5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 6/21/19
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.
Brandon Belt, 1B, San Francisco Giants ($2,800)
Belt is turning in a pretty solid 2019 campaign so far, with a .343 wOBA and .201 ISO over 266 plate appearances -- better marks than you're generally getting at a price-point this low.
He's always going to have a low floor, and he's striking out more than 20% of the time (a trend as old as his MLB career). But he's also making some of the best contact of his career. His 41.0% hard-hit rate is just short of a career high, his 13.3% soft-hit rate is better than his 14.5% career average, and his 48.8% fly-ball rate is the best such clip we've seen from him.
As usual, he's been especially good against right-handed pitching, jumping to a .359 wOBA and .242 ISO over 179 plate appearances. That should serve him well tonight against Arizona Diamondbacks righty Taylor Clarke, who has managed just a 4.77 SIERA over seven MLB games after posting an egregious 6.23 xFIP in seven Triple-A starts to open 2019.
Eric Thames, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers ($2,700)
Another guy whose low floor and inconsistency keep him cheap, Thames can absolutely mash right-handed pitching. He's got a strong .359 wOBA and .246 ISO in the split in 2019, and since returning to the majors in 2017, he's averaging a .369 wOBA and .273 ISO in the split on a 45.0% hard-hit rate and 43.5% fly-ball rate.
Even in one of the best seasons of his career, Gray is giving up a 43.0% hard-hit rate to right-handed bats, and for under $3,000, it takes a truly elite righty to take Thames out of play.
Derek Dietrich, 2B, Cincinnati Reds ($2,800)
Anderson hasn't been nearly as good as Gray this year, with a 4.40 SIERA that lines up with his 4.34 career average SIERA. He also tends to have some issues with left-handed hitters, sporting a 4.44 xFIP in the split following 2018's 4.68 xFIP against lefties.
Derek Dietrich owns a career .343 wOBA and .195 ISO against right-handed pitching, and in 2019 (179 plate appearances), he has turned a 43.5% hard-hit rate and 51.8% fly-ball rate into an elite .407 wOBA in the split.
Nomar Mazara, OF, Texas Rangers ($3,000)
As of Friday morning, no team is even close to the Texas Rangers for the highest implied total on the slate. The Rangers are boasting a 6.21-run mark in tonight's matchup with the Chicago White Sox and right-hander Reynaldo Lopez, who ranks bottom-10 in SIERA among qualifying pitchers in 2019.
Nomar Mazara isn't always the most exciting hitter, but one of the best pitching matchups on the slate in the best hitting environment available pushes him over the top on Friday. He's proven himself capable against right-handed pitching over his four seasons, never posting a wOBA below .321 or ISO below .150 in the split, averaging a .333 wOBA and .180 ISO. He's really picked up his contact in the split this year, too, with a 49.3% hard-hit rate that is on pace to top his previous best by over 10 percentage points.
Leury Garcia, OF, Chicago White Sox ($2,900)
The heat and the hitter-friendly park is a boon for the White Sox, too, and even as underdogs, they're showing a strong 5.29-run implied total.
The Rangers will start righty Ariel Jurado, which certainly doesn't hurt Chicago's offensive outlook. Jurado has pitched in 15 games this season, posting a weak 4.65 SIERA. When you combine that with his first 12 MLB games from 2018, he's got a 4.99 career SIERA with a lowly 12.8% strikeout rate and worrying 41.2% hard-hit rate.
Jurado has an especially bad 5.51 xFIP against left-handed bats, makings this a terrific spot for the switch-hitting Leury Garcia.
Garcia, admittedly, has done his best work against southpaws over his career, and his numbers against righties are pretty underwhelming this season, including a brutal .269 wOBA and .076 ISO. If he does get on base, though, which is far more likely than normal in tonight's sweet spot, he brings some nice upside with his legs. He's already stolen 7 bases this year (after notching 12 in 2018), and per Baseball Savant, he's in the 84th percentile in sprint speed.
The Rangers are one of only four teams to allow their opponents to succeed on more than 80% of their stolen base attempts this season, and if Jurado can't keep Garcia off first base, then there's room for some great upside here.
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.