4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 5/23/19
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.
Ji-Man Choi, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays ($2,900)
It's really easy to like the Rays' matchup tonight too, as they take on the Cleveland Indians and right-hander Adam Plutko. Plutko has been in and out of the majors for years, and over 20 games has only managed a 5.00 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) while giving up 2.4 home runs per nine innings, thanks in part to a 56.4% fly-ball rate.
Ji-Man Choi is having a down year, with a .320 wOBA and .140 ISO, but coming off a 2018 campaign that saw him notch a .367 wOBA and .242 ISO on a hard-hit rate north of 40%, there's no need to be too panicked about his shaky start yet.
He's also picking things up nicely against right-handed pitching, jumping to a .347 wOBA and .175 ISO on the year (and marks of .384 and .256 last year), making him especially appealing in this spot.
Willy Adames, SS, Tampa Bay Rays ($2,600)
Going right back to that matchup, Willy Adames may be dealing with a same-sided matchup, but he's actually sporting reverse platoon splits in the majors so far, with a viable .341 wOBA on a 35.6% hard-hit rate over 335 plate appearances against right-handed pitching.
Adames has been rolling lately too, scoring six runs and driving in four over his last 10 games.
Adames is $700 cheaper than any other shortstop on the slate, and our models project him as by far the day's best point-per-dollar value at the position.
Tony Kemp, OF, Houston Astros ($2,300)
With the weird makeup of this slate, here I'm recommending playing a hitter that's up against the stud pitching option I like for tonight.
Lucas Giolito makes a strong play because of his strikeout upside though, not his floor, so there's room for the Houston Astros and their 5.11 implied total to turn in some solid offense while still leaving Giolito with a viable fantasy score. And pairing $2,300 exposure to the Astros with Giolito is a lot more palatable than paying up for one of their stud bats.
Tony Kemp has a middling .316 wOBA on the season, which isn't far off the still-uninspiring .327 he posted in 2018. He gets the platoon advantage tonight though, and so far that has been a big deal during his major league career.
Both his hard-hit rate and fly-ball rates are over 5% higher against right-handed pitching than against southpaws, and he turned in a .337 wOBA against righties last year. He's only got a .260 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) in the split this year, so we can expect some regression on that front too.
Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians ($2,400)
We have Jason Kipnis projected as the second-best point-per-dollar value on the slate as Cleveland goes up against a Rays team that will be rolling with an opener and then likely playing Ryan Yarbrough as their long reliever.
Yarbrough pitched 38 games in his first major league season in 2018, posting a middling 4.12 SIERA. He hasn't looked any more intimidating in 2019, with a 4.03 SIERA through five games.
Kipnis has an ugly .282 wOBA on the year, but he's another guy suffering from a low BABIP (.258, compared to a .305 career-average) despite his 35.8% hard-hit rate and 10.5% soft-hit rate both on pace to be career-bests, meaning we can expect his production to climb some.
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.