3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/2/19
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.
Lance Lynn, P, Texas Rangers ($10,500)
Let me preface this with the fact that Mike Clevinger ($10,700) has been as studly as can be across nine starts this season. His matchup against the Los Angeles Angels, though, is one that you almost never want to target -- especially with a righty (18.5% strikeout rate and 112 wRC+ for their active roster in the split). Clevinger still carries some intriguing upside, and I wouldn't fault you for rolling the dice in tournaments, but there's just too much risk with that matchup and his small sample size in 2019.
Lynn ranks fourth among tonight's starting pitchers with a respectable 27.2% strikeout rate, and his 5.6% walk rate is the sixth-lowest. That difference of 21.6% is second only to Clevinger. He also sits second on the slate with a 3.75 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA).
The Tigers' active roster strikes out at the highest rate in the majors (26.9%) against right-handed pitching, and their 73 wRC+ ranks dead-last. They don't offer any power threat either, sitting 29th with a .144 team ISO in the split.
Nelson Cruz, OF, Minnesota Twins ($4,500)
At 39-year-old, Nelson Cruz is somehow flashing some of the most impressive power of his career.
He's obviously no stranger to sending the ball deep, with no fewer than 37 home runs in a season since 2013, but this year has been different. His average exit velocity this season (94.2 miles per hour) is the fifth-highest for any player with at least 100 batted balls in any of the last three seasons. His hard-hit rate is up to an absurd 54.6% and his soft-hit rate is down to 10.7% while he's putting up 40.0% fly-balls.
Naturally, this has translated to some huge production. He's flexing a .401 wOBA, and his .320 ISO ranks sixth among qualifying hitters on the year. Only Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger, and Christian Yelich sit ahead of Cruz in both wOBA and ISO.
Friday's matchup is also easy to like for the slugger. The Kansas City Royals will start righty Glenn Sparkman, who has an egregious 5.43 SIERA across 20 games this season (and a 5.21 for his career), while getting blasted for 41.2% hard-hits.
Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies ($4,300)
Coors Field is, of course, by far the most hitter-friendly park in the majors. Anderson is also a hitter-friendly pitcher, owning a weak 5.16 SIERA across 74 2/3 innings pitched at the major league level. He's not shown us anything to get excited about at the Triple-A level either, with a 4.38 xFIP in 35 innings in 2019 and a 4.45 xFIP in 47 1/3 innings in 2018.
Blackmon doesn't even need a great matchup to offer massive upside at Coors against a righty either. He has a comically high .517 wOBA and .443 ISO in 109 such plate appearances this season, and if we expand our sample to the last three years (559 plate appearances) we still see a .471 wOBA and .353 ISO.
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.