3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on Opening Day
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 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.
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 Bieber, P, Cleveland Indians ($11,500)
One of the coolest things about Opening Day (and there are many) is that we get a ton of aces on the slate. American League Cy Young award winner Shane Bieber will try to repeat his exorbitant success of 2020, and he gets a juicy matchup to start the year.
The Detroit Tigers were one of the league's worst offenses a season ago, and aside from Robbie Grossman, who will likely man the leadoff spot, there weren't a ton of major offseason acquisitions for the Tigers. They sported easily the league's worst strikeout rate (27.3%), including a dreadful .152 isolated power (ISO) mark.
Not a Belieber? You should be. The righty laid waste to foes with 122 strikeouts across 77 1/3 innings, and he should be ready to dominate the Tigers' offense. The salary is way up there, but we have Bieber projected for a slate-high 45.1 FanDuel points.
Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers ($4,500)
Fresh off of a monster 2020 season, Corey Seager has been straight cookin' this spring training. Seager blasted his way to eight home runs in spring training, and since it's Opening Day, perhaps Seager isn't being charged with the typical Denver tax most hitters get.
One thing is for sure -- the opposing starter for the Colorado Rockies, German Marquez, has really struggled at higher altitude. For his career, while has sparkled with a 3.51 ERA and 23.2% strikeout rate on the road, the right-hander has been bombed for a 1.32 home runs per nine innings and a 5.11 ERA at Coors. Ouch.
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees ($4,000)
In 2020, Judge racked up a 50.0% hard-hit rate and .383 wOBA against southpaws. In 2019, he finished with a .459 wOBA and 60.6% hard-hit rate in 122 plate appearances in the split. Judge has also been much better at home in his career, sporting a .447 wOBA at Yankee Stadium, compared to a .346 wOBA on the road. Today's clash is in the Bronx.
Our model has Judge as the slate's fourth-best bat -- second-best non-Dodgers stick -- and he's a superb option on Opening Day.
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.