FanDuel MLB 3-Man Challenge Helper: Tuesday 7/2/19
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?
Christian Yelich - This is a bit of a strange 3-Man slate, with only 3 out of tonight's 15 games in play and a couple of the most appealing offensive matchups not available. That has left us with a real lack of top-end plays tonight, making it especially easy to like paying up extra for Yelich here. Of course, Yelich's upside in this spot would be kind of hard to ignore no matter how the slate lined up, taking on Cincinnati Reds and righty Tanner Roark -- who has only managed a 5.00 xFIP against left-handed bats since 2017. Yelich's production likely needs no introduction, but his .481 wOBA and .402 ISO against righties are both the highest marks for any qualifying hitter this year, and his .390 wOBA and .340 ISO against southpaws is nothing to scoff at either.
Aaron Judge - New York Mets righty Zack Wheeler doesn't make for the softest matchup for the New York Yankees, but his 4.04 SIERA also doesn't make him a nightmare matchup. Judge is as dangerous as they come against righties, turning a 46.3% hard-hit and 37.6% fly-ball rate into a .413 wOBA and .307 ISO in the split since 2017 (971 plate appearances), and a matchup with Wheeler doesn't limit his upside too much.
Pete Alonso - On the other side of that game, the Yanks are starting southpaw James Paxton, who has a middling 4.32 xFIP against right-handed hitters in 2019. The rookie Alonso has turned in an elite .409 wOBA and .350 ISO on the year, and that's now held up over a big 355 plate appearance sample. He showed elite power in the minors too, with a .399 wOBA and .329 in Triple-A and .445 wOBA and .259 ISO in Double-A in 2018.
Yasiel Puig - Our models have Puig tied for the highest home run projection (0.28) on the slate, which should immediately catch your eye with only a $2 price-tag. Puig's only managed a .310 wOBA this season, but even still he's sporting a solid .218 ISO, giving him a mark above .200 for the third straight season. He doesn't have the platoon advantage tonight against Milwaukee Brewers righty Chase Anderson, but Anderson has only managed a 4.37 SIERA on the year (giving up a 4.34 career-average), and Puig has been terrific in same-sided matchups, with a .363 wOBA and .253 ISO since 2017.
Brandon Lowe - Like Puig, our projections suggest Lowe has no business being priced at only $2 tonight -- projecting him for the second-highest fantasy score of anyone on the slate. Lowe ranks in the top 7% of hitters in barrel rate (14.5%) while sporting a strong 90.0 mile-per-hour average exit velocity in 2019, per Baseball Savant, and he's turned that contact into a .351 wOBA and powerful .239 ISO. Those numbers jump to a .366 wOBA and .258 ISO against right-handed pitching, making him especially easy to like against Baltimore Orioles righty Asher Wojciechowski, who has only managed a 5.51 xFIP across 84 2/3 Triple-A innings in 2019.
Tommy Pham - Projected only one spot behind Lowe, Pham also stands to benefit from this dreamy matchup against Wojciechowski, who hasn't pitched a major league inning since 2017, when he turned in a 4.91 xFIP across 25 games. Pham ranks in the top 7% of hitters in average exit velocity for the second consecutive season, and he's shown plenty of power in same-sided matchups with a .206 ISO and .364 wOBA over his career.
Eric Thames - A mainstay of the $1 section when the Brewers are included on 3-Man slates, Thames gets the same juicy matchup that Yelich does against Tanner Roark and his weak numbers against left-handed bats. Since returning to the majors in 2017 Thames has a terrific .374 wOBA and .279 ISO against right-handed pitching, and his upside is tough to ignore at $1.
Ji-Man Choi - Just going off our models, Choi looks like a near must-play tonight. We project him for the sixth-most fantasy points and the fifth-most home runs on the slate, while there are 33 bats priced ahead of him. He's another Tampa Bay hitter, which means he too stands to benefit from the same plus pitching matchup that Lowe and Pham do as well. Choi tends to need the platoon advantage to do real damage, but he gets that tonight, and against right-handed pitching, he has turned in a terrific .371 wOBA and .227 ISO across 436 plate appearances since 2017.
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.