3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 5/30/19
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 ($11,200)
The safety that Hyun-jin Ryu brings as a huge -270 favorite with a 3.23 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) on the season might seem appealing, but his strikeout upside just isn't interesting enough as he's sporting a 25.6% strikeout rate on the year while fanning more than six in only one of his last five games.
Chris Sale isn't striking hitters out the way we've seen over the last couple years, but his 33.7% strikeout rate and 14.2% swinging-strike rate are still terrific marks, ranking third and 11th, respectively, among qualifying pitchers. He has double-digit strikeouts in five of his last seven starts, and his last outing (against the tough Houston Astros) was the first time he's fanned fewer than eight since mid-April.
The New York Yankees aren't an overly easy matchup for any pitcher, but they fare worse against southpaws and are still banged up, making this spot a lot better than it might seem on the surface. Their active roster is striking out at a top-10 rate (25.6%) against lefties while sitting bottom-three with a 74 wRC+ against lefties this year.
Joey Gallo, OF, Texas Rangers ($4,300)
Never a stranger to flexing some serious power, Joey Gallo is having a big year even by his usual standards. Over 204 plate appearances, he's sporting an elite .430 wOBA with a .358 ISO, mashing to the tune of an absurd 58.2% hard-hit rate, 9.9% soft-hit rate and 38.5% fly-ball rate. His 96.2 mile-per-hour average exit velocity is tops among all hitters with at least 50 batted-ball events on the year, and his 224-foot average batted-ball distance ranks fourth.
Junis showed some promise in 2018, but he's stumbled out of the blocks this year, posting a career-worst 4.67 SIERA over 11 games. He's allowed a career .341 wOBA and 4.53 xFIP on a 40.6% hard-hit rate to left-handed hitters, and that's not the kind of contact you can afford to give up against Gallo, particularly in Texas.
Christian Yelich, OF, Milwaukee Brewers ($4,700)
It's no secret that Christian Yelich has been a monster this year. The 27-year-old has erupted for a .449 wOBA and .400 ISO over 212 plate appearances, building on his .422 wOBA and .272 ISO from last season. He's making hard contact 55.0% of the time, which is up from last year's career-high rate of 47.6%.
His production gets even better when he has the platoon advantage, with a .425 wOBA and .281 ISO last year and a .497 wOBA and .458 ISO on a 57.5% hard-hit and 44.7% fly-ball rate in 144 plate appearances against righties this year. He's not going to keep homering on about 40% of his fly-balls in the split like he has been, but this level of production can be hit with some regression and still place him as the most productive hitter in the majors.
Pittsburgh Pirates righty Joe Musgrove has a shaky 4.64 SIERA in 2019, and over his career, he's given up a worrying .332 wOBA against left-handed hitters. The Milwaukee offense can be counted on to do some damage today as -130 favorites in a game with a 9-run over/under, and Yelich should absolutely be part of that.
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.