5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 6/3/19
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.
Myles Straw, OF, Houston Astros ($2,000)
Straw has made only 19 career plate appearances in the majors, so we can't get too excited about how he's looked so far, especially considering his pedestrian .328 wOBA over 217 Triple-A plate appearances in 2019. He's deadly on the basepaths, though, with 3 steals in 3 MLB games this season after swiping 35 in 66 Triple-A games last year and 16 in 46 games this year.
He's shown good plate discipline, with double-digit walk rates at every level since 2017, and combining that ability to get free bases with his steal potential, he can offer big fantasy upside even with an uninspiring bat.
Tonight's matchup gives him a nice boost as LeBlanc has an ugly 4.92 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) this season, allowing a massive .404 wOBA to the 103 right-handed hitters he has faced.
Tyler White, 1B, Houston Astros ($2,500)
If you're looking for home run upside in Houston, you can get that on the cheap, too. This is the typical "Tyler White offers big pop against lefties" spot.
White's sporting only a .270 wOBA in 2019, but he's still got a strong batted-ball profile, which includes a 34.3% hard-hit rate, 11.4% soft-hit rate (a career-best) and 32.9% fly-ball rate. He's up to 231 plate appearances against left-handed hurlers over his career, and in that sample, he's turned a 37.0% hard-hit rate and 44.2% fly-ball rate into a .341 wOBA and .225 ISO.
His price-tag is up recently after spending the early part of the season priced around the minimum, but even at $2,500, he's a bargain against the struggling LeBlanc on this short slate.
Mallex Smith, OF, Seattle Mariners ($2,600)
The likely leadoff bat on the other side of that game is available on the cheap, as well.
Mallex Smith is another guy whose bat doesn't offer much pop, with a career .310 wOBA and .105 ISO, but he's still full of fantasy upside. His 14 steals in 2019 are the third-most in the majors, and he was one of only three players to steal 40 bags in 2018.
Houston will start right-hander Corbin Martin, who posted a 4.60 xFIP in six Triple-A games this year before seeing that mark climb to 5.07 in four MLB outings, giving up a 12.1% walk rate in Triple-A and 11.8% walk rate in the bigs.
Smith walks 9.1% of the time against righties, compared to 7.3% without the platoon advantage, so he's got a good shot of getting on base against Martin, positioning him well to show off his stolen base upside.
David Freese, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,800)
There's no over/under set for that Houston/Seattle game yet, but among the other four teams in action tonight, the Los Angeles Dodgers own the highest implied total (4.62 runs) as they take on lefty Robbie Ray and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
While Ray's strikeout upside remains deadly (30.0% strikeout rate on the year), his 4.21 SIERA and 12.8% walk rate mean he's not a nightmare fantasy matchup, especially since he's on pace for his third consecutive season allowing a hard-hit rate above 40%.
Freese has been unsustainably productive so far this year, with a .420 wOBA over 104 plate appearances, but even if we expand the sample back to include 2018 (up to 416 plate appearances), he shows a .372 wOBA and .200 ISO.
He has a 22.2% strikeout rate against lefties in that time, so his floor against Ray is low, but his upside more than makes up for it.
Chris Taylor, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,400)
Ray allows some especially worrying contact when he doesn't have the platoon advantage, giving up a 46.4% hard-hit rate to righties last year and 44.8% clip in 2019, with xFIPs of 4.13 and 4.18 in the split while allowing a .336 wOBA in that time.
Taylor has managed just a .300 wOBA so far in 2019 (down from a .361 in 2017 and .335 in 2018), but his 75 plate appearances against southpaws have seen him be his usual productive self, notching a .339 wOBA and .239 ISO.
That brings him, since 2017, to a .339 wOBA and .200 ISO on a 35.3% hard-hit rate and 39.8% fly-ball rate in the split -- more than enough to take advantage of the upside available against Ray.
Our models are high on Taylor tonight, too, projecting him as the second-best point-per-dollar value among today's hitters.
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.