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MLB DFS Picks

We have a seven-game MLB DFS slate on Saturday, 4/13/19 beginning at 7:10 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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BEST MLB DFS TOURNAMENTS FOR 4/13

Saturday Slugfest: $10 entry, $150k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $50K to 1st!
Power Alley: $44 entry, $50k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $10K to 1st!
Sat. Squeeze: $4.44 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $20K to 1st!
Sat. Grand Slam: $55 entry, $100K guaranteed (FanDuel)- $20K to 1st!

Three Up for April 13, 2019

Best Pitcher

Merrill Kelly vs. SDP ($8.5k DraftKings, $8.3k FanDuel)

Kelly has made some waves as a 30-year-old rookie, putting together a pair of quality starts against the Red Sox and the same Padres squad he’ll face Saturday. The right-hander has kept hitters off balance with a good mix of a low-90s fastball and breaking pitches. He was excellent at keeping the ball in the park during a long minor-league career as well, as he posted HR/9 of 1.0 or lower in each of his eight seasons prior to making it to the Majors this year.

Kelly allowed three earned runs over six innings against the Padres in his first start of the season, and he impressively mowed down the Red Sox to the tune of nine strikeouts over eight frames in his second turn. San Diego has generated just a .292 wOBA and .225 average against right-handed pitching thus far. They’ve also posted a 25.3 percent strikeout rate versus that handedness, with that figure rising to 27.2 percent on the road.

The Padres have been one of the surprises of the early going, but Kelly’s pitching style has already proven effective against them once. Moreover, San Diego has scored two runs or fewer in four of its eight road games, furthering Kelly’s case as a cash or GPP play.

Other pitchers to consider: Sean Newcomb (vs. Mets) 

Best Hitter

Jose Altuve vs. SEA ($4.8k DraftKings, $4.5k FanDuel)

The Mariners’ Felix Hernandez is essentially a shadow of his former self. Altuve is in the prime of his career and is slashing .321/.371/.679 with a 1.050 OPS through his first 62 plate appearances. That includes a 2-for-5 night Friday highlighted by a game-breaking grand slam. Then, he’s pounded Hernandez for a .483/.531/.724 line with five extra-base hits (four doubles, one home run) across 32 career plate appearances. Hernandez checks into Saturday’s game having allowed a .375 average and .394 wOBA to the first 18 right-handed batters he’s faced this season, and he yielded a .338 wOBA and 36.9 percent hard-contact rate to that handedness in 2018.

Altuve counters with a .403 wOBA versus righties in the early going of the new season, and he posted a .371 average and .411 wOBA against that handedness on the road last season. He’s also slashed .326/.410/.522 at T-Mobile Park from 2016-18, a sample that includes nine doubles, three home runs, and 13 RBI. His excellent contact rate, history against Hernandez, and ability to produce through a number of ways at the plate make Altuve a strong cash or GPP play Saturday.

Other hitters to consider: Logan Forsythe, Elvis Andrus, Alex Bregman, Michael Brantley, Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Correa, Marcell Ozuna, Ronald Acuna, Jr., Ozzie Albies, Adam Jones

Best Stack

Braves vs. NYM (LHP Jason Vargas) 

Vargas has mostly fallen on hard times in recent seasons and has been punished by hitters from both sides of the plate. Vargas has actually allowed a .293 average to same-handed hitters since the start of the 2017 season. Then, he yielded a .359 wOBA to righty hitters in 2018. The Braves have the firepower to exploit Vargas’ weaknesses against either handedness.

Atlanta has an arsenal of potent righty bats, including Ronald Acuna, Jr., Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson and Josh Donaldson. Then, their left-handed hitters also typically thrive in same-handed matchups. Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis, and Ender Inciarte boast averages of .303, .279 and .280, respectively, versus lefties over the last two seasons-plus. Finally, the Mets bullpen shapes up as an appealing target for Braves bats as well. They’ve allowed a 5.82 ERA, .297 average, and .380 wOBA in a 210-batter sample thus far.

Other stacks to consider: Astros at Mariners (RHP Felix Hernandez), Brewers at Dodgers (RHP Dennis Santana), Cardinals vs. Reds (RHP Tanner Roark), Rangers vs. Athletics (RHP Marco Estrada)

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Three Down for April 13, 2019

Pitcher To Fade

Felix Hernandez vs. Astros ($7.1k DraftKings, $6.8k FanDuel)

As detailed in Altuve’s entry, Hernandez has once again struggled to open 2019 after a rough season last year. He’s also had a rough time against multiple Astros hitters over his career. Michael Brantley (.333 average), George Springer (.316 average), Carlos Correa (.357 average), Alex Bregman (.500 average), and Jake Marisnick (.400 average) have all enjoyed success versus King Felix over various sample sizes.

Hernandez’s fastball has progressively lost velocity over the last several seasons. It’s averaging just under 90 mph in the last season-plus, a speed to which Houston’s arsenal of bashers can easily catch up. Hernandez gave up 27 homers over 28 starts in 2018 with the middling fastball. And as some of the individual success Houston hitters have enjoyed against him implies, Hernandez has struggled versus the Astros in recent years. He’s generated a 6.00 ERA and .327 BAA across 27 innings over five starts during the last three seasons.

Hitter To Fade

Wil Myers vs. ARI ($4.6k DraftKings, $2.8k FanDuel)

Myers has started off the season in impressive fashion, but the majority of his success has come against southpaws. The slugger entered Friday’s game versus the Diamondbacks with a .206 average and .230 wOBA versus righties over 36 plate appearances. He then proceeded to strike out in each of his first two at-bats against righty Luke Weaver. He also went 0-for-4 with a strikeout against Kelly when the Padres saw him on April 1. Then, Kelly has held the first 30 right-handed hitters he’s faced to a .111 average, .171 wOBA and 0.60 WHIP, along with minuscule 13.6 percent line-drive and 18.2 percent hard-contact rates. Given the matchup, Myers is worth a fade in GPPs on Saturday.

Stack To Fade

Mets vs. Braves (LHP Sean Newcomb)

Newcomb has been Kryptonite personified for the Mets over his short career. The Braves lefty owns a 1.82 ERA, .189 BAA, and 43:15 K:BB across 34.2 innings in six career starts against New York. Broken down further to the player level, current Mets hitters own a collective .121/.257/.207 line against Newcomb over a sample of 58 at-bats. What’s more, none of them have a home run against the southpaw.

Then, Newcomb has started off the year in stellar fashion. The 25-year-old sports a 1.64 ERA, allowing just two earned runs over his first 11 innings. Both have come at SunTrust Park, where Saturday’s game unfolds. Granted, New York does own an impressive .366 wOBA versus southpaws in the early going. However, it’s accompanied by a bloated 27.5 percent strikeout rate and also drops to a much more modest .317 on the road. Finally, it’s also worth noting that over a much larger sample last season, New York posted a .285 wOBA against lefties overall.