3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 5/20/19
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.
Patrick Corbin, P, Washington Nationals ($10,800)
Tonight's eight-game slate is a little short on top pitching options, and Patrick Corbin stands out well ahead of the pack.
His 3.51 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) on the year ranks second among starters on the slate who have pitched at least 10 innings this season, while his 29.2% strikeout rate is good for tops in that group. If we expand our view back to include 2018, he ranks first in the group in SIERA (3.05) and second in strikeout rate (30.4%).
Corbin brings that production into a soft matchup tonight, taking on a New York Mets team that strikes out at a top-10 rate (24.8%) and has managed just a 98 wRC+ on the year. They have been especially strikeout-happy against southpaws in 2019, with their strikeout rate jumping to 29.0% in the split.
Joey Gallo, 1B, Texas Rangers ($4,200)
As he's done for years now, Gallo has shown off one of the most powerful swings in the majors so far in 2019. His .428 wOBA and .362 ISO are both on pace to be career-high clips, and he's never been a stranger to high ISOs, having posted a .292 ISO in 2018 and .327 clip in 2017. Over that stretch, he ranks sixth in the majors in ISO.
No hitter with at least 50 batted-ball events in 2019 has a higher average exit velocity than Gallo, and he also ranks second among all hitters (minimum 200 batted-ball events) in that stat since 2017.
Leake has a middling 4.43 SIERA to start the season, and this is on pace to be his third straight year with a SIERA of 4.15 or worse. He's typically limited hitters to a pretty tame batted-ball profile in the past, but that has not been the case in 2019. He's been smacked for a 40.6% hard-hit rate, 14.4% soft-hit rate and 36.9% fly-ball rate, all of which are career-worst marks.
Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees ($4,200)
Just because the New York Yankees are banged up doesn't mean their offense can't bring the heat in the right matchup. And for 29 teams in the majors, Andrew Cashner and the Baltimore Orioles' bullpen falls firmly into "the right matchup" territory.
To give Cashner some credit, he's on pace for his best SIERA since 2015. The last three seasons have seen him post SIERAs of 4.72, 5.52 and 5.33, though, so said improvement still means an ugly 4.62 SIERA for 2019 -- and even that has still only held up through a nine-game sample. His 40.9% hard-hit rate is also about eight percentage points higher than he's ever allowed while his soft-hit rate sits at only 13.4%, so he's doing nothing to limit power. The icing on the cake is that the Orioles' relievers have an ugly 4.82 xFIP on the year, the fourth-worst mark in the majors.
Gary Sanchez had a down year in 2018, with only a .304 wOBA (though still a .220 ISO) over 89 games. He's bounced back nicely so far this season, registering a .397 wOBA and .370 ISO, bringing his career averages to a .361 wOBA and .273 ISO.
We don't need to worry about the same-sided matchup here, either, as Sanchez has kept up a strong .360 wOBA and .265 ISO on a 38.7% hard-hit rate and 38.4% fly-ball rate against right-handed pitching over his career.
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.