3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 5/10/19
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.
Zack Wheeler, P, New York Mets ($9,200)
While Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros may be the slate's biggest favorites (-240 moneyline), you can feel good about taking $1,100 in savings with Wheeler tonight, as our models actually project him to slightly surpass Verlander in fantasy output.
The Marlins have been awful from the dish this year, striking out at a top-10 rate and ranking dead last in the majors with a 66 wRC+ (no other team has a mark worse than 72), so it's no surprise that we continue going back to the well with this matchup for pitchers.
Wheeler's 2019 campaign hasn't been anything special, as his 4.05 SIERA sits above both last year's 3.87 and his career average 3.98. More relevant for fantasy purposes, though, is that his strikeout rate is up to a career-best 25.8%, which comes with a 10.4% swinging-strike rate (0.3% behind his previous career best).
Wheeler's last three outings include games with scores of 49.0 and 64.0 FanDuel points, and he should be in for another good one against Miami.
Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels ($4,600)
This slate is loaded with top bats (part of the reason the savings from Verlander to Wheeler are so appealing), and even in a star-studded group, Mike Trout stands out.
Trout has been terrific from the dish in 2019, with a .415 wOBA and .257 ISO on a 41.3% hard-hit rate. The scary thing is that we can probably expect an uptick in production from him moving forward, too. He's only got an 18.4% home run-to-fly-ball rate (versus 23.2% and 24.% in the last two seasons) and a .282 BABIP (compared to .318 and .346).
Those last two years saw him post a .437 wOBA and .323 ISO (2017) and a .447 wOBA and .316 ISO (2018), so it wouldn't be a surprise to see his numbers climb back up into that range.
Straily has an egregious 6.43 SIERA with only a 9.8% strikeout rate and 8.9% walk rate over six games in 2019. He struggled to the tune of a 4.92 SIERA last year, too, so even if he bounces back some, he's still likely to be one of the better starting pitchers to target in DFS. And once he's out of this game (which is likely to be early), the O's relievers have a group xFIP of 4.94, which is the second worst in the majors.
J.D. Martinez, OF, Boston Red Sox ($4,000)
Swanson has pitched five games so far in his first big league season, only managing a 4.85 SIERA and 16.7% strikeout rate (on an 8.4% swinging-strike rate). We don't get hard-hit rates for his minor league stint, but he's always been a fly-ball pitcher, with a 45.6% fly-ball rate in Triple-A and 49.4% in Double-A last year. That's held, with a 44.9% rate in the majors so far.
J.D. Martinez isn't really a guy you want to give up fly balls against. He ranks top 10 in average exit velocity since 2017, turning a 46.3% hard-hit rate and 38.3% fly-ball rate into a .421 wOBA and .316 ISO.
He's not producing quite as well this year, but with a home run-to-fly-ball rate that sits at half his career average (10.2% versus 20.4%), despite a 44.1% hard-hit rate and 7.6% soft-hit rate in 2019, we can expect the home runs to come.
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.