3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 5/24/19
Just like in other sports, the focal point of your daily fantasy baseball lineups will be your high-priced studs. These guys take up by far the biggest chunk of your cap space, but they also offer the highest ceiling, and in the case of pitcher, by far the highest floors for production.
For hitters, we're looking for guys with big numbers, strong matchups, and with players around them that are likely to produce well too, increasing our chances for runs and RBI. For pitchers we want big strikeout numbers, while the ability to go deep in a game and pick up a win is also valuable.
Taking up so much salary, and playing such a big role in your lineup's ceiling, you're not going to want to whiff on these guys, so lets take a look at a few top-end options that you can count on to anchor your lineup today.
Blake Snell, P, Tampa Bay Rays ($11,200)
Even on a slate loaded with stud pitching options, I like paying right up to the top here.
There's a strong argument to be made for Chris Sale (who our models project as Friday's top-scoring fantasy pitcher), but Sale and the Boston Red Sox are only -140 favorites in a game with an 8.5-run over/under. Snell and the Tampa Bay Rays, on the other hand, are similarly-sized -130 favorites but their game has only a 7.5-run over/under.
Snell's stellar 37.8% strikeout rate in 2019 is tops among all pitchers in action tonight (as well as tops among all qualifying pitchers on the year), and he's also showing an immaculate 2.58 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA). Nine games isn't a huge sample, but those numbers are backed by an astounding 19.2% swinging-strike rate and a 26.9% hard-hit rate that barely eclipses his 25.0% soft-hit rate.
The Cleveland Indians' 76 wRC+ (bottom-five in the majors) doesn't exactly make them a threat to bring Snell's production down tonight, especially while they're striking out at a top-12 rate (24.8%) against southpaws.
Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies ($4,700)
Coors Field games are typically worth targeting in fantasy. Nolan Arenado against a left-handed pitcher is typically worth targeting in fantasy. Any offense against the Baltimore Orioles is typically worth targeting in fantasy. Tonight we get to combine all three.
John Means has pretended to be good with a 2.68 ERA over 11 games this year, but his 4.64 SIERA fits in far better with the Orioles' bullpen. He's also allowing a 43.7% fly-ball rate, and he showed he was susceptible to fly-balls in the minors too, with a 43.3% rate in Triple-A and 42.1% in Double-A in 2018. Giving up fly-balls is not ideal for a pitcher at Coors. The O's relievers also rank bottom-five in the majors in xFIP as a group.
Nolan Arenado has posted wOBAs of .534 and .488 against left-handed pitching over the last two seasons and has opened 2019 with a similar .504 in a small sample. Going back to the start of that 2017 season his numbers against lefties at home balloon to an absurd .549 wOBA and .449 ISO on a 50.0% hard-hit rate and 37.0% fly-ball rate over 208 plate appearances. That's good.
Trevor Story, SS, Colorado Rockies ($4,600)
John Means has, predictably, been worse against right-handed hitters than in same-sided matchups in the majors. The difference has been stark too, with his xFIP jumping to 5.34 against righties.
Trevor Story isn't quite Nolan Arenado against southpaws, but he's still thrashed left-handed hurlers for a 52.1% hard-hit rate and 45.9% fly-ball rate over his career, which has translated to a .460 wOBA and .433 ISO in the confines of Coors Field (258 plate appearances).
Our models have Arenado and Story both projected as top-four fantasy scorers among hitters on this big slate.
Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.