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.
Walker Buehler, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers ($10,500)
Thursday's main slate is a doozy -- especially from a pitching perspective. Arms like Shohei Ohtani, Joe Musgrove and Kevin Gausman are all taking the bump, but the arm I like the most is Walker Buehler of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Buehler gets to face the Cincinnati Reds, and while it is still very early in the season, they are really struggling at the plate so far. They rank third-worst in team wOBA (.265), including a poor isolated power (ISO) mark of only .120. They've added a healthy 27.6% strikeout rate.
Another small benefit for Buehler is that he gets to face the Reds at home. He's projected to be our highest-scoring arm on the main slate tonight.
Willson Contreras, C, Chicago Cubs ($3,700)
There's a Coors slate on tap for tonight, and it's definitely an interesting one. Most games have fairly tidy over/under totals tonight, but the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Colorado Rockies has an inflated 11.0 run total, and that's something we want to target.
Southpaw Kyle Freeland takes the mound tonight, and a peek into Freeland's 2021 season showcases why he struggles a bit. Spanning 23 starts and 120 2/3 innings pitched, the lefty recorded a 4.63 FIP, 1.49 home runs per nine innings (HR/9), and only a 20.4% strikeout rate.
Throughout Freeland's career, righties like Willson Contreras have always been a problem. Opposite-handed bats have bopped him for a .340 wOBA and a .452 slugging percentage.
He's a great opportunity to get some exposure to this matchup at a reasonable salary.
Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,300)
Want some exposure to a sneaky good stack today? The Pittsburgh Pirates are running a bit hotter than you may realize.
Joan Adon takes the ball for the Washington Nationals, and while he has an extremely small sample size of 9 2/3 innings for his major league career, it showcases a volatile profile. Perhaps the ugliest metric in his brief career is that he has walked (18.2%) more batters than he has struck out (13.6%). Woof.
And the batted balls? Equally ugly. He's allowed 2.08 HR/9 and induced only a 4.7% swinging-strike rate.
Ke'Bryan Hayes sits firmly in the middle of this Buccos lineup, and their 4.79 implied team total isn't ugly, either. Take them and run with it.
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.