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We have an eight-game MLB DFS slate on Monday, 4/8/19 beginning at 7:05 p.m EDT. 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!

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Three Up for April 8, 2019

Best Pitcher

Hyun-Jin Ryu at STL ($9.6k DraftKings, $9.4k FanDuel)

Ryu has opened the season in excellent form. He’s forged a 2-0 record, 2.08 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, and .213 BAA across 13 innings. He’ll face a Cardinals team struggling against all comers this season. St. Louis has especially scuffled versus lefties. The Cards are dead last in wOBA (.195) and batting average (.091) against southpaws thus far over 52 plate appearances.

Ryu was highly effective last season as well, forging an 89:15 K:BB across 82.1 innings, along with a 1.97 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 2.16 xFIP over a 15-start sample. He was adept at keeping the ball in the park, posting an 0.98 HR/9. Some of St. Louis’ more potent bats have struggled against Ryu. Matt Carpenter (2-for-11), Jedd Gyorko (1-for-14), Dexter Fowler (1-for-8), Yadier Molina (2-for-9) and Marcell Ozuna (0-for-8) have all scuffled versus the Dodgers’ lefty.

One final argument to be made for Ryu is that he displayed no true weak spots in his pitch arsenal last season. Ryu allowed under a .300 wOBA on all of his pitches except his cutter. And he yielded a respectable .322 wOBA when throwing that pitch while still generating an impressive 23.0 percent strikeout rate. Given his consistent body of work and the Cardinals’ ineptitude against lefties thus far, I see Ryu as either a cash or GPP play.

Other pitchers to consider: Eric Lauer (at SF), Marco Estrada (at BAL)

Best Hitter

Mitch Haniger at KC ($4.6k DraftKings, $4.5k FanDuel)

As will be detailed below, one of the best facilitators of fantasy production in Homer Bailey will take the hill for the Royals on Monday. Bailey has been eviscerated by hitters from both sides of the plate. The veteran right-hander was taken to the woodshed in 2018 by left-handed hitters for a .309 average, .394 wOBA, 2.29 HR/9, 24.3 percent line-drive rate, and 35.3 percent hard-contact rate. Then, righty bats pounded him for a .306 average, .362 wOBA, 24.5 percent line-drive rate, and 45.8 percent hard-contact rate.

Haniger slugged 22 of his 26 homers last season off right-handed pitching, and he posted a .362 wOBA, .248 ISO, 12.8 wRAA, and 37.4 percent hard-contact rate against that handedness on the road. Then, Haniger profiles well against Bailey’s pitch arsenal. While the right-hander allowed a .413 wOBA and .433 wOBA on his four-seam fastball and sinker in 2018, Haniger posted corresponding .413 and .376 wOBAs against those pitches last season.

Finally, the matchup remains appealing after Bailey exits the game. The Royals’ bullpen will come into Monday with an 8.10 ERA, .305 BAA, .402 wOBA, and MLB-high 33.3 percent line-drive rate over a 122-batter sample thus far this season.

Other hitters to consider: Kendrys Morales, Khris Davis, Paul Goldschmidt, Nick Markakis, Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, Hunter Renfroe, Edwin Encarnacion, Jay Bruce, Ryan O’Hearn 

Best Stack

Mariners at Royals (RHP Homer Bailey) 

As just detailed, Homer Bailey has been vulnerable to both sides of the plate for an extended period. Over the last three seasons, left-handed hitters own a .309/.382/.515 line with 50 extra-base hits (29 doubles, three triples, 18 home runs) against the veteran righty. Same-handed hitters have countered with a .320/.371/.497 line with 49 extra-base hits (31 doubles, 18 home runs) against him over that span.

As those numbers indicate, Bailey has plenty of trouble limiting hard contact and keeping the ball in the park. That doesn’t bode well for him against a Mariners team loaded with hot hitters. They’ve already scored an MLB-high 85 runs through their first 11 games. You could literally take your pick of sluggers up and down the Seattle order and find a high-upside matchup, with perhaps only the light-hitting Dee Gordon lacking true GPP potential.

And the Royals bullpen, as just illustrated, could certainly keep Seattle’s good times rolling once Bailey exits the game. Kauffman Stadium also checked in with the 10th-highest run factor (1.060) in 2018 and top-10 doubles (1.143) and triples (1.600) factors thus far this season.

Other stacks to consider: Athletics at Orioles (RHP Andrew Cashner), Nationals at Phillies (RHP Vince Velasquez)


Three Down for April 8, 2019

Pitcher To Fade

Andrew Cashner vs. Athletics ($6k DraftKings, $6k FanDuel)

In addition to Bailey, Cashner doesn’t exactly walk into the best situation Monday. Current Oakland hitters sport a collective .354/.407/.671 line against the veteran right-hander that includes seven home runs and 23 RBI. Kendrys Morales (6-for-10, three home runs), Khris Davis (6-for-17, one home run), and Nick Hundley (4-for-9, one double) have particularly been successful.

The A’s currently sport the third-lowest strikeout rate (17.6 percent) in the Majors, along with the eighth-most home runs (12). Cashner has also allowed a .333 average and .415 wOBA to the first 26 right-handed hitters he’s faced this season. There are plenty of potent Oakland righty bats that can exploit that weakness, including Davis, Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien, and Stephen Piscotty.

Then, Cashner surrendered a 5.29 ERA and 4.94 xFIP at Camden Yards last season. The ballpark also ranks in the top half of the Majors in run factor (1.294) and home run factor (1.800) through a three-game sample thus far this season.

Hitter To Fade

Joe Panik vs. SD ($3.7k DraftKings, $2k FanDuel)

Panik struggled mightily versus left-handed pitching last season. He posted a .191/.244/.245 line across 120 plate appearances versus southpaws in 2018, along with a .221 wOBA -9.2 wRAA and an anemic 14.3 percent line-drive rate. Panik has also started off the season quiet at the plate, logging a single extra-base hit over his first 31 plate appearances and slashing just .192/.323/.231.

With not much pop in his bat, ongoing struggles at the plate, and the same-handed matchup in a pitcher-friendly park, Panik is a fade Monday.

Stack To Fade

Giants vs. Padres (LHP Eric Lauer)

Padres starter Eric Lauer has held Giants hitters on the current roster to a collective .212/.268/.250 line over a sample of 52 at-bats. What’s more, he hasn’t allowed a home run to any San Francisco hitter he’s faced, and only a pair of extra-base hits overall (two doubles). Lauer also owns a solid 3.27 ERA and 11:3 K:BB over 11 career innings at Oracle Park, where Monday’s game unfolds.

Then, Oracle checked in last season with the second-lowest home run factor (0.752) and has a well-earned reputation as a pitcher-friendly park. Plus, the Giants come in with an anemic .269 wOBA and -7.1 wRAA in their first 174 plate appearances versus left-handed pitching thus far this season while striking out at a 23.0 percent clip. They were essentially just as inept in 2018, posting a .290 wOBA and -21.5 wRAA versus that handedness at home.

With the Giants’ lefty-heavy lineup — Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik, and Gerardo Parra — they could be in for a long night versus Lauer.

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