FanDuel MLB 3-Man Challenge Helper: Tuesday 7/30/19
Sometimes, you just don't have time to track the weather, check the splits, and wait for the batting order to be posted to build a full nine-man FanDuel MLB roster. It happens. But that no longer means you can't build some lineups, thanks to FanDuel's MLB 3-Man Challenge game style.
The premise is simple: build a three-player roster for a $7 salary cap, and only hits and RBI count toward netting FanDuel points. One player is your MVP, and his points are multiplied by 1.5, and you just need to roster players from at least two different teams. That more or less covers it, but you should familiarize yourself with the basic strategy for the new game style to help you in tonight's marquee 3-Man Challenge contest.
That being said, which options stand out at each price range for today's 3-Man Challenge slate?
Nelson Cruz - This is a relatively weak 3-Man slate as far as top-priced options go, and if you're paying up as high as $4 you're going to want to maximize your chances at a multi-home run game. And that's what Cruz gives you. Per Baseball Savant, Cruz ranks no worse than the 98th percentile in any of average exit velocity, hard-hit rate, expected wOBA or expected slugging percentage. He is absolutely obliterating baseballs, and his .321 ISO is good for the sixth-highest in the majors.
Josh Bell - Priced down from that Cruz tier, our models give Josh Bell the highest home run projection on the slate, though his numbers aren't nearly as gaudy as Cruz's. Still, though, Bell has been outstanding in 2019. His .385 wOBA is nothing to scoff at, and his .307 ISO puts him only one spot behind Cruz, at seventh among qualifying hitters. His matchup tonight is a good one as well, as the switch-hitter will get to take advantage of Tanner Roark's egregious 5.92 xFIP against left-handed bats.
Miguel Sano - Check Sano's status before you lock him in, because he left his last game with a hand injury, but if he plays then he's well worth considering. Sano racked up 3 RBI and 1 home run before leaving that game, and he's up to a .374 wOBA and .332 ISO on a 50.4% hard-hit and 43.7% fly-ball rate on the year. His matchup isn't an overly tough one either, as Miami Marlins righty Zac Gallen has only managed a 4.50 SIERA in six career major league games, giving up 37.0% hard-hits and 41.1% fly-balls.
Bryan Reynolds - Our projections really reflect the slate's lack of top-heavy appeal, as our highest-projected fantasy score belongs to the $2 Bryan Reynolds. Reynolds needed only 57 Triple-A plate appearances before getting called up this year, thanks to an absurd .483 wOBA and .367 ISO. He hasn't quite produced at that clip in the bigs, but a .383 wOBA and .181 ISO on 46.8% hard-hits isn't exactly something to scoff at. Like Bell, being a switch-hitter puts him in an ideal spot to make the most of this juicy matchup against Tanner Roark.
Yasiel Puig - The Cincinnati Reds' 5.11-run implied total is the highest on this slate, so it's easy to like getting their top-projected hitter for only $2. Puig hasn't been consistent from the dish in 2019, but his .225 ISO is right in line with his .227 and .224 from the last two seasons, and he's paired a 37.2% hard-hit rate with a 45.1% fly-ball rate.
Starling Marte - Tanner Roark may not be as bad in same-sided matchups as he is against lefties, but he's still giving up a career-high 35.6% hard-hit rate with a career-low 16.9% soft-hit rate against right-handed hitters in 2019. Marte has also been terrific in righty-versus-righty matchups in 2019, turning in a .366 wOBA and .214 ISO on 38.2% hard-hits.
Joey Votto - Joey Votto's 2019 numbers aren't exactly the kind we typically like to target. He has only managed a .324 wOBA and .134 ISO. There are a few things still working in his favor, though. He's making great contact (38.9% hard-hits, 10.2% soft-hits, 38.9% fly-balls), and those numbers have been slightly better against righties (40.5%, 10.0% and 39.1%, respectively). Against Pittsburgh Pirates righty Joe Musgrove, who has a 40.2% hard-hit rate and 4.59 xFIP against left-handed bats, contact like that still gives Votto some power upside tonight.
Corey Dickerson - Back to picking on Roark with left-handed hitters, our models project Dickerson for the top fantasy scorer among $1 bats tonight. He's put up a 36.1% hard-hit and 39.5% fly-ball rate against right-handed pitching this year, which has translated to a .368 wOBA and .221 ISO. Be sure to double-check that he's in the starting lineup though -- he's missed a couple of days with a groin injury but hopes to play tonight.
Jesse Winker - In that same appealing spot as Votto, Winker is our second-highest projected $1 hitter tonight. There's plenty of risk in playing Winker on any given night because his value disappears if a southpaw comes in the game, but he starts out in a great spot against Musgrove. Winker has looked completely inept against left-handed pitching in 2019, but against righties, he's racked up a .361 wOBA and .236 ISO on 42.3% hard-hits.
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.