5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 6/28/19
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.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Toronto Blue Jays
FanDuel Price: $3,000
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has just 64 plate appearances against left-handed pitching at the Major League level, so there's a lot of projecting in this recommendation. Guerrero Jr. has a 35.4% hard hit rate and just a 16.7% soft contact rate in that split, as well as a 15.6% strikeout rate and a 9.4% walk rate. We've seen enough -- at least I have -- to roll with Vlad in a plus matchup.
Danny Duffy offers that. His SIERA has been below 4.31 just once in nine seasons, and it's currently a career-worst 5.07 in 2019. Overall, he's allowing a 35.4% hard-hit rate, a number that spikes to 37.1% against right-handed batters. Duffy's low strikeout rate (18.9%) and low swinging-strike rate (9.8%) should allow Guerrero to generate contact and pay off his price tag.
Jordan Luplow, OF, Cleveland Indians
FanDuel Price: $2,900
Jordan Luplow is one of the algorithm's favorite value picks of the night in a matchup against Baltimore Orioles lefty John Means. Means has a 5.54 xFIP against right-handed hitters and just a 17.2% strikeout rate. The hard contact numbers aren't overly astounding (30.9%), but just 16.1% of the contact has been soft, and he allows lift (44.9% fly-ball rate to right-handed batters).
Luplow does strike out frequently (23.9% against lefties), but we just covered Means' lack of whiffs. Luplow isn't without risk, but he sure is an upside play given the matchup and his splits.
He has a 142 wRC+ and a .385 wOBA against lefties over the past two calendar years (159 plate appearances). That's tied to a 43.1% fly-ball rate and a 43.1% pull rate.
Eric Thames, C/1B, Milwaukee Brewers
FanDuel Price: $2,500
Archer has a 3.97 xFIP over the past two years against lefties, but that's not fully indicative of how things are now: it's up to 5.20 in 2019 (143 batters faced). He's letting up a hard-contact rate of 48.4% to lefties plus a 46.1% fly-ball rate. Archer still can net punchouts, though, evidenced by a 23.8% strikeout rate against left-handed hitters in 2019. It's not elite, but it's not nothing, you know?
Thames can always sit himself down after three swings: he has a strikeout rate north of 33.5% against righties in each of the past two seasons, and it's 36.4% over the past year. Along with that risk, though, comes upside: a .342 wOBA, a .231 ISO, and a 46.6% hard-hit rate.
Colin Moran, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates
FanDuel Price: $2,400
On the flip side of the Milwaukee Brewers/Pittsburgh Pirates tilt, we have Colin Moran against Jhoulys Chacin. Over the past two years, Chacin has a dreadful 5.53 xFIP against left-handed hitters, including a 15.3% strikeout rate and an 11.9% walk rate. And, of course, the contact isn't really kept in check: 15.0% soft-hit rate and a 38.5% hard-hit rate.
Moran isn't a guarantee not to strike out (24.2% strikeout rate against righties in 2019), but again, Chacin doesn't really generate strikeouts at an alarming rate, and it's worth it for the shot at the ceiling here at just $2,400. Moran has posted a 112 wRC+, a .338 wOBA, and a .169 ISO against righties over the past calendar year. Moran is our second-highest projected value of the night.
Jose Martinez, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
FanDuel Price: $2,300
Jose Martinez is our fifth-best value hitter of the night -- until things change and we get more info. He's up against lefty Eric Lauer out in San Diego. Lauer has a 4.37 xFIP against 655 career righties over the past two seasons. The strikeout rate (21.2%) is a mite concerning, yet the 42.2% hard-hit rate is quite juicy.
Martinez, of course, does well to avoid striking out (12.5% against lefties this season, 16.5% last season), so that helps quell some concern about the matchup. Over the past two calendar years, Martinez has a 156 wRC+ against lefties and a .245 ISO. His hard-hit rate is 39.3%, too. For just $2,300, Martinez is a pretty easy sell.