5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 6/5/19

Eric Thames' volatile production leaves him priced low despite tonight's juicy matchup with Sandy Alcantara and the Marlins. Who else can bring big value?

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.

Eric Thames, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers ($3,000)

The Milwaukee Brewers were shut out last night, but you shouldn't let that scare you away from their upside tonight. If anything it should have you excited to take advantage of some low salaries.

The Miami Marlins started one of their more promising pitchers on Tuesday, but it's a completely different story tonight with Sandy Alcantara on the mound. Alcantara has struggled to the tune of a 5.49 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) over 25 career major league games, and his 13.1% walk rate comes worryingly close to his 17.7% strikeout rate.

Eric Thames isn't a consistent hitter, thanks in part to his 34.6% strikeout rate, but he more than makes up for that with a .358 wOBA and .208 ISO, a level of production you don't often find in the value price range.

Thames is especially deadly against right-handed pitching, with a .368 wOBA and .269 ISO in the split since returning to the majors in 2017. His inability to produce (and the risk he's replaced with a pinch-hitter) if the Marlins go with a left reliever helps keep his salary low, but his upside is tough to pass up on at $3,000.

Travis Shaw, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers ($2,200)

Sandy Alcantara has been especially egregious against the 264 lefty bats he has faced in the majors, with a 5.76 xFIP and a 14.8% walk rate that eclipses his 12.5% strikeout rate, so even though he's likely to get an early hook in this one, it's worth it to load up on the Brewers' lefties to take advantage of their slate-high 5.40-run implied total.

Travis Shaw is struggling from the dish this year, but as I've mentioned often in this piece, his .238 BABIP is not sustainable long term. He has a .283 career average, and his 39.8% hard-hit rate in 2019 sits well above his 36.1% career mark.

Since joining the Brewers in 2017, Shaw has mashed right-handed pitchers for a .363 wOBA and .253 ISO on a 41.7% hard-hit and 43.0% fly-ball rate. He notched two hits (including a double) last night, and he offers even more upside tonight.

Curtis Granderson, OF, Miami Marlins ($2,400)

On the other side of that game, the Marlins aren't expected to do much damage against Milwaukee righty Jimmy Nelson. Nelson is far from untouchable, though, and after missing the entire 2018 season while recovering from shoulder surgery, he only managed a 4.87 xFIP in his five Triple-A rehab games (24 innings).

He's only posted an xFIP better than a 4.40 against left-handed bats once in his five major league seasons (though admittedly that was in his most recent year, which was a stellar 3.22), so attacking him from the opposite side of the plate is especially interesting.

The 38-year-old Granderson only has a .279 wOBA on the year, but he's another victim of a low BABIP (.229), despite the fact that his power looks like it's still there, with a .174 ISO on a career-best 41.2% hard-hit and 51.5% fly-ball rate. His floor is low, especially since he's surrounded by an anemic offense, but his power gives him plenty of upside at this price point.

Ji-Man Choi, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays ($2,800)

Speaking of power, Ji-Man Choi hasn't been mashing the way we saw last year when he posted a 43.8% hard-hit rate and .224 ISO, but his average exit velocity (89.1 miles per hour) isn't down by much, and he's sporting a respectable .350 wOBA against right-handed pitching.

That brings him to a career-average .347 wOBA and .223 ISO against righties, which is more than enough to make him an exciting play against Spencer Turnbull and the Detroit Tigers.

Turnbull may look impressive with a 2.84 ERA on the year, but that comes with only a 4.39 SIERA, and he has an especially awful 5.49 xFIP against left-handed bats.

Delino DeShields, OF, Texas Rangers ($2,400)

Back on the low-BABIP train, DeShields' .250 sits well below both his mark from 2018 (.280) and his career average (.314) despite his hard-hit rate coming in almost five percentage points higher and his soft-hit rate over seven percentage points lower than his career-average marks.

He's also showing some of the best plate discipline we've ever seen from him, with career-lows in both swinging-strike rate (6.1%) and reach rate (17.8%). This has him walking 14.9% of the time, which is another career best.

Free bases are big for a guy with wheels like DeShields has, too, and he's already got nine steals through 34 games, averaging one every 3.8 games, which is a nice jump from his previous best of one every 4.1 games in 2017.

His bat should also get a boost in a great spot today against Baltimore Orioles southpaw John Means, who has a 4.55 SIERA over 13 games this year.

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.