FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Saturday 6/8/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Saturday 6/8/24

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

Freddy Peralta ($10,500)

One of the game's marquee pitchers returns on Saturday's afternoon slate that's a bit dicey at the position, so we can't ignore him.

Freddy Peralta ($10,500) will toe the slab on the road against the Detroit Tigers looking to build on what's been a career year at the top of the Milwaukee Brewers' rotation. Peralta's 3.74 ERA -- while fine -- is a bit unlucky considering a sparkling 2.86 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA). That's the seventh-best mark among qualified starters in all of baseball, and behind it lies a 32.4% strikeout rate that creates a boatload of upside in this fantasy setting.

The right-hander's matchup in Detroit is also far from prohibitive. While the Tigers have made some strides against righties compared to prior years, they're still tied for the eighth-worst wRC+ against them (94) and strike out 24.2% of the time in the split (seventh-highest in MLB).

FanDuel Research's MLB projections are dead set on Peralta, pegging him with a projected 39.4 fantasy points. That leads Saturday's slate by 4.7 projected fantasy points over any other hurler.

Kevin Gausman ($8,900)

On Tuesday, I thought an $8,200 salary for Kevin Gausman ($8,900) was a sharp reaction to a difficult Baltimore Orioles matchup. It now hasn't changed a great deal entering a great one for him.

Overall, the Toronto Blue Jays' ace has shook off an unlucky and slow start. Gausman's 4.60 ERA is supported by a 3.65 SIERA yet also a 5.26 expected ERA (xERA). His profile is an odd one with a low flyball rate (34.8%) but higher-than-you-would-hope hard-hit rate allowed (41.1%). I don't think he's pitching terribly at present despite another poor outing against Baltimore.

Luckily, he'll receive a huge uptick from his location and opponent today. In one of baseball's best pitcher's parks, Gausman draws an Oakland Athletics squad that's returned to expectation after a meteoric April. They've tailed off to the league's sixth-worst OPS against righties (.662) with its third-highest strikeout rate (26.1%) in the split.

There is a crowd of low $9,000s pitchers that deserve attention, but Gausman's own track record, matchup, and upside are superior. He's topped 40 FanDuel points three different times this season amidst the struggles.

Others to Consider

  • Brayan Bello ($9,200)
    • Bello's upside is always a struggle for me as a low-whiff sinkerballer. His 21.5% K rate this season would be a career-high. I think there's trouble lurking between that and winds blowing out on the Southside despite a friendly matchup with the Chicago White Sox.
  • Kyle Bradish ($9,000)
    • "The Trop" is another solid pitcher's park, and Bradish draws the Tampa Bay Rays' mediocre offense with a .654 OPS against righties. At this salary, his leash concerns are still present after a mere 76 pitches in this same matchup last week.

Stacks to Target

Boston Red Sox

Though the wind in Chicago should help hitters as mentioned with Bello, there is a bit of risk with the Boston Red Sox that this game is impacted by rain. If not, I believe they're easily the top stack on the slate.

Boston's 5.02-run implied total towers over all others, and it's not rocket science to figure out why. The Pale Hose are trotting out Nick Nastrini for what appears to be another difficult start. Nastrini's 9.74 ERA is decently legitimate when the 6.91 SIERA isn't exactly better. He's allowed a 14.7% barrel rate (!) and 2.21 HR/9. When he's gone, he'll give way to the league's third-worst bullpen by xFIP (4.59).

For whatever reason, the Red Sox aren't trending as extremely popular -- likely because they don't pair extremely well with Peralta. Rafael Devers ($4,300) will command some salary, but other than Jarren Duran ($3,300), there are solid low-salaried options here. Enmanuel Valdez ($2,600) will fill second base, and Robert Refsnyder ($2,800) has crushed righties for a 171 wRC+ thus far.

Though far from full strength, the Sox's lineup can do damage against the struggling Nastrini.

Minnesota Twins

Coming off a shutout loss on Friday, expect the Minnesota Twins to bounce back on Saturday.

Minnesota continues their series with the Pittsburgh Pirates against a hurler far less accomplished than Mitch Keller. Pittsburgh will send out Carmen Mlodzinski to start, and Mlodzinski has struggled in eight appearances this season -- none of them starts. He's posted 5.54 xERA with gigantic flyball (40.6%) and hard-hit (53.1%) rates. Hitters are making contact with 80.4% of swings.

This, obviously, profiles as a bullpen-heavy day for the Buccos, and that's not great news. Their relievers have the eighth-worst xFIP overall (4.32).

As a result, we want hitters who excel in both splits, and Royce Lewis ($3,400) is at the top of the list. Returning from injury, he's posted a 1.643 OPS in limited time this year. Carlos Correa ($3,100), Trevor Larnach ($2,900), and Jose Miranda ($2,800) are others with a wRC+ over 120 this season across both splits.

From a salary perspective, you could argue for Minnesota as the top stack of the day given whom they may allow for at pitcher.

Others to Consider

  • Baltimore Orioles
    • The O's pummeled Taj Bradley for nine earned runs in 3.1 innings during his last start, but the venue change is notable here. Still, he's allowing hard contact (47.1% rate), and Tampa's bullpen isn't very good (4.47 xFIP) against an elite offense.
  • San Francisco Giants
    • Somehow, Andrew Heaney avoided the main stacking section two starts in a row. First came the awful Miami Marlins, and the Giants aren't much better. Still, I usually try to target the lefty's 1.28 HR/9 when I can.

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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.