FanDuel MLB 3-Man Challenge Helper: Friday 6/21/19
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?
The first thing to note is that tonight we have two players (Mike Trout and Christian Yelich) priced at $4. Neither are especially exciting plays at that cost tonight, but it's worth keeping an eye on whether FanDuel keeps playing with the pricing like that. If so, the $4 group could become the "Top Tier.".
Max Kepler - The Minnesota Twins may not come close to the Texas Rangers for the highest implied total on the slate, but they're second at 5.40 runs, a number that's nothing to scoff at. Kansas City Royals righty Jake Junis has a weak 4.66 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) in 2019, and left-handed hitters have beaten up on him to the tune of a .370 wOBA on a 46.3% hard-hit rate. Kepler is in the midst of his best major league season, posting career-high marks in both wOBA (.378) and ISO (.288), and he's turned a 45.9% hard-hit rate into an especially strong .387 wOBA and .311 ISO against righties.
Nelson Cruz - Tonight's $3 tier isn't especially exciting, but Cruz is another way to get some great home run upside. He doesn't have the platoon advantage, but that doesn't tend to matter for him. He's got a powerful .241 ISO against right-handed pitching this season, and he hasn't posted an ISO below .229 in the split since 2012. Since 2017, he's made 1,048 plate appearances in same-sided matchups, recording a 40.8% hard-hit rate and 39.5% fly-ball rate with a .372 wOBA and .257 ISO.
Shin-Soo Choo - As I mentioned above, the Rangers' implied total (6.21) is unmatched on this slate, sitting well ahead of the Twins' mark as Texas takes on the Chicago White Sox and righty Reynaldo Lopez. Lopez has a brutal 5.10 SIERA on the season, which puts him in the bottom-10 among qualifying pitchers, and he's giving up a hefty 39.0% hard-hit rate and 49.4% fly-ball rate -- so it's not exactly surprising that he's allowing more than two home runs per nine innings. Shin-Soo Choo has turned a career-best 48.0% hard-hit rate in to a .396 wOBA and .256 ISO against righties this season, and success in that split is nothing new for him, having notched a .385 wOBA and .208 ISO against right-handers last year. Choo would be in play even if he were priced at $3 tonight, so he's tough to ignore at $2.
Yoan Moncada - Globe Life Park is the most hitter-friendly environment on the slate, and with this game's big 11.5-run over/under, the underdog White Sox get a strong 5.29-run implied total (third on the slate). Rangers righty Ariel Jurado has managed a meager 4.65 SIERA in 2019 while getting cracked for a 41.2% hard-hit rate, so while he's shown some improvement since last year, he's still not a matchup to be concerned about. The switch-hitting Moncada ranks in the top 2% of hitters in average exit velocity (93.2 miles per hour) while also boasting a terrific .529 expected slugging percentage (89th percentile), per Baseball Savant. He's got a superb .395 wOBA and .262 ISO against righties, and like Choo, he'd be a strong play even at $3 tonight.
Paul DeJong - Our models project DeJong for the eighth-best fantasy score of anyone on this slate, putting him ahead of a couple hitters priced above him as well as everyone except Choo in the $2 range. His home run projection (0.27) is also tied for the third-highest on the slate, trailing only Trout and Cruz. He's sporting a healthy .363 wOBA and .218 ISO in 2019, and while Los Angeles Angels righty Griffin Canning is having a solid year, the 37.5% hard-hit rate and 48.9% fly-ball rate he's allowing leaves plenty of room for home run upside for DeJong.
Ronald Guzman - Making yet another appearance in the $1 section tonight, Guzman again offers unusually high home run upside for someone this cheap. As outlined for Choo, Reynaldo Lopez is a terrific matchup, giving the entire Texas offense a boost in upside. Guzman, through 440 plate appearances in two major league seasons, has hit righties for a .336 wOBA with a .215 ISO -- marks that jump to .347 and .248 on a 41.9% hard-hit rate in 2019.
Asdrubal Cabrera - If you're looking for someone higher in the Rangers' batting order, the switch-hitting Cabrera shouldn't have any trouble with Guzman, either. Cabrera has shown significantly more power against right-handed pitching over his career, and in 2019, he's turned in a solid 35.0% hard-hit rate and 43.1% fly-ball rate, earning a .333 wOBA and .222 ISO in the split. Those numbers aren't far off his 2018 output of a .351 wOBA and .231 ISO, and like Guzman, he has some serious home run upside tonight. It's also worth considering Rougned Odor and his career .210 ISO against righties as another way to get some $1 home run upside in the Rangers' offense.
Derek Dietrich - And if you're not into the Rangers' offense for whatever reason, Dietrich is also under-priced relative to his ceiling in tonight's meeting with righty Chase Anderson and the Milwaukee Brewers. Anderson posted a 4.68 xFIP against left-handed bats last year and hasn't improved much with a 4.44 xFIP in 2019, and he's showing a middling 4.40 SIERA overall on the year. Dietrich has been outstanding against righties this year, with a .407 wOBA on a 43.5% hard-hit rate and 51.8% fly-ball rate, and while that jump might be a bit too much to sustain, he's also no stranger to success in the split, with a career .343 wOBA and .195 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.