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MLB DFS Picks

We have a nine-game MLB DFS slate on Sunday, 5/12/19 beginning at 1:05 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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BEST MLB DFS TOURNAMENTS FOR 5/12

Extra Inning: $10 entry, $150k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $50k to 1st!
Pitcher’s Mound: $60.60 entry, $300k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $100K to 1st!
Sun. Squeeze: $5.55 entry, $115k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $25K to 1st!
Sun. Grand Slam: $66 entry, $125K guaranteed (FanDuel)- $25K to 1st!

Three Up for May 12, 2019

Best Pitcher

John Means vs. LAA ($7.1k DraftKings, $7.1k FanDuel)

There are some statistical trends that make the higher-end pitchers on the slate at least mildly worrisome. However, Means makes for an interesting cost-savings target that may also be low-owned. Not only does he have some solid GPP upside due to his ability to miss bats consistently, the southpaw also draws a very favorable matchup on paper. The Angels came into Saturday’s play with .255 wOBA, -12.8 wRAA and .183 average versus left-handed pitching on the road (253 plate appearances).

Means has been at his best in his home park of Camden Yards. He boasts a 1.56 ERA, .177 BAA, .213 wOBA and 22.4 percent strikeout rate at Camden. He’s yielded an anemic 12.8 percent line-drive rate and 20.8 percent hard-contact rate there as well, both keys to his success. And he’ll be an unfamiliar foe for the Angels, who’ll have to rely on advance scouting to prepare for his diverse four-pitch arsenal.

Means just posted a quality start against the Red Sox in his last time out, going seven innings for his longest outing of the season. He’s given up just two earned runs across 12 innings in his two home starts combined, and his effectiveness against either handedness of hitter (.239 wOBA allowed to lefty bats, .282 wOBA surrendered to righty hitters) makes him a solid mid-priced cash or GPP play Sunday.

Other pitchers to consider: Blake Snell (vs. NYY), Noah Syndergaard (vs. MIA), Martin Perez (vs. DET)

Best Hitter

Jonathan Schoop vs. DET ($4.2k DraftKings, $2.9k FanDuel)

The Twins shape up as one of the more appealing stacks of the day Sunday. Amidst some of his higher-profile teammates is Schoop, whose own solid play this season has been somewhat overshadowed. The veteran second baseman packs plenty of pop in his bat and was slashing an impressive .283/.328/.517 heading into Saturday’s doubleheader action. That sample included 16 extra-base hits, including six homers.

Schoop has also done damage against left-handers this season on the few occasions he’s faced them. The slugger owns a .417 average and .533 wOBA against southpaws over 15 plate appearances, along with eye-popping 40.0 percent line-drive and 70.0 percent hard-contact rates. Meanwhile, Tigers starter Daniel Norris has yielded a .326 average, .352 wOBA, 26.7 percent line-drive rate and 39.5 percent hard-contact rate to right-handed hitters. He’s also surrendered a .571 average to Schoop over seven career encounters.

It’s also worth noting Schoop has thrived this season against Norris’ most frequently thrown pitch, the four-seam fastball. While Norris has allowed a .416 wOBA and produced just a 14.5 percent strikeout rate with the pitch, Schoop has pounded it for a .359 average and .442 wOBA. He hasn’t been bad against the left-hander’s second favorite offering, the slider. Schoop boasts a .363 wOBA against the breaking pitch.

Finally, considering the Tigers’ bullpen’s struggles versus right-handed hitters on the road this season. Detroit relievers came into Saturday’s action allowing a .295 average, .371 wOBA and 5.26 ERA to righty bats outside of Comerica Park this season.

Other hitters to consider: Gary Sanchez (vs. TAM), Eddie Rosario, Jorge Polanco, Nelson Cruz (all vs. DET), Danny Santana (at HOU), Carlos Correa (vs. TAM), Edwin Encarnacion, Ryon Healy, Mitch Haniger, Jay Bruce (all vs. BOS), Whit Merrifield, Adalberto Mondesi, Hunter Dozier (all vs. PHI)

Best Stack

Mariners at BOS (RHP Hector Velazquez) 

In addition to Minnesota, the Mariners shape up as a tantalizing bunch Sunday. Seattle will open the game taking its collective hacks against right-hander Hector Velazquez, who’s yet to pitch more than than 3.1 innings in any appearance this season. The Mariners are  likely the last team he wants to see. To begin with, current Seattle hitters own a .333/.357/.556 line against Velazquez. Then, the Mariners checked into Saturday’s action with an MLB-high .291 average and .384 wOBA against right-handed pitching on the road (666 plate appearances).

Velazquez sports a .273 average, .336 wOBA, 5.17 xFIP and 40.9 percent hard-contact rate allowed in 9.2 home frames thus far. He’s particularly had trouble with right-handed hitters, allowing a .333 average and .371 wOBA to that handedness. That makes the likes of Ryon Healy, Mitch Haniger and Edwin Encarnacion especially appealing against the Green Monster. Then, Velazquez’s excellent .236 wOBA against lefty bats is belied to an extent by the 4.40 xFIP, 25.0 percent line-drive rate and 37.5 percent hard-contact rate he’s allowed to that handedness. A .174 BABIP against lefty bats has helped bail him out to a degree. Therefore, Daniel Vogelbach, Omar Narvaez and Jay Bruce can also be considered if in the lineup.

Red Sox relievers, which will certainly play a role in this contest, should also be factored in — the Boston bullpen is allowing a .336 wOBA and 27 extra-base hits at home thus far this season over a 260-batter sample.

Other stacks to consider: Red Sox (vs. SEA), Twins (vs. DET), Royals (vs. PHI), Rays (vs. Yankees)

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Three Down for May 12, 2019

Pitcher To Fade

Masahiro Tanaka at TB ($9.2k DraftKings, $8.2k FanDuel) 

Tanaka has generally found the road an unfriendly place in 2019. The veteran right-hander owns a 5.17 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 2.3 HR/9 outside of Yankee Stadium across 15.2 frames. Tanaka has allowed nine runs (eight earned) across 9.2 frames over his last two road appearances. Then, Tropicana Field hasn’t exactly been conducive to Tanaka’s success over the last three seasons. He sports a 5.68 ERA and .278 BAA over 31.2 innings there during that stretch.

Current Rays hitters boast a .310/.361/.550 line against Tanaka over 100 career at-bats. That sample includes 15 extra-base hits (10 doubles, one triple, four home runs). Some of the most successful on an individual level include Tommy Pham (.600 average), Brandon Lowe (.500 average), Avisail Garcia (.308 average) and Kevin Kiermaier (.304 average). Tampa has been a force against right-handed pitching at the Trop all season. They own a .330 wOBA and 43.1 percent hard-contact rate versus righties at home for the season. They’ve been even more lethal over the last two weeks of play. Entering Saturday’s action, the Rays boasted an MLB-high .297 average and AL-best .380 wOBA versus righties at home during that sample.

Hitter To Fade

Amed Rosario vs. MIA ($4.2k DraftKings, $3k FanDuel)

Rosario made plenty of noise with a grand slam in Friday night’s rout over Miami and he owns a solid .278/.316/424 line for the season, including 24 RBI. However, he entered Saturday’s action with a paltry .222 average and .250 on-base percentage against left-handed pitching and draws a matchup against a red-hot southpaw in Caleb Smith. What’s more Smith has already bedeviled Rosario to the tune of a .143 average across seven career plate appearances.

Smith owns an impressive .196 BAA and .262 wOBA allowed versus the 114 right-handed batters he’s faced this season. He sports a  .185 BAA overall on the road as well. And, Rosario has especially struggled against lefties at home. He’s generated a .255 wOBA, .200 average and 14.3 percent hard-contact rate against southpaws there while striking out at a 27.3 percent clip in a small sample.

Stack To Fade

Marlins at NYM (RHP Noah Syndergaard)

Noah Syndergaard has been far from top form thus far this season. However, both of his victories have come at Citi Field, site of Sunday’s game. What’s more, Syndergaard boasts a .211 BAA and 28:6 K:BB across 27.0 home frames. And, he’s been a certifiable Marlins killer over the last three seasons. “Thor” owns a 6-0 record, 1.64 ERA and sparking 60:6 K:BB over 55 innings across eight starts versus Miami during that stretch.

The Marlins continue to be the most punchless offense in the majors by far as well. After totaling just one run against Syndergaard’s rotation mate Jacob deGrom and two relievers Saturday, Miami is now averaging a measly 2.7 runs per game. The Marlins came into Saturday’s matchup with a .252 wOBA and 26.1 percent strikeout rate versus right-handed pitching on the road for the season, along with a massive -25.6 wRAA. And, those figures were prior to their aforementioned one-run showing.

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