FanDuel MLB 3-Man Challenge Helper: Thursday 6/6/19
Sometimes, you just don't have time to track the weather, check the splits, and wait for the batting order to be posted to build a full nine-man FanDuel MLB roster. It happens. But that no longer means you can't build some lineups, thanks to FanDuel's MLB 3-Man Challenge game style.
The premise is simple: build a three-player roster for a $7 salary cap, and only hits and RBI count toward netting FanDuel points. One player is your MVP, and his points are multiplied by 1.5, and you just need to roster players from at least two different teams. That more or less covers it, but you should familiarize yourself with the basic strategy for the new game style to help you in tonight's marquee 3-Man Challenge contest.
That being said, which options stand out at each price range for today's 3-Man Challenge slate?
Mike Trout - Our top-projected hitter on the slate, it should come as no surprise that Mike Trout is a top play in all formats tonight. He's obviously an absolute killer with the bat, not posting a wOBA worse than .430 or ISO worse than .300 since 2016, and he brings that into a plus matchup tonight. The Oakland Athletics will be starting right-hander Mike Fiers, who has a weak 5.20 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) on the year. Fiers hasn't posted a SIERA better than 4.25 since 2015, so even if he turns things around a bit, he's still going to make for a favorable fantasy matchup, especially for somebody that can rake like Trout can.
Gary Sanchez - Never a stranger to mashing righties (38.8% hard-hit and 39.0% fly-ball rate over his career), Sanchez has a terrific .420 wOBA and .413 ISO in the split this year. That ISO isn't sustainable, but he's doing it on a 51.7% hard-hit and 57.1% fly-ball rate, so even with some regression, we can expect him to continue offering elite power against righties. He's not likely to slow down much tonight against Edwin Jackson, who has bounced around major and minor league teams with no sustained success over the last few years, posting a SIERA of 4.98 or worse in each of his major league campaigns since 2016.
Khris Davis - The Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees have the clear-cut highest implied totals for any team with a player in the $3 tier. That means ownership is likely to be funneled heavily toward those two. if you're looking for a contrarian option, Khris Davis offers plenty of upside. The Angels will start southpaw Tyler Skaggs, who has a middling 4.32 SIERA on the year and has allowed a .333 wOBA to right-handed bats since 2016, and the Oakland Athletics' 4.48-run implied total isn't terrible. Davis isn't hitting quite as well in 2019 as we've seen from him in the past, but his average exit velocity still sits north of 90 miles per hour, and even though his expected slugging percentage is down to .486 this year, he's finished in the top 4% of the majors in that category in each of the last three seasons, so we know he can generate some serious upside.
Shin-Soo Choo - We project Choo for the slate's second-highest fantasy score, and that's obviously easy to like when he's priced down in the middle tier. The Texas Rangers' offense is in a terrific spot tonight, sitting as -184 favorites in a home game with an 11-run over/under, and Baltimore Orioles righty David Hess -- with a career 5.12 SIERA (including a 5.21 through 12 games in 2019) -- is a matchup the Rangers can take advantage of. The 36-year-old Choo has shown he's still a real threat from the dish, with a .386 wOBA and .244 ISO over 247 plate appearances this season. Zeroing in on his work against right-handed hurlers, he finished last year with a .385 wOBA and .208 ISO in the split, and those marks are up to .414 and .288, respectively, in 2019.
Gleyber Torres - Picking on Edwin Jackson again, Gleyber Torres has built on his rookie-year .349 wOBA and .209 ISO with a .351 wOBA and .243 ISO over 243 plate appearances this year. He's sporting a 43.8% hard-hit rate and 41.1% fly-ball rate in 2019, and while he doesn't have the platoon advantage in this one, a career .350 wOBA and .206 ISO on a 39.5% hard-hit rate against righties indicate that it shouldn't be a problem.
Matt Chapman - The $2 price-range isn't overly exciting tonight, but going back to another right-handed hitter against Tyler Skaggs, Chapman offers some big upside, as well. His 92.4 mile-per-hour average exit velocity is in the top 7% in the majors, and it comes after he finished at 93.0 last year. His expected slugging percentage is also sitting at a hefty .530, and our models project him for 0.27 home runs tonight -- the highest mark for anyone not priced at $3.
Franmil Reyes - Only one spot behind Chapman in home run projections, we have Reyes projected for 0.26 tonight, which is good for seventh on the slate -- obviously a pretty great mark considering there are nine $3 hitters and 25 $2 hitters available. His floor is low, taking on the dangerous Patrick Corbin, but he's also turned a 49.3% hard-hit rate and 37.1% fly-ball rate into a massive .330 ISO so far this season, and his .597 expected slugging percentage is one of the best in the majors.
Mark Canha - And here's even more home run upside against Tyler Skaggs. Canha's a guy who typically needs the platoon advantage to do any damage, and he gets it tonight. Dating back to 2018, he has a .383 wOBA and .315 ISO in the split. His value will certainly take a hit if Skaggs is replaced by a right-handed reliever, but getting that kind of production and upside at $1 is worth the risk.
Justin Smoak - J.A. Happ hasn't opened this year especially well, sporting a 4.38 SIERA that is his worst mark since 2013. His average fastball velocity is way down, which has probably played a part in the huge contact he's allowing (41.0% hard-hit rate and 42.2% fly-ball rate). The switch-hitting Smoak has a .360 wOBA and .225 ISO so far in 2019, and he's making exactly the kind of contact you want to see in this format, with a 48.6% hard-hit rate and 44.5% fly-ball rate. Sweetening the deal even more, he's another $1 hitter who sits in the top-12 for our home run projections tonight.
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.