3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/20/19
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.
Shane Bieber, P, Cleveland Indians ($11,000)
When you step back and look at the plethora of aces the Cleveland Indians have had in recent years, it's a bit mind-boggling.
Carlos Carrasco, Corey Kluber, Mike Clevinger, Trevor Bauer, and Shane Bieber could arguably be #1 starters on any team, and that ignores the oft-injured Danny Salazar who has certainly had his moments in the sun.
Bieber gets the ball tonight for Cleveland, and projected as our top scoring pitcher of the day, he looks primed for a big evening. He leads the main slate with a 30.7% strikeout rate, and while he does face a New York Mets offense that has been better as of late, he still ranks in the top five in implied allowed run total.
Always stingy with the walks, notching a career walk rate of 5.0%, Bieber's 14.3% swinging-strike rate has jumped him into the upper echelon of pitchers this year, and his 3.32 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) reflects that.
If you're looking to spend up at pitcher, Bieber is your man.
Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves ($4,200)
The Miami Marlins have made themselves a bit more interesting for the 2020 season with a plethora of solid young arms, and Elieser Hernandez has pitched pretty well in 2019. Unfortunately, he has struggled against left-handed batters, and that makes Freddie Freeman a tantalizing option to consider rostering this year.
In 104 total batters faced, the numbers are grim for the righty -- nine home runs allowed, five doubles, and a triple equating to a .659 slugging percentage and .416 wOBA. The batted-ball profile is pretty ugly, too -- a 48.6% fly-ball rate and 46.6% hard-hit rate on the year.
This year at home, Freeman has continued to beast out -- in 194 plate appearances, he has rocked righties for a 14.4% walk rate, .978 OPS, and 54.3% hard-hit rate.
Spend up for Freeman and don't regret the investment.
J.T. Realmuto, C, Philadelphia Phillies ($4,100)
J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper are heating up at the same time, the Philadelphia Phillies are climbing their way back in the playoff race. The new backstop is certainly a big part of that, and he could continue that hot streak tonight.
With four home runs in his last six games, Realmuto and the large investment made to secure his services may finally be paying off, and facing southpaw Brian Johnson works to his advantage. He owns a .940 OPS and .588 slugging percentage in the split, including 18 extra-base hits.
For Johnson's career, he has been slammed by righty bats -- they have logged a .505 slugging percentage and 40.6% fly-ball rate spanning 527 plate appearances, so peep Realmuto for a top-end option.
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.