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We have a 15-game MLB DFS slate on Friday, 5/31/19 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!

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Extra Inning: $10 entry, $250k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $25k to 1st!
Medium 8s: $88 entry, $300k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $75K to 1st!
Fri. Rally: $9.99 entry, $125k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $25K to 1st!
Fri. Grand Slam: $66 entry, $125K guaranteed (FanDuel)- $25K to 1st!

Three Up for May 31, 2019

Best Pitcher

Joey Lucchesi vs. MIA ($8.8k DraftKings, $7.6k FanDuel)

Lucchesi makes for an intriguing cash game/GPP pivot off some of the more expensive names Friday. The southpaw has already demonstrated some impressive upside on multiple occasions this season and draws an appealing matchup in a pitcher-friendly park. The Marlins have struggled against left-handed pitching all season. They check in with a .261 wOBA, -12.2 wRAA and 58 wRC+ against southpaws on the road, along with just 14 extra-base hits (nine doubles, five home runs).

Lucchesi has been at his best at Petco Park. He owns a 2.83 ERA, .221 BAA, .272 wOBA and 3.33 xFIP across 35.0 home frames. He’s limited right-handed bats to a .231 average and .292 wOBA at Petco, and he boasts a .185 BAA and .188 wOBA in same-handed matchups there. Then, half of the eight position players likely to be in the Marlins lineup Friday have sub-.300 wOBAs against lefties on the road this season. Lucchesi has seemingly gotten into a zone over his last three starts as well. And his 11-strikeout effort versus the Blue Jays his last time out offers a glimpse at his upside.

Other pitchers to consider: Chris Sale (at NYY), Kenta Maeda (vs. PHI), Caleb Smith (at SD), Tyler Mahle (vs. WAS), J.A. Happ (vs. BOS)

Best Hitter

Mike Trout at SEA ($5.7k DraftKings, $4.7k FanDuel)

Trout is always in play for cash or GPPs, even more so in a tantalizing matchup such as Friday’s. The perennial MVP candidate has punished Mariners starter Mike Leake on numerous occasions. Trout owns a blistering .524/.565/.952 line against Leake over 21 career plate appearances. That sample includes six doubles and a home run.

Then, Trout has walloped righties for a .301 average, .434 wOBA, .283 ISO, 24.2 percent line-drive rate and 50.6 percent hard-contact rate this season. He boasts an even more impressive 33.3 percent line-drive rate versus that handedness on the road and has a .404 wOBA overall in 108 May plate appearances. In turn, Leake is yielding a .303 average and .374 wOBA to right-handed hitters. He’s also surrendered a 5.50 xFIP and 45.7 percent hard-contact rate to that handedness. Plus, the 45.2 percent flyball rate he yields to righty bats is an almost identical match to the 45.1 percent figure Trout carries versus that handedness overall.

Trout will be in fine shape when Leake exits, too. The Mariners bullpen is allowing a 5.32 ERA (including 6.29 to right-handed hitters) and .320 wOBA at home during May.

Other hitters to consider: Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich (at PIT), Kevin Pillar, Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford (all at BAL), Gregory Polanco, Adam Frazier (vs. MIL), Jose Peraza, Eugenio Suarez (vs. WAS), Adam Eaton, Juan Soto (at CIN), Jose Ramirez, Jason Kipnis (at CWS), Yoan Moncada, Leury Garcia (vs. CLE),  Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, David Dahl, Ian Desmond (vs. TOR), Shohei Ohtani, Albert Pujols, Tommy La Stella, Albert Pujols (all at SEA)

Best Stack

Rockies vs. TOR (RHP Edwin Jackson) 

Blue Jays starter Edwin Jackson deserves accolades for his impressive career longevity. However, the 2019 version of the veteran right-hander hasn’t exactly been sharp. Jackson has been hit hard in two of his first three Toronto starts. He’s surrendered 13 runs (12 earned) across his last nine innings. A trip to Coors Field isn’t exactly a recipe for righting the ship, either. Jackson was shelled for eight earned runs on 10 hits over 4.1 innings in his one start there during the last three seasons. Plus, current Rockies hitters boast a collective .293/.326/.537 line against him over 82 total at-bats.

Charlie Blackmon (.467 career average), Nolan Arenado (.333 career average), David Dahl (.400 average) and Ian Desmond (.400 average) have particularly enjoyed success against Jackson. The veteran has been blasted by both sides of the plate thus far this season. Therefore, cost-effective options such as Mark Reynolds and Raimel Tapia are also in play. Needless to say, so is the expensive but explosive Trevor Story. The Toronto bullpen could also be especially vulnerable once Jackson exits. Jays relievers went into Thursday’s action tied with the Yankees for second-most innings worked over the last week (38.2) and allowing an AL-high .425 wOBA during that stretch.

Finally, consider the Rockies also boast an NL-high .358 wOBA versus righties at home this season, furthering their case as a stack.

Other stacks to consider: Angels (at SEA), Giants (at BAL), Royals (at TEX), Rangers (vs. KCR)


Three Down for May 31, 2019

Pitcher To Fade

Mike Leake vs. LAA ($5.9k DraftKings, $7k FanDuel)   

As mentioned in Trout’s entry, Leake has taken it on the chin in the last couple of starts. The veteran right-hander has also struggled against the Angels frequently during his career. Current Halos hitters own a collective .360/.411/.573 line with 29 extra-base hits (19 doubles, one triple, nine home runs) over a total of 225 at-bats against Leake. Then, Leake has allowed five home runs over his last 11.2 innings, along with a .300 average, .330 wOBA and 57.7 percent strand rate at T-Mobile Park overall this season.

Leake’s problems this season haven’t just been limited to his aforementioned last pair of starts. He’s allowed four earned runs or more in half of his 10 trips to the mound. Factoring in his 5.54 FIP and middling 8.1 percent swinging strike rate, Leake’s tournament upside is typically capped. His reliability as a cash play is also suffering as a result. Then, the fact the Angels are striking out at just a 15.5 percent clip versus righties on the road while also posting a .284 average and .336 wOBA further renders Leake a very iffy proposition Friday.

Hitter To Fade

Marcus Semien vs. HOU ($3.7k DraftKings, $3.4k FanDuel)

Semien picked up steam at the plate during the latter half of May and often hits from the favorable leadoff spot. However, the veteran shortstop isn’t exactly in the best of matchups Friday. Astros starter Brad Peacock has frustrated Semien for a .133/.235/.200 line across 17 plate appearances. Peacock has also done a number on right-handed hitters all season. He’s limited them to a .156 average and .209 wOBA while also generating a 10.7 K/9.

Peacock has been even better on the road overall as far as BAA (.197), line-drive rate allowed (17.9 percent) and hard-contact rate allowed (35.7 percent). Semien has performed well against right-handed pitching overall, but given Peacock’s dominance and the Oakland Coliseum‘s fifth-lowest run factor (.0784) and sixth-lowest home-run factor (0.759), I see the shortstop as a fade candidate Friday.

Stack To Fade

Tigers at ATL (RHP Mike Foltynewicz)   

Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz hasn’t exactly been consistent this season. Yet he appeared to hit his stride over his last two starts. Friday, he draws a matchup that could help him extend his current stretch of strong play. The Tigers sport an MLB-high 28.6 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching on the road this season, along with a .285 wOBA and -23.5 wRAA. Honing in on a tighter time frame, they’re striking out at a 25.2 percent clip and generating a mediocre .307 wOBA versus that handedness when traveling during May.

“Folty” has admittedly struggled at SunTrust Park this season although he did produce a quality start against a tough Brewers lineup in his last home turn. The right-hander has two consecutive quality outings overall, and Detroit has struggled to produce big hits aall season. For the season, the Tigers sport an AL-low .282 wOBA and -61.4 wRAA. Additionally, their 181 total runs and 44 homers also bring up the rear in the AL. Given their general lack of serious firepower—especially against righties on the road—and Foltynewicz’s recent performances, I see the Tigers as a stay-away group.

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