We have a 10-game MLB DFS slate on Sunday, 5/19/19 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!
BEST MLB DFS TOURNAMENTS FOR 5/19
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, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $20K to 1st!
Sun. Grand Slam: $66 entry, $100K guaranteed (FanDuel)- $20K to 1st!
Three Up for May 19, 2019
Noah Syndergaard at MIA ($10.4k DraftKings, $10.4k FanDuel)
The Marlins are the weakest offense in the Majors. Yet that hasn’t stopped them from pulling a surprise every so often. Syndergaard’s rotation mate Jacob deGrom can certainly attest after getting lit up for seven runs over five innings Friday night. However, Syndergaard still makes for an appealing cash or GPP play Sunday and comes at a slight savings over the highest-priced options on the slate.
Syndergaard actually has a better K/9 on the road (9.60) than at home (9.33). He also owns a respectable 3.63 xFIP outside Citi Field. However, he’s been partly done in by a bloated .377 BABIP in his 30 road frames. Then, Syndergaard has mastered the Marlins over the last three seasons, and that’s been while facing more potent lineups than Miami sports at the moment. “Thor” owns a 6-0 record, .224 average and 60:6 K:BB across eight starts versus the Marlins during that span. That includes a 4-0 mark at Marlins Park, which also has the seventh-lowest HR factor (0.732) this season.
Current Miami hitters own a middling .241 collective average against Syndergaard and zero home runs over 55 combined career at-bats. Even factoring in their success versus deGrom two night ago, the Marlins still sport an NL-low .261 wOBA and MLB-low -17.8 wRAA against righties at home over the last month, along with a 26.1 percent strikeout rate.
Other pitchers to consider: Chris Sale (vs. HOU), Hyun-Jin Ryu (at CIN), Brandon Woodruff (at ATL), Jerad Eickhoff (vs. COL)
Joc Pederson at CIN ($5k DraftKings, $3.5k FanDuel)
Pederson’s batting average continues to leave much to be desired. However, his bat carries plenty of pop. That’s evidenced by his 14 home runs, as well as his career-high .387 wOBA and 51.1 percent hard-contact rate. Pederson has unsurprisingly done his greatest damage against right-handed pitching. All 14 of his home runs have come against righty arms, against which he also boasts a .429 wOBA, .465 ISO, and 50.6 percent hard-contact rate.
Then, Pederson’s matchup against Reds right-hander Tanner Roark is appealing from a number of angles. Roark has a suspect track record against left-handed hitters. The veteran has allowed a .329 average, .416 wOBA, 6.84 xFIP, 33.9 percent line-drive rate, and 38.9 percent hard-contact rate to lefty bats. And he’s had plenty of trouble in the past with Pederson. The Dodgers slugger owns a .625 average against Roark over 11 career plate appearances. That sample includes both a double and a triple.
Finally, consider Reds relievers have also been more vulnerable to left-handed hitters of late. They’ve yielded a 5.32 ERA and eight extra-base hits (including an NL-high six home runs) to left-handed bats at Great American Ballpark over the last month.
Other hitters to consider: Paul DeJong, Jose Martinez (at TEX), Matt Chapman, Stephen Piscotty, Marcus Semien, Josh Phegley (all at DET), D.J. LeMahieu (vs. TAM), Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Carlos Santana (all vs. BAL), Christian Yelich, Yasmani Grandal (at ATL), Justin Smoak, Rowdy Tellez, Freddy Galvis, Eric Sogard (all at CWS)
Athletics at DET (LHP Gregory Soto, opener/ RHP Nick Ramirez, long reliever)
There are a few suspect arms taking the hill Sunday and more than one “bullpen day” scenario slated to unfold. One will be at Comerica Park. The Athletics could get off to a fast start in the first inning against scheduled opener Gregory Soto. The young southpaw has a 13.50 ERA and 6.58 xFIP across his first six innings this season.
Then, Nick Ramirez, the projected long reliever, has been impressive over the first eight frames of his big-league career (two appearances). However, he’ll run into an Oakland squad that sports a .348 wOBA, .227 ISO and 41.3 percent hard-contact rate against southpaws on the road over the last month. That sample includes an impressive eight home runs, the second-highest total in the AL over that stretch.
Finally, the rest of the Detroit bullpen and the setting of Sunday’s game could help facilitate some strong fantasy production for Oakland hitters. Tigers relievers own an MLB-worst .318 BAA, .403 wOBA, and 7.44 ERA over the last month, a stretch during which they’ve also yielded a league-high 23 home runs. Meanwhile, Comerica Park sports the third-highest run factor (1.247), 10th-highest home-run factor (1.221), and highest triples factor (3.055).
Other stacks to consider: Cardinals (at TEX), Indians (vs. BAL), Blue Jays (at CWS), Brewers (at ATL)
Three Down for May 19, 2019
Pitcher To Fade
Yefry Ramirez at CLE ($6.3k DraftKings, *not yet listed on FanDuel*)
One of the other pitchers on Sunday’s main slate with a depressed outlook is Ramirez. The right-hander has a 5.14 ERA and 1.43 WHIP through his first three appearances of the season. He’s operated exclusively in relief in those outings. Therefore, it’s reasonable to expect he may not put more than five innings Sunday, which already caps his upside to an extent. The young right-hander also sports an 11.63 ERA, .319 BAA, and .415 wOBA allowed across 21.2 career road innings, along with a 2.31 WHIP and 7.35 xFIP.
The Indians have been mostly under-performing offensively this season, despite their solid win-loss record. However, the upside is certainly there with the likes of Carlos Santana, Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, and Jason Kipnis. What’s more, four Indians regulars — Kipnis, Ramirez, Santana, and Jake Bauers — boast double-digit walk rates against righties, which certainly spells trouble for a pitcher like Ramirez that sports a jaw-dropping 8.72 BB/9 on the road in his career.
Finally, the fact Progressive Field sports the fourth-highest run factor (1.237) doesn’t do Ramirez’s outlook any favors, either.
Hitter To Fade
Michael Brantley at BOS ($4.8k DraftKings, $3.8k FanDuel)
Chris Sale has put an abysmal start to his season firmly in the rear-view mirror. The veteran southpaw has racked up a jaw-dropping 41 strikeouts over his last three outings combined, a span during which he’s yielded just three earned runs over 21 innings. That automatically erodes the fantasy appeal of any hitter facing him. But Brantley also carries the stigma of a mostly dismal history against the ace left-hander. He owns a .211/.250/.263 line against Sale over 40 career plate appearances. That sample includes just two extra-base hits (two doubles) and 12 strikeouts.
Sale is also limiting same-handed hitters to a .289 wOBA, including .202 at Fenway Park. He also boasts a 12.79 K/9 and microscopic 1.45 xFIP against lefty bats while allowing them an anemic 17.7 percent hard-contact rate. While Brantley is one of those rare left-handed hitters that can thrive against southpaws, most of his success in same-handed matchups this season has come at home. Brantley sports a .233 average and .282 wOBA versus southpaws on the road. He’ll also be mired in an unfavorable matchup if/when Sale exits. Boston relievers boast an MLB-low .139 BAA and a .236 wOBA versus lefty hitters over the last month of play.
Stack To Fade
Astros at BOS (LHP Chris Sale)
Brantley is far from the only member of the Astros with a futile history against Sale. Current Houston hitters own a collective .229/.255/.307 line against Sale over a healthy sample of 140 at-bats. In addition to Brantley, the likes of Robinson Chirinos (.100 average), Carlos Correa (.231 average), Jake Marisnick (.091 average), and Josh Reddick (.214 average) have also particularly struggled against Sale.
Despite his early-season struggles, Sale still owns a .224 BAA and .281 wOBA at home. What’s more, he’s posted a sparkling 38:5 K:BB across 23 home innings. Sale’s 14.87 K/9, 1.04 WHIP and 2.01 xFIP at Fenway Park are all elite, but he’s been partly victimized by a .348 BABIP. However, he’s allowed no more than two earned runs in five straight outings overall. Plus, he’s coming off a 17-strikeout performance against the Rockies at Fenway in his last start.
While Sale gives up the occasional long ball — especially to right-handed hitters — he’s still not the pitcher you normally want to stack against. That especially holds true Sunday, considering he boasts a .195 BAA and 24:2 K:BB across three starts against the Astros over the last three seasons.