FanDuel MLB 3-Man Challenge Helper: Thursday 6/27/19
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?
Cody Bellinger - It can be hit and miss weather paying up for a $4 hitter is worth it, but there's no question on today's slate. Cody Bellinger is the cream of the crop. The Los Angeles Dodgers should do a ton of scoring at Coors Field against struggling righty Peter Lambert, and Bellinger's fingerprints should be all over that. His .460 wOBA and .349 ISO are both silly marks -- especially over a sample as big as 329 plate appearances -- and, per Baseball Savant, he has been the elite of the elite, ranking 100th percentile in both expected slugging percentage and expected wOBA. Just make sure he's in the lineup after his early removal last night.
Charlie Blackmon - Another reason to love Bellinger at $4 is because tonight's $3 tier isn't overly exciting. We get Charlie Blackmon at home against a right-handed pitcher, a split in which he owns a stellar .465 wOBA and .335 ISO since the start of 2018, but he draws a rough matchup. Dodgers righty Walker Buehler has a 3.38 SIERA over his 47 major league games, and in 15 starts in 2019, he has a 3.38 SIERA and 28.4% strikeout rate. Blackmon's rarely going to be a full fade against a righty at Coors (and the tiny size of this slate helps his case), but the matchup does remove some of the allure.
Shohei Ohtani - Ohtani is someone who would still be a solid play at $3 tonight, so with this decreased price-tag, we get yet another reason to not pay too much attention to the $3 tier. His numbers are down this year, sure, but he's still sporting a .224 ISO on a 47.1% hard-hit rate against right-handed pitching, which brings him to averages of a .401 wOBA, .305 ISO and 47.1% hard-hit rate in the split in his major league career. Oakland Athletics righty Tanner Anderson isn't much of a threat to slow him down, with a middling 4.60 SIERA in his small MLB sample as well as a brutal 6.04 xFIP in 54 2/3 innings pitched in Triple-A this year.
Kole Calhoun - More of a typical $2 hitter, Calhoun gets that same great matchup with Anderson, but he doesn't offer the hitting chops that Ohtani does. That's not to say he's bad from the dish, though, and his .233 ISO in 2019 gives him the kind of upside you want to see in this matchup. He's turned a 45.7% hard-hit rate and 39.9% fly-ball rate into a .328 wOBA and .228 ISO against righties on the year, giving him plenty of upside against Anderson.
Matt Beaty - Beaty's propensity for hitting ground-balls this year makes him an un-sexy play (particularly in this format). But we haven't even seen him make 100 plate appearances in the majors yet, and he posted a 34.9% fly-ball rate in Triple-A last year, so he shouldn't have too much trouble getting balls in the air moving forward. He's also a left-handed Dodgers bat tonight, which means he's got the platoon advantage against Lambert at Coors Field. There aren't many hitters in the majors who wouldn't be terrific plays at $1 in that spot on a slate with this little depth.
Jake Lamb - A long stint on the injured list hasn't given Jake Lamb a chance to bounce back from his dreadful 2018 campaign yet, and that has him priced nice and low. This is a guy with proven upside, however, especially against right-handed pitching. In that split, he notched a .386 wOBA and .270 ISO in 2017, with a .374 wOBA and .281 ISO the year before that. San Francisco Giants righty Tyler Beede has struggled in the majors, getting cracked for a 37.5% hard-hit rate while posting a 5.50 SIERA over 10 games in his young career. Lamb should also come in at lower ownership than Beaty, who stands to see a huge bump by virtue of being a cheap Coors 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.