5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 7/18/19

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.

Eric Thames, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers ($2,700)

As has been the case for most of the season, Eric Thames finds himself way under-priced when he gets a matchup with a righty.

He's only made 30 plate appearances against southpaws, as he doesn't often start and does often get pinch-hit for against lefties, but he's blasted right-handed pitchers for a .368 wOBA and .257 ISO on a 47.9% hard-hit rate and 43.8% fly-ball rate this season.

Yes, he's striking out over 30% of the time, but the upside his power brings more than makes up for his low floor. Mashing righties is nothing new for him, either, and since 2017, he's sporting a .370 wOBA and .274 ISO in the split.

Arizona Diamondbacks righty Merrill Kelly has only managed a 4.87 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) this season, with an xFIP of 5.00 against left-handed bats.

Marwin Gonzalez, OF, Minnesota Twins ($2,800)

The Minnesota Twins' 5.92-run implied total is the mains slate's highest (pending a line being released on the Houston Astros versus Los Angeles Angels matchup), thanks in part to a terrific matchup against Oakland Athletics right-hander Mike Fiers.

Fiers has an awful 5.27 SIERA on the year, which is the third-worst among starters on tonight's main slate. His 38.8% hard-hit rate and 40.9% fly-ball rate are right in line with what he allowed in 2018.

The switch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez has a middling .319 wOBA on the year (right in line with last year's .318), and he has produced at almost an identical clip from either side of the dish over his career. He doesn't offer much exciting value in a vacuum, but getting cheap exposure to a capable hitter with the huge implied total against Fiers is enough to put him firmly in play on this slate.

Jesse Winker, OF, Cincinnati Reds ($2,800)

With another strong implied total (5.28 runs), it's also easy to like getting cheap exposure to the Cincinnati Reds.

They are another team with a great pitching matchup today, taking on righty Dakota Hudson and the St. Louis Cardinals. Hudson opened his major league career with a 5.01 SIERA in 2018, and while he's made some improvements in 2019, his 4.84 SIERA this season still doesn't inspire much confidence. His strikeout rate has only climbed to 16.7%, which he pairs with a 10.3% walk rate.

Left-handed bats are really giving him fits in 2019 as well, and he's allowing a .385 wOBA, 13.6% walk rate and 46.6% hard-hit rate in that split.

Jesse Winker has hit right-handed pitching very well over his young career, and in 632 such plate appearances, he's turned a 43.6% hard-hit rate into a .378 wOBA and .202 ISO.

Yasmani Grandal, C, Milwaukee Brewers ($3,000)

Back to the Brewers, our models project Yasmani Grandal as the second-best point-per-dollar fantasy value on the slate (behind only Eric Thames).

The switch-hitting catcher also gets the platoon advantage against Merrill Kelly (recall his 5.00 xFIP against left-handed bats), and Grandal has done his best work against right-handed pitching over his career.

Overall, he has turned in a .347 wOBA and .220 ISO on a 38.2% hard-hit rate and 40.1% fly-ball rate in the split, and in 2019 those marks are up to a .366 wOBA and .250 ISO on a massive 49.7% hard-hit rate and a 38.8% fly-ball rate.

Tommy Edman, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals ($2,500)

Even as underdogs, the Cardinals have a solid 4.72-run implied total in tonight's matchup with Reds righty Tanner Roark.

Roark turned in a career-worst 4.39 SIERA in 2018, and he's faring even worse in 2019, with a 4.49 SIERA across 18 games. He's allowing the most hard contact of his career (37.3%), and left-handed bats have thrashed him for a .410 wOBA and 6.15 xFIP.

The switch-hitting Tommy Edman projects to bat leadoff for the Cards, and at $2,500, getting the platoon advantage against Roark with a lofty spot in the lineup would put almost any hitter in play.

This spot is even better because Edman is showing some promise from the dish as well. He turned in a .364 wOBA and .208 ISO across 218 Triple-A plate appearances before getting the call-up this season, and across 69 plate appearances in the majors, he's managed a .316 wOBA and powerful .212 ISO.

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.