We’re in the first big week of MLB DFS, and there’s a great slate on tap for Wednesday, 4/3/19. 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 4/3
Relay Throw: $15 entry, $200k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $50,000 to 1st!
Four Seamer: $4 entry, $50k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Rally: $9 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $20,000 to 1st!
Squeeze: $4 entry, $70 guaranteed (FanDuel)
Three Up for April 3, 2019
Jameson Taillon vs. STL ($7.9k DraftKings, $8.9k FanDuel)
While Gerrit Cole stands alone as the ace worth paying up for tonight, Jameson Taillon offers great per-dollar upside. The young Pirates SP spun six scoreless frames in his season debut before struggling in the seventh against the Reds. But his fastball hovered around 95 MPH, and that pitch rated 12.9 runs above average last season per Brooks Baseball. Taillon was excellent with a 10.31 K/9 ratio while holding opponents to a 24.5% hard contact rate at spacious PnC Park last year. He went 2-0 with a .162 BAA and 0.75 WHIP over three starts against the Cardinals in 2018. Only Cole has a higher projection (25.7 DK points) than Taillon on DraftKings tonight according to FantasyLabs, but Taillon has more per-dollar upside.
Other pitchers to consider: Gerrit Cole, Ross Stripling, Miles Mikolas
George Springer @ TEX ($4.8k DraftKings, $4.5k FanDuel)
George Springer has already gone yard twice over just seven at-bats against lefties this season. He owns a .389 wOBA with a notable 24.4% HR/FB ratio in his career against LHPs and faces a homer-prone southpaw tonight. Mike Minor got rocked for 6 ER in his 2019 debut and gave up a bomb to lefty-killer Javier Baez. Springer has a similar skill set and happens to be 5-for-15 with 2 doubles and 4 BB in his career against Minor. Springer has slugged 10 bombs over the last three seasons (111 at-bats) at Globe Life Park in Arlington and is a prime candidate to lead an Astros stack tonight. Springer has a projection of 7.4 DraftKings points with a ceiling of 24 DK points tonight per FantasyLabs.
Ozzie Albies vs. CHC ($4.3k DraftKings, $3.7k FanDuel)
Ozzie Albies also enjoyed facing lefties with a .335/.548/.905 slash line against the platoon last season. He went 2-for-3 against tonight’s starter, aging southpaw Jon Lester. At 35 years old, Lester averaged just 89.7 MPH on his fastball in his season debut. He was fortunate to face a lefty-heavy Rangers lineup but will now contend with a Braves team that posted the third-highest batting average (.269) and fourth-highest wOBA (.344) against lefties last year. Atlanta also swiped 28 bags off LHPs, and Lester is extremely vulnerable in that regard since he’s afraid to throw over to first base.
Other hitters to consider: J.D. Martinez, Jose Altuve, Josh Donaldson, Xander Bogaerts, A.J. Pollock, Yuli Gurriel, Kike Hernandez, Ender Inciarte, Mark Canha, Tyler Flowers
Red Sox vs. Marco Estrada
While the Red Sox fell on hard luck in a 1-0 loss to the A’s last night, that makes this a contrarian stack to target in GPP formats. J.D. Martinez remains locked in once again, and he’s 4-for-15 with a pair of doubles and a home run in his career against Marco Estrada. The veteran RHP posted rough RvR splits last year, allowing RHBs to hit .319 with a .418 wOBA and a surprisingly high 2.63 HR/9 ratio in home games. Mookie Betts is always a premier play, but if you can’t afford the reigning A.L. MVP, Boston’s lineup should contain an appealing value at catcher in Christian Vazquez and a solid SS option in Xander Bogaerts.
Estrada remains vulnerable to some lefties. Andrew Benintendi is 7-for-20 with 3 doubles in his career against Estrada, while Mitch Moreland and Jackie Bradley Jr. have both homered off the veteran. Overall, Boston has modest BvP splits against the former Blue Jays pitcher, but this lineup is primed for an explosion as it looks to bounce back from a 1-5 start.
Other stacks to consider: Astros vs. Mike Minor (Rangers), Dodgers vs. Derek Holland (Giants)
Three Down for April 3, 2019
Pitcher To Fade
Gerrit Cole @ TEX ($11.5k DraftKings, $11.2k FanDuel)
By default, targeting a value option at SP on FanDuel means fading the most expensive play. Gerrit Cole is a very safe Cash option, but he could come up a little short of value in an offensive showdown at the “Launching Pad.” After dominating with 25 Ks over his first two starts against Texas last year, Cole needed 102 pitches to last 6 innings in his next visit. Then, he was tagged for 8 hits and 4 ER over 5 IP on July 4. That’s about as low as his floor goes, but that type of outing would certainly open the door for other options to win in GPP formats.
Hitter To Fade
Mookie Betts @ OAK ($5.5k DraftKings, $4.7k FanDuel)
We’re also looking to fade the most expensive hitter on the slate (on DraftKings) even if you want to stack other Red Sox bats against Estrada. Mookie Betts is just 4-for-29 with 6 Ks in his career against Estrada although he does have 2 SB off the righty. Betts demolished fastballs (40.1 runs above average per Brooks Baseball) but rated a modest 1.1 against curveballs and 4.2 against cutters last year. Estrada has used both pitches to induce groundouts from Betts and others despite pitching on the fast turf in Toronto. His alarmingly high BABIP should dip now that he’s in Oakland.
Stack To Fade
Cubs @ ATL (RHP Julio Teheran)
Julio Teheran is quite mercurial and can be considered as a boom-bust play every time he takes the mound. He has been more consistent with a 3.59 ERA and 3.87 FIP in his career at Turner Field. Teheran showcased his swing-and-miss stuff with 7 Ks in Philadelphia on Opening Day, and current Cubs are just 14-for-75 (.187) with 14 Ks in their careers against him. Teheran struggled with his control against lefties but limited hard contact and seems to have a bead on how to avoid the barrel of the Cubbies’ bats.