Just like in other sports, the focal point of your daily fantasy baseball lineups will be your high-salary 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 pitchers, the high-salary options typically come with the highest floors, too.
For hitters, we're looking for guys with big numbers, strong matchups, and with players around them that are likely to produce, as well, 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.
With your high-salary picks playing such a big role in your lineup, you need to be right on these guys, so let's take a look at a few top-end options you can count on to anchor your lineup today.
Michael Kopech, SP, Chicago White Sox ($9,500)
This main slate is loaded with some high-salary arms, and it is a tricky one to dissect. Let's dig in.
The top three options on the main slate all seem to be filled with landmines. The most expensive option is Justin Verlander ($10,500), and while he has been brilliant this year, the Toronto Blue Jays are steamrolling opposing pitchers to the tune of a .323 wOBA with only a 23.9% strikeout rate. The second option is Freddy Peralta ($9,900), and he's been battered a bit this year in addition to a matchup with a Philadelphia Phillies team that clocks in fourth in wOBA and lead the league in isolated power (ISO). The next option by salary is Julio Urias ($9,800), who sports an 11.3% walk rate and a .318 wOBA so far in 2022.
Because of all of that, I'm pivoting over to Michael Kopech.
While the young righty is still trying to find his footing a little bit (11.8% swinging-strike rate and 11.8% walk rate), he's got a delightful matchup on tap today. The Minnesota Twins -- who did get Byron Buxton back in the lineup last night -- currently sit seventh-worst in team wOBA (.286) with a hefty 24.7% strikeout rate.
Kopech owns a 32.6% strikeout rate across his career, so he's got the swing-and-miss upside we crave.
We project him as a top-five arm, and he could post a huge score if he's efficient.
Alex Bregman, 3B, Houston Astros ($3,400)
Two of the American League's best teams square off on Friday night, and we could be in for a classic series with the Toronto Blue Jays traveling to Houston to take on the Astros.
While the 'Stros will roll out star veteran Justin Verlander, the Jays will send Ross Stripling to the bump. Historically, same-sided bats have absolutely shredded Stripling, which bodes very well for Alex Bregman. In more than 1,200 batters faced, Stripling has been slammed by righties for a .480 slugging percentage, 1.64 home runs per nine (HR/9), and only a 21.1% strikeout rate.
Houston boasts a hefty 4.73 implied team total, and the matchup is a dream.
Bet on a big night from Bregman, who has a .344 wOBA in this year's small sample.
Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels ($4,000)
What if I told you that the Baltimore Orioles had the sixth-best ERA in major league baseball (2.86) this season? Yes, the Orioles. I know that it may be a little bit hard to believe, and I'm not totally sold that a staff led by Jordan Lyles is likely to maintain this level of output, but it's been an interesting ride so far.
Nonetheless, I am betting on Mike Trout to have a big evening against Bruce Zimmermann. The lefty allowed a .350 wOBA and 1.92 dingers per nine to right-handed hitters in 2021.
Trout is otherworldly against nearly any pitcher, especially a southpaw who struggles like Zimmermann does. Over his career, Trout has a .398 wOBA versus left-handers.
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.