FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 7/10/21

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

It's an interesting pitching slate for sure today.

We have Gerrit Cole ($10,600), who leads the slate in SIERA (2.86), up against the Houston Astros, who lead the Majors in strikeout rate (18.9%) and wRC+ (121) among active-roster hitters. But since the enforcement of the sticky stuff, Cole's SIERA has ballooned to a still-respectable 3.88, and his strikeout rate has shrunk to 26.2% across 145 batters faced. With the matchup, it's hard to make Cole a firm priority even with the salary trending down.

Walker Buehler ($10,400) draws the Arizona Diamondbacks, whose active roster is just 24th in wRC+. Buehler's 3.73 SIERA and 3.76 xFIP are a tinge worse than the strong 3.54 ERA suggests. Buehler owns the best implied total from a pitching perspective, as Arizona is expected to post just 2.81 runs. Buehler also has a slate-best -330 moneyline.

Just a tick below $10,000, we have Freddy Peralta ($9,900) against the Cincinnati Reds. Peralta's Milwaukee Brewers have a -225 moneyline, trailing only Buehler's Los Angeles Dodgers. Peralta's expected strikeout rate (based on his own and his opponent's) should be around 28.4% tonight, easily best on the slate. He's a great pivot if the slate trends toward Buehler chalk.

We can easily hone in on Buehler and Peralta, but for a lower salary, Joe Musgrove ($8,900) is the mid-level guy. Musgrove and his 3.31 full-season SIERA against the 30th-ranked Colorado Rockies by wRC+. His SIERA is up to 4.37 since June, and the strikeout rate is down to 22.0%. He's still been fine, overall, and the elite matchup makes him a pitcher we can consider.

If we really want to build around bats and just be different at pitcher, then Patrick Sandoval ($7,700) should be the first place we look. The Seattle Mariners' active-roster is just 24th in wRC+ and 29th in strikeout rate, leading to the second-highest expected strikeout rate on the board among pitchers for Sandoval. His Los Angeles Angels are just coin-flips to win (-108), but the salary helps quell those concerns.

Stacks to Target

Milwaukee Brewers
Vladimir Gutierrez ranks last among starters on the slate in both xFIP and hard-hit rate allowed since June and also ranks 9th in fly-ball rate and 10th in called-strike-plus-whiff rate in that sample. That's a pretty strong sign of relief for a Brewers team whose active roster ranks 25th in strikeout rate at 26.0%.

The Brewers are appearing with the slate's highest implied run total at 4.98 runs in a positive park for hitters.

Despite the elite hitting spot, the salaries aren't that high for the expected hitters near the top of the order: Luis Urias ($2,600), Jace Peterson ($2,600), Christian Yelich ($3,400), Willy Adames ($2,700), Avisail Garcia ($3,100), and Omar Narvaez ($2,500).

We should be able to mix and match when the lineup comes out.

Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers draw Caleb Smith in a home matchup. Smith has a 2-5 record with a 3.45 ERA that is frankly a bit misleading, as his xFIP is up to 4.85, and his SIERA is 4.28. Though those aren't the worst marks on the slate, Smith does allow a slate-high 50.0% fly ball rate.

The Dodgers' implied run total is a healthy 4.69, second-best on the night. The salaries aren't bad for the bats, either, and that makes it an easy justification with the top arm possible running just $10,600 of our salary.

Mookie Betts ($3,500), Max Muncy ($3,700), Justin Turner ($3,000), Chris Taylor ($3,000), and Albert Pujols ($2,100) all rank top-15 in fantasy point projections, according to numberFire's model.

St. Louis Cardinals
While Zach Davies' 6.22 ERA is a bit inflated (his xFIP is 5.36, and his SIERA is 5.72), the underlying data isn't anything to get excited about either. Davies owns both the lowest strikeout rate and the highest walk rate among starters.

The St. Louis Cardinals themselves are only 26th in slugging percentage (.377) but are a much more promising 12th in expected slugging percentage as a team, ultimately making them the most underperforming team of the season.

There are rain odds, and the wind is blowing in, so we have to monitor that situation. Outside of the Brewers and Dodgers, I think we can make a case against each other stacking option to some degree, so none of the other 10 remain perfect. That includes the Cards.

However, the top of the order -- Dylan Carlson ($2,800), Paul Goldschmidt ($3,800), Nolan Arenado ($3,800), and Tyler O'Neill ($3,600) -- should have some built-in popularity leverage due to the salaries and weather concerns.