The MLB season is rolling, and there’s a great DFS slate on tap for Tuesday, 4/16/19. 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. FanDuel offers a full 15-game slate tonight that starts at 6:35 p.m. and DraftKings offers a 13-game slate beginning at 7:05 p.m.
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 4/16
Relay Throw: $15 entry, $300k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Four Seamer: $4 entry, $100k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Rally: $9.99 entry, $120k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $25,000 to 1st!
Squeeze: $7.77 entry, $70k guaranteed (FanDuel)
Three Up for April 16, 2019
Stephen Strasburg vs. SF ($10.3k DraftKings, $10.9k FanDuel)
While Stephen Strasburg was shelled in Philadelphia during his last start (as predicted in Three Down), he didn’t suffer an injury. That’s always the biggest concern when playing “The Orchid,” who famously hits the DL whenever conditions are not ideal. Perhaps this is the year Strasburg finally shows some longevity, but all you need from him tonight is a strong showing at home against a weak offense. San Francisco ranks dead last in collective wOBA (.248) with an above-average 24.9% K-Rate so far this year. The Nationals (-190) are expected to be all over Giants RHP Dereck Rodriguez. Aside from Buster Posey, who is in the downswing of his career, current Giants have 18 hits and 19 Ks over 78 at-bats against Strasburg.
Chris Sale @ NYY ($9.0k FanDuel)
Chris Sale is at least worth a speculative play in GPP formats on FanDuel tonight. The Yankees lineup has been ravaged by injuries with Giancarlo Stanton (bicep), Miguel Andujar (shoulder), Gary Sanchez (calf), or Aaron Hicks (back) available to use the platoon advantage against Sale. The rest of the Yankees hitters have poor splits against Sale. He is 2-1 with a 1.65 ERA, 11.54 K/9 ratio, and .180 BAA over his last four starts at Yankee Stadium. Granted, his velocity is way down this year, and his location is significantly off as well. But Sale has historically been strong at the start of each season and is certainly capable of turning it around in a primetime spot. The Yankees own a league-high 34.3% K-Rate when facing LHPs this season, so there is a ton of upside here.
Other pitchers to consider: Tyler Glasnow, Collin McHugh, Joe Musgrove, Kenta Maeda, Aaron Sanchez
Alex Gordon @ CWS ($4.6k DraftKings, $3.9k FanDuel)
After a couple of down years, Alex Gordon appears to have re-discovered his swing. The lefty is slugging .795 with a 1.272 OPS and .360 batting average so far this season. He’s capitalized on most plus matchups and faces an incredibly vulnerable RHP tonight. Reynaldo Lopez has coughed up 18 ER and 6 HR over three starts to open the year and was very inconsistent with a 5.22 xFIP last season. Lopez relies entirely too much on his fastball and slider, two pitches that Gordon has handled with ease this year.
Jeff McNeil @ PHI ($4.3k DraftKings, $3.7k FanDuel)
The Mets have a gem in Jeff McNeil, who is hitting .383 with a .974 OPS this season and is 13-for-42 (.406) in road games. Tonight he’ll face struggling RHP Nick Pivetta, who has been tagged for a 9.45 ERA over two starts to begin the season. Pivetta posted a 1.54 HR/9 ratio when facing LHBs last year, which gives lefty slugger Michael Conforto appeal as a high-upside option in the outfield. McNeil is more of a contact hitter with Cash appeal, but he’s a rock-solid option to consider at a moderate price tag on DraftKings.
Other hitters to consider: Rhys Hoskins, Whit Merrifield, Michael Conforto, Joey Gallo, Juan Soto, Alex Bregman, Tommy Pham, Wil Myers, Shin-Soo Choo, Lorenzo Cain, J.T. Realmuto, Yasiel Puig, Dwight Smith Jr.
Rays vs. Dylan Bundy (Orioles)
Because the Rays are having success without many (if any) household names, they remain very affordable as a stacking option. Austin Meadows got off to a blistering start but is a notable streaky hitter and could be faded if you want to target some of the cheaper Rays. Tommy Pham has reached base in a whopping 47 straight games and is obviously the best Cash option of the bunch. Brandon Lowe has been a revelation with a .941 OPS, while Willy Adames and Ji-Man Choi are potential values with bigtime upside in this matchup. We also like Avisail Garcia as an affordable outfielder.
Baltimore sends the erratic Dylan Bundy to the mound to face the first-place Rays. Bundy posted great numbers in wins (2.48 ERA, 0.88 WHIP) but was absolutely horrendous with an 8.48 ERA and 1.93 WHIP in 16 losses last year. That had a lot to do with fluctuating velocity on his fastball and a curveball against which opponents hit .419. Bundy has been rocked in three outings this season and owns a 6.30 ERA over his last 10 appearances against Tampa.
Other stacks to consider: Rangers vs. Matt Harvey (Angels), Nationals vs. Dereck Rodriguez (Giants), Royals vs. Reynaldo Lopez (White Sox)
Three Down for April 16, 2019
Pitcher To Fade
Shane Bieber @ SEA ($8.6k DraftKings, $10.0k FanDuel)
Shane Bieber dominated the Indians’ last two opponents, but the Tigers and Blue Jays are far from elite offensive teams. The Mariners are elite with the highest wOBA (.365) in the A.L. and most runs scored (126) in the Majors by far this season. Bieber is allowing a 44% hard contact rate over two years in the MLB, and his fastball ranked 7.7 runs below average last year. The Mariners have a slew of hitters that love facing heaters, including new acquisition Domingo Santana and breakout stars in Tim Beckham, Dan Vogelbach, and Mitch Haniger.
Hitter To Fade
Mike Trout vs. TEX ($5.7k DraftKings, $5.0k FanDuel)
Mike Trout is back from a groin strain, but even moderate concerns about that injury would lead Angels manager Mike Scioscia to play it safe by not giving Trout the green light to steal and potentially aggravate the issue. Tonight, Trout and the Angels face an underwhelming LHP in Mike Minor. Yet Trout was less effective with a .292 average and 38.5% hard contact rate (46.5% against RHP) when facing lefties last season. Minor impressed by shutting down the lefty-demolishing Astros lineup and pitching very well at Chase Field against the Diamondbacks, so he’s not the best SP to target on a huge slate.
Stack To Fade
Dodgers vs. CIN (RHP Tyler Mahle)
The Dodgers have been red hot so far this season. That always puts them on the radar as an elite stacking option. Reds young RHP Tyler Mahle has been quite vulnerable against the platoon, which makes the Dodgers even more tempting. Yet Mahle has found a good recipe with a 28.6% K-Rate, 80.9% Z-Contact Rate, and a measly 11.5% line drive rate so far this season. He’s been lights out in RvR matchups and owns a stellar 0.82 ERA through two appearances this year. Mahle has a good cut fastball, and he’s suddenly throwing his curveball at a rate of 21.8%. That could allow him to keep LHBs such as Cody Bellinger off balance.