3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 6/11/19
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.
Trevor Bauer, P, Cleveland Indians ($10,800)
Considering we have 15 games on tonight's slate, we're actually fairly thin on pitching options, making it even more appealing than usual to chase big strikeout potential.
Bauer and the Cleveland Indians are only slight -126 favorites, and the Cincinnati Reds' 3.85-run implied total isn't a tiny mark. But this slate also doesn't have any huge favorites (none at -200 or higher) and no teams with truly low implied totals (none below 3.50).
Bauer's strikeout rate has fallen from last season's 30.8% mark, but he's still sporting a 26.5% clip through 14 games, and his swinging-strike rate hasn't dropped much, from 13.3% last year to 12.4% in 2019.
The Reds have made for a terrific matchup for right-handed pitchers this season, with a 24.5% strikeout rate (eighth-highest in the majors) and an 80 wRC+ (fifth-lowest) in the split. Our models don't expect Bauer to have trouble in this spot, and we project him for the slate's highest fantasy score.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs ($4,600)
Just like last night, when he took advantage of the spot and went yard, we get Anthony Rizzo at Coors Field against a righty on Tuesday.
Tonight's matchup is even better than yesterday's, though. That game was against a solid pitcher in German Marquez while the Colorado Rockies will be starting Peter Lambert today, giving the Chicago Cubs a huge 6.26-run implied total.
Lambert did look good in his only major league start so far, but one game obviously isn't a sample we're going to want to read much into. He made 11 Triple-A starts in 2019, struggling to the tune of a 4.82 xFIP, which is right in line with his 4.71 xFIP from his other 11 Triple-A starts (in 2018). He struggled in the minors, and pitching in Coors Field is only going to exaggerate those concerns.
Rizzo is making some of the best contact we've ever seen from him this year, crushing his previous highest hard-hit rate (34.4%) with a 43.5% mark, which he pairs with a 15.2% soft-hit rate (lowest since 2012) and a 36.8% fly-ball rate. That has helped him to a .418 wOBA and .301 ISO against right-handed hurlers, and he's got a great shot to make it back-to-back big games against the Rockies.
Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies ($4,700)
Quintana isn't a killer by any stretch, with a 4.22 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) on the season after posting a 4.39 mark in 2018, and the 37.5% hard-hit rate he allows isn't very encouraging at Coors. Over the last two seasons, he's also giving up a 4.40 xFIP and 35.7% fly-ball rate to right-handed bats.
Nolan Arenado at home against a southpaw is one of those spots that is almost automatic unless you can find some really convincing reasons to avoid him.
Since 2016, he hasn't posted a hard-hit rate lower than 37.6% or a fly-ball rate below 41.4% against lefties, totaling a 41.9% hard-hit rate and 44.9% fly-ball rate in 635 plate appearances in the split in that time. If we look at the 316 of those plate appearances that have come at Coors Field, that contact has been good for an almost-unfathomable .501 wOBA and .406 ISO. For context, no qualifying hitter has finished with a wOBA better than .449 in the last three seasons.
Quintana isn't a total slouch, but he's also not nearly dangerous enough that he should scare you away from Arenado.
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.