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mlb dfs picks

We have a 14-game MLB DFS slate on Friday, 6/21/19 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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Three Up for June 21, 2019

Best Pitcher

Walker Buehler vs. COL ($10.8k DraftKings, $11.2k FanDuel)

Buehler is on an impressive multi-start run and also boasts a successful track record against current Rockies hitters. The Dodgers right-hander has churned out three straight quality starts, allowing just a single earned run across 22 innings over that span. Then, Buehler has held Colorado hitters to a collective .189/.267.336 line throughout his career over a 122 at-bat sample. The Rockies are also unsurprisingly a much less potent offense outside of Coors Field. They’re sporting an unremarkable .317 wOBA and 24.1 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching on the road over the last month.

Buehler has consistently quieted some of the Rockies’ most potent bats. Charlie Blackmon (.250 BAA), Nolan Arenado (.200 BAA) and Ian Desmond (.133 BAA) have all struggled against Buehler during their careers, as has Tony Wolters (.143 BAA). And Trevor Story, who also owns an abysmal .143 career average against Buehler anyhow, is on the injured list. Buehler also sports a 3.31 ERA, .197 BAA, and .229 wOBA across 35.1 innings thus far at Dodger Stadium, corroborating the frequent mastery of his home park.

Given that the Rockies are on the road and short-handed, plus Buehler’s recent form, I see him worthy of the five-figure investment if you’re playing up at pitcher in cash games or GPPs.

Other pitchers to consider: Chris Sale (vs. TOR), Trevor Bauer (vs. DET), Matthew Boyd (at CLE), Griffin Canning (at STL), Aaron Nola (vs. MIA)

Best Hitter

Howie Kendrick vs. ATL ($4.9k DraftKings, $3.3k FanDuel)

Kendrick is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career, and Friday, he’ll draw a matchup against a pitcher he frequently tormented during his American League days in Dallas Keuchel. Kendrick owns a .381/.381/.571 line against Keuchel over 21 career encounters and has struck out only twice against the left-hander. He’s also been hard on southpaws overall this season. Kendrick walks into Friday’s matchup with a .397 average (including .444 at home) and .457 wOBA against left-handed pitching, with the latter figure bumping up to .540 when facing them at Nationals Park.

Kendrick’s other impressive numbers against lefties include a 24.5 percent line-drive rate and a 46.9 percent hard-contact rate. Then, Keuchel could well be rusty in his first regular-season start since Sept. 29 of last year, and it’s notable that 15 of the 18 homers he surrendered last season came off right-handed bats. Finally, there’s the matter of how bulletproof Kendrick has been this season in terms of pitch splits. He owns a wOBA of over .400 on a whopping four different pitches, including .419 and .407 figures against Keuchel’s two most frequently thrown pitches last season: the sinker and the slider.

With plenty going for him Friday, I see Kendrick as fit for either cash games or GPPs.

Other hitters to consider: Freddie Freeman, Johan Camargo, Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, Nick Markakis (all at WAS), Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor (all vs. COL), Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano (all at KCR), Elvis Andrus, Rougned Odor, Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo (all vs. CWS), Josh Bell (vs. SDP), Francisco Lindor (vs. DET), Brian Dozier (vs. ATL)

Best Stack

Angels at STL (RHP Michael Wacha)   

The Cardinals will give embattled right-hander Michael Wacha another go despite his most recent start against the Mets. Wacha allowed six runs (five earned) on seven hits over four innings to New York, and he yielded a total of 13 runs (12 earned) over 5.2 innings across back-to-back late May starts as well. Wacha has allowed a collective .382 average to current Angels hitters. That said, his biggest tormentor, Zack Cozart (.480 average lifetime against Wacha), is on the injured. But Justin Upton (.500 BAA) and Jonathan Lucroy (.357 BAA) are two healthy L.A. bats capable of doing damage.

That’s not to mention Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Tommy La Stella, Kole Calhoun, and Shohei Ohtani. Wacha has been hit hard by both sides of the plate at home, allowing a .306 average and .379 wOBA to left-handed hitters and a .346 average and .421 wOBA to righty bats there. Wacha is also surrendering a massive 31.5 percent line-drive rate and 50.0 percent hard-contact rate at Busch Stadium, dampening his prospects further. Then, the Angels have been fairly lethal against righties on the road recently, generating a .342 wOBA and .214 ISO versus that handedness when traveling over the last month.

Other stacks to consider: Braves (at WAS), Dodgers (vs. COL), Twins (at KCR), Rangers (vs. CWS), Mariners (vs. BAL)


Three Down for June 21, 2019

Pitcher To Fade

Stephen Strasburg vs. ATL ($10.5k DraftKings, $9.8k FanDuel)   

Strasburg is typically a stranger to the fade designation, but a combination of his price and the matchup make it worth considering Friday. Current Braves bats own a collective .271/.331/.467 line against Strasburg over a robust 210 at-bat sample, which includes 23 extra-base hits (14 doubles, nine home runs). Ronald Acuna, Jr. (.500 BAA), Freddie Freeman (.340 BAA), Brian McCann (.304 BAA), and Nick Markakis (.282 BAA) have all given Strasburg trouble over their careers, as has reserve Johan Camargo (.429 BAA).

Strasburg has also been a more vulnerable pitcher at home this season. He’s allowed a 4.74 ERA and .320 wOBA at Nationals Park, along with a 27.0 percent HR/FB rate there. Additionally, he’s allowed 11 earned runs over his last 10 home frames (two starts), a worrisome trend that could certainly be extended against a team that has so many hitters with favorable histories against him. Finally, it’s worth considering Atlanta has been solid against right-handers on the road recently, posting a .320 wOBA and 35 extra-base hits (20 doubles, 15 home runs) over the last month of play.

Hitter To Fade

Alex Gordon vs. MIN ($4k DraftKings, $3.3k FanDuel)

Gordon has frequently been frustrated in a same-handed matchup against Twins starter Martin Perez during his career. The veteran outfielder has yet to reach safely in 12 career plate appearances against Perez, with five of the outs he’s made having come on strikeouts. Gordon has enjoyed much more success against right-handed pitching this season as well. He sports a mediocre .238 average and .308 wOBA against southpaws overall, along with a .125 ISO.

Perez has admittedly been struggling in his last few starts. However, he’s held left-handed hitters to a .280 wOBA and generated a 25.4 percent strikeout rate against that handedness. He’s a wily veteran who knows how to maximize a favorable matchup like the one he draws against Gordon; the latter struggles against Perez’s signature cutter. While the Twins’ lefty has allowed just a .219 wOBA and generated a 27.0 percent strikeout rate when utilizing the pitch, Gordon owns a .292 wOBA and 22.2 percent strikeout rate against it this season.

Stack To Fade

Indians vs. DET (LHP Matthew Boyd)   

The Indians have seen several players underachieve throughout the season, making their winning record all the more remarkable. However, stay away from them Friday in a matchup against a considerably improved pitcher in Matthew Boyd. The Indians own an anemic .289 wOBA, 71 wRC+ and -11.5 wRAA versus lefties at Progressive Field for the season, and they have an even poorer .277 wOBA against that handedness at home over the last month. Then, Boyd checks in with a solid 3.66 ERA across 39.1 road frames, as well as a .229 BAA and .276 wOBA allowed.

Boyd’s other impressive road metrics include a 13.5 K/9 and minuscule 2.68 xFIP. He’s given up no more than four earned runs in any road start as well, and he’s held current Indians bats to a middling .235 career average. Boyd has been especially tough against some of Cleveland’s most capable bats: Jason Kipnis (.000 BAA), Jose Ramirez (.238 BAA) and Carlos Santana (.133 BAA). Given all of the circumstances that line up against them Friday, I see the Indians as a stay-away squad.

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