3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 7/16/19
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.
Walker Buehler, P, Los Angeles Dodgers ($10,000)
There's a real lack of top-end pitching tonight, especially considering there are 15 games on the slate. Walker Buehler is the highest-priced arm in action, and he's well worth paying up for.
Oddsmakers are calling for a ton of offense across the board today, and while the Philadelphia Phillies' 4.09-run implied total may not seem especially low, it's the third-lowest on the slate. The Los Angeles Dodgers are also -194 moneyline favorites, putting them right at the top of the heap on a slate with no favorite bigger than -200.
Buehler's 27.4% strikeout rate ranks third among pitchers on the slate with at least 15 innings under their belt in 2019, and his 3.49 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) is the best in that group. The only pitcher with a similar statistical case for being the top play tonight is Brandon Woodruff, who has a 28.8% strikeout rate and 3.54 SIERA, but he draws a much tougher matchup against the Atlanta Braves. The Phillies, on the other hand, strike out at an above-average 23.0% rate against right-handed pitching while sitting 17th with a 91 wRC+.
Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies ($4,600)
It's never a surprise that Nolan Arenado is in play when he's hitting against a southpaw at home. Tonight's spot, though, is even better than that situation usually is for Arenado.
The Colorado Rockies have a massive 7.40-run implied total, while nobody else has a mark higher than 6.60 (the opposing San Francisco Giants, thanks to this game's massive 14.0-run over/under). The Giants are starting Drew Pomeranz, who has followed last year's 5.10 SIERA with a still-shaky 4.60 SIERA so far in 2019. He's giving up a 37.1% hard-hit rate and 36.0% fly-ball rate, which is especially worrying at Coors Field, and his 4.93 xFIP against right-handed bats is right in line with last year's 5.09.
Arenado's chops in this split don't need much introduction. In 239 plate appearances at home against lefties since 2017, he has produced an almost unbelievable .535 wOBA and .427 ISO.
Trevor Story, SS, Colorado Rockies ($4,700)
Trevor Story gets the same juicy spot with the platoon advantage that Arenado does, and while Story doesn't quite obliterate southpaws at Arenado's levels, he's less susceptible to a drop-off in a same-sided matchup later on in the game.
Since 2018, Story has a 42.9% hard-hit rate and 42.9% fly-ball rate against right-handed pitching, compared to a 40.0% hard-hit rate and 39.4% fly-ball rate for Arenado. That's not a huge difference, but it has translated to a .364 wOBA and .258 ISO for Story, compared to .351 and .219 clips for Arenado.
At Coors Field, Story's production jumps to a .403 wOBA and .326 ISO against righties in that time. When he has the platoon advantage, things get even better, with a .458 wOBA and .393 ISO.
The Rockies' offense is easily the most appealing lineup on the slate, and doubling down with their expensive hitters is an easy path to massive 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.