3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 6/20/19

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.

Charlie Morton, P, Tampa Bay Rays ($10,500)

Pitching isn't super exciting on Thursday's 10-game slate, but there's definitely something to be said for paying all the way up for Charlie Morton, who is the only one of the starters on the main slate sporting a strikeout rate north of 30% on the season.

He's also second in the group in skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), with a 3.57 mark that jumps to first if we set a 25-inning minimum cutoff.

This level of success is nothing new for Morton, either. He notched a 3.52 SIERA and 28.9% strikeout rate over 30 games last year, and the increased whiffs in 2019 do look sustainable, backed up by a career-best 13.2% swinging-strike rate.

His matchup tonight isn't anything to write home about, but the Oakland Athletics sit in the middle of the pack in wRC+ (96; 15th) and boast a fairly low implied total of 3.79 runs.

Max Kepler, OF, Minnesota Twins ($4,100)

The Minnesota Twins have a slate-high 5.74-run implied total in tonight's clash with the Kansas City Royals and right-hander Glenn Sparkman.

Sparkman has been terrible through 42 2/3 major league innings this year, posting a 5.23 SIERA, bringing his major league average to 5.01. His last big sample of minor league work was also bad, notching a 4.42 xFIP over 67 1/3 Triple-A innings in 2018. With a career strikeout rate below 14% in the majors, nothing about his game is looking especially promising.

Kepler is having a career year from the dish, with a 44.1% hard-hit rate and a 45.2% fly-ball rate while cutting his ground-ball rate to a career-low 35.7%. That has translated to a big up-tick in production, and he's showing a .383 wOBA and .293 ISO over 295 plate appearances in 2019.

His numbers become especially impressive if we just look at his work against righties, where he's racked up a .393 wOBA and .316 ISO over 220 plate appearances.

Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels ($4,800)

The Toronto Blue Jays, after conceding 11 runs to L.A. last night, are starting southpaw Clayton Richard on Thursday. Richard didn't inspire any confidence with his 4.51 SIERA in 2018, but he's been especially terrible so far in his first year in Toronto, with a higher walk rate (13.7%) than strikeout rate (12.6%) and a 5.97 SIERA over his first five starts.

Mike Trout is obviously as productive as they come, leading the majors in both wOBA (.444) and ISO (.327) dating back to the start of last season, and there may not be anybody more well-equipped to take advantage of a great matchup like this.

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.