5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 5/7/19
With production being highly variable on a night-to-night basis, daily fantasy baseball plays a bit differently than other sports.
An 0-for-4 dud from a chalky high-priced slugger is a lot more common than a total dud from a top-priced NBA player or even than a stinker from a top quarterback or running back.
That means that it's not uncommon for value plays to end up doing the heavy lifting in carrying your lineup. The fact that they can be the difference between a good and a great lineup isn't much different than other sports, but value plays being able to make up for a whiff on a high-priced play completely is somewhat unique.
Let's get right into it and take a look at the top value options on today's slate.
Chris Iannetta, C, Colorado Rockies ($3,000)
Bumgarner seems to have bounced back some from his 2018 struggles, with a 3.72 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), but the contact he's allowing is still a huge concern. Last year saw him allow a hard-hit rate north of 40% for the first time in his career, and so far in 2019, he's on pace for career-worst marks in both hard-hit (42.2%) and soft-hit (12.8%) rates, which is coming with a 37.0% fly-ball rate. With the high altitude at Coors, those numbers are even more of a concern tonight than they usually are.
One of the few Rockies' bats priced at or below $3k tonight, Iannetta has a brutal .283 wOBA to open the season. That's through only 38 plate appearances, though, so it's not a major concern.
We haven't seen Iannetta finish with a wOBA worse than .316 against southpaws since 2012, and only one of those six seasons saw him fall below even .330. Last year, he turned in a 40.0% hard-hit rate and 37.6% fly-ball rate against left-handed pitching, and he's a good source of cheap home run upside here.
Yulieski Gurriel, 1B, Houston Astros ($2,600)
The Houston Astros are another team we want to hunt for cheap exposure to. They're up against the Kansas City Royals and southpaw Danny Duffy, who has followed 2018's career-worst 4.75 SIERA with a 5.10 mark through two starts in 2019. Two games this year is too small a sample to draw much from, but in 2018 he gave up a career-high 37.9% hard-hit rate and a 42.6% fly-ball rate over 28 games.
Houston has the slate's second-highest implied total as of Tuesday morning, and the lineup we project them to roll with tonight includes four players priced at $3,000 or below. Gurriel is the one we have hitting highest in the order here, already giving him a bit of a boost, as he's got a shot at seeing an additional plate appearance compared to the other value bats in the lineup, and he's also more likely to step to the plate with some runners on base, giving him some additional RBI upside.
That isn't to take away from the value inherent to Gurriel himself. He owns a serviceable .335 wOBA and .164 ISO on a 35.1% hard-hit rate against southpaws in the majors, and that production is more than enough to create some promise against Danny Duffy.
Tyler White, 1B, Houston Astros ($2,400)
White doesn't quite have the floor that Gurriel does, but he's even cheaper and has some serious upside.
White's only managed a .075 ISO through 64 plate appearances in 2019, and he's yet to hit a home run. He went yard 12 times in 66 games in 2018, though, and even with this season's struggles, he owns a career-average .197 ISO (and a .332 wOBA) over 644 plate appearances.
His power gets a nice bump against lefties, too, having turned a 37.4% hard-hit rate and 43.9% fly-ball rate into a huge .376 wOBA and .257 ISO over 202 plate appearances.
Marwin Gonzalez, 3B, Minnesota Twins ($2,300)
Gonzalez snapped a four-game hit streak with a hitless outing last night, but he continues to offer some intriguing fantasy value.
His production has been way down this season, but his .261 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is well below his .308 career-average. That's despite the fact that his 40.8% hard-hit rate is on pace to be a career-high (building on his 38.4% from last season). A switch-hitter, Gonzalez has also fared slightly better against right-handed pitching, with a slight bump in hard-hit rate and wOBA in the split.
He gets a soft matchup tonight, too, taking on Toronto's Aaron Sanchez. Sanchez has opened 2019 with a 5.53 SIERA over seven games, and while that's a small sample, his 5.10 SIERA in 2018 doesn't inspire any confidence, either.
Jackie Bradley, OF, Boston Red Sox ($2,300)
Hess turned in a 5.08 SIERA in 21 games in his rookie season in 2018, and this season he's sporting an even worse 5.30. Against left-handed hitters specifically he has allowed a .349 wOBA and 5.50 xFIP on a 34.4% hard-hit and 44.6% fly-ball rate.
Bradley offers plenty of upside with the platoon advantage, with a .334 wOBA and .197 ISO on a 38.8% hard-hit and 36.5% fly-ball rate dating back to the start of the 2016 season.
This is another case where we want cheap exposure to a prolific offense, and as is almost always the case when the Sox are up against a righty, Bradley gives you just that.
Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.