The MLB season is rolling and there’s a great DFS slate on tap for Thursday, 4/11/19. 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 4/11
19th Hole Special: $19 entry, $150k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $50,000 to 1st!
Four Seamer: $4 entry, $25k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Dragon Squeeze: $9.99 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $20,000 to 1st!
Fire Squeeze: $7.77 entry, $50k guaranteed (FanDuel)
Three Up for April 11, 2019
Jon Gray @ SF ($9.3k DraftKings, $8.5k FanDuel)
While Jon Gray faltered in his last outing, that came in an impossible spot at Coors Field against a Dodgers offense that leads the MLB in just about every category this season. Now, he’ll pitch at spacious AT&T Park against a Giants team that’s hitting .206 with the third-lowest wOBA (.257) in the Majors. Gray was a breakout candidate last year, according to the writers at FanGraphs, but disappointed with a 5.12 ERA due to a .322 BABIP and the natural misfortune of pitching at Coors.
He worked on his mechanics this offseason and has seen a big jump in ground balls induced (61.3% GB Rate) through two starts. Gray’s been undone by the long ball, but AT&T Park has the lowest Home Run Factor in the Majors. He’s got a 95 MPH heater and induced a 12.3% swinging strike rate last year, while the Giants are posting a 25.2% K-Rate in 2019.
Other pitchers to consider: Joe Musgrove, Nathan Eovaldi, Jose Quintana
Wil Myers @ ARI ($4.6k DraftKings, $3.2k FanDuel)
The Padres offense is no longer a doormat and is fully capable of getting to Diamondbacks RHP Zack Godley this evening. After a disastrous 2019 debut against the Dodgers, Godley held the pressing Red Sox lineup to just 1 ER, but his peripheral stats are quite concerning. The 240-pound righty allowed an 88.9% Z-Contact Rate last year and that’s up to a notable 91.3% rate through two starts in 2019. His swinging strike rate is down, and he’s giving up more fly balls with a 16.7% HR/FB ratio. Wil Myers is off to a great start with a .959 OPS through 12 games, and he’s scorching the ball with a 27.6% LD Rate and 27.3% HR/FB ratio. Myers is 8-for-19 with 2 XBH, a HR, and 2 BB in his career against Godley. He’s also slashing .308/.378/.589 with 7 HR over his last 107 at-bats at hitter-friendly Chase Field.
Other hitters to consider: Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, David Peralta, Dansby Swanson, Jeff McNeil, Christian Walker, Rafael Tapia, Fernando Tatis Jr., Wilmer Flores, Ian Desmond, Blake Swihart, Franmil Reyes
Rockies vs. Jeff Samardzija (Giants)
Jeff Samardzija spent half of his life playing football and has depended more on athleticism than baseball acumen to become a serviceable MLB pitcher. At 34 years old, that athleticism is leaving him, and he struggled with a measly 6.04 K/9 ratio and 5.44 FIP last season. Samardzija has allowed a whopping 32.3% LD Rate through two starts this year and faces an elite Rockies lineup. Samardzija is 2-6 with a 5.02 ERA over his last 10 outings against the Rockies.
Current Rockies are 63-for-194 (.325) with 19 XBH and 6 HR in their careers against Samardzija. Leading the charge are Nolan Arenado (13-for-33, 5 XBH) and Charlie Blackmon (10-for-34, 4 XBH, HR), both of whom do plenty of damage when hitting away from Coors Field. If you can’t afford both of those studs, Ian Desmond (10-for-27, 2 HR) is a more affordable candidate to tag Samardzija. With David Dahl (core) on the DL, Rafael Tapia is getting consistent playing time, and Pat Valaika may offer modest upside as the fill-in 2B with Daniel Murphy (thumb) out.
Other stacks to consider: Padres vs. Zack Godley (Diamondbacks), Braves vs. Steven Matz (Mets), Diamondbacks vs. Chris Paddack (Padres)
Three Down for April 11, 2019
Pitcher To Fade
Steven Matz @ ATL ($8.1k DraftKings, $7.7k FanDuel)
Steven Matz has been solid over his first two starts this season as he looks to bounce back from an injury-plagued stretch the past two years. But the young lefty has been a bit fortunate with a 26.9% LD Rate and 44.4% hard contact rate in those outings. Tonight he’ll face a Braves team that has loaded up on righties lately and has some LHBs (Ender Inciarte, Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis) that don’t mind the occasional LvL matchup. Matz gave up a 1.66 HR/9 ratio and a 37.8% hard contact rate when facing RHBs last year. Current Braves are 18-for-61 (.295) with 5 BB in their careers against the wild LHP, who walked 58 batters over 30 starts in 2018.
Hitter To Fade
Mookie Betts vs. TOR ($5.4k DraftKings, $4.8k FanDuel)
Spring is slow to arrive in Boston, and tonight’s game against the Blue Jays could lack for offense due to low temperatures and gusty conditions. While Mookie Betts was able to lace a HR over the Green Monster in Tuesday’s home opener, he might have a tougher time tagging tonight’s starter. Aaron Sanchez appears on track to bounce back from a blister-plagued 2018 season. He owns a 23.9% K-Rate with a 2.71 FIP to support his 1.64 ERA through two starts. Betts is 7-for-26 (.269) with a HR, 4 BB, and 5 Ks in his career against Sanchez. Yet the reigning A.L. MVP does have a weakness. Betts rated just 0.58 runs above average against curveballs last year and rates -4.05 against that pitch this year. Sanchez is throwing his curveball more (17.9%) and with his blister issues behind him, that pitch has become a veritable weapon.
Stack To Fade
Cubs vs. PIT (RHP Joe Musgrove)
After building his confidence over a couple of appearances against the league-worst Reds offense, Joe Musgrove should be ready to take on the Cubs. After all, he’s handled them in the past. The slender RHP is 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA over three outings against the Cubbies. While all three of those starts came at PnC Park, Musgrove is equipped to avoid damage at Wrigley Field with an 11.5% swinging strike rate and modest 0.93 HR/9 ratio over the past year. Musgrove’s slider induced swings off the plate at a 46% rate. And his changeup forced swinging strikes at a 25% clip last season. He could cool off the red-hot Cubs offense and diminish the returns on that stack.