5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 5/28/19
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.
Raimel Tapia, OF, Colorado Rockies ($3,000)
As favorites, the Rockies have the slate's highest implied total as the D-Backs roll out the struggling righty Merrill Kelly to pitch. Kelly has got just 10 major league starts (53 innings) under his belt, but he's struggled to the tune of a 5.23 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) while allowing a homer-friendly 40.8% hard-hit rate and 37.0% fly-ball rate.
Raimel Tapia doesn't offer any sort of monstrous power, but over his young career, he has a competent .330 wOBA and .171 ISO against right-handed pitching. The 132 of those plate appearances that have come at Coors have seen his production explode, too, with a .425 wOBA and .252 ISO in the split. It's a small sample, but it's no surprise that the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field give a big boost to his already-competent numbers against righties.
Blake Swihart, C, Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,500)
There's plenty of appeal on the other side of that game, as well, with the Rockies starting righty Antonio Senzatela, who has a career 4.64 SIERA (including a 5.18 SIERA over eight games in 2019) and has allowed a .347 wOBA with 1.45 home runs per nine innings at Coors Field. Even as underdogs, the Diamondbacks are sporting the slate's second-highest implied total.
There aren't a lot of cheap way to get exposure to their lineup tonight, but Swihart, despite his early-season struggles, is an interesting way to do it.
The switch-hitter has been far more successful against right-handed hurlers over his career, and dating back to the start of the 2018 season, he has really picked up his contact numbers, with a 34.8% hard-hit rate and 34.1% fly-ball rate in the split. A batted-ball profile like that gives him a big boost in the thin air at Coors.
Curtis Granderson, OF, Miami Marlins ($2,200)
A .284 wOBA from the 38-year-old Granderson isn't going to get you excited, but you're also not going to scoff at his .194 ISO, 39.6% hard-hit rate or 53.4% fly-ball rate. This terrific contact isn't anything new as he turned in a 35.3% hard-hit rate and 48.8% fly-ball rate in 2017 and a 37.2% hard-hit rate and 37.1% fly-ball rate in 2018, which translated to ISOs of .241 and .190.
That's not the kind of power you can often get for such a low price-tag, and a matchup with Jeff Samardzija shouldn't hold him back much. Samardzija is on pace for his second straight season with a SIERA north of 5.00, and in that time, he has an especially egregious 6.05 xFIP against left-handed hitters.
Our models have Granderson as the second-best point-per-dollar value on the slate.
Adam Frazier, 2B, Pittsburgh Pirates ($2,700)
He's had a rough start to 2019, with only a .292 wOBA and some weak batted-ball numbers. His stats aren't as bad against right-handed pitching, though, striking out only 11.8% of the time while only posting a 13.7% soft-hit rate, so he can still bring some serious value when the offense around him is offering so much promise.
Tonight's matchup gives him a nice boost as Cincinnati Reds righty Lucas Sims will be making his first major league start of the season after struggling to the tune of a 4.43 xFIP in nine Triple-A starts this year. He's pitched a career 73 1/3 innings in the majors, posting an ugly 5.08 SIERA while getting thrashed for a .382 wOBA by left-handed bats.
Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds ($2,900)
Speaking of the Reds, they're favored in this game and show a 5.06-run implied total against righty Jordan Lyles and the Pirates. Lyles hasn't been nearly as good as his 2.81 ERA might indicate, with a more modest 4.00 SIERA so far in 2019, bringing his career average SIERA to 4.28. He also has a tendency to struggle against left-handed bats, allowing an xFIP of at least 4.50 in the split in each of his last seven seasons, with a 4.23 xFIP and .327 wOBA so far in 2019.
Votto's production has completely fallen off a cliff this year, and he's managed only a .308 wOBA after never finishing a season with a mark below .359 in his first 12 big league campaigns. He's still making some nice contact, though, with a 36.2% hard-hit rate, 12.3% soft-hit rate and 41.3% fly-ball rate, and his 194-foot average batted-ball distance against right-handed pitching isn't far off of last year's mark (198). He's definitely showing signs of decline, but he's still hitting the ball well enough to boast some solid upside in the right matchup.
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.