3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 5/23/19
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.
Lucas Giolito, P, Chicago White Sox ($8,400)
In case you haven't guessed from the presence of an $8,400 Lucas Giolito being listed as a stud, this slate is all kinds of ugly. We have two games on tap, and neither is projected to be close, with both the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays sitting as -190 favorites.
The Astros are starting Corbin Martin, who has an ugly 7.1% swinging-strike rate after fanning only 23.5% in his 2018 Double-A campaign (21 games), and the Rays will go with a bullpen game, with Ryan Yarbrough and his 20.3% strikeout rate expected to be the long reliever.
So in a rare situation, it's worth paying up for a huge underdog with a shaky implied total tonight -- Giolito and the Chicago White Sox are +164 underdogs and the Astros have a hefty 5.11 implied total. The Astros' offense is one of the most dangerous in baseball, but they do take a hit if George Springer continues to sit after missing three straight games with back stiffness.
Giolito is also turning in a very strong 2019 campaign so far, with a 3.93 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) and 28.6% strikeout rate over eight starts.
There is basically no floor in this spot -- he has a 10.3% walk rate and the Astros are definitely a threat to shell him, but Giolito is the only pitcher on this slate with any sort of strikeout upside (the one I haven't mentioned yet is Adam Plutko, who has a career 18.4% strikeout rate), and that makes him well worth loading up on.
Austin Meadows, OF, Tampa Bay Rays ($4,300)
Speaking of Adam Plutko, he is also the owner of an awful 5.00 SIERA over 20 major league games. Those have come over three seasons, broken up by Triple-A stints, and his 3.56 and 4.79 xFIPs in his last two Triple-A seasons doesn't exactly inspire confidence, either.
He also allows opposing hitters some serious fantasy upside, giving up a 56.4% fly-ball rate in the majors after allowing marks of 53.3% and 47.1% in those last two minor league seasons.
Austin Meadows has been raking this year, turning in a .444 wOBA and .318 ISO over 123 plate appearances, bringing him to a .375 wOBA and .228 ISO over 314 plate appearances in his young major league career. He's also making some terrific contact, with a 40.3% hard-hit rate and 39.4% fly-ball rate, which is exactly what we want to see from a hitter against Plutko tonight.
Brandon Lowe, 2B, Tampa Bay Rays ($3,800)
We get a little loose with the definition of "stud" on this slate, but with the Astros' offense more or less off the table if you're playing Giolito, you're going to want to load up on the Rays, whose 4.83-run implied total is almost a full run higher than the slate's third-best mark.
Lowe's sporting a career .354 wOBA and .242 ISO over 317 plate appearances, and it's no surprise to see him crushing after he posted a wOBA north of .400 at both the Double-A and Triple-A levels in 2018.
Like Meadows, his batted-ball profile is easy to like, with a 41.1% hard-hit and 36.3% fly-ball rate (up to 46.9% and 37.8% so far in 2019), and his production gets a nice bump (career .367 wOBA) against right-handed pitching.
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.