3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/14/19

Mike Trout has been absurd this season, and he's got another insane matchup tonight with Chris Archer. Which other top plays should we consider?

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.

Clayton Kershaw, P, Los Angeles Dodgers ($12,000)

It's sad to think that vintage Clayton Kershaw likely will no longer return to us. The 30-plus percent strikeout rate years -- combined with virtually untouchable stuff -- have not surfaced since the 2017 campaign.

However, ignoring Kershaw as a fantasy asset would also be a mistake. He's been pretty darn good this season over 130 frames, recording a 25.4% strikeout rate, 5.4% walk rate, and 32.4% fly-ball rate.

For DFS purposes, his matchup tonight is about as good as it gets -- the moribund Miami Marlins offense, which ranks at the bottom of nearly every key category, and they still manage to clock in eighth-worst in team strikeout rate (24.2%).

On an abbreviated main slate, Kershaw is definitely worth paying up for tonight.

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

Empty your bank accounts. Hide your significant others, children, and pets. Mike Trout is coming to mash baseballs off of Chris Archer tonight.

Archer has been a confounding asset of the fantasy community -- he continues to post outstanding swing-and-miss rates, such as a 26.3% strikeout rate and 12.7% swinging-strike rate. It makes you want to invest in the hurler.

But just like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, there's an evil side to this pitcher. He walks too many batters (10.6%). The batted-ball profile is really ugly with a 39.5% hard-hit rate and 40.5% fly-ball rate. It's unsurprising that he has allowed 1.98 home runs per nine (HR/9) innings pitched.

But perhaps the most damning evidence tonight is that Archer has been truly horrific outside of Pittsburgh this year. He has posted a .493 slugging percentage, 6.66 ERA, 4.94 FIP, and 47.0% fly-ball rate outside of his home stadium. And he travels to Anaheim, which ranks 8th in park factor and 10th in home run factor this season, according to ESPN.

Keep it simple, and play Mike Trout tonight at his expensive cost.

Cody Bellinger, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers ($4,600)

After last night's 15-1 rout of the Marlins, it's no surprise that like Kershaw, Dodgers hitters will be in high demand on Wednesday's main slate. Despite that pitcher-friendly park, the boys in blue have enjoyed their trip to South Beach by obliterating Jordan Yamamoto.

Tonight, lefty hitters like Cody Bellinger (and Joc Pederson) are ones we want to target, mostly due to the struggles of hurler Elieser Hernandez. In facing 82 batters from that side of plate, the righty has allowed 11 extra-base hits, including six home runs, which translates to a .611 slugging percentage. He's also struck out only 17.1% of hitters while doling out free passes 12.2% of the time.

That's a scary proposition against a hitter like Bellinger, who's now homered in back-to-back contests and owns a .667 slugging percentage, 1.080 OPS, and 25 home runs over 279 at-bats against righties in 2019.

Pay up for Bellinger and don't look back.

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.