stack. Josh Reddick is 5-for-6 over a small sample of at-bats against Miller, and he’ll be worth deploying. The heart of this stack will be premier infield options in Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve, who posted a .928 OPS with 5 HR and 8 SB over 109 at-bats at Globe Life Park last season. Bregman has the second-highest projected ceiling (26.2 DraftKings points) of any batter tonight per FantasyLabs.
Other stacks to consider: Mariners vs. Trevor Cahill (Angels), Twins vs. Brad Keller (Royals), Blue Jays vs. Andrew Cashner (Orioles)
Three Down for April 2, 2019
Pitcher To Fade
Chris Sale @ OAK ($10.5k DraftKings, $10.8k FanDuel)
Unfortunately for Red Sox fans, Chris Sale’s Opening Day shelling might mark the start of a decline more than a flukey outing. The 30-year-old southpaw has more mileage on his arm than most due to his unorthodox delivery. Boston is on an exhausting road trip to being the year while dealing with an inevitable World Series hangover. Oakland was a tough matchup for hard-throwing lefties with the sixth-highest wOBA (.322) and third-highest hard contact rate (40.8%) against LHP last season. The A’s tagged Sale for 5 ER and 2 HR over two meetings in 2018. With Scherzer and Verlander offering far better floor-ceiling combinations, Sale is a player to fade in Cash games.
Hitter To Fade
Bryce Harper @ WAS ($4.5k DraftKings, $4.5k FanDuel)
He’ll be coming back to Washington with revenge on his mind, but Bryce Harper is unlikely to get that revenge against Max Scherzer. The Nationals ace has been simply elite with a .192 BAA and 12.24 K/9 ratio in home starts over the last three seasons. Scherzer gave up a modicum more production to lefties last year but held LHB to a measly 16.4% line drive rate and a 9.1% HR/FB ratio with a 49.1% fly-ball rate. Harper is vulnerable to the shift and flies out frequently (83.3% FB rate this season), so he’s truly a boom or bust play in this high-profile spot.
Stack To Fade
Diamondbacks @ SD (LHP Eric Lauer)
Arizona has been one of the best offense to stack against LHP for years, but A.J. Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt are both gone. With those two RHB no longer in uniform, the D’Backs went from first to 22nd in the Majors in hard contact rate (27.3%) so far this season. Eric Lauer is coming off a promising rookie campaign in which he posted a 3.99 ERA and 2.82 K/BB ratio over 58.2 IP at Petco Park in 2018. With a little luck, Lauer posted a 0.79 ERA over two starts (11.1 IP) against Arizona last year. That track record is enough to fade Arizona’s offense with confidence in a contest with a modest 7-run Over/Under.