5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 5/13/19
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.
Jarrod Dyson, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,800)
We don't have any huge implied totals on today's main slate, but the Arizona Diamondbacks boast a 4.97-run mark, while no other team (as of Monday morning) has an implied total above 4.73. It's no surprise to see the high mark for the D-backs, who take on the Pittsburgh Pirates and righty Nick Kingham, who has a 4.38 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) while allowing a 36.1% hard-hit rate and 40.1% fly-ball rate in his young major league career.
Kingham's also really been beaten up by the 198 left-handed bats he's faced, getting mashed for a .408 wOBA and 5.70 xFIP.
A left-hander, Jarrod Dyson doesn't offer much power (.093 career ISO), but he's sporting a solid .349 wOBA on the season, and even his career-average .296 wOBA is enough in a matchup this juicy.
Where Dyson's major appeal comes is from his stealing ability, as he's already swiped 7 bags in 31 games this season, while he's notched at least 26 steals in five of the last six campaigns. Kingham's walk rate is up over 12% on the year, and Dyson's sporting an excellent 15.0% walk rate in 2019, so he's positioned well to get on the basepaths to create those stealing opportunities.
Dyson also benefits from being the likely leadoff hitter in the day's highest-projected offense, increasing his potential for plate appearances and runs scored.
Tyler White, 1B, Houston Astros ($2,200)
As has been the case so often this year, Tyler White's upside makes him a great value option against a southpaw.
Yes, Matt Boyd has a nasty 3.10 SIERA and 31.3% strikeout rate this year. He's a scary matchup for sure, but he's also still allowing a 36.1% hard-hit rate and 42.9% fly-ball rate. Over his career, those marks sit at 34.7% and 45.7%, respectively, and he's allowed an 11.9% home run-to-fly-ball rate. This year, that's only at 5.9%, and with the contact he's allowing, we can expect him to regress some and not be so immune to the long-ball.
In 212 career plate appearances against southpaws, White has shown plenty of power upside, notching a .365 wOBA and a hefty .245 ISO on a 36.7% hard-hit and 43.8% fly-ball rate. For only $200 above the minimum, the downside of a dud in this tough matchup doesn't mean too much, while the home run upside gives him a good chance to return huge value.
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Cleveland Indians ($2,500)
The Cleveland Indians offense has been pretty terrible in 2019, sitting 27th in the majors in wOBA and 29th in wRC+. Even still, their 4.54-run implied total ranks top four on tonight's slate.
Right away that tells you a lot about the quality of the Chicago White Sox's pitching as they roll with Reynaldo Lopez on the mound. Lopez, to his credit, is showing some improvements from last season. Of course, improvement on a 4.92 SIERA has still only meant a 4.67 mark (and a 10.7% walk rate) this year, bringing his career-average SIERA to an ugly 4.88.
Gonzalez fits right in with the 2019 Cleveland lineup, posting an awful .266 wOBA. That's only over 88 plate appearances, though, and he's coming off a 2018 season in which he managed a reasonable .338 wOBA and .190 ISO.
The platoon advantage is also big for him tonight, as he's still managed a 38.1% hard-hit rate against right-handed pitching this year, and he hasn't posted a wOBA below .350 against righties since 2014.
Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians ($2,500)
Reynaldo Lopez has had a particularly tough time with left-handed bats over his career, showing an egregious 5.69 xFIP, so it makes sense to double-down on (or even stack) Cleveland's lefty-heavy lineup tonight.
Jason Kipnis has a Carlos Gonzalez-esque .253 wOBA on the year, but he's also only sporting a .258 batting average on balls in play (BABIP), compared to a .305 career average. His contact numbers are in line with his career averages, so he's likely going to see some regression on the BABIP front moving forward.
Kipnis is no killer from the dish, even against righties, but he's never posted a wOBA worse than .316 in the split (over eight major league seasons), with a career-average .343 wOBA and .168 ISO -- more than enough to make him a viable option against Lopez.
Travis Shaw, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers ($2,200)
Travis Shaw's got a rough matchup tonight, as the Philadelphia Phillies are rolling out ace righty Aaron Nola. There are two intriguing things about this spot for Shaw, though -- one being Nola's right-handedness and the other being the being the career-high 33.1% hard-hit rate and career-low 16.1% soft-hit rate Nola has allowed this year.
Shaw can absolutely mash right-handed pitchers, with a 41.9% hard-hit rate in that split this season, after posting marks of 43.1% and 39.8% in the last two seasons. Since 2017, his 196-foot average batted-ball distance against righties ranks 44th among the 458 hitters with at least 100 batted-ball events in the split.
He's struggling to produce despite his strong contact this year, but a .225 BABIP (compared to a .283 career average) and 10.3% home run-to-fly-ball rate (compared to a 16.2% career average) suggest that we can expect an uptick in production.
Like we saw with White above, Shaw's floor is low in a matchup this tough. He can't burn us too much at $2,200 though, and he's a great way to get some cheap home run upside.
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.