3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on Thursday 5/5/22

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.

Shane McClanahan, SP, Tampa Bay Rays ($10,100)

On the main slate, two hurlers top $10,000 -- Logan Webb and Shane McClanahan -- and it's a tough choice between them.

While Webb has been quite solid, I question his upside tonight. The right-hander has logged only a 15.9% strikeout rate on the season, and he faces a St. Louis Cardinals offense that's one of the toughest to strike out in the league (18.8% rate).

You may point out that McClanahan's matchup against isn't much better, and you're right -- he faces a Seattle Mariners team that's posted a 21.5% strikeout rate and .312 wOBA. But the precocious young southpaw has some glowing metrics, including a 39.3% strikeout rate, 56.1% ground-ball rate and 29.8% hard-hit rate.

We project McClanahan for the fourth-best score of the day (30.5 FanDuel points), but we may be selling him short just a bit. He has the strikeout upside we're after and could break the slate.

Kyle Schwarber, OF, Philadelphia Phillies ($3,800)

At a mediocre 11-14 record, the Philadelphia Phillies are off to a pedestrian start. Perhaps a series within their division can get them back on track.

The Phils face the New York Mets' Taijuan Walker, and his 21.7% strikeout rate this season is in line with his career marks. But the right-hander has always struggled against left-handed batters. For his career (more than 1,500 lefties faced), Walker has allowed 1.39 HR/9 and a 38.5% fly-ball rate.

Schwarber is no batting-average maven for his career against righties (.242), but he offers power with a 128 wRC+ and .291 ISO. The Phillies sport one of the best implied totals (4.69 runs) on the slate, making Schwarber a top-notch option.

Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins ($4,100)

Basically matching the Phillies with another high implied total (4.63 runs), the Minnesota Twins boast one of the stronger marks on the day thanks to a matchup with Spenser Watkins of the Baltimore Orioles.

While it hasn't been an overly lengthy major league career for Watkins, what we can clearly draw on is that same-sided batters have absolutely torched him to the tune of a .658 slugging percentage and 2.72 HR/9. Yikes.

Byron Buxton has been a bit banged up this season, but when he's in the lineup, he's an elite option. So far this campaign, Buxton rocks a .710 slugging percentage (not a typo), 40.0% hard-hit rate and 55.0% fly-ball rate.

He's our top-projected bat.


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.