3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on Monday 5/23/22

Byron Buxton is crushing it this season and has a great matchup. Which other players should we consider?

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 ($11,000)

Naysayers pointed to some early season Gerrit Cole struggles as confirmation bias that his poor second-half performance was a harbinger of a bad 2022 season.

Boy, could they not have been more wrong.

Cole has some absolutely brilliant numbers this season despite getting smacked around in his first two starts, where he allowed eight earned runs in his first 11 1/3 innings. Covering his last five starts, Cole has been almost untouchable. He's logged a 1.95 FIP in 32 1/3 innings pitched, striking out 39 batters in that time frame. He's walked only five hitters over that span, too.

The Baltimore Orioles are a very attackable offense. They rank in the bottom eight in wOBA, isolated power (ISO), and strikeout rate. I'm obsessed with Cole tonight, and we project him for a whopping 41.1 FanDuel points tonight, and especially with a rockin' matchup tonight, he's an obvious roster play for me.

Freddie Freeman, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers ($4,000)

While the Los Angeles Dodgers still haven't hit their stride offensively, which is still pretty scary, Joan Adon of the Washington Nationals may provide the proper elixir to get their bats going tonight.

Adon has struggled in his short cup of coffee in the Majors, and lefties have been a massive issue for him. So far, he's allowed a .472 slugging percentage to lefties while allowing 1.42 HR/9 and only posting a 1.1% K-BB% rate on the year. That's no bueno.

While Freeman's ISO is a little bit down (.163 in 2022 versus a career mark of .212), his .374 wOBA shows he's still been pretty solid at the plate. We project Freeman as a top-10 hitter tonight for this tantalizing matchup.

Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins ($4,000)

Is Byron Buxton healthy? Yes. Does he have a good matchup? Yes. Time to hit the smash button on your lineups.

Buxton has been absolutely incredible for the Minnesota Twins this season. In 115 plate appearances in 2022, he's recorded a .392 wOBA, a .602 slugging percentage, and .376 ISO. He may have only one stolen base, but he's already hit 11 home runs with his 40.8% hard-hit rate.

Beau Brieske was initially expected to take the mound for the Detroit Tigers, but it now looks like Elvin Rodriguez will be starting instead. This is still every bit as exciting a matchup for Buxton against a pitcher with only 2 2/3 innings of MLB experience and modest minor league numbers at best. Across 22 2/3 innings in Triple-A this year, Rodriguez has a poor 4.62 FIP and a 13.4% walk rate.

We project Buxton as our second-best hitter on the day behind only Bryce Harper. Give him a long look as you're filling out your lineups.

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.