3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 7/5/19

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.

Jacob deGrom, P, New York Mets ($10,700)

The most statistically impressive pitcher on the slate, Justin Verlander, draws one of the worst matchups possible tonight against an Angels team that has the lowest strikeout rate in the MLB against righties (17.3% for their active roster) and that has only allowed opposing pitchers to crack 50 FanDuel points once this entire year (and that was against a southpaw).

Jacob deGrom's numbers don't trail far behind Verlander's though. His strikeout rate comes within 2% of Verlander (30.3% compared to 32.1%), and his 3.36 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) barely misses Verlander's 3.31. The only other pitcher on the slate with numbers in that neighborhood is Noe Ramirez, who hasn't even pitched 50 innings yet on the year and faces down an also-terrible matchup against the Houston Astros.

The Philadelphia Phillies don't make for an overly tough matchup for deGrom. Their active roster has a middling 99 wRC+ against right-handed pitching while striking out at a top-12 rate (22.7%) this season.

Our models are on board with deGrom as well, projecting him for a full 5 fantasy points more than any other hurler on the slate.

J.D. Martinez, OF, Boston Red Sox ($4,400)

Martinez has silly power against pitchers of either handedness, but it's a nice boost to get him against a southpaw tonight.

Per Baseball Savant, Martinez ranks in the top 3% of hitters in both expected wOBA and expected slugging percentage. He also ranked in the top 1% of both of those categories in 2018. Even with the incredible contact we're used to seeing out of him, a 45.7% hard-hit rate (second-highest of his career) and 8.6% soft-hit rate (lowest of his career) on a 38.0% fly-ball rate is crazy-good.

For as productive as he is in same-sided matchups, he has an especially staggering .470 wOBA and .379 ISO over 331 plate appearances against southpaws since 2017. Detroit Tigers lefty Gregory Soto looks likely to start tonight and he owns a 6.33 xFIP across 21 1/3 career major league innings, and he notched a worrying 4.67 across his 20 1/3 career Triple-A innings as well. That makes this an especially great spot for Martinez.

Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals ($4,400)

The Washington Nationals are showing a slate-high 5.92-run implied total in Friday's matchup with righty Brad Keller and the Kansas City Royals.

Keller showed some promise as a rookie in 2018, but his 4.51 SIERA showed he wasn't pitching nearly as well as his 3.08 ERA might have suggested. He's also been worse in just about every area in 2019, with his SIERA up to 5.39, his strikeout rate down to 16.3% and his walk rate up to 10.9%. He's also giving up a higher hard-hit rate (38.2%), higher fly-ball rate (26.8%) and lower soft-hit rate (14.5%) than he did in 2018.

Rendon ranks 5th among qualifying hitters in expected slugging percentage and 3rd in expected wOBA on the year, and even against right-handed pitching his .632 expected slugging is good for 6th among hitters with at least 50 at-bats in the split.

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.