3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 7/26/19
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.
Zack Greinke, P, Arizona Diamondbacks ($10,200)
This may not be the Zack Greinke of old, but 2019 has still been a great season for the 35-year-old righty.
Greinke's 3.84 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) is worse than he's posted since 2016, but it's still strong enough to make him one of only 20 qualifying pitchers with a mark better than 4.00 on the year. His 23.7% strikeout rate isn't anything special, but he pairs that with a super-low 3.3% walk rate, and he's one of only 18 qualifying pitchers with a strikeout rate at least 20 percentage points higher than their walk rate.
Those numbers are more than strong enough to allow Greinke to take advantage of the Miami Marlins matchup that we've been exploiting all season.
The Marlins' 75 wRC+ against righties is the second-worst in the majors, and they pair that with the MLB's fifth-highest strikeout rate (25.5%) in the split. The Arizona Diamondbacks (-186 moneyline) are the second-biggest favorites on the slate, and the Marlins' 3.26-run implied total is 0.39 runs lower than anyone else's on Friday's main slate.
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees ($4,700)
Just because Andrew Cashner is no longer backed up by the terrible Baltimore Orioles bullpen doesn't mean he's no longer a pitcher to pick on.
Member of the Boston Red Sox or not, Cashner is still on pace for his third consecutive season with a SIERA worse than 5.00 while he's also giving up a career-high 36.4% hard-hit rate in 2019. Same-sided matchups don't make him look any better, either, with a 5.06 xFIP in that split since 2017.
No stranger to mashing in same-sided matchups, Aaron Judge's righty-versus-righty splits are nasty. Over his career, he's cracked righties for a 47.3% hard-hit and 37.8% fly-ball rate, which has translated to a .403 wOBA and .292 ISO. Since his major league debut season in 2016, no hitter with at least 200 batted-balls against righties has a higher average exit velocity in the split than Judge.
Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels ($5,000)
Mike Trout doesn't bring the same raw power that Judge does, but that makes him no less of a phenomenal fantasy option. Per Baseball Savant, Trout leads all hitters with at least 100 batted balls in expected wOBA this season. His .475 mark absolutely crushes the next-best mark of .457. The gap between Trout and the field is smaller in expected slugging percentage, but at .683 he also boasts the highest mark among qualifying hitters in that stat.
Like Judge, same-sided matchups don't phase Trout at all. He ranks second among qualifying hitters in both wOBA (.460) and ISO (.393) across 299 plate appearances in the split in 2019.
His matchup today is a soft one, too, as the Los Angeles Angels have the day's second-highest implied total (5.53 runs) in a matchup against Asher Wojciechowski and the Orioles. The relievers on Baltimore's active roster have the second-worst xFIP in the majors (4.91), and considering Wojciechowski's 42.6% hard-hit and 53.7% fly-ball rates allowed in 2019, it might not be long before they're forced to roll with some of those relief options.
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.