5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 5/10/19
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.
Marwin Gonzalez, 3B, Minnesota Twins ($2,400)
Ross just hasn't been the same pitcher since he underwent thoracic outlet surgery in 2016, and since then he's posted a 6.17 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) in 2017, a 4.55 in 2018 and a 4.93 so far in 2019.
The switch-hitting Gonzalez has fared slightly better against right-handed pitching over his career, and while he hasn't been productive so far in 2019, his 42.1% hard-hit rate is on pace to be a career best. His batting average on balls in play (BABIP) isn't likely to stay as low as his current .270 mark, since he's making some of the best contact of his career and has averaged a .308 BABIP in the majors. That should give his production a boost, and a matchup with Ross is a great spot to turn that contact into production.
Albert Pujols, 1B, Los Angeles Angels ($2,900)
A righty-versus-righty matchup isn't the ideal spot to target a 39-year-old Albert Pujols , but he still offers some huge upside as part of a loaded Los Angeles Angels lineup tonight.
Failing to eclipse even a .325 wOBA against righties in any of the last three seasons, his ISO in the split has not fallen below .155. He's also turned in a hefty 48.6% hard-hit rate in 93 plate appearances against righties this year, after hitting 41.2% in 374 last season.
The Baltimore Orioles will be starting Dan Straily, and for however long he lasts in this game, he puts the LA offense in a great spot. Straily struggled to the tune of a 4.92 SIERA last season, and over six games in 2019 he has a horrendous 6.43 SIERA, with a walk rate (8.9%) nearly as high as his strikeout rate (9.8%).
Once he's out of the game, Baltimore's relievers collectively have the second-worst xFIP of any group in the majors, so the matchup won't drop off for Pujols and the Angels.
Jackie Bradley, OF, Boston Red Sox ($2,200)
Stop me if you've heard this one before -- the Boston Red Sox have an elite implied total (5.77 runs) and a plus matchup with a right-handed pitcher.
Seattle's Erik Swanson has a shaky 4.85 SIERA over his first five major league starts, and while most of Boston's lineup is understandably expensive in DFS tonight, Jackie Bradley is just $200 above the minimum.
Yes, Bradley is priced low because his 2019 production has been virtually nonexistent, sporting a .198 wOBA and .028 ISO.
He's suffering form a .217 BABIP, though, and has yet to go yard. His 35.2% hard-hit rate and 12.7% soft-hit rate are still strong marks, so having no homers when he owns a career 12.3% home run-to-fly-ball rate (and posted 10.6% last year) is not sustainable. Neither is that low BABIP, considering his .299 mark last year and .294 career average.
His bounce-back is especially likely to come against a right-handed pitcher, as he's topped a .180 ISO against righties in three of his last four seasons, with a wOBA of at least .329 in each of those three.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Toronto Blue Jays ($2,500)
Whether you want to attribute it to variance or some yips in his first major league stint, Vlad Jr. isn't hitting the ball the way we've seen him do it at the minor league level.
And I'm not just talking production either -- he has a strong 42.3% hard-hit rate in the bigs, but he's also hit 73.1% ground balls and only 15.4% fly balls. He did hit a fair number of grounders in the minors, with rates of 48.1% and 47.0% in his two Triple-A seasons, but he also had 44.4% and 24.0% fly-ball rates, as well as a 38.0% fly-ball rate at the Double-A level.
Of course, we don't expect his major league production to reach the same levels that he did in the minors right away, but dropping from a .481 wOBA in Double-A and .428 in Triple-A last year to .204 in the majors is more than just a typical step down against tougher competition.
These struggles have him cheap, though, and with only 41 plate appearances, it's too quick to chalk them up as anything too concerning.
Rowdy Tellez, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays ($2,900)
Covey didn't show much promise in his first two major leagues seasons, with a 5.64 SIERA in 2017 and 4.59 in 2018, and his awful 7.71 through three games this year brings his career average to 5.08.
We don't have a big sample for Tellez in the majors, but so far in 138 plate appearances against right-handed pitching, he has turned some outstanding contact (48.9% hard-hit rate, 12.2% soft-hit rate and 40.0% fly-ball rate) into a .385 wOBA and .292 ISO.
The Jays have a solid 4.94-run implied total here, and Tellez boasts plenty of upside against Covey.
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.