3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on Wednesday 5/18/22

George Springer and the Blue Jays have a sublime matchup with a low-whiff lefty tonight. Which other studs are worth their salary?

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, as well, 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.

Gerrit Cole, SP, New York Yankees ($10,600)

When we combine the matchups of all of the top arms plus the excellence of these hurlers, there is no one that stands out more than Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees on Wednesday's main slate.

Cole has made seven starts this season, spanning 36 2/3 innings pitched. His 3.41 FIP matches his excellent 2.93 ERA, and part of the reason for those is a sparkly 30.3% strikeout rate paired with a gorgeous 44.1% ground-ball rate. Batters have logged oa 22.6% hard-hit rate against Cole this season.

And while Baltimore have been quite competitive in the 2022 season, it's surprisingly due to a very solid pitching staff (3.86 team ERA).

Their offense? That leaves a bit to be desired, recording a .290 wOBA, .120 isolated power (ISO), and an elevated 24.7% strikeout rate. We project Cole for 36.8 FanDuel points, and he makes for a stellar play.

George Springer, OF, Toronto Blue Jays ($3,900)

If you're thrown off by Marco Gonzales's 3.38 ERA, you're not alone. His 6.27 FIP indicates he hasn't just been a little bit lucky, but a lot of bits of lucky.

He's striking out only 15.9% of batters this season, and the batted-ball data reveals a 34.2% hard-hit rate and 38.2% fly-ball rate. That type of pitch-to-contact approach unsurprisingly leads hitters to knocking him for 2.25 HR/9.

Righties have predictably given the southpaw trouble -- both throughout his career and in 2022. This season, they've smacked him for a .439 slugging percentage and put the ball in play (14.4% strikeout rate). As you can imagine, all of the Blue Jays' righties make sense today, including leadoff man George Springer.

For his career, Springer has slammed southpaws for a 148 wRC+, supported by a .241 ISO and .515 slugging percentage. Springer has been a monster in any split, but against lefties, a 39.4% hard-hit rate will certainly play.

Springer is the top target of the day -- even on this loaded slate.

Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox ($3,800)

Under the weight of utterly enormous expectations, Luis Robert of the Chicago White Sox has had a pretty good start to his major league career. But, the profile we are witnessing in 2022 could portend that he's already in line for AL MVP contention.

In 121 plate appearances on the year, Robert continues to showcase the power-speed combo that makes the young outfielder such a talented asset. He's got five long balls and six steals on the season, and he's blasting the ball with aplomb. Check out this recent hot streak -- in the month of May, the young outfielder sports a 177 wRC+ mark and a .919 OPS mark.

While Robert is just getting started on his major league career, the pitcher he faces tonight, Zack Greinke, may currently reside in the twilight of his. While the veteran right-hander has been a top-flight starter for many major league seasons, he's struggled this season with an 8.5% strikeout rate. He also has gotten blasted by same-sided bats, allowing a .444 slugging percentage and 47.5% fly-ball rate in that split.

Robert is the top-projected hitter overall on today's slate.

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.