FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 5/15/21

Trevor Bauer has been excellent this season and gets a dope matchup against the Marlins. Is there any reason to go elsewhere in your pitching slot?

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.

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.

Pitching Breakdown

We have a few fun pitching options at our disposal, but I'm having a tough time getting away from Trevor Bauer ($11,000 on FanDuel) in his matchup with the Miami Marlins.

Bauer is sporting a 2.84 SIERA, 34.7% strikeout rate and 12.5% swinging-strike rate through his first 50 1/3 innings with the Los Angeles Dodgers. On top of those stellar numbers and the sweet matchup (Miami is 23rd in wOBA with the 6th-highest strikeout rate), Bauer has a workload that is unrivaled on this slate, going for at least 96 pitches in every start but one, with the lone exception being a 90-pitch outing. He's thrown more than 102 pitches in four of his eight starts.

We project Bauer for a slate-high 43.4 FanDuel points -- 10.4 more than anyone else. He checks all the boxes, and I will be overweight on him.

After Bauer, there's a drop, but there are some other high-upside choices in Luis Garcia ($7,300), Ian Anderson ($8,600) and Carlos Rodon ($11,400). All three of them have dreamy matchups against the Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers and Kansas City Royals, respectively. The salary discounts offered by Anderson and Garcia add to their appeal on a Coors slate.

Rodon appears to be making the long-awaited leap to ace-level stardom, dominating in 2021 to the tune of a 2.61 SIERA and 37.3% strikeout rate. We have him pegged for just 29.4 FanDuel points, but KC's offense totes a meager 3.17 implied total. I like him more than our model does, and he profiles as a nice leverage play who won't be chalky due to his salary.

Anderson gets the Milwaukee Brewers, which is about as fantasy-friendly as a matchup gets. Milwaukee sits 26th in wOBA (.292) and has the 4th-highest strikeout rate (26.8%). With a 26.4% strikeout rate and 12.4% swinging-strike rate, Anderson should be able to generate punchouts in this spot, and our model forecasts him for 33.0 FanDuel points, the second-most.

Garcia has really come on this season for the Houston Astros. Through 30 frames, he's racked up a 28.5% strikeout rate and 13.0% swinging-strike rate. The rate stats are definitely there, and so is the matchup as the Texas Rangers have the eighth-highest strikeout rate (26.2%).

The issue with Garcia -- who has been both a reliever and starter throughout his pro career -- is workload as his last two starts are the only outings in which he's surpassed 90 pitches (92 and 93). He's the riskiest of the options we've talked about, but if you're dead set on going after top-end sticks, he's in play.

Stacks to Target

Cincinnati Reds

It's a Coors slate, so giddy up. Of the two sides, I prefer the Cincinnati Reds. The big drawback is that it's hard to use the Reds' top bats along with Bauer, but it's a strategy I'll try to make work as Cincy does battle with Jhoulys Chacin, who owns a 5.06 SIERA since the start of 2019.

Everyone who gets in the Reds' lineup is in play, with Jesse Winker ($4,700) at the top of the wishlist if you can get to him. Among the more economical options, Nick Senzel ($3,500) and Tyler Naquin ($3,800) stand out while Tucker Barnhart ($3,000) and Kyle Farmer ($3,000) might be the starters with the lowest salaries.

I'm not going to prioritize the Reds' high-salary bats over Bauer, but I want exposure to Cincy.

Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves will be taking hacks against lefty Brett Anderson. Anderson has been pretty brutal this year, with a 12.9% strikeout rate and 3.3% swinging-strike rate. Against a Braves lineup that will have a host of right-handed bats, he's in trouble. Atlanta's 4.10 implied total isn't too sexy, so that may keep the masses off them.

Ronald Acuna ($4,400) and Freddie Freeman ($3,800) are obviously great plays. You don't need me to elaborate on Acuna, who did sit yesterday after exiting early Thursday. The lefty-lefty matchup isn't ideal for Freeman, but Anderson may not be in the game too long for that to matter all that much.

Marcell Ozuna ($3,200), Ozzie Albies ($3,100), Dansby Swanson ($2,500) and Austin Riley ($2,400) all have the platoon advantage. Riley and Swanson are of particular interest to me at their salaries, and I like getting my Braves exposure from this foursome.

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees have a Camden Yards date with Jorge Lopez. With a 4.14 SIERA and 21.9% strikeout rate in 2021, Lopez has been decent, but oddsmakers have given the Bronx Bombers a gaudy 4.99 implied total.

For a while, we could get good pieces of the Yankees for fairly modest salaries outside of Aaron Judge ($3,900) and Giancarlo Stanton ($3,800). Unfortunately, those days look to be a thing of the past. That doesn't turn me away from New York; it just makes it tougher to use them alongside Bauer.

That's where Mike Ford ($2,200), Clint Frazier ($2,200) and Tyler Wade ($2,000) come in. Gary Sanchez ($2,800) and Aaron Hicks ($3,000) are fairly easy to jam in, as well. If you have the coin,DJ LeMahieu ($3,500) and Luke Voit ($3,500) hit 1-2, respectively, yesterday.