3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 7/29/19
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.
Patrick Corbin, P, Washington Nationals ($10,500)
Statistically, there's not a huge gap between the two. Corbin checks in just ahead of Smith with a 3.81 to 3.83 edge in skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), while Smith gets the edge with a 31.0% strikeout rate (to Corbin's 28.5%). Corbin has been a bit more effective limiting walks (7.6% to 8.5%).
With fairly similar numbers across the board, matchup really comes into play here. Both the Arizona Diamondbacks (Smith's opponent) and the Atlanta Braves (Corbin's opponent) have active rosters that come in with marks over 100 in wRC+ against southpaws. Neither one makes for a safe matchup, but the upside available against the Braves is more interesting.
In the split, Atlanta is striking out at the 10th-highest rate in the majors (23.6%), while the D-Backs are striking out at the seventh-lowest rate (20.6%) versus lefties.
Our models also project Corbin ahead of Smith in both fantasy points and strikeouts for the evening.
Cody Bellinger, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers ($4,900)
It's a little bit surprising that we get Cody Bellinger for less than $5,000 tonight -- he's already been priced at $4,700 in three of his last five games, and tonight his Los Angeles Dodgers travel to Coors Field, where they have a slate-high 6.86-run implied total against righty Jon Gray and the Colorado Rockies.
Gray is not a bad pitcher, but a 4.41 SIERA in 2019 isn't exactly an intimidating mark, either. He's also giving up a worrying 43.8% hard-hit rate to southpaws. He does limit fly-balls fairly well, but Bellinger isn't someone who struggles to get the ball in the air against righties.
In that split, Bellinger has an elite 0.66-to-1 groundball-to-fly-ball ratio, turning in 50.7% hard-hits and 41.9% fly-balls. He ranks third in the majors in both wOBA (.443) and ISO (.357) against right-handed pitching in 2019, and that gives him absurd upside when he's up against a right-hander at Coors Field.
Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels ($4,900)
It's an expensive day for stud hitters, but that's because we get two of the most dangerous bats in the majors in two of the best spots on the slate.
Zimmermann has pitched 13 games in 2019, struggling to the tune of a 5.35 SIERA, which puts him on pace to finish with a clip worse than 4.80 for the third time in the last four seasons. Same-sided matchups are no saving grace for him, either, as he's got a brutal 5.42 xFIP against righties this season, getting crushed for a 40.0% hard-hit rate and 39.5% fly-ball rate.
Mike Trout probably doesn't need a ton of introduction, but there really aren't many hitters more well-qualified to beat up on Zimmermann. Per Baseball Savant, Trout leads major league hitters in both expected wOBA and expected slugging percentage this season. Righty-righty matchups don't slow him down as he ranks one spot ahead of Bellinger (second in the majors) in both wOBA (.456) and ISO (.390) against righties.
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.