MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Sunday 5/1/16

On a slate full of appealing pitching options, Chris Sale stands out as the best.

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.

Pitchers to Target

High-Priced Pitchers

Chris Sale (FanDuel Price: $11,000) - It's hard to ignore Clayton Kershaw against the Padres, but it's also hard to construct a lineup with $12,900 of your salary going to one player. Sale has actually been better than Kershaw (or any other starting pitcher, for that matter), and is significantly cheaper. His opponent, the Orioles, ranked third in wOBA against righties in 2015, but just 28th against lefties. Their strikeout rate was also up nearly two percent against lefties, to 23.3 percent, which was the third-highest mark against lefties. Sale dominated them in their one matchup, going 7.2 shutout innings, striking out 12, and allowing just 4 hits. If paying up, Sale is the clear choice today.

Danny Salazar ($9,200) - If you can't stomach paying all the way up and want a pitcher with just as much upside as the elite options, Danny Salazar is your man. Salazar has been terrific this season, posting a 2.35 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 10.17 K/9. He draws a cushy matchup against Philadelphia today, who ranked dead last in wOBA against righties in 2015, while posting the 10th-highest strikeout rate. Salazar should coast in this matchup and has elite strikeout potential.

Value Pitcher

Marcus Stroman ($7,900) - Stroman's best start of the season came against his opponent today, the Rays. That should be no surprise, as Tampa Bay's lineup really struggles against right-handed pitching. Last season, they ranked fifth in wOBA against lefties but 23rd against righties. They've been even worse in 2016, ranking 25th in wOBA against righties. They have also posted a 27.8 percent strikeout rate against righties, which is the highest in the league. This is a safe matchup for Stroman, who has been pitching deep into nearly all of his starts, and Tampa Bay's swing-happy approach offers him some strikeout upside, too.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Options

Anthony Rizzo ($4,700) - Rizzo has hit safely in eight of his past nine games and has five home runs during that span, as well as a 19.2 FanDuel points per game average. He looks to stay hot tonight against the right-handed Julio Teheran, who just cannot figure out left-handed hitters. Teheran has a 4.33 SIERA this season, after posting a 4.24 SIERA in 2015. Rizzo has hit right-handed pitching better in his career and should crush Teheran tonight.

Jose Altuve ($4,300) - Altuve has slowed down some recently, but is still averaging 15.9 FanDuel points on the year and is the clear premier play at second base. His price is down some as a result of his recent struggles, and he has a favorable matchup against left-hander Rich Hill. Hill has struggled with righties in his career, and Altuve crushes left-handed pitching.

Jean Segura ($3,400) - It seems nobody has recognized it yet, but Segura is second in fantasy points among shortstops so far this season. Segura looks to keep the good times rolling in this matchup against right-hander Chad Bettis. Bettis has a career 4.28 SIERA, and Segura, a righty, has actually hit better against righties than lefties. He provides nice salary relief from some of the top options and has similar upside.

Value Hitters

Stephen Vogt ($3,000) - Vogt is always worth a look when facing a weak right-handed pitcher, because he terrorizes righties and hits fifth when facing them. His opponent on the mound, Doug Fister, certainly qualifies as a weak right-hander after posting a 4.47 SIERA last season. After a day off yesterday, Vogt will likely hit in the middle of the lineup and do some damage against Fister.

Justin Bour ($2,500) - Who needs Dee Gordon? Miami has scored 13 runs in their past two games, and Bour has been a big part of it -- combining for four hits and 59.9 FanDuel points. His opponent today will be right-hander Wily Peralta, who posted a putrid 4.75 SIERA last season. Bour, a lefty, has much improved numbers against righties in his career, and will likely be hitting in the middle of the order for Miami, who is projected for the fourth-highest team total on the slate. He won't be contrarian, but at this price he is a near must-play if paying up at pitcher today.

Derek Dietrich ($2,100) - Dietrich led off and scored 25.2 FanDuel points last night and is near-minimum priced. Similar to Bour, he is a lefty who has much better splits against right-handed pitching. He should again lead off and be an excellent source of value.