We have an nine-game MLB DFS slate on Monday, 4/15/19 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 4/15
Mini Tape-Measure Home Run: $5 entry, $300k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100K to 1st!
Medium Tape-Measure Home Run: $44 entry, $200k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $50K to 1st!
Mon. Rally: $15 entry, $125k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $25K to 1st!
Mon. Grand Slam: $66 entry, $150K guaranteed (FanDuel)- $30K to 1st!
Three Up for April 15, 2019
Aaron Nola vs. NYM ($9.6k DraftKings, $9.3k FanDuel)
Nola has uncharacteristically run into trouble in his last two starts, getting walloped by the Nationals in both to the tune of 11 runs (10 earned) on 12 hits and three walks. That bad matchup aside, Nola did look like himself back on Opening Day against the Braves. He held Atlanta to an earned run on two hits and five walks over six innings while racking up eight strikeouts at Citizens Bank Park.
Monday, he’ll get a crack at a team he’s consistently frustrated over the last three seasons. Nola owns a 6-0 record, 2.54 ERA, .200 BAA, and 56:17 K:BB across 49.2 innings over eight appearances versus New York across the last three seasons. He also sported a 10-2 record, 2.34 ERA, and 131:29 K:BB at home last season across 111.1 frames. Then, the Mets had generated a 24.8 percent strikeout rate and modest .316 wOBA against right-handed pitching on the road entering Sunday night’s action, furthering Nola’s case for a bounce-back performance.
Other pitchers to consider: Trevor Bauer (at Mariners), Luis Castillo (at Dodgers), Joey Lucchesi (vs. Rockies)
Justin Bour at TEX ($4k DraftKings, $2.9k FanDuel)
Bour may seem like a somewhat offbeat choice for a top hitter, but he makes for an intriguing GPP play Monday for a number of reasons. Granted, a glance at his season numbers thus far — .186/.340/.302 through 53 plate appearances — won’t exactly make his case. However, the veteran slugger has hit safely in five straight games, a span during which he’s also walked thrice and knocked in four of his five runs.
Monday, Bour faces a pitcher in Shelby Miller against whom he’s enjoyed previous success. Miller has also traditionally struggled against left-handed hitters. Plus, Bour nabs this matchup in a premium hitter’s environment. Miller checks into Monday’s game allowing a .336 wOBA lifetime versus lefty bats, along with a 20.9 percent line-drive rate and 35.7 percent hard-contact rate. He’s also generated a bloated 4.07 BB/9 in his career versus left-handed hitters, which could spell trouble versus Bour. The veteran has boosted his walk rates in recent seasons and currently boasts a 17.0 percent mark in that category this season.
Bour owns a .417/.417/.917 line with a pair of home runs against Miller over 12 career plate appearances and a .349 wOBA (including .356 on the road) with 18 homers versus right-handed pitching in 2018. Zooming out for a career-long view, it’s a .357 wOBA and 77 of 85 homers against righties. Then, while it’s been a rough go versus right-handed pitching for Bour in 2019 (.171 average, .255 wOBA over 40 plate appearances), he’s been victimized by an unsustainable .217 BABIP versus that handedness. That figure has nowhere to go but up.
Finally, it’s worth noting Bour will face just as good a matchup once Miller exits the game. The Rangers bullpen checked in to Sunday’s action with a 6.88 ERA, .284 BAA, 5.43 xFIP and .378 wOBA allowed on the season, along with an MLB-high 57.3 percent hard-contact rate.
Other hitters to consider: Rhys Hoskins, Justin Smoak, Andrelton Simmons, Brian Goodwin, Whit Merrifield, Lucas Duda, Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers, Adalberto Mondesi, Bryce Harper, Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, Christian Yelich
Royals at CWS (RHP Ervin Santana)
Santana was shelled for seven earned runs on seven hits and three walks over 3.2 innings by the Rays in his season debut last Tuesday. At 36 years of age, Santana could see such outings become commonplace. Monday, he runs into a hot-hitting Royals team that could give him similar trouble. Kansas City has scored five or more runs in four of the last five games. The Royals also boast a .345 wOBA, .350 OBP, 27.4 percent line-drive rate, and 46.4 percent hard-contact rate versus right-handed pitching over the last week of play (204 PAs). The latter pair of figures both rank as the second highest in baseball over that span. Kansas City’s roster currently sports five players with OBPs north of .350 and five players hitting .277 or better.
Santana has also had his share of struggles with the Royals over the last three seasons. He sports a 2-3 record and 4.98 ERA (including nine home runs) across 56 innings over 10 starts against KC during that span. Then, the White Sox bullpen could also keep the good times rolling for KC once Santana exits. They check in with a 4.71 ERA and .350 wOBA allowed over the prior week (132-batter sample) heading into Sunday’s action.
Santana allowed a .372 wOBA to left-handed hitters last season and a .330 figure to that handedness over his long career. That makes the likes of the red-hot Alex Gordon, Ryan O’Hearn and the switch-hitting Adalberto Mondesi especially appealing. However, right-handed hitting Whit Merrifield is intriguing as well. He owns a .412/.444/.529 line against Santana across 18 career plate appearances.
Other stacks to consider: Blue Jays at Twins (LHP Martin Perez), Angels at Rangers (RHP Shelby Miller), White Sox vs. Royals (RHP Heath Fillmyer)
Three Down for April 15, 2019
Pitcher To Fade
Shelby Miller ($6.5k DraftKings, $6.2k FanDuel)
As explained in Bour’s entry, Miller has plenty of weak spots that could be exploited by a hot Angels squad. Los Angeles owns a .287 average, .347 wOBA, 24.0 percent line-drive rate and 40.2 percent hard-contact rate versus right-handed pitching over the last week of play. Meanwhile, Miller sports a 9.53 ERA and 3.18 WHIP through his first two starts. Globe Life Park won’t exactly help his cause Monday. The Rangers’ home field sported the highest run factor (1.352) in the Majors last season and currently ranks eighth in the new season with a mark of 1.406. Texas has allowed an average of 6.1 runs there through eight games. And that’s partly the fault of the Rangers’ bullpen, which could sink any chances Miller might have at a victory. Rangers relievers had allowed a .293 average, 5.68 ERA, and .401 wOBA over the prior week heading into Sunday’s action.
Hitter To Fade
Odubel Herrera vs. NYM ($3.7k DraftKings, $3.3k FanDuel)
He’s far from alone, but Herrera has historically hit a brick wall when facing Mets starter Noah Syndergaard. Herrera owns a .100/.182/.250 line across 22 career plate appearances versus “Thor.” That sample includes four strikeouts. Then, Syndergaard has bedeviled lefty bats to the tune of a .200 BAA, .240 wOBA, and anemic 20.0 percent hard-contact rate over a small 23-batter sample in the new season. He was similarly effective last season over a larger sample while holding that handedness to a .290 wOBA and 0.33 HR/9. Zooming out, he’s generated a career .292 wOBA against lefty hitters. Herrera has gotten off to a solid start the plate overall, but he’s also running a bit cold right now. The outfielder is just 2-for-14 over his last three games while striking out three times and compiling no extra-base hits.
Stack To Fade
Rockies at Padres (LHP Joey Lucchesi)
The Rockies’ ineptitude on the road is well documented. However, their track record versus southpaws outside of Coors Field is even more unsightly. Colorado has struck out at a 34.1 percent clip versus southpaws on the road. The Rockies’ other disqualifying road metrics against lefties include a .217 wOBA, 29 wRC+, -11.1 wRAA, .182 average, and .107 ISO across a sample of 129 plate appearances.
Neither the matchup nor the stadium helps Colorado’s case Monday. Petco Park checks in with a bottom-10 run factor thus far in 2019 (0.839). Lucchesi has yet to be scored upon there across 10 frames over two starts this season while generating a .184 BAA and 13:3 K:BB. The southpaw also has a nice track record against the Rockies. Lucchesi boasts a 1-0 mark, 2.05 ERA, .208 BAA, and 23:6 K:BB across 22 innings in four career starts against Colorado.
Premium Rockies hitters such as Nolan Arenado ($4.6K on DK, $3.7K on FD), Trevor Story ($4.3K on DK and $3.5K on FD), and Charlie Blackmon ($4.3K on DK, $3.2K on FD) aren’t priced astronomically. But they still carry hefty salaries on DK. Neither the hitting conditions nor the matchup bodes well for them Monday. The remainder of the lineup can also be very unreliable, leaving the Rockies as a fade.