5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 5/17/19
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.
Dexter Fowler, OF, St. Louis Cardinals ($2,900)
Leclerc will be making the first start of his major league career, and he hasn't had much success as a reliever, with a SIERA of 4.50 or worse in three of his four MLB seasons. The only real sample we have on him as a starter is back in 2015 when he struggled to the tune of a 5.05 xFIP over 22 starts.
He's not likely to pitch deep into this one, and the Rangers' relievers have a group xFIP of 5.00 -- which is the third-worst in the majors. So things won't get any worse for the Cards' offense once Leclerc gets the hook.
Dexter Fowler has bounced back nicely from his down year in 2018, with a .364 wOBA over 134 plate appearances in 2019, which lines up nicely with his .358 from 2017 and .367 from 2016.
Rougned Odor, 2B, Texas Rangers ($2,500)
Of course, hot weather in a hitter-friendly park and a huge over/under leaves the offense on the other side in a great spot too.
Cardinals righty Miles Mikolas has a middling 4.48 SIERA on the year, bringing his career-average to 4.15, so while he hasn't been terrible, he's certainly not dangerous enough to take the luster out of this spot.
Rougned Odor isn't a consistent producer by any stretch, as evidenced by his awful .255 wOBA and 35.0% strikeout rate in 2019. He's only sporting a .213 BABIP though, compared to a .277 career-average, despite the fact that his 37.3% hard-hit rate and 13.4% soft-hit rate are both better than his career-averages.
He offers plenty of power upside, with a career .191 ISO, and taking on a right-handed pitcher gives his ceiling even more of a boost tonight. Dating back to last season he has rocked righties for a 43.8% hard-hit rate, 13.0% soft-hit rate and 40.5% fly-ball rate.
Yairo Munoz, SS, St. Louis Cardinals ($2,000)
Back to the Cards, you don't need to pay all the way up for Fowler to get exposure -- Yairo Munoz brings some serious upside while he's priced at the minimum tonight.
He's turned in a strong .361 wOBA so far in 2019, and while that's only over a tiny 33 plate appearance sample, he did also notch a viable .326 wOBA in 329 plate appearances as a rookie last year. A career .330 wOBA is nothing to write home about, but it's also far better than what we typically expect to find at $2,000.
Not having the platoon advantage tonight's isn't a huge concern, as his wOBA against righties is still a reasonable .325, and it comes on a 34.1% hard-hit rate. With no guarantee that Leclerc lasts deep into this game, he could end up getting some cracks at southpaws anyway.
Our models project Munoz as by far the best point-per-dollar value on the slate.
Daniel Robertson, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays ($2,200)
While CC Sabathia is somehow still sporting a solid 3.26 ERA over six games as a 38-year-old, a deeper look at the numbers suggests that the wheels may finally be coming off. His 18.3% strikeout rate is on pace to be his lowest since 2004, his 7.9% swinging-strike rate is on pace to be a career-low, his 10.3% walk rate is his highest since his 2001 rookie campaign, and his average fastball velocity is on pace to be the lowest for any of his seasons on Baseball Savant.
All that together has him sporting a woeful 5.21 SIERA, while the 46.7% hard-hit rate he's giving up is 14% higher than he's ever allowed before.
Daniel Robertson has a capable .328 wOBA and .164 ISO against southpaws over his first three years in the majors, and if we just look at his numbers since 2018 those marks jump to a .351 wOBA and .169 ISO.
Those aren't elite marks by any stretch, but they're more than enough to put him in play against Sabathia, especially while he's priced this low.
Max Muncy, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,800)
Max Muncy has a .351 wOBA and .221 ISO on the season, he has the platoon advantage tonight, and he's priced at $2,800. There's a lot to like here.
Sure, his production is way down from the .407 wOBA and .319 ISO he posted last season, but he's still producing at a great clip for a value bat, and his 43.8% hard-hit rate and 39.1% fly-ball rate against right-handed pitching aren't too far off last year's marks (48.0% hard-hit, 44.2% fly-ball).
Cincinnati Reds righty Anthony DeSclafani is having a solid season, sporting a 3.95 SIERA through eight games (in line with last year's 3.96), but he's also being tagged by southpaws for both a hard-hit rate and fly-ball rate above 40.0% for the second straight year, leaving Muncy with plenty of power upside tonight.
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.