The MLB season is rolling, and there’s a great DFS slate on tap for Tuesday, 5/21/19. 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 5/21/19
Mini Spring Series Slugger: $8 entry, $175k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $50,000 to 1st!
Four Seamer: $4 entry, $40k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Rally: $9.99 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $20,000 to 1st!
Squeeze: $4.44 entry: $100k guaranteed (FanDuel)
Three Up for May 21, 2019
Justin Verlander vs. CWS ($11.3k DraftKings, $12.0k FanDuel)
Verlander may be a bit pricier than other SPs with good upside tonight, yet none are quite as reliable. The 36-year-old hasn’t missed a beat with nearly identical peripheral stats (14.5% swinging strike rate, 79.2% Z-Contact Rate) this year compared to his Cy Young-caliber campaign in 2018. His strikeout numbers are down, but he’s rocking a .171 BABIP thanks to a devastating slider that rates 12.3 runs above average per Brooks Baseball. Current White Sox are 22-for-101 (.218) with 34 Ks in their careers against Verlander. If you take out the splits of Jose Abreu (who has struggled all season long), they’re just 7-for-60 (.117) with a 41.7% K-Rate against Verlander. The White Sox also counter with weak RHP Dylan Covey, which makes Houston (-360) a massive favorite at home.
Spencer Turnbull vs. MIA ($7.8k DraftKings, $8.6k FanDuel)
At the very least, Spencer Turnbull is a rock-solid value for Cash games on DraftKings tonight. The Tigers second-year RHP has improved dramatically with an 84.5% Z-Contact Rate and 23.7% K-Rate through nine starts this season. He’s facing a lame-duck Miami offense that ranks dead last in collective batting average (.214) and wOBA (.261) with the second-highest K-Rate (26.6%) against RHPs this season. Turnbull has been much better with a 2.58 FIP and 10.67 K/9 ratio at home, giving him a little added upside in this juicy matchup.
Other pitchers to consider: Domingo German, Clayton Kershaw, German Marquez, Eduardo Rodriguez, Michael Pineda
Paul Goldschmidt vs. KC ($4.7k DraftKings, $4.0k FanDuel)
Paul Dejong and Marcell Ozuna will likely be popular options in this matchup. Meanwhile, Paul Goldschmidt could fly under the radar a bit in an equally appealing draw. Veteran RHP Homer Bailey is posting the highest hard contact rate (55.7%) in the Majors when facing RHBs, leading to a .303 BAA this season. He has a net rating of -34.4 on his fastball over the past three seasons, and Goldschmidt has a +70.1 net rating during that same span. While Goldschmidt struggled initially with his new team, he’s remained patient with a 12.8% BB Rate. He is hitting .281 with a 50.7% hard contact rate at Busch Stadium this year. Goldschmidt is in fact the second-highest rated batter on DraftKings tonight per FantasyLabs, with only teammate Matt Carpenter ahead of him.
UPDATE: The Cardinals/Royals game has been postponed due to weather.
Ryan McMahon at PIT ($4.3k DraftKings, $2.8k FanDuel)
Pirates RHP Chris Archer is priced as a mid-tier pitcher despite his being one of the best arms to target with lefty bats tonight. Archer is yielding a 2.20 HR/9 ratio against lefties this year after coughing up a 1.54 HR/9 ratio over a larger sample size last season. Ryan McMahon is one of the cheaper LHBs to consider from the Rockies. Plus, his playing time is relatively secure with Trevor Story (hamstring) out. McMahon owns 25% HR/FB ratio and 50% hard contact rate in road games this year. He’s shown impressive patience with a 14.6% BB Rate against righties and actually rates quite well against sliders. That’s a pitch Archer has thrown 43% of the time this season.
Other hitters to consider: Alex Bregman, Charlie Blackmon, Trea Turner, C.J. Cron, Gio Urshela, Shin-Soo Choo, Howie Kendrick, Miguel Sano, Daniel Murphy, Shohei Ohtani
Yankees vs. RHP David Hess (Orioles)
This will already be the fourth time the Yankees see David Hess this season. Despite all their injuries, the Bronx Bombers rank seventh in collective wOBA (.334) and fourth in homers (74) hit off RHPs this year. Hess is posting a startling 3.12 HR/9 ratio and has allowed 7 HRs over his last two meetings with the Yanks.
Gleyber Torres has flashed the most success with 3 HRs over just eight career plate appearances against Hess. Gio Urshela is less likely to go deep but could serve as a great mid-tier option in this spot. Gary Sanchez is obviously heads and shoulders above the competition at catcher on DraftKings. Hess has given up a lot more production in RvR matchups, but Clint Frazier is still worth a look if he’s hitting in the middle of the order. Then, Luke Voit is a GPP option to consider while Cameron Maybin could provide salary relief with a solid floor.
Other stacks to consider: Twins vs. Trevor Cahill (Angels), Astros vs. Dylan Covey (White Sox)
Three Down for May 21, 2019
Pitcher To Fade
Zack Greinke at SD ($10.2k DraftKings, $11.0k FanDuel)
Zack Greinke used the Padres as a springboard early in the season. He dominated in two April matchups and has been lights out since then with the exception of a rough outing at Coors Field. The Padres are very strikeout prone but also dangerous with the fifth-most HRs (50) off RHPs among N.L. teams. Greinke is getting better results this year than in 2018, but his swinging strike rate (8.9%) is down, and his Z-Contact Rate (86.9%) is actually up. Both Manuel Margot (7-for-13, 2 HR) and Hunter Renfroe (6-for-18, 3 HR) have teed off on Greinke in the past. Franmil Reyes is another powerful RHBs with the potential to tag Greinke, and Greg Garcia can set the table as a lefty bat atop the Padres lineup.
Hitter To Fade
Michael Chavis at TOR ($5.0k DraftKings, $3.7k FanDuel)
Michael Chavis has given the Red Sox a jolt of life with his powerful right-handed bat, and he just launched his 9th homer of the year yesterday. But a big line is unlikely tonight against stingy RHP Marcus Stroman. Stroman has yet to allow a HR to a righty this year (117 plate appearances) and is posting a stellar in 1.97 FIP in RvR matchups. Chavis has capitalized on just about every hanging breaking ball he’s seen, but Stroman’s curveball and slider rate well above average.
Stack To Fade
Brewers vs. CIN (RHP Sonny Gray)
Like Marcus Stroman, Sonny Gray is pitching very well with limited run support. His 0-4 record has nothing to do with his prospects of containing a very dangerous Brewers lineup, yet he is capable of twirling a Quality Start in a tough spot on the road. Milwaukee has a very limited sample of at-bats against Gray, who spent most of his career in the A.L. He’s been better on the road with a 3.68 ERA and .184 BAA this year. Gray is holding LHBs to a .197 average with an 8.3% HR/FB ratio, which bodes well for his chances to contain Christian Yelich and company.