FanDuel MLB 3-Man Challenge Helper: Monday 6/10/19
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?
Trevor Story - Tonight's Coors Field game, with its 11.0-run over/under, goes a long way toward shaping this 3-man slate. With home runs emphasized even more than normal in this format, fading Coors can be especially scary. As favorites, the Colorado Rockies' 5.76-run implied total is the highest on the slate, and that's always going to make Trevor Story worth a look. Even by the lofty standards he's set over his first few seasons, Story is making outstanding contact in 2019. His 49.4% hard-hit rate and 12.2% soft-hit rate are both career-best markss, and he's paired them with a 43.6% fly-ball rate. That's translated to a .377 wOBA and .254 ISO, which jumps to an elite .451 wOBA and .351 ISO at Coors Field.
Charlie Blackmon - Blackmon is a little bit more risky than Story is, but that could also lead to some reduced ownership. He gets the platoon advantage against Chicago Cubs righty Yu Darvish, which is the key to his upside here. Blackmon has made a habit of throttling righties at Coors, and while his insane .587 wOBA and .512 ISO in the split this year is not sustainable, he's still sporting a massive .473 wOBA and .349 ISO on a 43.4% hard-hit rate and 39.3% fly-ball rate over 501 plate appearances in the split since 2017. His numbers against lefties in that stretch aren't bad by any means, with a .450 wOBA and .287 ISO, but his contact is much less encouraging (38.2% hard-hit rate and 30.5% fly-ball rate), so he becomes a lot less exciting if the Cubs go with a lefty out of the bullpen.
Anthony Rizzo - To the other side of that game, the Rockies are starting righty German Marquez, and the Cubs have a 5.24-run implied total (third on the slate). Marquez has been solid this season, but he's also allowing a 38.0% hard-hit rate and 13.3% soft-hit rate in 2019, and he's giving up a .342 wOBA at home. Rizzo has bounced back from a disappointing 2018 campaign and is making some of the best contact of his career, which includes ranking in the top 7% of hitters in expected slugging percentage (.557) and turning in an average exit velocity north of 90 miles per hours for his first time in the last five seasons. Coors Field should help him turn that contact into production, and he's well-positioned to build on the .409 wOBA and .291 ISO he's sporting against righties on the year.
David Dahl - I wasn't kidding about Coors Field shaping this slate. Dahl is our top-projected hitter in the $2 tier, He's sporting a .384 wOBA and .207 ISO on the season (after posting a .357 wOBA and .261 ISO last year), and between the past two seasons, he's got a .380 wOBA and .254 ISO against right-handed pitching. At Coors Field, that production gets even better, leaping to a huge .441 wOBA and .320 ISO over 195 plate appearances.
Shohei Ohtani - His fantasy projection may not be as high as Dahl's, but we do have Shohei Ohtani with the highest home run projection (0.27) in the $2 tier. That puts him fifth among all hitters today, and only a shade behind our highest home run projection (0.29). He's a risky play, as the Los Angeles Angels have the lowest implied total on the 3-man slate (4.03 runs), but that should also serve to keep his ownership really low. While Ohtani's matchup with Hyun-jin Ryu is a tough one, if there's anything concerning about Ryu's numbers this year, it's his 36.5% hard-hit rate. Ohtani has a 46.3% hard-hit rate and 12.2% soft-hit rate on the season (44.0% hard-hit rate and 10.7% soft-hit rate over his 495 career MLB plate appearances), so while his production has been uninspiring in 2019 (.315 wOBA and .168 ISO), we can expect that to turn around before long.
Kyle Schwarber - Right back to Coors Field, German Marquez hasn't been nearly as dangerous against left-handed bats (3.99 xFIP) as he has against righties (2.86 xFIP) this year. Kyle Schwarber has a modest .337 wOBA but a powerful .224 ISO on the season, which is in line with how he's produced over his career (.342 wOBA and .239 ISO). He's smacked right-handed pitchers for a 37.2% hard-hit rate, 11.6% soft-hit rate and 37.5% fly-ball rate this season, and that contact is exactly what you like to see at Coors Field.
Matt Adams - Taking a break from the Cubs and Rockies, the Washington Nationals are rocking the second-highest implied total (5.71 runs) on the slate, ahead of even the Cubs. They're up against the Chicago White Sox, who will be giving Odrisamer Despaigne his first start of the season, and considering his career 4.70 SIERA, the Nationals shouldn't have much trouble taking advantage of that. Adams produces just the way you want to see for a $1 hitter. His low wOBA (.316 on the year) keeps him cheap, but his .225 ISO shows tons of power, and his 33.3% strikeout rate isn't a concern in this format. He's especially good against righties, with a .351 wOBA and .252 ISO on a 39.7% hard-hit rate since 2017.
Adam Eaton - The Nationals make it easy to free up cap space tonight, with a ton of viable $1 options. If you're not going with Matt Adams, Adam Eaton is a great alternative, though without as much power upside. He's made a career out of hitting right-handed pitching well, with a wOBA of at least .350 in the split in each of the last four seasons, owning a career-average .348 wOBA with the platoon advantage. Eaton may not be nearly as likely to go yard as Matt Adams is, but he does offer a higher level of consistency.
David Bote - Of course, paying $1 doesn't mean we have to get away from Coors. Bote doesn't get the platoon advantage against Marquez, but this is a guy with a 92.1 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 9.0% barrel rate to start his major league career. Both his hard-hit rate (40.7%) and fly-ball rate (32.2%) are up in 2019, and even against right-handed pitching, he owns a career 37.2% hard-hit rate.
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.