FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Saturday 6/1/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Saturday 6/1/24

Our daily fantasy helper is available every day to analyze FanDuel's main slate and help give you a starting point when you're building lineups.

Be sure to also incorporate numberFire's great tools into your research process, including daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, and batting and pitching heat maps to find the best matchups.

Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.

Note: All MLB odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook. All stats come from FanGraphs and Baseball Savant unless noted otherwise.


Pitchers to Target

Chris Sale ($11,600)

Today's early main slate has a main man at pitcher.

Chris Sale ($11,600) has been a godsend for an Atlanta Braves squad that lost their ace early in the season. The southpaw has posted a dazzling 2.42 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), 2.42 expected ERA (xERA), and massive 31.6% strikeout rate in his first season with the club. On a skill-interactive basis, only Jack Flaherty has had a more successful season than the 35-year-old who leads the NL Comeback Player of the Year race.

Today could be a marquee outing of his entire season. In addition to some friendly weather for pitchers in the Atlanta area, Sale draws the Oakland Athletics -- one of the league's friendliest matchups for a lefties. Oakland's .654 OPS is eighth-worst in MLB, and their punchout rate is fifth-highest (25.4%).

With all of this lumped into one, the Athletics' implied team total is a miniscule 2.71 runs. It's possible Sale gets blown up for the second time this season, but all signs point to this being a great place to dump salary today without a marquee stack.

Robert Gasser ($8,000)

Sale's salary prohibits the high-salaried stacks on the slate, including his own offense. A value alternative is viable, though.

That comes in the form of Robert Gasser ($8,000). The left-handed Milwaukee Brewers prospect has surprised to a 1.92 ERA thus far, yet normally, I'd be concerned about his underlying peripherals. In addition to a 4.03 SIERA, he's got just a 14.1% strikeout rate -- but it was 33.3% in Triple-A Nashville earlier this season. It's possible we haven't seen the best of his K upside to this point.

Luckily, I'll put potential regression on the backburner in today's matchup with a pseudo Triple-A squad, the Chicago White Sox. Chicago's offense has picked it up a tiny bit recently, but they've still got a league-worst 69 wRC+ against lefties with a 23.9% strikeout rate (sixth-worst).

FanDuel Research's MLB projections are expecting 5.7 innings, 4.6 strikeouts, and 2.3 earned runs allowed from Milwaukee's southpaw on Saturday. That's a really solid day for the salary.

Others to Consider

  • Garrett Crochet ($10,600)
    • On the other side of Gasser, Crochet's 2.46 SIERA and 33.9% strikeout rate are marvelous when the Brew Crew (22.6% strikeout rate vs. LHP) will swing and miss. His lack of win equity hurts at the salary, though.
  • Kyle Bradish ($9,600)
    • I much preferred speculating Bradish would go deeper into games at a value salary. Coming off a 64-FanDuel-point outing against the White Sox, his length concerns might be too potent at acquisition cost despite a decent matchup with the Tampa Bay Rays (.655 OPS vs. RHP).

Stacks to Target

New York Mets

With two modest pitchers in Boston, there's not a standout hitting environment on the slate, but I'd place the New York Mets as my top priority at home today against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Arizona will send out Slade Cecconi, a righty who has been the weakest link in the Snakes' rotation all season. Though a 4.79 SIERA implies better than a 6.12 ERA, Cecconi isn't a pitcher to fear -- especially sporting a 57.7% flyball rate that has led to 2.23 HR/9 allowed thus far. Plus, when Cecconi departs, the D-Backs bullpen has waffled to the league's eighth-highest reliever xFIP (4.20).

New York's park never does them any favors offensively, but this is still a matchup to attack when some of their stars are crushing righties. Pete Alonso ($3,400) has bounced back with a .214 ISO in the split this year, and Brandon Nimmo ($2,900) has a reliable .365 OBP against orthodox pitchers this season. Francisco Lindor ($3,400), Mark Vientos ($3,100), J.D. Martinez ($3,000), and Starling Marte ($3,000) also get a passing grade with a wRC+ above 100 in the split.

The salaries likely mean that the best parts of this stack won't often be paired with Sale, but I'm doing my best to get there -- as evidenced by the next stack in queue.

Miami Marlins

I thought I was crazy, too.

The Miami Marlins are strangely well-positioned as a low-salaried stack that is vital to getting quality pieces elsewhere, so I wanted to draw attention to them. Miami's .672 OPS against righties is usually a better target for pitchers, but I wouldn't be surprised by decent activity today with the Texas Rangers in town.

Texas sends Michael Lorenzen to toe the slab, and the 32-year-old former All-Star hasn't been what the defending champs hoped to acquire. His 3.35 ERA is fine, but it's masking a 4.79 SIERA that's significantly more concerning due to his lowest rate of swinging strikes since 2018 (9.0%). He's also got a walk rate above 10.0% to both lefties and righties.

Plus, when Lorenzen departs, Rangers fans know well what an adventure their bullpen (4.20 reliever xFIP) can be.

Lorenzen's 5.19 xFIP to righties is significantly worse than it is to lefties (3.98), which bumps Jake Burger ($2,500) to the top of the queue -- especially at a desolate third-base spot. Bryan De La Cruz ($2,800) fits that same mold, and I also like lefty Nick Gordon ($2,600) to fill space at second base.

Most of all, all of these low salaries fit well with Sale, so expectations don't need to be extremely lofty to let Atlanta's pitcher carry the load.

Others to Consider

  • San Diego Padres
  • Baltimore Orioles
    • As usual, the worst part of an O's stack is simply the extreme amount of 1B/OF options. Taj Bradley's 46.3% flyball rate is a ticking time bomb against their lethal attack while also getting late swipes at MLB's third-worst bullpen (4.56 xFIP). They're solid if you can make it work.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.