3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 5/17/19
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.
Jacob deGrom, P, New York Mets ($12,000)
This 15-game slate is absolutely loaded with top pitching options, but I like paying all the way up for deGrom tonight.
This season has seen him build on what was then a career-high 32.2% strikeout rate in 2018, upping it to 33.0%. That's also come with an increased swinging-strike rate, tying Max Scherzer for second among starters on the slate. He hasn't quite matched last year's 2.78 SIERA, but his 3.11 is still a stellar mark, which ranks top-10 among qualifying pitchers.
His matchup today is also as good as it gets. The Miami Marlins are one of only eight teams in the majors striking out over 25% of the time this year (25.2%), and their egregious 64 wRC+ is the lowest mark in the majors by a big margin.
Even with all the pitching talent in action tonight, oddsmakers peg this is as the best situation going, as the New York Mets are the slate's biggest favorites (-215 moneyline) while the Marlins' 2.72-run implied total is the slate's lowest, again by a big margin.
Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels ($4,700)
No starting pitcher on tonight's slate has a worse SIERA in 2019 than Kansas City's Brad Keller, whose 5.53 is a step back from the 4.51 he posted in his 2018 rookie season. His strikeout rate is almost unchanged (16.5% to 16.9%), but his walk rate has ballooned from 8.6% to 13.9%. He's also been rocked for a 40.0% hard-hit rate this year.
A matchup this soft leaves the Los Angeles Angels with a slate-high 5.16-run implied total.
Hitters don't get much more productive than Mike Trout, whose .440 wOBA since the start of last season is tops in the majors, while his .305 ISO is good for second.
His elite production doesn't need much of an introduction, but as always it's worth noting that we don't need to be concerned by the same-sided matchup, as he hasn't posted a wOBA worse than .400 against righties since 2011.
Matt Chapman, 3B, Oakland Athletics ($3,800)
Chapman continues to make big strides as a major league hitter, and after showing significant improvements in his 2018 sophomore season, his numbers are even better in 2019, with career-bests in both wOBA (.374) and ISO (.265) through 189 plate appearances. His strikeout rate is way down to 15.3%, but his hard-hit rate (39.3%) and fly-ball rate (41.5%) remain strong.
Norris is sporting a surprisingly good 3.63 ERA over eight games this season, but that belies a concerning 4.74 SIERA. Considering his 4.01 mark from last year (11 games), 4.49 career average and 4.94 from 2017 (his last full season) -- we shouldn't expect his SIERA to get much better moving forward, which means that we should expect his ERA to get worse.
Right-handed hitters have given him an especially tough time in the majors, and none of his six major league seasons have seen him post an xFIP better than 4.37 in that split, giving up a career-average .333 wOBA and 4.69 xFIP.
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.