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mlb dfs picks

The MLB season is rolling, and there’s a great DFS slate on tap for Wednesday, 6/19/19. 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 19, 2019

Best Pitchers

Max Scherzer vs. PHI ($12.0k DraftKings, $11.7k FanDuel)

Max Scherzer has always seemed to enjoy facing the Phillies with his 11.9 K/9 ratio and .207 BAA against them over the past three seasons. He’ll be even more motivated to dominate tonight against ex-teammate Bryce Harper after the new Phillies slugger tagged him for a double in an uncharacteristically short outing on April 2. Since then, the Phillies’ offensive production has plummeted with the sixth-lowest collective average (.244) over the past month. Harper is slumping, and the Phils are hitting .233 with a 24.2% K-Rate in LvR matchups. Scherzer is dominating RHB (1.64 FIP, 15.0 K/BB ratio) and is in line for success against any lineup that can’t stack dangerous LHB against him.

Note: Scherzer is officially questionable with a nose injury; monitor his status.

Andrew Heaney at TOR ($8.5k DraftKings, $8.6k FanDuel)

In his last road start, the Rays forced Andrew Heaney to throw 99 pitches through 5 innings. He posted a disappointing line with just 2 strikeouts. That lowers his price tag ahead of a much better matchup against the anemic Blue Jays offense. Toronto now ranks dead last in collective batting average (.223) with the sixth-highest K-Rate (24.6%) in the Majors. The Blue Jays’ weak .296 OBP against LHP indicates they won’t make Heaney labor. Plus, their high 11.9% swinging strike rate makes this lineup strikeout prone.

Heaney owns an impressive 16.2% swinging strike rate that would tie for second best in the MLB if he qualified. He’s giving up a ton of fly balls but only an 11.8% LD Rate. Since Toronto is also posting the lowest wOBA (.276) among A.L. home teams, the long ball isn’t enough of a threat to fade Heaney tonight.

Other pitchers to consider: Lucas Giolito, Zack Greinke, Max Fried, Eduardo Rodriguez

Best Hitters

Anthony Rendon vs. PHI ($5.4k DraftKings, $4.4k FanDuel)

Phillies RHP Nick Pivetta has very notable reverse platoon splits with a .313 BAA and 2.18 HR/9 ratio against RHB this year. Anthony Rendon is 8-for-15 with 2 doubles and 3 HR in his career against Pivetta and comes into tonight’s matchup hitting .368 with 5 HR over his last seven appearances. Pivetta owns a -24.2 net rating on his fastball over three years in the Majors. And Rendon is posting a 16.3 rating against heaters for the second straight season. He’s clearly the most expensive option to lead a Nationals stack but a great candidate for production in a matchup against a homer-prone pitcher.

Josh Bell vs. DET ($4.8k DraftKings, $4.3k FanDuel)

Josh Bell has been relatively quiet lately, which is to say he’s still hitting .271 with 3 XBH and 2 HR over his last eight appearances. He’s therefore under priced on DraftKings ahead of a plus matchup against Tigers RHP Jordan Zimmerman, who is allowing LHBs to post a .384 wOBA with a 2.08 HR/9 ratio this season. Bell is a switch hitter with a ridiculous .454 ISO Mark, 50.7% hard contact rate, and a 31% HR/FB ratio as a LHB in home games. Zimmermann throws his poor slider (-3.2 runs below average) some 30% of the time. Bell rates 6.1 runs above average against that pitch. Plus, Zimmermann (elbow) is coming off a rough outing at the AAA level in which he coughed up 4 ER over 4.2 IP and may be vulnerable in his first MLB start since April 26.

Other hitters to consider: Max Muncy, Shohei Ohtani, Shin-Soo Choo, J.D. Martinez, Paul DeJong, Matt Adams, Alex Verdugo, Bryan Reynolds, Eloy Jimenez, Matt Carpenter, Cesar Puello, Chris Taylor 

Best Stack

Dodgers vs. LHP Drew Pomeranz (Giants)

While he’s been much better than he was during a disastrous 2018 campaign, Drew Pomeranz remains awful whenever he pitches away from spacious AT&T Park. The veteran southpaw owns a rough 8.87 ERA with an absurd 32% HR/FB ratio and a .316 BAA on the road this year. He pitched well in his season debut at Dodger Stadium and limited the Dodgers to 1 ER over 5 IP in a June 7 start. But the third time should be the charm for the Dodgers’ prolific offense. Pomeranz yielded a troublesome 27.3% LD Rate and 36.4% hard contact rate in his last start against the Dodgers, and that could bite him in L.A. where the Dodgers lead the N.L. with a 126 wRC+ this year. The Dodgers also lead the Majors with a collective 43.9% hard contact rate against LHPs.

Cody Bellinger is hitting .425 at home in LvL matchups, and Max Muncy has thrived with a .406 wOBA against lefties. Rookie Alex Verdugo is also crushing it with a .480/.533/.680 slash line in LvL matchups at Dodger Stadium. David Freese usually bats in favorable position when the Dodgers face lefties. Justin Turner and/or Chris Taylor could provide salary relief as cheap RHBs with upside while Russell Martin is an affordable catcher. Since Pomeranz is yielding a whopping 30.6% LD Rate in LvL matchups, the three LHBs mentioned up top may be the best bats to target.

Other stacks to consider: Pirates vs. Jordan Zimmermann (Tigers), Cardinals vs. Trevor Richards (Marlins), Angels vs. Aaron Sanchez (Blue Jays)


Three Down for June 19, 2019

Pitcher To Fade

Jon Lester vs. CWS ($7.4k DraftKings, $7.5k FanDuel)

Jon Lester’s performance continues to decline as he gets deeper into his age 35 season. After posting a 4.28 ERA in May, he’s rocking a 5.50 ERA with a matching 5.68 FIP despite generating a relatively low .289 BABIP through three June starts. Lester can’t expect much run support tonight with White Sox surging ace Lucas Giolito going, and the White Sox offense has actually been dangerous with the sixth-highest collective average (.272) in RvL matchups this season. Don’t get caught up in Lester’s positive splits at Wrigley Field since the veteran southpaw posted a 4.81 xFIP at home last year over a much larger sample.

Hitter To Fade

Nolan Arenado at ARI ($4.8k DraftKings, $4.2k FanDuel)

Since getting plunked on the arm last week, Nolan Arenado has seen a bit of a power outage. He was quiet throughout a home series against San Diego in which the Rockies and Padres combined for a record 92 runs. Now he’ll look to heat up at Chase Field where he went 9-for-35 (.257) with 9 Ks and 3 HR last season. But he’ll have to face the red-hot Zack Greinke, who is rocking a 2.65 FIP with an 8.6% HR/FB ratio at home this year. Arenado is 18-for-67 (.269) with 10 Ks and 0 HRs in his career against Greinke. Therefore, it’s hard to expect the slugger to go yard and pay off his lofty price tag.

Stack To Fade

Braves vs. LHP Steven Matz (Mets)

The Braves lead the Majors with a collective .305 average and .397 wOBA over the last 14 days but could definitely cool off in this matchup. Southpaw Steven Matz owns a plus changeup (4.0 runs above average), and the Braves are a bottom 10 team with a collective -6.4 rating against that pitch. Matz owns a solid 48.7% GB Rate throughout his career and has pitched well over his last few starts, despite some shoddy defense. If the Mets play well behind him tonight, he should be able to limit damage in a Quality Start. While the Braves are hitting an above average .266 against LHPs, they have a league-high 11.3% Infield Hit Percentage, indicating a bit of luck.