We have a 12-game MLB DFS slate on Friday, 4/12/19 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!
BEST MLB DFS TOURNAMENTS FOR 4/12
Mini 8s: $8 entry, $150k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $50K to 1st!
Medium 8s: $88 entry, $200k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $50K to 1st!
Fri. Rally: $9.99 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $20K to 1st!
Fri. GIANT Grand Slam: $44 entry, $150K guaranteed (FanDuel)- $50K to 1st!
Three Up for April 12, 2019
Drew Pomeranz vs. COL ($8.1k DraftKings, $6.5k FanDuel)
Pomeranz owns a 2-0 record, 1.50 ERA, .146 BAA, and 15 strikeouts over 12 innings in a pair of starts against the Rockies these last three seasons. Current Rockies own a cumulative .200/.314/.333 line against Pomeranz. Notably, potent bats Nolan Arenado (.167 average) and Trevor Story (.167) have particularly struggled versus the lefty.
Then, the Rockies as a whole have proven punchless against southpaws this season. Colorado owns a .270 wOBA, .110 ISO, .206 average, 25.6 percent strikeout rate, and 18.3 percent hard-contact rate against left-handed pitching over a sample of 121 plate appearances. When isolated to road games, those figures take an even bigger dive. The Rockies have posted a .212 wOBA, .085 ISO, .169 average, and 36.5 percent strikeout rate against southpaws outside of Coors. Their hard-contact rate also falls to an anemic 8.3 percent versus lefties when traveling.
Pomeranz has been so-so in his first two starts. But he’s only given up a pair of earned runs in each while compiling 11 strikeouts over nine innings. Colorado has scored a total of 17 runs over eight road games thus far this season. That includes just two runs over the last five. The spacious confines of Oracle Park also work in Pomeranz’s favor. The Rockies scored an average of just 3.4 runs per game there in 2018.
Other pitchers to consider: J.A. Happ (vs. White Sox), Patrick Corbin (vs. Pirates), Sean Newcomb (vs. Mets), Brad Keller (vs. Indians)
Freddie Freeman vs. NYM ($4.6k DraftKings, $4.5k FanDuel)
Freeman has pounded Mets starter Zack Wheeler for a .526/.667/1.000 line across 30 career plate appearances. That sample includes three doubles, two home runs, and 10 walks. Wheeler has struggled mightily to open the new season, evidenced by his 10.24 ERA and 1.86 WHIP. He’s been punished by left-handed hitters over a small sample as well. Wheeler has given up a .308 average, .373 wOBA, and 50.0 percent hard-contact rate to southpaws.
Freeman counters with a .370 average, .441 wOBA, 168 wRC+, 33.3 percent line-drive rate, and 41.7 percent hard-contact rate against right-handed pitchers over 36 plate appearances thus far. Plus, he posted a .369 wOBA, 31.7 percent line-drive rate, and 47.8 percent hard-contact rate against righties at SunTrust Park in 2018.
Finally, there’s some nice synergy for fantasy purposes between Wheeler’s most frequently thrown pitch — the four-seam fastball — and Freeman’s track record against it. Wheeler has allowed a .364 average, .441 wOBA, and .227 ISO when throwing the four-seam over his first two starts. He’s recorded a minuscule 10.7 percent strikeout rate when utilizing it as well. In turn, Freeman owns a .430 wOBA and whopping 41.2 percent line-drive rate against the pitch this season. Zoom out, and it’s a .393 wOBA and 29.5 percent line-drive rate versus the pitch for his career.
Other hitters to consider: Edwin Encarnacion, Whit Merrifield, Tony Kemp, Jose Altuve, Manuel Margot, Matt Chapman, Khris Davis, Ronald Acuna, Jr., Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager
Red Sox vs. BAL (RHP David Hess)
The Red Sox haven’t exactly earned our trust thus far. That said, they do seem to finally be breaking out of their funk. Their first true explosion of the season could well come at home on Friday. Hess played the schoolyard bully against the mostly defenseless Blue Jays for a six-inning scoreless effort in his first start of the season on April 1. Then, he got knocked around by a much more potent Yankees lineup for three home runs over just five innings. The Orioles starter tempted fate by allowing plenty of flyballs in both games. Hess allowed nine against Toronto, followed by 12 versus New York. His current 65.6 percent flyball rate is unsustainable, but it isn’t drastically removed from his norm. Hess sports a flyball rate of over 40.0 percent in the last three seasons.
Such tendencies have frequently gotten him into trouble against the Red Sox. Current Boston hitters own a .351/.455/.838 line with five home runs and nine RBI versus Hess. Two of the most potent bats in the Red Sox lineup — J.D. Martinez and Andrew Benintendi — have tagged him for two apiece. Hess paid the price in his one Fenway appearance last season as well, as he allowed five earned runs on eight hits — including three homers — over 4.2 innings.
Besides Martinez and Benintendi, left-handed bats Mitch Moreland, Rafael Devers, and Brock Holt could make for sneakier plays. Hess allowed a .352 wOBA and 23 extra-base hits (including 15 homers) to that handedness last season. And finally, the train wreck that has been the Orioles bullpen can’t be overlooked when considering the viability of a Boston stack Friday. When Hess exits, Sox hitters will get a crack at a relief corps that’s allowed an MLB-high 7.88 ERA, .313 average, .427 wOBA and 19 home runs over 56 innings in 2019.
Other stacks to consider: Braves vs. Mets (RHP Zack Wheeler), Athletics at Rangers (LHP Drew Smyly), Dodgers vs. Brewers (RHP Corbin Burnes), Yankees vs. White Sox (RHP Lucas Giolito)
Three Down for April 12, 2019
Pitcher To Fade
Drew Smyly vs. OAK ($6.3k DraftKings, $5.9k FanDuel)
Smyly has yet to make it out of the fourth inning over his first two starts. The veteran southpaw is still building his endurance back up after sitting out the last two seasons with injuries. Smyly is also exhibiting some control issues. He’s issued five walks over 6.1 innings and currently sports a 2.37 WHIP. Neither the environment nor the matchup does him any favors Friday.
The Athletics have proven one of the most lethal offenses in the majors thus far, averaging just over five runs per game. Current Oakland hitters also boast a collective .293 average lifetime against Smyly, and he’s allowed a .459 wOBA, 33.3 percent line-drive rate and 57.1 percent hard-contact rate to the 29 righty bats he’s faced thus far. The A’s boast a lineup replete with potent right-handed hitters, including Khris Davis, Matt Chapman, Stephen Piscotty and the switch-hitting Kendrys Morales. Then, Globe Life Park already sports the ninth-highest run factor this season (1.360) and has a well-deserved, long-standing reputation as a hitter’s paradise.
Hitter To Fade
Brandon Crawford vs. COL ($3.5k DraftKings, $2.3k FanDuel)
Rockies starter Chad Bettis isn’t a stay-away pitcher by any means. But there’s a case for looking past Crawford on Friday. The veteran shortstop is off to a solid start at the plate with a .289 average and an 11-game hitting streak. Yet he’s had a miserable time against Bettis in his career over a fairly large sample. Crawford owns a .143/.172/.250 line against the righty across 29 plate appearances. That includes only one extra-base hit and five strikeouts.
Furthermore, although Bettis has gotten off to a rough start against both sides of the plate this season, he’s historically been more effective against left-handed hitters. The 29-year-old has held lefty bats to a modest 28.1 percent hard-contact rate and 0.93 HR/9 lifetime. Meanwhile, Crawford has largely been a reverse-splits hitter, both in 2019 and over his career. He sports a .136 average and .168 wOBA versus righty arms in the early going this season. Then, he owns a .302 wOBA, -15.7 wRAA and meager 5.6 percent HR/FB rate against that handedness over his career at spacious Oracle Park.
Stack To Fade
Royals vs. Indians (RHP Carlos Carrasco)
Carrasco sports an ugly line through two starts, but it’s largely the byproduct of a disastrous first turn against the Twins. Carrasco allowed six earned runs on 10 hits over just 4.1 innings in that outing. However, he bounced back to mow down 12 Blue Jays over just five innings last Sunday. Granted, an argument could be made about the poor caliber of competition he faced. Yet, the Royals don’t shape up as much more intimidating.
Kansas City made some early noise by toppling the White Sox in its first two games. They’ve proceeded to drop 10 consecutive games and scored four runs or less in six of them. They’ve also often been bedeviled by Carrasco often over the last three seasons. The Indians right-hander boasts a 5-2 record, 3.33 ERA and 42:11 K:BB over eight starts against the Royals during that stretch. And, Carrasco has generated a .235 BAA and allowed just one home run at Kauffman Stadium in four of those starts over that span.
Finally, it’s worth noting Carrasco has been a better pitcher on the road over his career. He boasts a 3.17 ERA, .226 BAA, .277 wOBA, 26.4 percent strikeout rate and impressive 2.92 FIP over 571.1 career road frames. Given Carrasco’s ability to miss bats and track record against both current Royals hitters (collective .214/.283/.388 line against Carrasco) and at Kauffman, I don’t see the Royals making much noise Friday.