We have an eight-game MLB DFS slate on Monday, 5/20/19 beginning at 7:05 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 5/20
Spring Series Kickoff: $6 entry, $300k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100k to 1st!
Medium Spring Series Kickoff: $66 entry, $200k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $50K to 1st!
Mon. Rally: $9.99 entry, $125k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $25K to 1st!
Mon. Grand Slam: $55 entry, $100K guaranteed (FanDuel)- $20K to 1st!
Three Up for May 20, 2019
Mike Soroka at SFG ($9.2k DraftKings, $10k FanDuel)
I have some concerns about paying up for Patrick Corbin, the highest-priced arm on Monday’s slate, despite how well he’s pitched. The Mets, poor as they looked against the Marlins over the weekend, have actually has been very effective versus lefties at home. Meanwhile, Mike Soroka has no such concerns attached. He’s been not only impressive but also draws one of the best matchups in the Majors for right-handers on the road. The Giants have been a bit better against righties at spacious Oracle Park of late, but they still come into Monday’s contest with an MLB-low .196 average and .258 wOBA against righties in their home park.
San Francisco’s home stadium checks into Monday with the fifth-lowest run factor (0.789) and second-lowest home-run factor (0.571). Soroka also has an 0.96 ERA, .174 average, and .240 wOBA over 18.2 road innings. And he’s yielded a minuscule 13.5 percent flyball rate and modest 30.2 percent hard-contact rate outside of his home stadium of SunTrust Park. Braves relievers also help support the notion of Soroka nabbing a victory Monday. The Atlanta bullpen has allowed an impressive .226 average and .296 wOBA on the road over the last month.
Other pitchers to consider: Chris Paddack (vs. ARI), Luke Weaver (at SDP), Brad Peacock (vs. CWS)
Gleyber Torres at BAL ($4.8k DraftKings, $3.5k FanDuel)
As detailed below, there’s no shortage of hitters in tantalizing spots Monday. Torres is certainly one of them. He boasts a strong track record against both Orioles starter Andrew Cashner and right-handed pitching in general. Torres sports a .299 average and .361 wOBA against right-handed pitching. Those figures bump up to .339 and .415, respectively, on the road. Then, he’s pounded Cashner for a .500 average over 11 career plate appearances. That sample includes a double and home run along with only one strikeout.
Cashner has allowed a .282 average, .361 wOBA, eight home runs, and a 47.8 percent hard-contact rate to right-handed bats. Then, he’s surrendered an elevated 27.3 percent line-drive rate to them at Camden Yards, where he’s also been bailed out by an atypically low .233 BABIP. Pitch splits are another factor in Torres’ favor Monday. Cashner surrenders a .281 average and .361 wOBA when throwing his signature pitch, the four-seam fastball. Torres counters with a .340 average and .443 wOBA versus the pitch.
Finally, the Orioles bullpen and Camden Yards are often factors in opposing hitters’ favor against Baltimore. O’s relievers come into Monday with a 5.30 ERA, .330 wOBA and 17 extra-base hits allowed (nine doubles, eight home runs) at home over the last month. Then, Baltimore’s home park currently sports the third-highest run factor (1.224) and fourth-highest home-run factor (1.424).
Other hitters to consider: Hanser Alberto, Renato Nunez, Trey Mancini (all vs. NYY), Kendrys Morales, Aaron Hicks (at BAL), Pete Alonso, J.D. Davis (vs. WAS), Mitch Haniger, Ryon Healy (vs. TEX), Nomar Mazara, Hunter Pence, Rougned Odor, Shin-Soo Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera (all vs. SEA), Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Michael Brantley, Yuli Gurriel (all vs. CWS), Andrelton Simmons, Mike Trout (vs. MIN), Manny Machado (vs. ARI), Odubel Herrera (at CHC)
Rangers vs. SEA (RHP Mike Leake)
It wouldn’t surprise if Mike Leake has nightmares ahead of starts against the Rangers. Texas hitters have taken him to the woodshed throughout his career. Current Rangers bats own a collective .351/.371/.601 line against the veteran right-hander. That comes over a robust 168 at-bat sample and includes a whopping 27 extra-base hits (19 doubles, one triple, seven home runs) out of 59 total hits allowed. Nomar Mazara, Hunter Pence, Shin-Soo Choo, Rougned Odor, Elvis Andrus, and Joey Gallo have all taken Leake deep at least once in their careers.
Leake has also been at his worst on the road. He’s yielded a .367 wOBA and nine of his 11 homers when toeing the rubber outside of T-Mobile Park. Other concerning road metrics for Leake include a 5.93 K/9, 2.67 HR/9, 15.5 percent strikeout rate, 5.04 xFIP, 22.2 HR/FB rate, and 41.6 percent hard-contact rate allowed. Meanwhile, the Rangers have unsurprisingly been difficult for righty pitchers to deal against in their hitter-friendly home environment. Texas owns a .334 wOBA versus righties at Globe Life Park for the season, along with a 43.7 percent hard-contact rate against that handedness that ranks second in the AL and fourth in all of MLB.
Finally, the current state of the Mariners bullpen is worth considering. Seattle relievers will come into Monday a tired bunch, having worked the fourth-most innings (27.0) over the last week while allowing a .385 wOBA and 7.33 ERA during that span.
Other stacks to consider: Yankees (at BAL), Orioles (vs. NYY), Astros (vs. CWS), Phillies (at CHC)
Three Down for May 20, 2019
Pitcher To Fade
Yu Darvish vs. PHI ($8.6k DraftKings, $8.7k FanDuel)
Darvish has endured a rocky start to his season. He’s improved over his last two starts but has reached the sixth inning only once in 2019. His control issues continue to drive up his pitch counts, leading to consistently early exits and capping his overall upside. Monday, he’ll face a Phillies squad that’s arguably underachieved offensively. Still, it boasts a collective .345/.406/.414 line against him over 29 career at-bats. What’s more, Philadelphia sports an 11.3 percent walk rate against righties on the road in May. That’s the third-highest figure in the Majors over that span. That seemingly gives them the plate discipline necessary to tire Darvish out prematurely.
Wrigley Field has actually been extremely pitcher-friendly this season. It even sported the lowest run factor (0.627) heading into Sunday’s action. But Darvish has actually experienced the majority of his trouble there. The veteran righty owns a 6.38 ERA, .393 wOBA, 1.69 WHIP and 27.8 percent HR/FB rate across 18.1 home frames. Factoring out a solid outing versus the anemic Marlins in his last Wrigley start, Darvish has allowed 13 earned run in his other three trips to the mound there this season.
Hitter To Fade
Jose Abreu at HOU ($4k DraftKings, $3.7k FanDuel)
Abreu isn’t finding anywhere near the same level of success against right-handed pitching that he’s enjoyed in past seasons. The veteran slugger is doing the majority of his damage thus far against southpaws. He owns a .233 average, .297 wOBA, and 27.8 percent strikeout rate against righties outside of his home park of U.S. Cellular Field. Moreover, he sees an 11-percent drop in hard contact against right-handed pitching when traveling (36.5 percent, compared to 47.6 percent).
The matchup Monday hardly does him and his fantasy outlook any favors. Astros starter Brad Peacock has frustrated right-handed bats all season. Peacock has yet to give up a home run to a right-handed hitter this season across 42.2 total innings. Then, he’s limited righty hitters to a .165 average, .220 wOBA, and modest 32.1 percent hard-contact rate. He also boasts an impressive 28.9 percent strikeout rate versus that handedness at Minute Maid Park. Abreu has felt that dominance first-hand on several occasions as well. He’s come up empty in eight career encounters with Peacock, reaching safely just once on a walk.
And lastly, Peacock’s pitching profile dampens Abreu’s prospects to an extent Monday. Peacock is allowing a .140 average and .204 wOBA with his signature pitch, the slider. He’s also generated a stellar 31.1 percent strikeout rate when utilizing it. In turn, Abreu has a 33.3 percent whiff rate against the pitch. That’s his highest against any offering this season.
Stack To Fade
Padres vs. ARI (RHP Luke Weaver)
An argument could be made for fading both offenses in this contest. It shapes up as a likely pitchers’ duel. I like Weaver’s prospects of largely limiting the Padres, given both how consistent he’s been and San Diego’s track record against right-handed pitching at spacious Petco Park. To begin with, Weaver comes into Monday’s contest with quality starts in three straight and in four of his last five trips to the mound. He’s also been more effective on the road. Weaver boasts a 2.38 ERA, .221 BAA, .255 wOBA, 1.06 WHIP and perfect 3-0 mark outside of his home park of Chase Field.
Then, the Padres have been one of the most middling offenses against right-handed pitching of any team in its home park. San Diego comes into Monday’s contest with a .276 wOBA, -22.2 wRAA, .216 average, and 27.3 percent strikeout rate versus righties at Petco. They also have a bottom-half flyball rate (34.6 percent) there versus righty arms. In turn, Weaver has been very good about limiting hard contact on the road. He’s yielded just six extra-base hits (five doubles, one home run) and boasts a minuscule 0.40 HR/9 across 22.2 road frames. He also owns an elite 29.9 percent strikeout rate outside of his home park. That dovetails with the Padres’ consistently poor contact rate against righties in their home park.
Finally, consider Weaver has some skins on the wall against SD already. He generated a quality start against the Padres back on April 12, limiting the Padres to two earned runs on five hits over 6.1 innings while racking up eight strikeouts. And existing Padres bats have a mediocre .254 average against Weaver over 63 total at-bats. The only two homers he’s yielded in that sample have come off the bat of one player (Manny Machado).