The MLB season is rolling, and there’s a great DFS slate on tap for Tuesday, 5/7/19. Below is a list of our best pitchers, hitters, and stacks to target (Three Up) and fade (Three Down) in MLB DFS contests during the afternoon.
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 5/7/19
Extra Inning: $10 entry, $200k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $50,000 to 1st!
Four Seamer: $4 entry, $50k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Supreme Squeeze: $6 entry, $222k guaranteed (FanDuel)
Grand Slam: $55 entry: $125k guaranteed (FanDuel)
Three Up for May 7, 2019
Jose Berrios at TOR ($10.4k DraftKings, $10.7k FanDuel)
After holding the mighty Astros to 2 ER on an efficient 88 pitches over 7 IP last Thursday, Jose Berrios should be considered a very strong play in any format this evening. He’s rocking a stellar 5.75 K/BB ratio with an 11.3% swinging strike rate thanks to a fastball that rates 7.2 runs above average. The Indians are the only A.L. team with a lower wOBA (.283) than the Blue Jays when playing at home, and Berrios has owned Toronto in a limited sample size. He shut out the Blue Jays with 9 Ks over 7 strong innings in his sole trip to Rogers Centre. He’s also held current Jays to 1-for-15 batting in their careers. Righties are posting only a 30.8% hard contact rate with a 24.8% K-Rate when facing Berrios this year. Finally, Berrios logged a 45% GB rate against RHBs last season.
Noah Syndergaard at SD ($10.1k DraftKings, $10.4k FanDuel)
As predicted in our column, Noah Syndergaard achieved positive regression in a plus matchup against the Reds last Thursday. He even exceeded expectations with a complete-game, four-hit shutout that included 10 Ks and 10 ground-ball outs to dominate one of the weaker offenses in baseball. Now, he’ll face a Padres team that is still below average with a collective .298 wOBA and the highest K-Rate (26.8%) in the Majors. San Diego owns the fifth-lowest batting average (.220) and wOBA (.286) when playing at Petco Park, which has the lowest Run Factor of any MLB ballpark. Syndergaard’s peripheral data (14.7% LD Rate, 80.6% Z-Contact Rate, 4.45 K/BB ratio) is all improved from his injury-hampered 2018 campaign. Plus, his velocity is up. Therefore, we should continue to see lofty strikeout numbers and a lower ERA from “Thor” as his high BABIP (.375) continues to regress.
Other pitchers to consider: Stephen Strasburg, David Price, Caleb Smith, Max Fried, Jon Lester, Griffin Canning
J.D. Martinez at BAL ($5.1k DraftKings, $4.0k FanDuel)
Orioles RHP David Hess has been better this year but remains extremely homer-prone. While the Red Sox might not be worth using as a full stack against the second-year man, there are some great stand-alone plays in Boston’s lineup. J.D. Martinez is slashing .368/.455/.553 with a 47.6% hard contact rate and 16% HR/FB ratio away from Fenway Park this year. He went 11-for-32 with 5 HR, 3 2B, and 7 BB to post a 1.381 OPS at Camden Yards last season. Martinez is 2-for-5 with 2 HR and a pair of walks in his career against Hess, who is sporting a troublesome 2.37 HR/9 ratio and 6.60 FIP over 49 IP in his career at Camden Yards.
Bryan Reynolds vs. TEX ($3.9k DraftKings, $2.6k FanDuel)
The Pirates seem to have found an elite switch hitter out of Vanderbilt to spark their struggling lineup. Bryan Reynolds is 15-for-37 (.405) with a HR and 6 2B in limited action this year. He’ll be a great value play if starting against struggling RHP Adrian Sampson. Sampson hardly misses any bats with a career 88.1% Z-Contact Rate and 5.86 K/9 ratio. His fastball rates 3.0 runs below average, and he’s giving up a 41% hard contact rate in a second consecutive campaign. Sampson struggled with his control on the road last year, posting a 2.60 HR/9 ratio and 6.28 FIP away from Texas. Hence, he might even have trouble at spacious PnC Park tonight. Reynolds or Melky Cabrera could serve as a solid addition to a Pirates stack depending on who starts.
Other hitters to consider: Nolan Arenado, Andrew Benintendi, Brandon Lowe, Michael Brantley, Christian Walker, Logan Forsythe, Steven Duggar, Adam Frazier, Robinson Chirinos, Brandon Crawford, Yasiel Puig
Rays vs. Taylor Clarke (Diamondbacks)
The Diamondbacks are giving Taylor Clarke a chance to replace Zack Godley in their rotation. The bar has been set very low after Godley’s struggles. Yet Clarke doesn’t seem ready to thrive in the Majors after posting a 6.12 ERA and .276 BAA while allowing 5 HR over 5 starts in AAA this spring. He’s projected to post a 1.47 HR/9 ratio in the Majors (per ZIPS) and should be quite vulnerable against the platoon. Lefties hit .304 off Clarke in AAA this year, and the Rays have a few dangerous LHBs to stack against him.
Brandon Lowe is the most appealing upside play with a .991 OPS against RHPs this year. Now Nathaniel Lowe can be added to a Rays stack as a boom-bust option, and Kevin Kiermaier is a solid mid-tier play in the outfield. Don’t shy away from solid Rays in RvR matchups, such as the ultra-consistent Tommy Pham. The Rays are getting good production from Willy Adames towards the bottom of their order, and Yandy Diaz is a threat to clean up on some RBI opportunities.
Other stacks to consider: Red Sox vs. David Hess (Orioles), Athletics vs. Tyler Mahle (Reds), Diamondbacks vs. Jalen Beeks (Rays)
Three Down for May 7, 2019
Pitcher To Fade
Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. ATL ($9.8k DraftKings, $9.6k FanDuel)
While Hyun-Jin Ryu has dominated in some plus matchups and even managed to hold the Brewers elite lineup in check, this is his toughest test to date. Atlanta fields a plethora of talented RHBs and a lefty stud in Freddie Freeman that crushes in LvL matchups. As a result, the Braves lead the Majors with a collective .362 OBP and have the second-highest batting average (.287) against lefties this season. Current Braves are 9-for-21 (.429) with 3 BB in a limited sample against Ryu. Atlanta is also countering with rookie LHP Max Fried, who has the fifth-lowest ERA (2.11) in the Majors and could prevent Ryu from earning a Win with another stingy performance.
Hitter To Fade
Christian Yelich vs. WAS ($5.8k DraftKings, $4.9k FanDuel)
Christian Yelich homered in his return to the Brewers lineup Saturday and appears to be over the back issue that kept him out for the better part of a week. But he’s not a great option tonight as the most expensive OF on the board. Stephen Strasburg has been dealing with a career-high 15% swinging strike rate and his best ground ball rate (50.9%) since 2013. Strasburg has held LHBs to a weak 27.6% hard contact rate throughout his career thanks to a curveball that has a net rating of 27.8 runs above average over the past three seasons. Yelich has more Ks (14) than hits (9) with a .231 average over a sample of 44 plate appearances in his career against Strasburg.
Stack To Fade
Astros vs. KC (LHP Danny Duffy)
Danny Duffy is cheap in DFS contests because of a lack of strikeout potential, not because he’s a poor starter. The southpaw has gotten back to his recipe for success with a 47.1% ground ball rate. Plus, he’s posting a respectable 83.6% Z-Contact Rate. The Astros seem like they would mash against a soft-throwing lefty, but Duffy is rocking a 2.35 ERA and has only allowed one HR over his last four trips to Minute Maid Park. The eight-year veteran is savvy enough to navigate the dangerous Astros lineup.