FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 6/1/23

Kevin Gausman is putting up tantalizing numbers in 2023, and his matchup against the Brewers puts him over the top. Who else should we prioritize on today's early main slate?

Thursday's main slate starts bright and early -- relatively speaking -- at 1:07 pm ET and features the four afternoon games. Which pitchers and stacks should we hone in on?

Our daily 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 our great tools into your research process. Whether you're looking for daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, or batting and pitching heat maps to find the best matchups -- we've got you covered!

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

Pitching Breakdown

Kevin Gausman ($11,100) is hands down the top choice at pitcher, coming in with the best overall numbers on the slate alongside a nice matchup versus Milwaukee.

Over 11 starts, Gausman's posted a 2.99 SIERA, 31.9% strikeout rate, and 5.7% walk rate, and he's allowed just six home runs all season. The veteran right-hander gets a long leash when he's on a roll, too, as he's surpassed 100 pitches six times, including each of his last three outings. Gausman's effectively had only two bad games this year, and it's hard to find many hurlers who have been as consistent as he has been.

The Brewers aren't the type of offense that should give him much trouble, and that's reflected by the Brewers' 3.64 implied team total. Against right-handed pitching, their active roster enters the day with just a 97 wRC+ and 24.0% strikeout rate. Needless to say, it makes sense to leave salary cap space for Gausman.

Is Max Scherzer ($9,200) back? It was easy to be pessimistic heading into his last start at Coors Field, and then all he did was rack up season-highs in FanDuel points (52), strikeouts (8), innings (7), and pitches (102). He also didn't walk a single batter for the first time in 2023.

Scherzer's season-long metrics remain pretty average, but we aren't going to find a ton of guys with obvious upside on a four-game slate, and this salary pretty much makes Mad Max a value play, as well. Philadelphia's active roster has been only slightly above average versus righties, and they're a pretty good opponent for strikeouts (23.6%).

If you aren't spending up for Gausman, Scherzer looks like the next-best choice.

Outside of Gausman, Jesus Luzardo ($10,000) is the one other pitcher at $10,000 or higher. The left-hander has the slate's second-best strikeout rate (26.8%), and this isn't a bad spot against the Padres, who have been below-average versus southpaws.

The knock on Luzardo is that he doesn't consistently go six or more innings, and playing for the Marlins means that wins are often hard to come by. That leaves him behind the other two, but he's still in play as the one who will likely see the lowest draft percentage between he, Max and Gausman.

Scherzer may be a value at his salary, but if you want the full discount, Joe Musgrove ($7,500) is closer in salary to the bottom than the top.

While Musgrove hasn't gotten many good results over his six starts, he really hasn't had an easy matchup yet, and that's exactly what he has in the Marlins today. The Marlins' active roster has the fifth-worst wRC+ versus righties (87), and even with Musgrove's tough 2023 start, they have the second-lowest implied team total (3.66).

A 4.13 SIERA shows that Musgrove hasn't been as bad as his 5.64 ERA, and he's coming off his best fantasy start of the year in a clash with a tough Yankees offense (44 FanDuel points). His 22.6% strikeout rate doesn't move the needle much, but he's been much better than that over the last few seasons, giving us some hope that he can bump up those Ks.

If you're trying to save at the position, I generally prefer trying to get up to Scherzer, but rostering Musgrove will allow for some really fun hitter-centric builds.

Hitting Breakdown

The Arizona Diamondbacks have far and away the highest implied team total (5.56) in a cushy matchup against Chase Anderson, so expect them to be the chalk stack of the day.

We haven't seen Anderson get lit up just yet, but his underlying metrics -- between a 5.24 SIERA and 12.5% strikeout rate -- are putrid. Despite having just a 38.7% ground-ball rate, he's allowed only one dinger in 20 2/3 innings. Therefore, it probably isn't surprising that Anderson hits the luck trifecta, with unsustainable marks in BABIP (.226), strand rate (92.2%), and homer-to-fly-ball rate (4.3%). Regression is coming.

Matchups don't get much better than this, and you really can't go wrong with any of Corbin Carroll ($3,600), Lourdes Gurriel ($3,500), Ketel Marte ($3,400), Christian Walker ($3,300), and Pavin Smith ($2,700), and the bottom of the order comes in at cheap salaries if you need it.

The Toronto Blue Jays face Freddy Peralta, who has been a good pitcher the last couple of seasons but has endured some tough starts lately, leaving him with a less imposing 24.2% strikeout rate and a worrisome 9.6% walk rate. His 4.31 SIERA is a higher mark than he's had in any season in his career, too. Despite being a fly-ball pitcher, he's generally kept home runs to a minimum, but they've been leaving the yard at a clip of 1.33 per 9 innings in 2023.

Bo Bichette ($4,000), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($3,400), and George Springer ($3,100) don't strike out often, so they should be able to make contact against Peralta and hopefully cash in on this recent rise in home runs. Matt Chapman ($3,500) is the only other guy with a salary above $3,000, so putting together a Blue Jays stack shouldn't be difficult.

The New York Mets and Colorado Rockies are the other top options, and they're the only other teams with implied team totals above four runs.

Taijuan Walker has a 4.83 SIERA, 18.9% strikeout rate, and 10.1% walk rate over 11 starts -- not exactly scary stuff for the Mets. Walker has a 54.4% ground-ball rate versus lefties but also walks them 14.0% of the time, and then his strikeout rate plummets to 15.7% versus righties. Like always, Pete Alonso ($4,200) is the go-to Mets batter.

Rostering the Rockies on the road never feels great, but it's a small slate, and Zach Davies hasn't pitched well. He's been knocked around in three starts while logging a 17.1% strikeout rate and 13.8% walk rate.