3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 7/2/19
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 ($11,600)
With 15 games on tap and five hurlers sporting five-digit price-tags, we have no shortage of stud options tonight on the mound. Even in such a loaded group, Bauer stands out.
The Cleveland Indians are among the biggest favorites on the slate (their -180 moneyline ranks third), and the Kansas City Royals' 3.94-run implied total is the fourth-lowest on the slate. The Royals' 90 wRC+ against righties is tied for the 11th-worst in the majors, and their 22.9% strikeout rate in the split is tied for the 13th-highest. Bauer's 29.2% strikeout rate dating back to 2018 ranks third among the full-time starters on the mound today, and his 3.62 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) ranks seventh.
None of these jump off the page as elite or must-play numbers, but it's also not the same arms beating him in every category, meaning Bauer doesn't have many real red-flags tonight. He also stands apart in one area that can be especially important in fantasy.
The Indians have let him throw an average of 112.2 pitchers per game this season, which is the most in the majors. For context, only 10 hurlers average triple-digit pitches, and nobody else averages more than 106.9 per game in 2019. Consistently going deep in games gives him a ton of fantasy upside, and he's shown that off with 60-plus FanDuel points in two of his last three games.
Our models are also high on Bauer tonight, projecting him for the highest fantasy score on the slate.
Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies ($4,500)
Tonight's Coors Field game doesn't have just your typical high Coors over/under. With the Houston Astros in town, this game has a 13-run over/under, which is something only three other games this season have been able to boast. All seven games with an over/under of at least 13 since 2016 have hit the over, going over by an average of about six runs.
The favored Colorado Rockies have an especially huge 6.70-run implied total as they draw a matchup with Houston righty Jose Urquidy. Urquidy has shown some flashes with hefty strikeout numbers in the minors so far, but making your major league debut at Coors Field is not something to get excited about -- especially for a guy who allowed a 47.4% fly-ball rate over his 43 2/3 innings at the Triple-A level.
Blackmon is nearly always going to be in play at home against a righty, with a .487 wOBA and .373 ISO in that split across 531 plate appearances since 2017, and this matchup with Urquidy pushes him over the top.
Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies ($4,400)
Matchups with southpaws are where Nolan Arenado really shines, but an implied total getting close to seven runs and a dreamy matchup mean we can feel really good about him in a same-sided spot tonight, too.
Since 2016, Arenado has racked up 853 plate appearances against righties at home, raking for a .405 wOBA and .286 ISO on 38.7% hard-hits and 43.1% fly-balls in the split.
The Rockies should be in for some big offense even after they get Urquidy out of the game, as the Astros' relievers have allowed an MLB-high 41.4% hard-hit rate this season, getting tagged for 1.39 home runs per nine innings.
Our models are all about Arenado, with his projection of 16.9 fantasy points sitting 1.4 points ahead of anyone else on the slate.
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.