FanDuel MLB 3-Man Challenge Helper: Wednesday 6/26/19
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?
Yordan Alvarez ($3) - A lot of times I'd be looking to fade an unsustainably hot start like Alvarez has had, with an absurd 7 home runs, .483 wOBA and .462 ISO over 13 games. He's got plenty of work to back up the idea that he can continue to be an elite hitter though, having turned in a .431 wOBA and .290 ISO in 190 Double-A plate appearances in 2018, followed by posting a .464 wOBA and .399 ISO in 253 Triple-A plate appearances before being called up this season. He gets a plus matchup tonight as well, against unproven Pittsburgh Pirates righty Dario Agrazal (only one major league game to his name, but a 4.28 xFIP in 54 Triple-A innings in 2019), so we can roll the dice on Alvarez continuing to mash like a top hitter.
George Springer ($3) - A thin 3-Man slate tonight means the Houston Astros offense is tough to ignore, with a slate-high 5.61-run implied total that sits well ahead of the pack. Even in a righty-versus-righty matchup, Springer should have no issues contributing to that projected offensive success. Per Baseball Savant, Springer ranks in the top 2% of hitters in both expected wOBA and expected slugging percentage this year, thanks in part to a 17.0% barrel rate that ranks in the top 3%.
Christian Yelich ($4) - One of two $4 hitters on the slate (the other being Mike Trout), Yelich is worth paying up for. Our models project him for 2.1 fantasy points more than the next-best hitter on the slate, which is bigger than the gap between the second- and fifth-highest projection. He ranks sixth in the majors in expected slugging percentage (.642) and fifth in expected wOBA (.432), and even in same-sided matchups he's paired a .396 wOBA and .352 ISO this season. He brings that into a great matchup against Seattle Mariners lefty Wade LeBlanc, who has a weak 4.63 SIERA so far in 2019.
Willson Contreras - After a down year in 2018, Contreras is right back on track in what has been a terrific career from the dish so far. He's on pace, for the third time in four major league seasons, to finish with a wOBA of at least .360 and ISO of at least .200. This is also on pace to be his most productive season so far, with an especially strong .395 wOBA and .268 ISO -- which are usually marks you'd expect to pay up to $3 for. His matchup today is an intriguing one as well because southpaw Dallas Keuchel looked like he may still have some rust to work out in his first start with the Atlanta Braves.
Yasmani Grandal - Getting back to the Brewers, the switch-hitting Grandal is in an especially good spot against LeBlanc, who has a brutal 5.50 xFIP against right-handed bats this year. Grandal has destroyed left-handed pitching with a .402 wOBA and .402 ISO so far this year, and while that's probably not sustainable (his 22.2% HR/FB rate is up from 14.3% and 14.8% in the last two years), his 53.2% hard-hits and 43.5% fly-balls in the split are a good indicator that he's not going to slow down too much.
Yasiel Puig - Puig should go overlooked tonight for a few reasons -- he's in a same-sided matchup, he's struggling a bit from the dish this year, and the Cincinnati Reds only have the fourth-highest implied total on this slate. Still, a 4.62-run implied total is not a bad mark, and with a matchup against Jaime Barria (4.60 SIERA on the year, 4.80 career-average) you shouldn't be too afraid of Cincy bats of either handedness. Puig's production is being held down by a career-worst .258 BABIP (compared to a .312 career-average) despite a still-solid 35.1% hard-hit rate and a 47.3% fly-ball rate. Even in a down year, he has a .207 ISO against righties, and that comes after posting marks of at least .260 in that split in each of the last two seasons. He's a good way to look for some low-owned home run upside in this tier.
Robinson Chirinos - Our models have four $1 hitters projected for 10.9 fantasy points here -- which is a tie for the most in the tier. Among that group (which also includes J.P. Crawford, Brian McCann, and Omar Narvaez), Chirinos has the highest home run projection (0.20), and that helps put him over the edge. Like Alvarez and Springer, he gets a juicy pitching matchup tonight, positioning him well to build on the already strong .353 wOBA and .246 ISO he's posted this season.
Jose Osuna - Second to Chirinos in home run projection (0.19) at this tier, Osuna is on the opposite side of that matchup, facing down Astros southpaw Framber Valdez. Valdez has turned in a solid start to the season, but his 4.11 SIERA still isn't exactly intimidating, and he's giving up 42.2% hard-hits to right-handed bats. Osuna only has a small sample against southpaws this year, but so far he's mashed with a .409 wOBA and .353 ISO, bringing his career-average ISO to .203 in the split, showing plenty of power for a $1 bat.
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.