5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 7/24/19
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.
Dominic Smith, OF, New York Mets ($2,400)
Lamet posted a solid 4.03 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) in his first major league season in 2017, and after missing the entire 2018 season due to Tommy John surgery, he's back and has made three major league start in 2019. He's not showing any ill effects from the injury so far, with an increased average fastball velocity and increased swinging-strike rate.
His career numbers against left-handed hitters are still ugly, though, and they include a 5.01 xFIP, 12.9% walk rate, .367 wOBA and 37.1% hard-hit rate.
Dominic Smith has a very solid .369 wOBA and .237 ISO on a 37.8% hard-hit and 36.5% fly-ball rate in 2019. He's been especially good against right-handed pitching, with a 38.2% hard-hit and 38.6% fly-ball rate translating to a .380 wOBA and .263 ISO, giving him plenty of upside against Lamet.
Robinson Cano, 2B, New York Mets ($2,600)
Robinson Cano isn't exactly going to fly under the radar after going yard three times on Tuesday, but there's more than just recency bias working in his favor here.
Like Smith, being a left-handed hitter against Lamet gives him a big boost.
Even at 36 years old, Cano is still showing plenty of pop this season. His 39.9% hard-hit rate trails only last year's 41.5% for his career, and against right-handed pitching that rate jumps to 42.6%, which has helped him to a .326 wOBA and .210 ISO.
He doesn't offer the pop that Smith does, and in a vacuum Smith is the superior play of the two. But Cano can give you salary relief while taking up a second base slot without as many appealing high-priced plays as the outfield, though, and it's also viable to stack the two in this spot.
Alex Verdugo, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers ($3,000)
An offense we're more accustomed to targeting, the Los Angeles Dodgers boast the slate's second-highest implied total (5.71 runs) as they take on the Los Angeles Angels and right-hander Jaime Barria on Wednesday.
Barria has only managed a 4.73 SIERA across his 34 career games in the majors, and this year he's giving up a 37.5% hard-hit rate, 10.6% soft-hit rate and 40.2% fly-ball rate.
Alex Verdugo projects to bat second for the Dodgers today, which is already a valuable spot with this high implied total. He's also sporting a solid .348 wOBA and .193 ISO across 344 plate appearances this season, and against right-handed pitching that ISO jumps to .203 on a 44.6% hard-hit rate.
Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,800)
Once again doubling down on an offense, Corey Seager hits in the back half of the Dodgers' order, but he also comes at a slight discount compared to Verdugo.
His overall numbers are no more appealing than Verdugo's, with a .339 wOBA and .171 ISO, but his platoon splits have been more extreme, making him particularly exciting against right-handed pitching.
Seager has a significant 204 plate appearances in that split this season, converting a 40.8% hard-hit rate and 43.4% fly-ball rate to a .377 wOBA and .228 ISO.
Howie Kendrick, 1B, Washington Nationals ($2,300)
Freeland has pitched 14 games in 2019, turning in a career-worst 5.12 SIERA. This game isn't going down at Coors Field, but Freeland is still getting cracked for a .345 wOBA and 4.88 xFIP on 43.6% hard hits and 40.0% fly balls on the road this season.
Howie Kendrick has a .378 wOBA and .223 ISO on the year, which is far better than what we'd usually expect to see at only $2,300. That production has come over a solid 246 plate appearances, as well, and is backed up by a 43.0% hard-hit and 11.9% soft-hit rate.
It's no surprise that our models project Kendrick as the top point-per-dollar value on the slate.
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.