3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on Thursday 7/1/21

Nolan Arenado will likely see a warm welcome back to Colorado, and he's in a smash spot tonight. Which other high salary players stand out?

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.

Corbin Burnes, SP, Milwaukee Brewers ($10,600)

There's a two-headed monster at the top of the slate, and while many will likely turn to the highest-salaried option, Jacob deGrom, there's a valid case that Corbin Burnes is the better play out of the two.

DeGrom has indeed been excellent, but he has been carefully monitored by the New York Mets since his latest injury scare. He's actually only struck out 10 or more batters in 2 of his last 10 starts.

While Burnes also hasn't enjoyed the absurd level of success that he showed at the beginning of the year, he's still been decent. He has a 1.39 WHIP in the last month, but he's also struck out 34 batters in his last 22 1/3 innings pitched.

Per our projections, Burnes is head and shoulders above the pack tonight -- by nearly five points. Roster him with supreme confidence.

Mookie Betts, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers ($4,000)

When you look at Mookie Betts's season-long numbers, they are a bit of a head-scratcher. The perennial All-Star has recorded only a .249 batting average with a pretty mediocre mark of 10 home runs, which is 6 fewer than he had last year in the shortened season with significantly more plate appearances.

But, a deeper dive shows there's quite a bit to believe in. Betts is still producing a 40.5% hard-hit rate and 42.8% fly-ball rate, which aren't fair off what we've seen from him in recent seasons. And he faces southpaw Patrick Corbin tonight, who's really struggled. In 82 2/3 innings pitched, the veteran lefty has fired his way to a 5.33 ERA, which is supported by a career-worst 8.7% barrel rate.

The Dodgers sport an implied team total of 5.07 runs, so they'll be very popular -- and Betts will probably be in the thick of things.

Nolan Arenado, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals ($4,200)

Typically, revenge is a dish best served cold, and while that may not exactly be applicable for Nolan Arenado -- as he will head back to his old digs in summer temperatures -- he is likely to be laser-focused tonight at Coors Field.

The St. Louis Cardinals boast a slate-best 5.70 implied team total tonight, and we peg the former Rockie as the top play on that stack (13.4 points). While the hurler he is facing tonight, Antonio Senzatela, does a good job keeping the ball in the yard (0.89 home runs per nine), he's allowed a whopping 39.4% hard-hit rate on the year.

For all of those reasons, there's a lot to like about Arenado.

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.