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We have a 14-game MLB DFS slate on Friday, 4/19/19 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!

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Rally Cap: $8 entry, $150k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $25K to 1st!
Medium 8s: $44 entry, $250k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $50K to 1st!
Fri. Rally: $9.99 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $20K to 1st!
Fri. Grand Slam: $44 entry, $125K guaranteed (FanDuel)- $25K to 1st!

Three Up for April 19, 2019

Best Pitcher

Madison Bumgarner at PIT ($9.5k DraftKings, $9.5k FanDuel)

Bumgarner draws a matchup against a Pirates team that’s putting up atrocious numbers versus southpaws in the early going. Pittsburgh owns a .245 wOBA, 30.2 percent strikeout rate, and anemic 26.9 percent hard-contact rate against lefties in 149 plate appearances. Pittsburgh is scoring just 3.7 runs per game despite their impressive 10-6 record. Collectively, they sport a .235/.310/.369 line, along with a .294 wOBA and -12.3 wRAA.

Then, Bumgarner has generated a 1.38 ERA, .213 BAA, and .269 wOBA allowed across 13.1 road innings. He’s absolutely stymied the Pirates over the last three seasons as well. “MadBum” owns a 1.38 ERA, .224 BAA, and 12:3 K:BB over a pair of starts versus Pittsburgh, one of which was a complete game. Current Pirates hitters own a .156/.176/.188 line against Bumgarner over a 32 at-bat sample, further cementing the veteran’s case.

Other pitchers to consider: Carlos Rodon (at DET), Marco Gonzales (at LAA), Touki Toussaint (at CLE), Corey Kluber (vs. ATL)

Best Hitter

Jose Abreu at DET ($3.9k DraftKings, $2.8k FanDuel)

Abreu has started the season in a significant funk, which should certainly help keep his ownership in GPPs modest Friday. Yet a couple of metrics point to a potential breakout effort. We’ll start with Abreu’s history in the starting pitcher matchup. The slugger has punished Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann for a .435 average over 25 career plate appearances. That sample includes four extra-base hits (a double, a triple, two home runs) and just two strikeouts. Zimmermann checks in with a 8.31 ERA and .477 wOBA allowed over a very small 2019 sample at Comerica Park. He also allowed a .332 wOBA (including 15 homers) there last season across 73.1 frames.

Abreu has uncharacteristically poor numbers versus right-handed pitching overall in the early going this season, but there’s more to the story. He’s hit all three of his home runs against righties and actually owns a .292 average and .409 wOBA against that handedness over 29 plate appearances on the road. Moreover, he’s also generated a 47.4 percent hard-contact rate versus righties over that sample. And an unsustainable .233 BABIP versus right-handed pitching has also conspired to limit his numbers thus far.

Other hitters to consider: Keon Broxton, Marcus Semien, Mike Trout, Yonder Alonso, Yolmer Sanchez, A.J. Pollock, Justin Turner, Aaron Judge, Paul Goldschmidt

Best Stack

Cardinals vs. Mets (LHP Jason Vargas) 

There’s a couple of potentially exploitable pitchers on Friday’s big slate. However, the combination of Vargas and the Mets relief corps is too tantalizing to pass up. Starting with the veteran southpaw, he’s allowed a .537 wOBA to right-handed hitters and a .505 wOBA to lefty bats. He’s allowed a 10.13 ERA and .400/.483/.680 line across a sample of 30 batters on the road as well. Both sides of the plate are absolutely crushing the ball against him. Left-handed hitters have blasted him for a 28.6 percent line-drive rate and 57.1 percent hard-contact rate. Righty bats counter with a 65.2 percent hard-contact rate. And his 4.5 percent swinging strike rate speaks to how ineffective he’s been at fooling hitters overall.

Current Cardinals hitters own a collective .355/.405/.548 line across 68 total plate appearances against Vargas. Matt Carpenter (1.000 average), Yadier Molina (.455 average), Dexter Fowler (.375 average), and Paul DeJong (.333 average) have all particularly given him a difficult time. Paul Goldschmidt also owns a solid .286 average versus Vargas. Then, the Mets bullpen will check into Friday’s action with a 5.87 ERA, .378 wOBA, and 1.70 WHIP. They’ve also allowed the third-most home runs (13) and have worked the most innings (33.2) in the Majors over the last week.

Other stacks to consider: White Sox at Tigers (RHP Jordan Zimmermann)


Three Down for April 19, 2019

Pitcher To Fade

Jordan Zimmermann vs. CWS ($6.5k DraftKings, $6.7k FanDuel)   

In addition Vargas, Zimmermann shapes up as being in a potential trouble spot Friday. The right-hander’s struggles thus far in Comerica Park were detailed in Abreu’s entry. The White Sox can come at Zimmermann from both sides of the plate and have started to heat up. They’ve scored five or more runs in four of their last five games and boast one regular with over a .400 average (Tim Anderson), two others over .300 (Yoan Moncada and Jose Rondon), and six players with OBPs of .330 or better.

Current ChiSox hitters own a .311/.336/.561 line against Zimmermann over 132 at-bats. Individually, Abreu (.435 average), Alonso (.389 average), Yolmer Sanchez (.375 average), and Leury Garcia (.333 average) have particularly given the veteran right-hander trouble. Abreu and Alonso boast a combined 10 extra-base hits (three doubles, one triple, and six home runs) and 15 RBI versus Zimmermann alone.

Hitter To Fade

Joey Gallo vs. HOU ($4.8k DraftKings, $3.9k FanDuel)

Gallo always brings plenty of power upside, but he’s got a couple of factors working against him Friday. Both trace back to Astros ace Justin Verlander. Verlander’s mere presence is usually a deterrent. However, Gallo also sports a career .095/.208/.238 line versus Verlander over 26 career plate appearances. That sample includes eight strikeouts.

Gallo does have five of his six homers on the season off righties, along with an absurdly high 80.0 percent hard-contact rate. However, he sports a 30.0 percent strikeout rate versus that handedness. Then, Verlander has held lefty bats to a .167 average, .276 wOBA, 0.77 WHIP, 2.40 xFIP and 13.0 percent line-drive rate over a 47-hitter sample. Plus, he’s generated a 14.66 K/9 against lefty hitters. The matchup won’t get any easier for Gallo when Verlander exits. The Astros bullpen has allowed an MLB-low .174 wOBA and 0.62 WHIP to left-handed hitters over a 76-batter sample.

Stack To Fade

Braves at Indians (RHP Corey Kluber)

Some may see Kluber as a target Friday given both his performance thus far this season and the Braves’ potent bats. However, despite the right-hander’s difficult start to 2019 at home, he owns a 31-10 record, 2.38 ERA, .200 BAA, and 398 strikeouts over 343.2 innings over the last three seasons at Progressive Field. Current Braves hitters sport a collective .220/.312/.317 line against him across 82 at-bats.

Atlanta is also on a bit of an offensive downswing of late. They’ve scored three or fewer runs in four of their last seven games. The Braves also sport a 22.2 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching on the road, while Kluber’s K/9 (9.95) is actually better than last season’s (9.29). The same holds true for his HR/9 thus far (0.95, compared to last season’s 1.05), which implies he may have also been victimized by some misfortune in his bad outings. Indeed, a glance at the outlier .390 BABIP he’s allowed hints at just that. This figure is a full 114 points above the .276 figure he allowed last season.