FanDuel MLB 3-Man Challenge Helper: Tuesday 6/18/19
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?
Jason Kipnis - After we got a fairly weak slate yesterday's, today's promises plenty of scoring. The Cleveland Indians look ready to lead the way, and their 5.41-run implied total is the slate's highest by a solid margin. They're up against struggling Texas Rangers righty Adrian Sampson, who has only managed a career 4.59 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) at the major league level. Kipnis has a long track record of power against righties, notching an ISO of at least .230 in each of the last three seasons, and this year he has been particularly good. He's cracked righties for a 47.1% hard-hit and 34.7% fly-ball rate, which has translated into a career-high .383 wOBA and .255 ISO.
Carlos Santana - Globe Life Park is the most hitter-friendly ballpark on the slate (and it's not super close), and it's made an especially promising environment with 92-degree heat in the forecast. The switch-hitting Santana is really getting the best of right-handed pitching this year, with a .398 wOBA and .297 ISO over 204 plate appearances. Success in the split is nothing new, either, and this is his second time with a wOBA of at least .385 and ISO of at least .285 against righties since 2016.
Javier Baez - After breaking out with a .366 wOBA and .264 ISO in 2018, this year has been more of the same for Baez, with a .357 wOBA and .258 ISO over 300 plate appearances. He's making even stronger contact than he did last year, jumping from a 35.8% hard-hit and 19.4% soft-hit rate to a 45.3% hard-hit and 17.7% soft-hit rate, while his fly-ball rate has remained consistent at 32.3%. The Chicago White Sox are starting Ivan Nova tonight, and he's only managed a 4.92 SIERA on the year. Our models give Baez the highest home run projection (0.37) on the slate by a big margin.
Kyle Schwarber - Sticking with the Chicago Cubs' favorable matchup, Schwarber also gets a boost from having the platoon advantage against Nova, who has allowed an absurd .400 wOBA to the 185 left-handed hitters he has faced in 2019. Those struggles are nothing new, as he posted a 5.18 xFIP in the split last year. Schwarber may not offer a high floor or much consistency, with a .330 wOBA on the season, but he also offers plenty of upside. His .237 ISO in 2019 is right in line with his career-average of .241, and his career marks go up to a .353 wOBA and .263 ISO on a 39.7% hard-hit rate and 41.6% fly-ball rate against righties.
Shin-Soo Choo - Great weather in Globe Life isn't just a boon for Cleveland. The underdog Texas Rangers still have a great 5.09-run implied total against Cleveland righty Zach Plesac, who has a 4.27 xFIP over his first four major league starts. Even at 36-years-old, Shin-Soo Choo can still really bring the heat against righties. Over 295 plate appearances in that split, he has a .380 wOBA and .229 ISO on a massive 47.2% hard-hit rate in 2019.
Jose Ramirez - If you don't have room for a $3 Cleveland bat, Ramirez isn't a bad consolation prize. A lowly .226 BABIP (compared to a .286 career-average) and 3.9% HR/FB rate (10.3% career-average) suggests that his 2019 struggles have been largely related to simple bad luck, especially considering his 38.0% hard-hit rate and 46.8% fly-ball rate are both career-bests. He has tagged righties for a .351 wOBA and .201 ISO over his career, and tonight's spot puts him in a great spot to work on breaking out of his 2019 funk.
Ronald Guzman - Back to the other side of that matchup, we give Guzman the highest home run projection for any $1 hitter (and the 7th-highest regardless of price) on the slate. Like Choo, he gets the platoon advantage here, and over 433 career plate appearances, he has turned a 37.1% hard-hit and 40.2% fly-ball rate into a .334 wOBA and .214 ISO against righties.
Jason Kipnis - Surprise, more Cleveland bats worth a look. It doesn't matter what pricing tier you're looking at, it's worth strongly considering the slate's most promising offense. Kipnis is in play more because of this matchup and favorable situation than anything, but he's certainly capable against righties, and he's up above a 35% hard-hit rate in the split for the third time in the last four seasons. Since 2016 he's got a .326 wOBA and .181 ISO in the split, and we project him for the top fantasy scorer among $1 hitters on Tuesday.
Jake Bauers - We project Bauers for 1.1 fantasy point fewer than Kipnis, but his 0.17 home run projection also sits well ahead of Kipnis' 0.13, and it's the second-best for any $1 hitter. The 23-year-old's career production against righties is nothing to write home about (.313 wOBA and .170 ISO), but that comes on a very promising 39.3% hard-hit and 37.0% fly-ball rate -- hence the home run upside here.
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.