FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 6/24/22

There's a lot to like about a modest-salaried Jeffrey Springs in a matchup with the Pirates. Is he the slate's top arm, and which bats do you need to build around?

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 projections and 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

This is a really fun pitching slate. In all, there are six guys with a salary of at least $9,500.

In my eyes, the slate's top pitcher is Aaron Nola ($10,300 on FanDuel), and our model agrees as we project Nola for 37.6 FanDuel points -- 4.8 more than any other hurler.

Nola is at pitcher-friendly Petco Park for a date with the San Diego Padres, a team that ranks just 20th in wOBA against righties (.304). Nola has been throwing well, and he can keep it going in this spot. Across his last five starts -- a stretch that includes tough matchups with the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants -- Nola has put up a 3.08 xFIP and 25.4% strikeout rate. San Diego's 3.39 implied total is a number we can attack, so Nola checks a lot of boxes.

In the Bronx, Luis Severino ($10,000) and Justin Verlander ($10,500) square off. Those two are typically top options every time out, but I don't love either today due to their brutal matchups. Of the two, I prefer Severino, and he's who our model ranks as the night's number-two arm, projecting him for 32.2 FanDuel points. Although I'm not that high on him, Severino should at least be on your GPP radar since the matchup with the Houston Astros will likely keep the masses away.

Factoring in salary, the pitcher I like most after Nola is Jeffrey Springs ($8,300). Not only does he come at a friendly salary, but Springs also draws a sweet matchup with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who hold a slate-low 2.90 implied total. Pittsburgh is third-worst in wOBA (.288) with the third-highest strikeout rate (25.0%). Yes, please.

Springs' move to the rotation has gone extremely well. Each of his past eight appearances have come as a starter, and in that time, he's recorded a 25.9% strikeout rate, 6.2% walk rate, 12.6% swinging-strike rate, and 3.43 xFIP. He's also thrown at least 85 pitches in four straight starts, with outings of 92 and 94 pitches in that span, so he's pretty stretched out. Boosted by the dreamy matchup, Springs projects for 31.4 FanDuel points, and the salary allows you a lot more flexibility with your bats than you'll have if you use Nola.

Alex Cobb ($7,600) is another viable value arm, although the workload probably won't be great. Cobb has been incredibly unlucky this season, with his 2.92 SIERA nearly three runs better than his 5.62 ERA. A .381 BABIP and 19.8% homer-to-fly-ball ratio are the big culprits. Cobb's 27.2% strikeout rate and 11.0% swinging-strike rate are dang nice, and his matchup with the Cincinnati Reds is a good one as Cincy sports a measly 3.19 implied total.

About that pitch count -- after throwing 60 pitches last time out in his first start off of the IL, Cobb may still be capped short of a full leash tonight. He had thrown at least 85 pitches in four consecutive outings prior to getting hurt. Cobb is still firmly in play for me as a low-salary pitcher. We project him for 29.7 FanDuel points.

Lastly, I want to touch on Alek Manoah ($10,400), who is someone I want to be overweight on tonight. There's a chance he completely slips through the cracks if Springs and Nola hog a big chunk of the pitcher draft percentage, and I can see him delivering the goods versus the Milwaukee Brewers, an offense that sits just 15th in wOBA (.312) with the 9th-highest strikeout rate (23.5%).

Manoah owns a 3.64 SIERA, 22.9% strikeout rate, and 11.4% walk rate. He got up to 102 pitches four starts ago, and he's offered a nice floor/ceiling combination this season, totaling at least 37 FanDuel points in 10 of his 13 starts, including five of his past six outings. Our algorithm has Manoah scoring 32.2 FanDuel points, and he's a fun pivot off Nola.

Stacks to Target

Los Angeles Angels

The top implied total of the night belongs to the Los Angeles Angels. The Halos are at home against Chris Flexen, who has struck out only 16.6% of hitters this season while allowing a 46.4% fly-ball rate.

The issue with stacking the Angels is always the same -- it's such a top-heavy lineup, and the two best bats are way up there in salary. It helps that Flexen is right-handed, though, which keeps Jared Walsh ($3,100) in play. Walsh joins Mike Trout ($4,400), Shohei Ohtani ($4,400), and Taylor Ward ($3,800) as a high-octane four-man stack that should occupy the top-four spots in the Angels' lineup.

Ward's post-injury salary discount is gone, but this salary is more than justified for a dude who carries a .420 wOBA, .414 expected wOBA, and 14.3% walk rate while hitting directly in front of two of the best baseball players on the planet.

How top-heavy is this lineup? After the aforementioned four, no other LA bat is salaried above $2,400. If I had to roster someone other than those guys, Brandon Marsh ($2,400) would be it. I say that without a shred of excitement.

Texas Rangers

If I'm into Nola and Manoah, which I am, then I need to find some low-salary bats. The Angels don't help in that regard. The Texas Rangers can.

Texas is facing Paolo Espino. The Washington Nationals' right-hander has struggled this campaign to the tune of a 19.3% strikeout rate and 42.9% fly-ball rate. Despite giving up plenty of fly-balls, Espino has permitted only 0.76 homers per nine thanks to a flukey-low 6.7% homer-to-fly-ball rate. That's bound to rise. For his career, Espino's homer-to-fly-ball rate is 13.6%, and he's been tagged for 1.54 dingers per nine.

Adolis Garcia ($4,200) is the one high-salary bat in this Texas lineup. While Garcia is a good play, I'll mostly focus my Rangers stacks on Corey Seager ($3,500), Nate Lowe ($2,800), Marcus Semien ($3,000), and Kole Calhoun ($2,300). Seager, Lowe, and Calhoun will have the platoon advantage against Espino, and he's striking out just 14.8% of left-handers in 2022.

I also have interest in Brad Miller ($2,200) if he gets in the lineup while Jonah Heim ($2,700) and Mitch Garver ($2,500) are intriguing, as well.

Kansas City Royals

While the Chicago White Sox (4.99 implied total) are a stellar stacking option for their clash with Austin Voth, their offense is a lot less appealing to me if Luis Robert ($3,800) -- who has missed two straight games -- remains out. If he plays, I'll definitely be on the Pale Hose, and their salaries fit well alongside a stud arm since no one other than Robert is above $3,300.

But with Robert iffy, let's check out the Kansas City Royals -- a team that doesn't get much stacking love.

KC probably won't be popular again today. I love that, and I love both their matchup (Cole Irvin) and their salaries (no one above $3,300).

Irvin has a 16.5% strikeout rate and 4.48 SIERA. He's not good. He's also been much, much worse on the road, giving up a .347 wOBA in the split, compared to a .246 wOBA at his spacious home confines. The Royals' 4.75 implied total definitely warrants stacking attention.

Bobby Witt Jr. ($3,300) has quickly become the main attraction in this lineup. He can be used at short or third, and Witt donged twice earlier this week in a 53.4-point explosion. Whit Merrifield ($3,100), Carlos Santana ($2,400), Hunter Dozier ($2,300) and Edward Olivares ($2,000) will all have the platoon advantage. Merrifield and Dozier offer multi-position eligibility while Olivares is projected to hit sixth. Dozier has a .358 wOBA against southpaws this season.