3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 7/18/19

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.

Trevor Bauer, P, Cleveland Indians ($10,800)

The Cleveland Indians (-220 moneyline) are the biggest favorites on today's slate by a big margin, and that leaves the lowly Detroit Tigers' offense with a weak 3.53-run implied total.

Some of that comes because the Tigers are just a terrible offensive team -- especially against right-handed pitching. In that split, their 75 wRC+ ranks dead-last in the majors, and they pair that with a 26.1% strikeout rate that ties for the highest in the MLB.

Trevor Bauer is having something of a down year, with his skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) climbing to 4.17, but his 27.4% strikeout rate is still a quality mark. He also carries a ton of fantasy value thanks to an unusually high dose of volume.

Per, Bauer's 112.2 pitches per game are the most in the majors in 2019. No other pitcher is averaging more than 106.7, and only nine others are sitting in triple-digits.

Solid strikeout numbers mixed with huge volume is a great recipe for fantasy upside, and Bauer has topped 50 FanDuel points three times in his last six games, with a pair of games of 60-plus fantasy points in that stretch. It has also been great for his floor, as his 10 games with at least 45 FanDuel points are tied for the third-most such games of any pitcher this year.

The Tigers' strikeout-happy ways should give Bauer a nice boost on both fronts -- floor and ceiling -- tonight.

Christian Yelich, OF, Milwaukee Brewers ($4,900)

After most of this week's main slates were loaded with high implied totals across the board, things cool down some tonight. As of Thursday morning, there are only three teams implied for better than 5.00 runs, so a 4.72 mark for the Milwaukee Brewers still holds up well.

Their matchup with Arizona Diamondbacks righty Merrill Kelly isn't as tough as it may look on the surface. Kelly's 3.93 ERA is backed up by just a 4.87 SIERA, and he's been cracked for a 42.0% hard-hit rate and 37.0% fly-ball rate. His xFIP climbs to an especially worrying 5.00 against left-handed hitters, and he doesn't pose much of a threat to slow down Christian Yelich.

Yelich leads all qualifying hitters in both wOBA (.488) and ISO (.411) against right-handed pitching this season, with nobody else boasting a wOBA better than .470 or ISO better than .394 in the split.

George Springer, OF, Houston Astros ($4,500)

Los Angeles Angels righty Matt Harvey has an egregious 5.54 SIERA in 2019, which is the worst clip for any pitcher in action on Thursday (main slate or not). He's getting cracked for the highest hard-hit rate (41.6%) and lowest soft-hit rate (10.4%) of his career, and he's posted a 4.99 xFIP in same-sided matchups.

Righty-righty matchups are no trouble for George Springer. His .407 wOBA against righties is tied for the seventh-best among qualifying hitters this season, while his .306 ISO in the split is good for 11th.

There's no over/under set for this game yet, but considering the Houston Astros' 119 wRC+ is the highest in the majors, we can expect them to end up with a huge implied total in a juicy spot against Harvey. Likely batting leadoff, Springer is in an elite spot for turning his production into big fantasy numbers.

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.