FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 8/26/22

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 good pitching slate, and we've got five guys at a salary of at least $10,000. Still, Gerrit Cole ($11,000 on FanDuel) stands out from the pack.

Cole has top-shelf numbers, including a 31.7% strikeout rate, 13.7% swinging-strike rate and 2.82 SIERA. The SIERA is actually the second-best clip of his career, so while it can at times feel like Cole is underachieving a bit with the New York Yankees, he's been very good.

On top of the sublime numbers, Cole has a dream matchup with the Oakland Athletics. For the year, Oakland is 29th in wOBA (.276), and the A's are showing a slate-low 2.87 implied total. This game being in Oakland is a huge park-factor bump for Cole.

Cole checks all the boxes we could want from a high-salary stud, and he tops our projections at a clip of 41.1 FanDuel points.

There are a slew of viable alternatives to Cole, including Chris Bassitt ($10,400), Joe Musgrove ($10,800), Shane Bieber ($10,200) and Spencer Strider ($10,000). With the exception of Strider, who gets the St. Louis Cardinals, this group has sweet matchups, and Strider has shown he can deliver the goods in any spot thanks to his slate-best 37.3% strikeout rate.

Of those four, I'm most into Bassitt, who is at home against the Colorado Rockies. Colorado stinks away from Coors, ranking 26th in road wOBA (.284). Bassitt has taken another step forward in 2022 after his breakout campaign a year ago. He's pitched to a 3.53 SIERA with a 10.9% swinging-strike rate -- both of which are career-best marks. Colorado's 3.16 implied total is the second-worst, and Bassitt ranks second by our projections at 39.8 FanDuel points.

Freddy Peralta ($8,800) stands out in the midrange thanks to a delightful matchup with the Chicago Cubs, but if I'm deviating from the top tiers tonight, I'm going to get weird with Bailey Falter ($6,200). Not only does Falter's $6,200 tag help big time on a night when high-salary offenses like the New York Mets, San Diego Padres and Houston Astros are in money spots, there are reasons to buy into Falter against a woeful Pittsburgh Pirates lineup.

Over the last 30 days, Pittsburgh's active roster is 25th in wOBA (.285) with the 4th-highest strikeout rate (25.2%). Yes, please. And Falter has some promising numbers. He's registered a 3.91 SIERA across 78 2/3 career frames in the bigs, and he was dominating at Triple-A this season, posting a 28.8% strikeout rate, 3.5% walk rate and 14.2% swinging-strike rate.

The big bugaboo for Falter is dingers as he's permitted 1.72 per nine in The Show. But there are a lot of positives in his profile, and the matchup is outstanding. I'll at least mix him into some lineups today and have some fun with bats. We project Falter for 25.7 FanDuel points and rate him as the top point-per-dollar arm.

Stacks to Target

Philadelphia Phillies

If it feels like you keep reading about the Philadelphia Phillies being a great stack, it's because you do. They keep getting stellar matchups, and their modest salaries are really tough to pass on, especially if you're trying to jam in a top-of-the-line ace. They're a great pairing with Cole -- or any of the high-salary stud pitchers -- tonight.

The Phils are taking on Bryse Wilson, and they boast a slate-leading 5.55 implied total. Wilson has struggled to a 15.0% strikeout rate this season. Lefties have mauled him to the tune of a .424 wOBA and 48.3% hard-hit rate.

Kyle Schwarber ($3,300) and Rhys Hoskins ($3,400) once again project as excellent point-per-dollar plays and should be among the night's chalkiest sticks. They are the top-two hitters of the slate, according to our numbers. Nick Castellanos ($3,200), Bryson Stott ($2,900) and Alec Bohm ($3,300) make a ton of sense, too.

The lone high-salary bat on Philly is Bryce Harper ($4,000), who is expected to return today. He was flirting with MVP numbers prior to being hurt (.413 wOBA) and hit two bombs over two minor-league rehab games, going 5-for-8 overall. Given Wilson's woes against lefites, Harper could return with a bang.

New York Mets

After Philly, the rest of the night's top stacking options are much harder to get to salary-wise.

The Mets have the second-best implied total (5.34) in their home clash with Chad Kuhl. The Colorado righty has a 5.04 SIERA and 16.5% strikeout rate. While Coors hasn't helped him, Kuhl has been worse on the road, permitting a .388 wOBA and 1.69 dongs per nine in the split, compared to a .323 wOBA and 1.27 jacks per nine at Coors.

Pete Alonso ($3,800), Starling Marte ($3,700) and Francisco Lindor ($3,600) are a high-upside trio if you have the salary. Alonso went deep last night and owns a .363 wOBA and 43.6 fly-ball rate in righty-righty matchups this season.

Brandon Nimmo ($2,700) and Dan Vogelbach ($2,800) will have the platoon advantage and come in at modest salaries. Vogelbach is one of my favorite plays of the night as he's slugged his way to a .390 wOBA and 47.2% fly-ball rate versus right-handers.

Houston Astros

The Astros -- whose 4.89 implied total is the night's third-highest -- are swinging it super well right now, sporting a .355 wOBA over the last 14 days, and they can keep it going in a date with Kyle Bradish.

Bradish, a righty, has been battered by guys from both sides of the plate, but righties have done the most damage, getting to him for a .436 wOBA and 2.47 homers per nine.

Jose Altuve ($3,800), Alex Bregman ($4,400) and Yuli Gurriel ($2,800) should be in three of the top four slots in the lineup. Gurriel is a handy salary-saver while Bregman has been out of his mind in the second half, putting up a .445 wOBA with a 50.5% fly-ball rate.

From the left side, Yordan Alvarez ($4,200) and Kyle Tucker ($4,100) have to be on our radar, as well. Alvarez is our top-projected Houston hitter at a clip of 15.3 FanDuel points. He's got a .454 expected wOBA this year and has hammered righties for a 46.4% hard-hit rate.