5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 7/15/19
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.
Joc Pederson, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,600)
It's hard not to love getting Joc Pederson for this cheap -- especially when he's got the platoon advantage.
Pederson pairs a .355 wOBA and .280 ISO on the season, which lines up almost exactly with his .354 wOBA and .273 ISO from 2018. Considering those two seasons include a combined 743 plate appearances, there's a pretty strong chance that's the level of production we can expect from him in the second half of 2019.
657 of those plate appearances have come against right-handed pitching, and in that sample, his wOBA jumps to .374 with a .301 ISO on a 44.4% hard-hit and 43.2% fly-ball rate.
Philadelphia Phillies righty Zach Eflin has struggled to the tune of a 4.70 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) in 2019, which brings his career-average to 4.63. He's given up an especially egregious .368 wOBA and 5.13 xFIP to left-handed bats, making Pederson an easy pick as the best value hitter on the slate.
Oscar Mercado, OF, Cleveland Indians ($2,700)
As of Monday at noon, the Cleveland Indians' 6.05-run implied total is the highest on the slate as they take on the Detroit Tigers and southpaw Daniel Norris. The Coors Field game still doesn't have a line set, but no matter what comes up there, a 6-run implied total is not something you want to ignore.
Daniel Norris showed some promise with a 4.01 SIERA last year, but that was only an 11-game sample. His 4.71 in 2019 (18 games) is looking a lot more like the 4.94 he posted in 2017 (22 games). He's giving up an especially rough .340 wOBA on a 40.2% hard-hit rate against right-handed bats, and since 2017 he's given up a .341 wOBA and 4.65 xFIP on 41.6% hard-hits in the split.
Oscar Mercado projects to bat second for Cleveland here, and with the implied total, matchup and platoon advantage, that already makes him a solid play at this price. He carries in some value of his own as well though, flexing an impressive 50.9% hard-hit and 13.2% soft-hit rate in his 73 career major league plate appearances against southpaws. That's obviously a small sample, but he's also shown some offensive potential at the minor league level (.387 wOBA and .202 ISO in Triple-A in 2019).
Jordan Luplow, OF, Cleveland Indians ($2,500)
Right back to Cleveland, Jordan Luplow is available at an even more appealing price-point than Mercado.
All of the matchup factors that I outlined above factor in just as much here. Luplow will likely hit a few spots lower in the order, but an implied total above six runs with the platoon advantage against Norris is just as appealing here.
Luplow's having the best season of his career from the dish so far, sporting a .342 wOBA and a powerful .236 ISO -- marks that would make a $2,500 hitter appealing even in a neutral matchup.
Brandon Crawford, SS, San Francisco Giants ($3,000)
As mentioned above, there's no over/under set for tonight's game between the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies, which is the second half of a doubleheader. That's possibly because Colorado hasn't announced a starting pitcher, but reports are that it will likely be Chi Chi Gonzalez getting the nod.
The right-handed Gonzalez has only pitched 19 major league games in his career (86 1/3 innings), but in that sample, he's struggled mightily, with a 5.77 SIERA and a 12.2% walk rate that tops his 11.2% strikeout rate. He hasn't looked much better in the minors, and over 15 Triple-A games in 2019 he's posted an awful 5.25 xFIP. Struggles like that are only going to be compounded with a home start at Coors.
Brandon Crawford is not an exciting hitter, and in a typical spot, he wouldn't be on our radar at $3,000. This obviously isn't a typical spot though, and a capable 39.6% hard-hit and 31.1% fly-ball rate against righties since 2017 is enough to give him some huge upside in this spot.
Christin Stewart, OF, Detroit Tigers ($2,700)
Plutko has only managed a 4.74 SIERA over seven major league games this season, which is unsurprising after he posted a 4.94 xFIP over his four Triple-A starts. His career-average SIERA in the majors sits at 4.91, and left-handed hitters have thrashed him for a .389 wOBA and 6.09 xFIP.
Christin Stewart is striking out at a 22.5% rate this season, but with Plutko's 12.9% strikeouts and 7.5% walks against left-handed sticks, that's less of a concern than usual. Instead, we can focus on the upside that Stewart brings, with a 35.8% hard-hit and 44.6% fly-ball rate against righties over his first two major league seasons. That's only translated to a .311 wOBA and .176 ISO so far, but this terrific matchup should allow him to convert his solid contact into even better production.
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.