FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Sunday 7/25/21

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

Yu Darvish ($10,300 on FanDuel) offers a huge ceiling today in a dream matchup with the Miami Marlins. For the year, Darvish owns a 3.47 SIERA, 28.7% strikeout rate and 12.7% swinging-strike rate. Miami is dead last in wOBA (.293) and has the fourth-highest strikeout rate (26.2%). Matchups don't get much better than this, and Darvish is the slate's top arm, per our model.

Zack Greinke ($8,400) and Aaron Nola ($9,100) are good plays, as well, and come at significant salary discounts to Darvish.

Greinke typically doesn't have elite strikeout upside, but he gets a lift today versus the Texas Rangers, who carry the 10th-highest strikeout rate (24.3%). The knock on Greinke is that he's surpassed 40 FanDuel points just twice in his last seven outings despite some friendly matchups in that span, including a 26-point outing against Texas.

I'm more interested in Nola, who has shown the punchout upside we crave, with a 29.0% strikeout rate for the year and at least eight strikeouts in three of his past four games. His matchup with the Atlanta Braves is far from easy, and it'll be the fourth time he's faced Atlanta this campaign. But Nola will likely fly under the radar a bit as he's salaried between Darvish and Greinke.

We shouldn't sleep on Sonny Gray ($8,600), and I may have done him a disservice by not mentioning him until now. He'll see a St. Louis Cardinals offense that holds the fourth-worst wOBA (.299), and our model is into him, projecting him for 34.5 FanDuel points, the second-most. I'm a little scared of the warm weather at Great American Ball Park, but Gray definitely needs to be on our radar.

As does Tarik Skubal ($8,200). The Detroit Tigers' lefty has really come on this year and is delivering on his intriguing minor-league profile. Skubal sports a 26.7% strikeout rate in 2021 and really has only two bad starts across his past 11 appearances. His floor is solid, but it's fair to question how high his ceiling is against a Kansas City Royals offense that strikes out at the fifth-lowest rate (22.0%).

Stacks to Target

Boston Red Sox

The afternoon's top implied total belongs to the Boston Red Sox, who have been handed a 5.67 clip for their date with Domingo German. German isn't a bad pitcher by any means, boasting a 22.0% strikeout rate and 13.3% swinging-strike rate. But he does allow a 36.9% hard-hit rate and 1.78 dingers per nine.

The tricky part with Boston is that their salaries make it tough to jam them in alongside Darvish as the key cogs of Rafael Devers ($4,100), J.D. Martinez ($4,000) and Xander Bogaerts ($3,700) are up there. Devers will be a priority for me. He has been a monster against righties, putting up a .417 wOBA and 50.9% hard-hit rate in the split.

Alex Verdugo ($2,800) has a handy salary and is projected to hit second, and Jarren Duran ($2,500) also provides cap relief. Enrique Hernandez ($3,400) has scored double figures in five straight.

San Diego Padres

It looks as if the San Diego Padres will face Ross Detwiler in what will be a bullpen-type day for Miami. The last time Detwiler started he was blowtorched for eight runs and four jacks in one inning.

Fernando Tatis Jr. ($4,600) and Manny Machado ($3,800) are outstanding plays if you can get to them. Factoring in salary, Tommy Pham ($3,300) is one of my favorite plays on the slate. Lefties Trent Grisham ($3,600), Eric Hosmer ($3,200) and Jake Cronenworth ($3,100) should get some at-bats against righties later in the game.

Even if Miami doesn't go with Detwiler, the Padres will likely be worth a look.

Baltimore Orioles

Not only are the Baltimore Orioles in a stellar spot, they have no one over $3,200, making them a perfect pair with Darvish and/or along with a high-salary stack. In fact, the O's have just three projected starters above $2,500. They're taking on Paolo Espino and have a gaudy 5.32 implied total.

Cedric Mullins ($3,200), Trey Mancini ($3,000) and Austin Hays ($2,700) will be core pieces in my Baltimore stacks. Mullins has a mouth-watering power/speed combo with 16 homers and 16 steals this season. Mancini has a .388 wOBA at home in 2021, and Hays has an extra-base hit in five of his last six outings.

Ryan Mountcastle ($2,500) and Maikel Franco ($2,500) are low-salary guys who have decent pop, particularly Mountcastle.