The MLB season is rolling, and there’s a great DFS slate on tap for Wednesday, 5/15/19. 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 5/15/19
Relay Throw: $15 entry, $200k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $50,000 to 1st!
Four Seamer: $4 entry, $35k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Rally: $9.99 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $20,000 to 1st!
Squeeze: $4.44 entry: $60k guaranteed (FanDuel)
Three Up for May 15, 2019
Justin Verlander at DET ($11.0k DraftKings, $12.0k FanDuel)
No pitcher can match Justin Verlander tonight in terms of upside and safety. The perennial Cy Young contender is sporting the lowest BABIP (.183) in the Majors by far because his already elite slider has been lights out this year. It rates 10.7 runs above average per Brooks Baseball. Verlander’s strikeout numbers are slightly down (10.67 K/9 ratio), but his swinging strike rate (13.9%) is in line with what he posted last year. Thus, Verlander could see positive regression in terms of Ks. Tonight he’s facing a Tigers team that’s posting the seventh-highest K-Rate (25.7%) and the fourth-lowest wOBA (.284) against RHPs. He owns a 2.94 ERA and .200 BAA over the last three years at Comerica Park, and Detroit’s lineup is only getting weaker at this point.
Other pitchers to consider: Patrick Corbin, Kenta Maeda, German Marquez, Mike Soroka, Gio Gonzalez
Ronald Acuña Jr. vs. STL ($4.6k DraftKings, $3.9k FanDuel)
Cardinals veteran RHP Michael Wacha continues to struggle in RvR matchups, and he’s been extremely homer-prone this year. That fact alone makes Ronald Acuña Jr. a stellar option in GPP formats tonight and a candidate to lead a Braves stack at home. Acuña owns a 22% HR/FB ratio and .261 ISO mark in his two years of experience at Turner Field. He’s homered twice during his current five-game hitting streak and owns a 72.2% hard contact rate with just a 12.3% ground ball rate over his last six outings. That type of batted ball data should lead to good results against a RHP that yields a 23.8% HR/FB ratio against righties this year.
Juan Soto vs. NYM ($4.5k DraftKings, $3.8k FanDuel)
Washington’s young outfielder Juan Soto has been inconsistent in his second-year but has a chance to post big numbers tonight. He’s facing a RHP in Wilmer Font who has bounced around seven MLB teams and struggled at every stop with a 6.39 ERA. Font owns an 18.1% HR/FB ratio in his career (38 appearances) and is coughing up an absurd 5.06 HR/9 ratio with an 8.17 FIP when facing LHBs this year. Font is also giving up a 64.7% hard contact rate over 28 plate appearances against lefties in 2019. Soto has flashed much more power with a .258 ISO mark and a notable 30.7% HR/FB ratio at Nationals Park this season.
Other hitters to consider: George Springer, Austin Meadows, Joey Gallo, Brandon Lowe, Shin-Soo Choo, Ozzie Albies, Danny Santana, Lorenzo Cain, Ji-Man Choi, Aledmys Diaz, Adam Eaton, Ender Inciarte, Rougned Odor
Rays vs. RHP Jose Ureña (Marlins)
The Rays might be lightly owned as a full stack tonight because they’re playing at pitcher-friendly Marlins Park. Yet Tampa is doing plenty of damage without hitting long balls and has almost exclusively picked on weak right-handed pitching this year. The Rays lead the Majors in K-Rate with a weak .309 wOBA against LHPs but rank seventh with a .337 wOBA and 114 wRC+ against RHPs this season.
Jose Ureña is regressing in his fifth MLB season with an 89.4% Z-Contact Rate and a 7.8% swinging strike rate. He’s yielding a 48.1% hard contact rate when facing LHBs, so that’s the best way to target him tonight. Tampa has dangerous lefties throughout its lineup in Brandon Lowe, Austin Meadows, and Kevin Kiermaier. With Nathaniel Lowe sent down to the Minors, Ji-Man Choi should start and provide salary relief as a 1B option with upside. The Rays have RHBs that are also certainly worth consideration in Tommy Pham and Avisail Garcia. Cleanup man Yandy Diaz will likely only be worth deploying in GPP formats.
Other stacks to consider: Astros vs. Matt Hall (Tigers), Brewers vs. Jake Arrieta (Phillies), Braves vs. Michael Wacha (Cardinals)
Three Down for May 15, 2019
Pitcher To Fade
Mike Minor at KC ($9.4k DraftKings, $8.8k FanDuel)
The Royals are struggling to hit lefties with a collective .217 batting average this year, but they still have a relatively modest 23.4% K-Rate against LHPs. Despite those numbers, KC has a lineup that can make life difficult on a soft-throwing southpaw in Mike Minor. Current Royals are 18-for-57 (.316) with 3 HR in their careers against Minor. The Royals have a trio of red-hot righties in Jorge Soler, Whit Merrifield, and Hunter Dozier, plus surging switch-hitter Adalberto Mondesi. All of those batters will be brimming with confidence after lighting up the scoreboard last night. Minor’s BB Rate (8.9%) is up along with his K-Rate this year, and he’s still allowing a hard contact rate over 37 percent.
Hitter To Fade
Trevor Story at BOS ($5.0k DraftKings, $4.0k FanDuel)
While it only takes one mistake to lift a pitch out of Fenway Park from the right side of the plate, Boston LHP Eduardo Rodriguez has proven capable of avoiding those mistakes. He was better at home last year and is sporting a 2.59 with a .193 BAA through four home starts this season. Rodriguez owns a 5.20 K/BB ratio and has not allowed a HR to righties in those outings. He’s actually allowing the second-lowest hard contact rate (25.5%) among qualified pitchers this year. Rockies righties will have to be patient to get to E-Rod. And Trevor Story has not been so far in his career with a 7.3% BB Rate over the past two seasons. He’s flashed bigtime power against lefties but also owns a whopping 35% K-Rate on the road against LHPs in his career.
Stack To Fade
Phillies vs. MIL (LHP Gio Gonzalez)
With Bryce Harper struggling badly, the Phillies don’t exactly jump off the page as an appealing stacking option. Rhys Hoskins is a dangerous RHB who could give Gio Gonzalez some trouble, but he’s actually 0-for-9 with 4 Ks in his career against the journeyman lefty. Through three starts with Milwaukee, Gonzalez is posting his highest ground ball rate (51.2%) since 2015 and his swinging strike rate (10.5%) since 2014. He’s yet to allow a HR and is giving up a career-best 25.6% fly-ball rate. With the eighth-lowest HR/FB ratio (10.3%) and a subpar .244 batting average against LHPs, Philly is unlikely to snap that trend.