3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 7/15/19
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.
James Paxton, P, New York Yankees ($9,000)
We're not short on strong pitchers in play tonight, but matchups make this a tough pitching slate to tackle. Blake Snell may be the most exciting of today's hurlers in a vacuum, but once we factor in matchups it's more appealing to go to Snell's opponent and play New York Yankees southpaw James Paxton.
Paxton's 28.9% strikeout rate ranks third among tonight's pitchers who have at least five starts in 2019, and his 3.98 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) ranks fifth in the group.
He's been a high-variance fantasy option this year, and he's failed to return even five fantasy points twice in his last six starts. He makes up for those duds with a huge ceiling, though, and he's one of only six pitchers to have hit 70 FanDuel points in a game in 2019.
Tonight's matchup with the Tampa Bay Rays makes a big game a lot more likely than a bust as well. The Rays don't threaten a ton of power against southpaws, ranking only 25th with a .148 ISO, and their big 26.0% strikeout rate is tied as the MLB's second-highest in the split.
Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies ($4,800)
The second half of today's doubleheader between the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies is on the main slate, and it's easy to like the Rockies' offense in a Coors Field matchup against San Francisco righty Dereck Rodriguez.
The Colorado offense never needs much help from their pitching matchups at Coors, but Rodriguez and his career 4.89 SIERA, 41.6% hard-hit rate and 35.6% fly-ball rate give their upside a nice boost tonight. He has an especially tough time with left-handed bats, sporting a career 5.07 xFIP with his fly-ball rate jumping to 38.6%, making this a particularly great spot for Charlie Blackmon.
Blackmon's massive ceiling against righties at Coors isn't exactly a new phenomenon, but that doesn't make it any less worth targeting.
His .587 wOBA and .512 ISO in the split this season may not be sustainable (those numbers come over only 95 plate appearances), but even if we extend our view back to 2017 (545 plate appearances) we see a hard-to-match .482 wOBA and .363 ISO.
J.D. Martinez, OF, Boston Red Sox ($4,000)
Getting a significant discount from Blackmon, J.D. Martinez offers a ton of upside as well.
His production is down this year, but a .372 wOBA and .236 ISO are still nothing to scoff at. His 19.6% home run-to-fly-ball rate is also below his career average and almost 10 percentage points lower than he's posted in either of the last two years, despite his contact numbers being as good as ever, so there's some room for regression to lift his production even higher.
He's pairing the second-highest hard-hit rate of his career (45.6%) with his lowest soft-hit rate (9.3%), and per Baseball Savant, he still ranks inside the top 2% of hitters in expected wOBA.
He also gets a nice boost from tonight's matchup, taking on righty Trent Thornton and the Toronto Blue Jays. Thornton has only managed a 4.75 SIERA over 19 games in his rookie season, and the 36.2% hard-hit and 39.0% fly-ball rate he's allowing leave him susceptible to the kind of contact that gives Martinez his upside.
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.