FanDuel MLB 3-Man Challenge Helper: Wednesday 6/19/19
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?
Carlos Santana - As we saw last night, the Cleveland Indians offense is one of the most appealing on this 3-Man slate, and two of the three hitters that numberFire's models project for at least 15 FanDuel points tonight are from Cleveland. Santana is at the top of the list, and he comes into this game flexing an elite 92.5 mile-per-hour average exit velocity, which ranks in the top 5% of hitters, per Baseball Savant. It's no surprise that the strong contact has led to great production (.387 wOBA, .229 ISO) as his expected wOBA sits at .386 with a .502 expected slugging percentage.
Francisco Lindor - Cleveland gets to play another game on a hot night at the hitter-friendly Globe Life Park, and that's especially appealing since the Texas Rangers are starting Joe Palumbo on the mound. Palumbo got shelled for 4 earned runs in 4 innings in his lone big league start so far, and he showed some control issues with a double-digit walk rate at the Double-A level earlier this season. The switch-hitting Lindor has a great track record against southpaws, with a .388 wOBA and .224 ISO over 522 plate appearances dating back to 2017, and this year's 91.3 mile-per-hour average exit velocity is on pace to be a career-high.
Ronald Acuna - We can't forget about the Atlanta Braves tonight, boasting a slate-high 5.42-run implied total in their matchup with lefty Steven Matz and the New York Mets. Matz has a middling 4.13 SIERA on the year, and he's getting blasted for a career-high 40.5% hard-hit rate. The 21-year-old Acuna ranks in the top 5% of hitters in expected slugging percentage (.566) for his second time in two major league seasons, and his .400 expected wOBA also cracks the top 5% while he has improved his barrel rate to 15.0% (ranking in the top 8% of hitters). With a career .422 wOBA and .299 ISO against southpaws, don't expect Steven Matz to be able to do much to slow Acuna down.
Shin-Soo Choo - Also like last night, the Texas Rangers offense is firmly in play as well, with Adam Plutko taking the mound for Cleveland. Plutko has only managed a 4.91 SIERA over four starts this season, which is right in line with his career average of 4.99 over 23 games. Choo has been terrific in 228 plate appearances against righties this year, notching a .401 wOBA and a .267 ISO. Even if we go back to include 2018 (up to 683 plate appearances) he shows a .390 wOBA and .228 ISO in the split. There's a reason he's our top-projected $2 hitter, and our second-highest projected fantasy bat on the entire slate.
Jose Ramirez - Right back to Cleveland, plenty of what I said about Ramirez yesterday holds up today. A .222 BABIP and 4.7% HR/FB rate is just not sustainable while he's notching 38.1% hard-hits and 47.6% fly-balls, so for as frustrating as his start to 2019 has been, you shouldn't let it scare you away. He's only got a .304 wOBA and .106 ISO against southpaws this year, but that's over 98 plate appearances in this year of poor variance. The last three seasons combined he turned in a .369 wOBA and .210 ISO in the split, and this matchup should help him turn things around.
C.J. Cron - Another high-implied total offense, the Minnesota Twins show a 4.98-run mark against lefty Eduardo Rodriguez and the Boston Red Sox. Cron is a great hitter for this format, which adds emphasis to power, sporting a .256 ISO in 2019 after posting a .240 in 2018. He draws the platoon advantage against Rodriguez, and in 238 plate appearances in that split since 2018 he has converted a 41.0% hard-hit rate and 34.6% fly-ball rate into an especially strong .406 wOBA and .276 ISO.
Jordan Luplow - If you need a $1 bat tonight you can go right back to the Cleveland lineup. We project Luplow for the most fantasy points of anyone in the tier, and he has been terrific in a somewhat limited 146 plate appearance sample against southpaws in his major league career, with a .377 wOBA and .326 ISO. With a 24.4% HR/FB rate that level of power might not be sustainable, but he's been productive enough that there's plenty of room for regression to hit and still leave him with a great ceiling, especially at this price.
Ronald Guzman - A mainstay of the $1 section lately, Guzman doesn't quite match Luplow's fantasy point projection, but his 0.24 projected homers are the most of any $1 hitter and tied for the third most for any bat on the slate. He brings a career .213 ISO, 37.2% hard-hit rate and 39.8% fly-ball rate against righties into this plus matchup against Plutko, and that's especially easy to like in his hitter-friendly home ballpark.
Rougned Odor - One more left-handed Texas bat with enough power to consider tonight, Odor is massively inconsistent, but he's shown no shortage of upside against righties over his career. He has made over 2000 career plate appearances in the split, and while his .316 wOBA is nothing to write home about, he pairs that with a .210 ISO.
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.