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Javier Baez

The MLB season is rolling, and there’s a great DFS slate on tap for Tuesday, 6/4/19. 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.

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 planning for an MLB slate. If a game gets rained out, your player gets zero points!

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Three Up for June 4, 2019

Best Pitchers

Stephen Strasburg vs. CWS ($11.5k DraftKings, $11.5k FanDuel)

Things have truly come full circle when we’re talking about Stephen Strasburg as the SP with upside on a full slate due to his potential longevity. The Rays are treading lightly with Blake Snell, and Noah Syndergaard has routinely shot himself in the foot. Meanwhile, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Luis Castillo, and Kyle Hendricks all draw tough matchups against surging offenses. But Strasburg faces a White Sox team with the second-highest K-Rate (26.4%) and second-lowest hard contact rate (32.2%) against RHPs this season. He’s barely allowed any hard contact (19.2%) over his last two starts and is sporting a 27.9% K-Rate during that span. Strasburg has tossed at least 93 pitches in nine straight starts and posted a Quality Start in seven of his last eight outings.

Devin Smeltzer at CLE ($7.5k DraftKings, $8.3k FanDuel)

The Twins have bolstered their already stellar rotation by calling up prospect Devin Smeltzer. A former fifth-round pick by the Dodgers, Smeltzer allowed 0 ER on 3 H while striking out 7 in his MLB debut last Tuesday. He posted those numbers against a Brewers team that owns a collective .329 wOBA against LHPs. Tonight’s Indians rank 25th with a .287 wOBA against southpaws. Cleveland is 28th overall in collective batting average (.226) with a 23.7% K-Rate against LHPs. Switch hitter Francisco Lindor, as well as LHB Jake Bauers and Leonys Martin, have struggled badly against lefties. This is a great spot for Smeltzer, who posted a 1.15 ERA and 0.90 WHIP over nine minor league appearances this season.

Other pitchers to consider: Blake Snell, Chris Paddack, Noah Syndergaard, Masahiro Tanaka, Max Fried

Best Hitters

Juan Soto vs. CWS ($5.5k DraftKings, $4.2k FanDuel)

The Nationals have a pair of LHBs with tons of upside tonight against weak RHP Reynaldo Lopez. The White Sox righty owns a league-high 5.86 xFIP and is posting a 7.78 ERA on the road. Lopez is yielding a 2.18 HR/9 ratio when facing lefties and a 51.4% hard contact rate in those road starts. Juan Soto and Matt Adams are both worth a look given those splits, with Soto offering a higher floor. The second-year OF is hitting .300 with a 23.8% HR/FB ratio this year at Nationals Park. Soto owns a 40.6 net rating when facing fastballs throughout his career, and Lopez has a heater that rates -6.3 runs below average this year.

Javier Baez vs. COL ($4.6k DraftKings, $4.0k FanDuel)

Javier Baez has cooled off recently but could break out of his slump and serve as a gem in GPP formats on DraftKings tonight. The Rockies are starting RHP Jeff Hoffman, who is posting a 2.57 HR/9 ratio and .375 BAA over 21 at-bats against RHBs this season. Over a larger sample size, Hoffman has yielded 12 HR and a .925 OPS in 274 at-bats against righties over the past three seasons. Baez is a boom-bust option with a lofty 27.1% HR/FB ratio and a 47% hard contact rate this year. He’s hitting .314 with a 141 wRC+ at Wrigley Field and is a great bet to go deep tonight against a pitcher that’s rarely missed bats with an 89.8% Z-Contact Rate in his career. Baez has tremendous potential with a lofty ceiling of 27.9 DK points tonight per FantasyLabs.

Other hitters to consider: Christian Yelich, Ronald Acuna, Gary Sanchez, Trey Mancini, Mookie Betts, Jonathan Villar, Nick Senzel, Trea Turner, DJ LeMahieu, Matt Adams, Avisail Garcia, Franmil Reyes, Rosell Herrera, Greg Garcia

Best Stack

Red Sox vs. RHP Glenn Sparkman (Royals)

After finally getting a win against the rival Yankees, the Red Sox ought to carry that momentum into a very winnable series in Kansas City. The Royals staff owns the third-highest collective ERA (5.22) in the Majors and ranks 22nd in ERA (4.73) out of the bullpen. Glenn Sparkman shouldn’t be expected to pitch too deep into this game, and he’s been vulnerable while he’s out there with a 32.6% LD Rate and 88.9% Z-Contact Rate this season. When he departs, the hit parade could keep rolling for Boston.

Sparkman is posting a 6.15 FIP with a 2.61 HR/9 ratio and .295 BAA when facing lefties. Therefore, Rafael Devers is arguably the best play in this stack with a .327/.396/.525 slash line and 40.6% hard contact rate in LvR matchups. Mookie Betts has been far more dangerous in RvR matchups, and J.D. Martinez is always a threat against below-average pitchers. Michael Chavis is still lighting it up, and Xander Bogaerts is worth a look in Cash games. Finally, look for Brock Holt and/or Eduardo Nunez to provide solid value if starting.

Other stacks to consider: Yankees vs. Clayton Richard (Blue Jays), Cubs vs. Jeff Hoffman (Rockies), Orioles vs. Drew Smyly (Rangers)

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Three Down for June 4, 2019

Pitcher To Fade

Hyun-Jin Ryu at ARI ($11.3k DraftKings, $11.2k FanDuel)

As good as Hyun-Jin Ryu has been this season, he might not be worth his lofty price tag in tonight’s matchup. The Diamondbacks rank third in collective wOBA (.367) with the highest ISO Mark (.267) in the Majors against LHPs. Switch hitters Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar have been particularly dynamic against lefties. And Ildemaro Vargas (11-for-30 off LHP) has joined them in that trend. Nick Ahmed is hitting .373 against the platoon, and Christian Walker owns a 51.1% hard contact rate against lefties. Ryu’s control has been nearly immaculate with a 13.8 K/BB ratio and a 92.9% strand rate. Yet he’s allowing an above-average 26% LD Rate and has negative grades on both his slider and curve. Arizona is posting the third-highest LD Rate (23.6%) against LHPs and owns the fifth-best rating (1.7) against sliders. Ryu only has a 42.3 rating with a dangerous -2.96 projected plus/minus according to models on FantasyLabs.

Hitter To Fade

Rhys Hoskins at SD ($4.8k DraftKings, $4.0k FanDuel)

Padres young phenom Chris Paddack faltered in brutal spots at the Dodgers and Yankees but has otherwise been excellent during his rookie season. He owns a 1.42 ERA and a pristine 0.60 WHIP over five home starts. Thus, none of the Phillies bats are particularly appealing in this matchup. Rhys Hoskins and other RHBs should be avoided altogether against a RHP sporting a 17.0 K/BB ratio with zero HR allowed to righties at home. While Paddack is giving up plenty of hard contact, he’s been able to keep batters in the yard at massive Petco Park. Hoskins is only 4-for-23 (.174) in his career at Petco, and although three of those hits left the yard, Paddack is unlikely to give up a big fly.

Stack To Fade

Twins at CLE (RHP Shane Bieber)

The red-hot Twins offense might seem like a good stacking option tonight against Shane Bieber since the second-year RHP has been quite homer-prone with a 18.3% HR/FB ratio. Yet Bieber is missing plenty of bats with a 30.7% K-Rate and 3.37 xFIP against lefties. Minnesota’s biggest threats are mostly LHBs, and the team does own a below-average 21.1% LD Rate in LvR matchups. Bieber is rocking a 2.97 ERA with a matching 2.96 FIP at home. Plus, he’s striking out 12.63 batters per nine innings at Progressive Field. He allowed 4 ER in two trips to Minnesota last year but managed to hold the Twins to 1 ER over 5.2 IP in a home start last June.