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The MLB season is rolling, and there’s a great DFS slate on tap for Thursday, 5/16/19. Below is a list of our best pitchers, hitters, and stacks to target (Three Up) and fade (Three Down) in MLB DFS contests during the afternoon.

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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19th Hole Special: $19 entry, $150k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $50,000 to 1st!
Four Seamer: $4 entry, $20k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Rally: $9.99 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $20,000 to 1st!
Squeeze: $7.77 entry: $40k guaranteed (FanDuel)

Three Up for May 16, 2019

Best Pitcher

Luis Castillo vs. CHC ($10.6k DraftKings, $10.3k FanDuel)

Luis Castillo is head and shoulders above the rest of the pitchers on the board for this short slate. Moreover, he’s clearly one of the best pitchers in the league with the fourth-lowest ERA (1.76) and 11th-highest K/9 ratio (11.18) this year. Castillo’s holding hitters to a meager .202 wOBA and 26% hard contact rate over five home starts this season. Current Cubs are 23-for-97 (.237) with 23 Ks in their careers against Castillo. He has the highest-rated changeup (12 runs above average) in the Majors by far. Plus, it’s almost impossible to time him up with a 96 MPH fastball also in his arsenal. Anthony Rizzo (back) could also miss another game to improve Castillo’s matchup.

Other pitchers to consider: Adam Wainwright, Trevor Williams, Marcus Stroman

Best Hitter

Jorge Polanco at SEA ($5.0k DraftKings, $4.3k FanDuel)

Nelson Cruz (wrist) is likely out tonight, but the Twins still have sluggers capable of capitalizing on a plus matchup. Jorge Polanco isn’t your typical slugger as a 5-foot-11 infielder, yet his power is undeniable with a 1.010 OPS and .288 ISO mark this year. Polanco’s hitting .387 with 2 HR and 3 XBH over the last eight days, and he’s facing a vulnerable RHP tonight. While he was able to handle Cleveland’s anemic lineup twice, Erik Swanson has been pummeled by more capable offenses this year. He’s posting a rough 2.22 HR/9 ratio with a 4.91 xFIP, and he’s yielding a .302 BAA at home. Polanco has done almost all of his damage against RHPs this year. Plus, he possesses an appealing floor-ceiling combination to justify his price tag.

Other hitters to consider: Starling Marte, Marcell Ozuna, Eddie Rosario, Omar Narvaez, Vlad Guerrero Jr., Greg Garcia, C.J. Cron, Randal Grichuk, Joey Votto, Brandon Drury

Best Stack

Blue Jays vs. RHP Dylan Covey (White Sox)

It should be scary for the White Sox to think that Dylan Covey’s numbers should be even worse than they are considering his poor peripheral data. The third-year man is lucky to have only a 5.91 ERA with a 19.2% BB Rate and a 27.8% line drive rate. He owns a rough 91% Z-Contact Rate and would have given up some bigger innings this year if not for a fortunate .229 BABIP through four appearances.

The Blue Jays have not been the most dangerous offense this year, but with Vlad Guerrero Jr. starting to crush the ball, they have a stacking centerpiece. Randal Grichuk is always an underrated option in the OF with plenty of upside. Then, Brandon Drury is a dirt-cheap addition to consider. Covey has been even worse against LHBs throughout his career, so Rowdy Tellez, Freddy Galvis, and Eric Sogard can also provide salary relief.

Other stacks to consider: Twins vs. Erik Swanson (Mariners)


Three Down for May 15, 2019

Pitcher To Fade

Jose Quintana at CIN ($9.2k DraftKings, $8.9k FanDuel)

Over the past few seasons, Jose Quintana has deservedly developed a reputation as a boom-bust pitcher. Tonight he’s less of a risk to implode, but he lacks upside in a start opposite elite young RHP Luis Castillo. The Reds offense is starting to come around after an anemic first month, and Cincy has been more productive with one of the lowest K-Rates (21.5%) against lefties this year. Quintana has struggled badly against Joey Votto (7-for-14, 4 doubles), while Yasiel Puig and Eugenio Suarez both have histories of crushing lefties. Quintana’s been a disaster on the road this year with a 5.03 ERA, 2.29 HR/9 ratio, and a 50.8% hard contact rate. Great American Ballpark has a high Run Factor and will not be friendly to Quintana if he struggles to elicit ground balls.

Hitter To Fade

Josh Bell at SD ($5.6k DraftKings, $4.2k FanDuel)

Josh Bell is on an incredible heater with a 1.511 OPS and 6 HR over his last 10 appearances. But the switch hitter is far less dangerous from the right side of the plate and may not pay off his lofty price tag against a solid lefty at Petco Park tonight. Eric Lauer has used the spacious confines of Petco to his advantage with a 3.84 ERA in his career at home. Plus, he’s holding batters to a 16.4% line drive rate with a modest 9.4% HR/FB ratio at Petco this year. Bell is 12-for-45 (.267) with just 1 HR in his career against Padres pitching and has 1 HR over 23 plate appearances at Petco.

Stack To Fade

Mariners vs. MIN (RHP Michael Pineda)

Michael Pineda has been nothing short of awful in his first campaign with the Twins. Still, the 30-year-old has plenty left in the tank and talent to draw out of his athletic, 6-foot-7 frame. Pineda’s still showcasing swing-and-miss stuff with an 11.7% swinging strike rate; he just has to locate his slider for it to be more effective. For what it’s worth, Pineda’s shown far more focus with a 3.52 K/BB ratio and 3.76 FIP on the road. His .390 BABIP in road starts is insanely unlucky and should regress if he finds a way to navigate the Mariners’ dangerous lineup. Seattle started hot but ranks 26th in collective batting average (.215) and 22nd in wOBA (.299) over the last 14 days.