3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/15/19
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.
Sonny Gray, P, Cincinnati Reds ($9,800)
All offseason, the potential reuniting of Sonny Gray and former Vanderbilt pitching coach/guru Derek Johnson was hopefully going to reinvigorate the right-hander. I'm not exactly sure what the connection is, but Gray has certainly been a boss in 2019.
Let's start with the season-long numbers -- they rank only 24th in team wOBA and 25th in isolated power (.162, ISO). That implies that the Cardinals are only pretty bad. After a great first month, the numbers are a downright disaster. They rank fourth-worst in team wOBA (.296), fifth-worst in ISO (.154), and they have whiffed at a 23.0% rate.
Strong favorites (moneyline -152) tonight, bank on a big night from Gray.
Aristides Aquino, OF, Cincinnati Reds ($4,100)
In a season of a pile of great rookie stories, the next one up is Aristides Aquino of the Cincinnati Reds who's been bashing baseballs over the place. He could be lined up to have an even bigger night tonight.
Tonight, Aquino gets to square off with Michael Wacha, who's been awful in 2019. Right-handers have been a particular problem, bopping him for a .591 slugging percentage and .403 wOBA over 250 plate appearances.
Aquino has been great against all pitching, and namely against right-handers, he owns a 199 wRC+ and 61.9% fly-ball rate. It's been a sample size, but he's been so red-hot, he can't be ignored, especially tonight against Wacha.
Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves ($4,300)
The NL East has gotten a little more interesting, especially with the recent surge by the New York Mets led by their pitching staff, including newly acquired Marcus Stroman. He will take the ball tonight and has a tall task against an impressive Atlanta Braves offense.
He will need to improve quite significantly against left-handed batters, as that's been a problem child for him this year. In 278 total batters faced, Stroman has allowed a .442 slugging percentage, including a 16.9% strikeout rate.
While Freddie Freeman smashes all pitching, he's even better with the platoon advantage -- including a 1.018 OPS and .591 slugging percentage against righties this year. If you can afford Freeman, he should be primed for a monster day.
Matt Kupferle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matt Kupferle also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username MKupferle. 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.