3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target for Thursday 7/20/23

Nicholas Vazquez
Nicholas Vazquez@nickvaz

In daily fantasy baseball on FanDuel, rostering the right high-salaried studs is an important aspect of building lineups.

For hitters, we're looking for guys with big numbers, strong matchups, and players around them who 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 these high-salary picks playing such a big role in your lineup, you can't afford to miss on these guys, so let's take a look at a few top high-salary plays for today's main slate -- which starts at 12:20 p.m. EST.

All advanced statistics via FanGraphs.

Spencer Strider, SP, Atlanta Braves ($11,400)

Spencer Strider has been one of the most fun pitchers to roster in MLB DFS this season. He doesn't get the best matchup today, but he is still the top pitcher on this slate, per numberFire's model.

Strider has a ridiculous 38.9% strikeout rate. The closest qualified pitcher to that K rate is Kevin Gausman at a 32.6% clip. Strider also leads the league with a 2.79 expected fielding independent pitching (xFIP) and a 2.65 skill interactive ERA (SIERA) while carrying a 19.6% swinging-strike rate. He's amazing.

The Atlanta Braves will face the Arizona Diamondbacks at home on Thursday. The D-Backs are no pushover. Arizona is the ninth-best offense against right-handed pitching going by weighted runs created plus (wRC+). They strike out only 20.8% of the time against righties, too, but they haven't faced many right-handers with swing-and-miss stuff like Strider's. Oddsmakers are backing the Braves' ace, giving the Snakes a 3.92 implied total.

Strider has the most upside on pretty much any slate he's on, including this one. At a projection of 39.1 FanDuel points -- per numberFire -- he's the main slate's premier pitching option.

Pete Alonso, 1B, New York Mets ($3,600)

It hasn't been the best season for the New York Mets. They have the highest payroll in the MLB but sit in fourth place in the NL East.

That hasn't stopped Pete Alonso from having one of his best seasons. He has a .274 isolated slugging percentage (ISO), the sixth-highest in the game. He's also in the top 20 in barrel percentage, with a 14.2% barrel rate.

Alonso will get a nice matchup versus Michael Kopech, one that could see the Polar Bear go deep. Kopech allows a 48.6% fly-ball rate and a barrel percentage of 14.4%. He's also surrendered a .232 ISO against righties.

In a great matchup for a potential home run, Alonso makes for a nice addition to lineups today.

Juan Soto, OF, San Diego Padres ($3,700)

Juan Soto, one of the game's bright young stars, was traded last July, and he finds himself in trade rumors again this year. For the time being, he remains on the San Diego Padres, and he is a solid option on Thursday.

Soto is once again posting elite numbers. He has a .390 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and a 150 wRC+. Against right-handed pitching, he's been elite. His wOBA jumps up to .422 in the split, and his ISO is a whopping .274.

The Padres and Soto will face Chris Bassitt, who has been disappointing in his first year with the Toronto Blue Jays. His 88.3 MPH average exit velocity and 9.2 barrel rate are the highest he's had since 2016. He's struggled to get out lefties, allowing a massive .392 wOBA to them.

Soto checks a ton of boxes on this slate and is a top-tier play.

The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.