5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 5/9/19
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.
Tyler White, 1B, Houston Astros ($2,300)
We only get three teams with implied totals above even 4.50 runs on tonight's main slate, and the Houston Astros' 4.93 mark comes in as the second best of the night, just barely behind the New York Yankees' 4.97.
The Astros get a solid matchup tonight, taking on Texas Rangers southpaw Mike Minor. Minor turned in a reasonable 4.27 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) in 2018, and he's improved that to 3.91 to open the 2019 season. He's had some serious struggles against right-handed bats in that time, though, with a 4.66 xFIP, and he also gave up a hard-hit rate above 36% and fly-ball rate above 40% in both 2018 and 2019.
Tyler White hasn't shown us much power this year, with no home runs and an awful 0.69 ISO. He's still sporting a 36.1% hard-hit rate, though. Over his major league career (649 plate appearances), he's managed a .196 ISO on only a 33.5% hard-hit rate, so we can expect that power output to increase as we move forward.
He also gets a nice boost against southpaws, with a career .368 wOBA and .251 ISO on a 36.8% hard-hit and 43.2% fly-ball rate.
Yulieski Gurriel, 1B, Houston Astros ($2,600)
Sticking with Houston, Gurriel is another right-handed hitter that gets to take advantage of Minor's struggles in the split.
Gurriel's production is down in 2019, but his 34.2% hard-hit, 15.3% soft-hit and 37.8% fly-ball rates are all better than his career averages, so a 4.8% home run-to-fly-ball rate (compared to an 8.5% career average) and .284 BABIP (compared to a .301 career average) are good indicators that we can expect his production to pick up.
He also does his best work against southpaws, with a serviceable .335 wOBA and .164 ISO on a 35.1% hard-hit and 37.5% fly-ball rate over his major league career.
Mike Tauchman, OF, New York Yankees ($2,500)
As I mentioned above, the Yanks come in with the slate's highest implied total, and Tauchman is one of the few ways to get cheap exposure to their lineup.
He hasn't been consistent in the majors, with a career .277 wOBA but a reasonable .152 ISO over 160 plate appearances. He's looking better in 2019, though, posting a .318 wOBA and .228 ISO over 28 games.
That's obviously a tiny sample, but considering he raked for a .420 wOBA and .248 ISO in 471 Triple-A plate appearances last year, we know he's got some real potential from the dish.
He also gets a plus matchup tonight against Mike Leake, who hasn't posted an xFIP better than 4.10 against left-handed bats since 2016, giving up a .329 wOBA on a 35.3% hard-hit rate in that time.
Francisco Cervelli, C, Pittsburgh Pirates ($2,200)
Cervelli is our top-projected point-per-dollar value on tonight's short five-game slate.
Cervelli's producing terribly in 2019, with a .238 wOBA and .058 ISO, but that's why we get him so cheap here. He's coming off a 2018 season that saw him notch a .355 wOBA and .172 ISO, and he's not making hugely different contact than he did last year.
What is different is a .230 BABIP (compared to .308 last year and a .327 career average) and a 3.8% home run-to-fly-ball rate (compared to 11.4% last year and a 6.8% career average).
He also gets a solid matchup tonight against St. Louis Cardinals righty Michael Wacha, who struggled to the tune of a 4.60 SIERA last year and has opened 2019 with a 5.14 over six games. Wacha hasn't posted a SIERA better than 4.00 since 2014.
Jarrod Dyson, Of, Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,600)
Dyson is very much not having a down year. After posting an awful .244 wOBA with only a .216 BABIP last year, his BABIP has jumped to .328 in 2019, with his wOBA climbing to .370. That leaves him liable to regress a bit, as his career-average BABIP is .299, but a .370 wOBA is high enough that he can regress and still be producing well for a guy price this low.
It's also especially easy to like Dyson when he's got the platoon advantage, with his career-average wOBA jumping from .267 against lefties to .303 against righties, and his walk rate hitting double-digits against right-handed pitching since the start of last season. Those free bases are particularly valuable for a guy like Dyson who offers some upside on the basepaths, with five stolen bases so far this season and at least 26 steals in five of his last six seasons.
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.