3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 7/22/19
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.
Gerrit Cole, P, Houston Astros ($11,700)
Gerrit Cole seemed like an easy fade in his last start, and all he did was go out and fan 11 while allowing 1 earned run against the offense with the MLB's lowest strikeout rate. That gives him double-digit strikeouts in three of his last four games, with a total of 43 punchouts in that stretch.
Cole's 37.5% strikeout rate on the year is the highest among qualifying pitchers, with nobody else coming within even 2.0 percentage points of him. His 2.84 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) is also the best in the group, with only two others owning a mark better than even 3.20. There isn't a more effective starter in baseball right now -- from either a real-world or fantasy baseball standpoint.
He draws another stiff test in this one, as the Oakland Athletics boast an above-average 102 wRC+ against right-handed pitching this season. Their 21.0% strikeout rate in the split is also quite a low mark, but it also sits over 2 percentage points higher than the Angels, who Cole just cooked 61 FanDuel points.
Aaron Judge, Of, New York Yankees ($4,700)
The New York Yankees offense is back to being one of the most dangerous in the majors, and tonight that's reflected by a slate-high 5.59-run implied total against southpaw Martin Perez and the Minnesota Twins.
One of the biggest driving factors of the Yankees' offensive success has been the return of Aaron Judge, who missed a couple of months earlier this season. He's up to 187 plate appearances now though, and his .403 wOBA is right in line with his .403 career-average. His ISO is down slightly (to a still-strong .245), but we can expect that to increase as we move forward, considering his career-best marks in both hard-hit (56.3%) and soft-hit (7.3%) rates.
Perez also makes for an outstanding matchup here, sporting a weak 4.73 SIERA on the year. He finished with marks worse than 5.00 in each of the last three seasons and has a career-average of 4.75, so these struggles aren't exactly surprising, either.
Christian Yelich, OF, Milwaukee Brewers ($4,900)
Sure, Christian Yelich is the most expensive hitter on the slate, but it's for good reason. Nobody has hit right-handed pitching nearly as well as he has in 2019. His .494 wOBA and .415 ISO both rank first among qualifying hitters in the split, with the second-place marks sitting at .466 and .396, respectively.
Per Baseball Savant, Yelich also boasts both the third-highest expected slugging percentage and third-highest expected wOBA among hitters with at least 100 plate appearances on the year. His 53.7% hard-hit and 38.2% fly-ball rates back up that terrific production.
He doesn't have the easiest matchup in the world tonight, taking on Cincinnati Reds righty Sonny Gray. Gray's strong 3.76 SIERA doesn't come without holes though. He's allowed a 40.9% hard-hit rate to left-handed hitters in 2019, and while he hasn't conceded a ton of production in the split, he's benefiting from an unsustainably low .255 BABIP. You can't afford to give up a ton of hard contact to Christian Yelich, and he has the potential to make Gray pay tonight.
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.