5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 7/30/19
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.
Tyler Austin, OF, San Francisco Giants ($2,300)
Tyler Austin hasn't impressed with a .293 wOBA in 2019, but he's still showing plenty of upside with a .221 ISO. This isn't anything new from him either, as he put up a middling .325 wOBA but a great .250 ISO in 2018 as well.
His contact in 2019 has been terrific, with a 40.8% hard-hit rate, 9.9% soft-hit rate and 40.0% fly-ball rate, and his numbers jump to a .324 wOBA and .225 ISO with a 14.0% walk rate against southpaws.
That positions him especially well tonight against Philadelphia Phillies southpaw Drew Smyly, who has only managed a 5.67 xFIP against right-handed bats on the year.
Our models also project Austin as the top point-per-dollar value among today's bats.
Omar Narvaez, C, Seattle Mariners ($2,600)
Omar Narvaez has shown consistent improvement from the dish in his major league career. He posted career-highs in both wOBA (.348) and ISO (.154) in 2018, and in 2019 those marks have climbed to a .359 wOBA and .185 ISO.
That production has come with some improved contact, with career-highs in both hard-hit (33.1%) and fly-ball (40.6%) rate. When he has the platoon advantage we see his wOBA stay consistent (.359) while his ISO jumps to .193 on a 41.5% fly-ball rate.
He gets that advantage tonight against Texas Rangers righty Ariel Jurado. Jurado posted a 5.28 SIERA in his first major league action in 2018, and his 4.94 mark in 2019 isn't much better. Left-handed hitters have tagged him for a .352 wOBA and 5.46 xFIP in the majors.
Tim Locastro, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,200)
The Arizona Diamondbacks love their base-stealers in the leadoff spot. Jarrod Dyson gets plenty of run in that spot, and he's stolen the third-most bases in the majors despite making only 307 plate appearances.
Tim Locastro has started in the leadoff spot the last few times Arizona has been up against a southpaw though, and he should be in that spot again against J.A. Happ and the New York Yankees.
Locastro is producing in that Jarrod Dyson mold so far, with only a .314 wOBA and .080 ISO over 164 plate appearances, but also with nine stolen bases. Per Baseball Savant, Locastro also has the highest sprint speed in the majors in 2019.
A matchup with Happ should give him a good chance to get on base, as Happ has given up a .334 wOBA and has a 5.02 xFIP against right-handed bats this season, and once he's at first base is when Locastro can really show off his fantasy upside.
Bo Bichette, SS, Toronto Blue Jays ($2,200)
Bo Bichette was called up from Triple-A and made his first major league start on Monday. A promising prospect, expect him to be back in the lineup tonight in a juicy matchup against Mike Montgomery and the Kansas City Royals.
The 21-year-old Bichette showed a reasonable combination of speed and power in Triple-A this season, with a .343 wOBA, .198 ISO and 15 stolen bases across 56 games. No stranger to producing that way, he had a .355 wOBA and stoles 32 bases in 2018.
There's obviously a lot of uncertainty around how he'll produce at the major league level, but tonight's matchup should be a gentle introduction to the bigs. Mike Montgomery has struggled to the tune of a 5.47 SIERA across 22 games this year, with a 9.1% walk rate and only a 12.3% strikeout rate. He's getting rocked for 41.8% hard-hits with only 11.4% soft-hits against right-handed bats, posting a 5.17 xFIP and 11.3% walk rate in that split.
Mike Tauchman, OF, New York Yankees ($2,900)
The Yankees have a huge 6.73-run implied total on the other side of that Diamondbacks game, which makes sense with how good their offense is an how bad Arizona righty Taylor Clarke is.
Clarke struggled to the tune of a 6.44 xFIP over 33 2/3 Triple-A innings this season and (surprise!) he hasn't been any good in the majors either. He's pitched 12 games (51 2/3 innings) and has only managed a 5.64 xFIP and 5.27 SIERA.
Mike Tauchman produced well in Triple-A this year, with a .378 wOBA and .232 ISO over 114 plate appearances. That has held up with a .360 wOBA and .213 ISO in 169 major league plate appearances on the season.
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.