3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 6/19/19

The forecast calls for another hot night in Texas, and Cleveland should generate plenty of offense against young lefty Joe Palumbo. Does that make Carlos Santana a must-play?

Just like in other sports, the focal point of your daily fantasy baseball lineups will be your high-priced 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 pitcher, by far the highest floors for production.

For hitters, we're looking for guys with big numbers, strong matchups, and with players around them that are likely to produce well too, 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.

Taking up so much salary, and playing such a big role in your lineup's ceiling, you're not going to want to whiff on these guys, so lets take a look at a few top-end options that you can count on to anchor your lineup today.

Rich Hill, P, Los Angeles Dodgers ($9,600)

Betting odds for all of tonight's games aren't out as of Wednesday morning, but it's hard to imagine anyone ending up with odds significantly more favorable than Hill and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who sit as big -250 favorites, while the lowly San Francisco Giants offense has a 3.20-run implied total.

Picking on San Fran is hardly a new approach to finding DFS pitching options, but it's been an incredibly effective one. The Giants rank 29th in the majors in both wOBA (.282) and ISO (.141), their 74 wRC+ ranks dead last, and their 23.7% strikeout rate is tied for the ninth-highest. If we just look at their work against southpaws, that rate climbs slightly to 24.0%, while their wRC+ plummets to 66.

Even at 39 years old, Rich Hill has looked very solid through nine games in 2019. His 3.53 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) is actually a slight improvement from what he's posted over the last two years (3.61 and 3.57), and his 27.6% strikeout rate is right in line with his 27.4% from 2018.

Dodgers hurlers often come with some pitch count concerns, but Hill's leash hasn't been especially short, throwing at least 90 in each of his last five starts, with a couple of games in the triple-digits in that stretch. He notched no fewer than 33 FanDuel points in any of those five games, topping 40 three times and averaging 41.6 per.

Our models project him for both the highest strikeout total and highest fantasy score of any pitcher in action on the main slate.

Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels ($4,700)

As always, 2019 finds Mike Trout in some truly elite company with his production. His .442 wOBA puts him third among qualifying hitters, and this follows a 2018 season that saw him rank second (.447) and a 2017 season that saw him rank first (.437). Over those three seasons combined, his .442 wOBA blows away the only other two marks that come in above .400 (.412 and .418). His .323 ISO in that time is also the best in the majors.

There's no more consistently outstanding offensive player than Trout, so when the Los Angeles Angels boast a hefty implied total like they do tonight (5.45 runs) in a great matchup against Toronto Blue Jays' righty Aaron Sanchez, he's really tough to fade.

The once-promising Sanchez returned from an injury-plagued 2017 campaign to only post a 5.10 SIERA in 2018, and this year that has actually climbed to an ugly 5.32. He's walking 12.6% of the batters he's facing, and even same-sided matchups have seen him get blown up for a .360 wOBA and egregious 5.74 xFIP.

Carlos Santana, 1B, Cleveland Indians ($3,900)

Even with his dreamy matchup, Trout actually isn't our top-projected fantasy bat for the day. That honor belongs to Carlos Santana, as the Cleveland Indians get another game at Globe Life Park, this time with the Texas Rangers' starting lefty Joe Palumbo. Like last night, the forecast looks like a good one for hitters, calling for 93-degree heat.

Palumbo jumped right up from Double-A to the majors, and while he did show some promise in his 11 Double-A starts this season, there was still room for concern. A 3.80 xFIP is not a bad mark, but it's also not strong enough for the majors without seeing a similar level of success in Triple-A. He showed great strikeout stuff (30.8% rate) but also had control issues, with an 11.2% walk rate. That's not going to get any better with a step up in competition.

He's only made one major league start so far, but he posted a 4.81 xFIP in that one, giving up 4 earned runs in 4 innings.

The switch-hitting Santana has a massive 53.0% hard-hit and tiny 9.1% soft-hit rate against southpaws this year (99 plate appearances), turning in a solid .362 wOBA while drawing 19.2% walks in the split.

He's been even more productive from the other side of the dish, too, with a .399 wOBA and .295 ISO on a 45.3% hard-hit and 43.1% fly-ball rate against right-handed pitching (207 plate appearances), so his outlook gets even better if Palumbo is replaced by a righty.

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.