We have a five-game MLB DFS slate on Saturday, 5/25/19 beginning at 7:15 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 5/25
Saturday Slugfest: $15 entry, $150k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $50k to 1st!
Medium 6’s: $66 entry, $40k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $5K to 1st!
Sat. Squeeze: $5.55 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $20K to 1st!
Sat. Grand Slam: $55 entry, $75K guaranteed (FanDuel)- $15K to 1st!
Three Up for May 25, 2019
Hyun-Jin Ryu at PIT ($11.2k DraftKings, $11k FanDuel)
Ryu has been excellent all season whether at home or on the road. He also already boasts a quality start against the Pirates and sports a 2.01 ERA, .213 BAA, and .254 wOBA across 22.1 road frames, along with a 25.0 percent strikeout rate and elite 94.9 percent strand rate. He’s also lowered both his line-drive rate and hard-contact rate in May compared to the first full month of the season. Most important, Ryu draws an especially appealing matchup for southpaws Saturday.
The Pirates come in with a .279 wOBA, -16.2 wRAA, and 26.2 percent strikeout rate versus left-handed pitching overall. That includes an even more anemic .262 wOBA on their home field of PNC Park. Ryu has been equally difficult for either side of the plate to solve this season. He’s allowed a .200 average and .211 wOBA in same-handed matchups while styming righty bats to the tune of a .186 average and .224 wOBA. Plus, he’s yielding sub-.200 averages against his top three pitches: the four-seam, changeup, and cutter. That gives him multiple paths to success against hitters depending on the scouting report and further solidifies him against an inconsistent offense versus lefties in the Pirates.
Other pitchers to consider: Mike Minor (at LAA), Mike Soroka (at STL)
Nolan Arenado vs. BAL ($5.6k DraftKings, $4.5k FanDuel)
Orioles starter Andrew Cashner is susceptible to the long ball, especially against right-handed hitters. That one sentence sums up the primary reason for Arenado’s candidacy Saturday. The Rockies’ slugger is at his best in his hitter-friendly home park and also has a strong track record against Cashner. Arenado entered Friday night’s game against Baltimore with a .321 average, 26.5 percent line-drive rate, and 36.7 percent hard-contact rate against right-handed pitching at Coors Field. That’s before he blasted a pair of homers, one off righty reliever Shawn Armstrong. He also boasts a .318 career average against Cashner over 25 career plate appearances.
Cashner has been lit up by right-handed hitters on the road to the tune of a .378 wOBA and 50.7 percent hard-contact rate. And he’s allowing an elevated .357 wOBA on his signature pitch, the four-seam fastball. Meanwhile, Arenado is an elite fastball hitter who owns a minuscule 7.7 percent strikeout rate against the pitch and boasts a .319 average and .344 wOBA against it this season.
Finally, the Baltimore bullpen’s struggles against right-handed hitting on the road must be factored in. Baltimore relievers entered Friday having surrendered a .373 wOBA, 5.34 ERA and 1.69 WHIP to righty bats outside of Camden Yards this season, making it just as appealing a matchup for Arenado when Cashner exits.
Other hitters to consider: Alex Bregman (vs. BOS), Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story, Ian Desmond, Daniel Murphy (all vs. BAL), Logan Forsythe, Shin-Soo Choo, Hunter Pence, Asdrubal Cabrera (all at LAA), Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis, Ozzie Albies (at STL), Jonathan Villar, Stevie Wilkerson, Dwight Smith, Rio Ruiz (all at COL)
Rockies vs. BAL (RHP Andrew Cashner)
Cashner again. He’s struggled with home runs, and right-handed hitters have especially done damage. That bodes well for a Rockies lineup with some potent righty bats. In addition to Arenado, that includes Trevor Story, Ian Desmond, and Chris Iannetta. Cashner also has a checkered history at Coors Field from his days in the National League. He sports an 11.81 ERA and .364 BAA there over the last three seasons. And current Colorado hitters own a collective .337/.367/.594 line against him over a sample of 101 career at-bats.
Cashner has also been a poorer pitcher on the road this season by far. He allows a 5.10 ERA outside of Camden Yards, and a .296 average, .378 wOBA and elevated 50.7 percent hard contact rate to right-handed hitters on the road. Although he’s done very good job keeping the ball on the ground against righty bats (61.4 percent groundball rate on the road), he’ll be dealing with Coors Field’s extremely hitter-friendly conditions (top run factor in the Majors at 1.481) and a slew of hitters that are adept at putting the ball in the air consistently.
The Baltimore bullpen sets up nicely for a Rockies stack succeeding as well: they came into Friday night’s action with a 5.16 ERA and .350 wOBA allowed on the road this season.
Other stacks to consider: Rangers (at LAA), Braves (at STL), Orioles (at COL)
Three Down for May 25, 2019
Pitcher To Fade
Tyler Skaggs vs. TEX ($7.3k DraftKings, $7.4k FanDuel)
Skaggs is a tough pitcher to figure out, as he’s prone to big blowups from time to time, has a middling swinging strike rate, and can experience his fair share of control issues. He’s also struggled against multiple Rangers bats in the past. Current Texas hitters own a .283/.372/.442 line against Skaggs over 120 at-bats. What’s more 13 (10 doubles, three home runs) of the 34 hits he’s allowed within that sample have gone for extra bases.
Skaggs has been a much better pitcher at home, but he’s still allowing a .316 average and .381 wOBA to left-handed hitters there. Shin-Soo Choo (.500 career average against Skaggs), Ronald Guzman, Rougned Odor, Nomar Mazara, and Joey Gallo could therefore especially given him trouble. In addition, the right-handed hitting Hunter Pence (.571 career average against Skaggs) and Logan Forsythe (.500 career average against Skaggs) could provide difficult for Skaggs to solve.
And finally, his home park won’t necessarily do him any favors. Angel Stadium came into Friday’s action with the fifth-highest run factor (1.226) and highest home-run factor (1.548) in the MLB this season.
Hitter To Fade
George Springer vs. BOS ($5.7k DraftKings, $4.4k FanDuel)
Springer is highly priced on both sites and runs into an old foe in David Price on Saturday who should make you think twice about investing in the Astros slugger. Price has consistently frustrated Springer over a large sample, holding him to a .212 average over 34 career plate appearances and striking him out on 12 occasions. Price has also limited right-handed hitters to a .226 average and boasts a 30.1 percent strikeout rate against them, including 29.0 percent on the road.
Springer has been extremely impressive versus southpaws in his home park, and there’s always risk associated with fading a player of his caliber. However, he’s had a difficult time hitting one of Price’s signature pitches this season. Springer owns just a .143 average and .265 wOBA versus the changeup. That’s Price’s most-used pitch and one on which he allows just a .292 wOBA and elicits a 20.3 percent swinging-strike rate.
Stack To Fade
Cardinals vs. ATL (RHP Mike Soroka)
The Cardinals have been an up-and-down offense all season and have a good chance of experiencing one of their downswings Saturday. The impressive Mike Soroka takes the hill for the Braves and brings a 1.01 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 85.1 percent strand rate into Busch Stadium. And Soroka has actually been an even better pitcher on the road than in his home field of SunTrust Park. He boasts a .147 BAA, .208 wOBA, and .337 xFIP across 26.2 road frames.
The Cardinals have never faced Soroka’s four-pitch arsenal before and had just a mediocre .303 wOBA versus right-handed pitching at home in May before getting shut down by Soroka’s right-handed rotation mate Mike Foltynewicz for six shutout innings Friday. Busch Stadium hasn’t been especially conducive to offense this season, either. It came into Friday night’s action with bottom-10 rankings in run factor (0.989), home-run factor (0.815), hit factor (0.967), and triples factor (0.800).