FanDuel MLB 3-Man Challenge Helper: Tuesday 6/4/19
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?
Anthony Rizzo - Rizzo and the Cubs host the Rockies, who are putting Jeff Hoffman on the mound. Hoffman owns a career 4.97 SIERA and 17.8% strikeout rate. He lets up a 34.6% hard-hit rate to lefties and 33.5% against righties. Really, all the Cubs are in play, and numberFire projects Javier Baez to lead the slate in 3-Man Challenge points. Rizzo has the best expected slugging percentage of all Cubs (.566). Baez is close behind (.524). Either way, you'll probably want to consider some Cubs exposure against Hoffman, especially with wind favorable for hitters tonight.
J.D. Martinez - Martinez and the Boston Red Sox have the second-highest implied run total tonight (5.62, trailing only the Cubs' 6.13) against Glenn Sparkman. Martinez has a 44.5% hard-hit rate and a .153 ISO against righties this season, but his expected slugging percentage shows some poor luck in that department (he's 54th in slugging but 7th in expected slugging). Sparkman has given up a .250 isolated slugging to lefties this year and a 44.4% hard-hit rate. Mookie Betts and the rest of the Red Sox studs deserve consideration, as well.
Christian Yelich - Yelich is the second-most likely batter on the 3-Man Challenge slate to go yard, per numberFire's projections, and that makes sense against his former team and starter Pablo Lopez. Yelich has an insane .488 ISO against righties over his last 100 plate appearances, via DailyRoto. He does rank second in the bigs in slugging percentage (.719) but is actually over-performing there with an expected slugging of .649, still good enough to rank him fifth. The Miami Marlins lack a deep bullpen (10th-worst in SIERA), and the Brewers have a sturdy 5.13 implied run total tonight.
Mike Moustakas - Sticking with Milwaukee lefties, Moustakas has posted a .342 isolated slugging against right-handed pitching this season, and among hitters on the 3-Man Challenge slate, he's the most likely to dong, via numberFire's projections. Pablo Lopez has given up a 36.3% hard-hit rate to lefties, and we're getting good value on Moustakas for just $2, especially as he's slated to hit fourth.
Trey Mancini and Renato Nunez - The Baltimore Orioles' righties (we can include Jonathan Villar, though he could be leading off, and that's not particularly good for this game style) offer up some mid-range value against Drew Smyly tonight. Smyly has been giving up boatloads of hard contact, and both Mancini (.527) and Nunez (.525) have great expected slugging numbers. The numberFire algorithm loves the Orioles' $2 bats.
Eugenio Suarez - Suarez draws a matchup with righty Genesis Cabrera, who has faced just 18 big-league batters this season. He posted a 6.32 xFIP at the AAA level this year, and Suarez owns a .292 ISO against lefties this season. Nothing suggests avoiding Cabrera, especially when Suarez is slated to hit third against a pitcher who can give up hard contact and walks, presenting him with RBI opportunity from the get-go.
Yasiel Puig - Puig should hit fifth against Genesis Cabrera, and he's the top-projected value play in the 3-Man Challenge format tonight. Puig boasts a .188 ISO and just a 23.7% hard hit rate against lefties this season, but he's got a slugging percentage (.376) well behind his expected slugging (.450). Jesse Winker is also in play for Cincy.
Danny Santana - Santana and the Texas Rangers have value of their own. It's not all about Baltimore in that game. Santana grades out second in value, per numberFire's projections. The number-two hitter for Texas, Santana owns a 45.8% hard-hit rate and a .194 ISO against righties this season. Dylan Bundy is no slouch, but Santana offers power in a solid hitting environment.
Curtis Granderson - Granderson as a lead-off man is devalued in this game style, but when in doubt, seek the home-run upside. Granderson has a 48.0% fly-ball rate and a .178 ISO against righties this season and is actually fourth overall in home run odds, based on numberFire's projections. Chase Anderson has faced only 66 lefties this season but has allowed results in the form of a .233 ISO. Dating back to the start of last season, he has given up a 42.1% fly-ball rate and a 34.7% hard-hit rate to lefties.