3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 5/14/19
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.
Chris Sale, P, Boston Red Sox ($11,400)
If you're paying up for pitching on this slate -- one with plenty of high-priced arms -- you should get serious about it and go to the top with Chris Sale.
Our models project him for nearly eight fantasy points more than any of today's other hurlers, with an additional 1.82 strikeouts more than anyone else. Oddsmakers love him, too, a sthe Boston Red Sox are massive -280 favorites, so he's about as likely to notch a win as we're ever going to get, and the Colorado Rockies have a lowly 3.10-run implied total.
The Rockies' offense has not shown us much this year. Their 83 wRC+ is the eighth-worse in the Majors while they're striking out at an above-average 24.3% clip. They also tend to really struggle when away from Coors. Their active roster has a 28th-ranked 83 wRC+ and the fifth-highest strikeout rate (24.8%) in the majors in road games since the start of the 2018 season.
Despite struggling to start the year, Sale has bounced back to a 30.3% strikeout rate (11th in the majors) and 3.22 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA; 10th). After giving up at least four earned runs in three of his first four starts of the year, striking out no more than six in any of those games, he's racked up double-digit strikeouts in three of his last four, with 42 strikeouts and only five earned runs allowed in that time.
Numbers like that in a prime matchup give him both an elite floor and ceiling, making him a top pitching option in all formats.
George Springer, OF, Houston Astros ($4,700)
The anti-Chris Sale tonight is Ryan Carpenter. The southpaw is an absolutely dreamy matchup for us to pick on, and he leaves the Houston Astros with a massive 5.98-run implied total, more than a half-run higher than any other team's implied clip.
Carpenter has pitched just seven major league games in his career, but he has an ugly 4.88 SIERA with only a 13.2% strikeout rate in that sample. He hasn't shown much promise at the Triple-A level, either, posting an awful 5.42 xFIP there in six starts in 2019.
George Springer gets a nice boost as the leadoff hitter in the day's most well-positioned offense, increasing his expected plate appearances and giving him a bump in potential for scoring runs. But he also offers plenty of value on his own, too.
He's sporting an elite .433 wOBA and .329 ISO over 190 plate appearances this season, which is coming on a massive -- and career-high -- 50.4% hard-hit rate. His 91.8 mile-per-hour average exit velocity is well above his career average of 89.3, and he's also putting the ball in the air more, with a higher launch angle than we've ever seen from him and a career-low 1.27 ground-ball-to-fly-ball rate.
The platoon advantage is icing on the cake. Over his career, Springer has jumped from a .349 wOBA and .197 ISO against righties to a .393 wOBA and .248 ISO against southpaws.
Adalberto Mondesi, SS, Kansas City Royals ($4,200)
The Kansas City Royals aren't a team we've looked at much in this piece in 2019, but Adalberto Mondesi has continued to show some really interesting power upside.
His .332 wOBA is not even close to what usually falls into the "stud" category and is actually a step back from his .341 wOBA in 2018. He managed a .222 ISO last year, though, and that has climbed slightly to .227 in 2019.
Mondesi's 27.5% strikeout rate and 5.6% walk rate leave him with a very low floor, but his power numbers are backed up by a 39.5% hard-hit rate and 36.8% fly-ball rate. That batted-ball profile is consistent with last year's 43.1% hard-hit rate and 37.6% fly-ball rate.
Miller came into this season without much promise, having struggled to the tune of a 5.13 SIERA in his last full season (2016) before playing only a combined nine major league games in 2017 and 2018 due to injury issues.
The 2019 season has seen him look even worse as he's put up an egregious 6.45 SIERA while his 15.3% walk rate tops his 13.9% strikeout rate. He's giving up a huge 46.3% hard-hit rate and 40.0% fly-ball rate, and he's allowed the 18th-longest average batted-ball distance among the 193 pitchers with at least 50 batted-ball events this season.
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.