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MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 5/4/17

Thursday's slate is short on respectable pitching options, so should we be willing to accept Dan Straily's elevated walk rate?

The beauty of daily fantasy baseball is that the top targets are different each and every day. Whether it's the right-handed catcher who destroys left-handed pitching or the mid-range hurler facing a depleted lineup, you're not going to find yourself using the same assets time after time.

While this breaks up the monotony, it can make it hard to decide which players are primed to succeed on a given day. We can help bridge that gap.

In addition to our custom optimal lineups, you can check out our batting and pitching heat maps, which show the pieces in the best spot to succeed on that slate. Put on the finishing touches with our games and lineups page to see who's hitting where and what the weather looks like, and you'll have yourself a snazzy looking team to put up some big point totals. We've also got our Solo Shot Podcast, which breaks down the MLB daily fantasy slate each day. Here's today's episode.

If you need help getting started on that trek, here are some of the top options on the board today. We'll be focusing exclusively on the main slate, which begins at 7 pm Eastern.

Pitchers to Target

Dan Straily ($8,300 on FanDuel): You've got a choice at pitcher for tonight's main slate. If you're okay with a guy who walks a few too many but is swimming in strikeout upside, then you should roll out Dan Straily. If the walks scare you, and you'd rather go with a guy with some hard contact issues, then it's Adam Wainwright. Regardless, you're not getting perfection from this crop of starters. Straily's likely the go-to option simply because nobody can touch his upside. He has a 27.4% strikeout rate in his first five starts, a mark that his 11.2% swinging-strike rate largely validates. That's going up against a Tampa Bay Rays team that leads the league in strikeout rate against righties at 25.7%. The Rays can draw some walks and make loud contact, too, so this isn't to lead you into thinking Straily is safe, but he's the guy we should target if we want to bank on a high ceiling.

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