5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 8/1/19

Nate Lowe's big minor league production has held up in the majors, and Andrew Cashner isn't likely to slow him down. Which other low-priced bats should you target on Thursday?

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.

Michael Chavis, 2B, Boston Red Sox ($2,900)

Michael Chavis has cooled off some after his hot start, but the youngster is still sitting at a .335 wOBA and .200 ISO across 348 plate appearances in the majors. While his 33.0% strikeout rate is definitely a concern, a low fantasy floor is par for the course at this price-point, and his upside is tough to ignore.

That's especially the case tonight, where he gets the platoon advantage and allows us cheap exposure to the Boston Red Sox' slate-high 5.50-run implied total.

A matchup with Tampa Bay Rays southpaw Brendan McKay is an interesting one, as well. McKay has four major league games to his name, and while he's looked good at just about every level, it's tough to be too confident against a guy with almost no major league experience in a matchup versus a Boston offense that ranks top-five in wRC+.

Sam Travis, 1B, Boston Red Sox ($2,400)

For more cheap Boston exposure, it's worth sticking with right-handed bats to get the platoon advantage.

Sam Travis has not been overly impressive this season, turning in a .312 wOBA and .150 ISO after posting a .349 wOBA and .157 ISO at the Triple-A level. He owns some fairly extreme platoon splits, though, and over his major league career, he's managed a respectable .340 wOBA against left-handed pitching.

With this hefty implied total on a short slate, "respectable" is all you need at $2,400.

Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Tampa Bay Rays ($2,800)

Plenty of offense is expected on the other side of this one, and Tampa boasts a 5.00-run implied total in a terrific matchup against Boston righty Andrew Cashner.

No longer an Oriole, Cashner still pitches like one. He's given up 12 earned runs and 4 homers in three starts since joining the Red Sox, which is not at all unusual by his standards. Cashner may be having his best season in a while, but considering his 5.52 SIERA in 2017 and 5.33 SIERA in 2018, that's not a difficult achievement. His 4.95 SIERA this season is still an ugly mark.

Kevin Kiermaier has a strong 37.1% hard-hit rate against right-handed pitching this season as well as a serviceable career .326 wOBA and .191 ISO in the split. Our models project him as the top point-per-dollar value on the slate.

Nate Lowe, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays ($2,900)

Up against Cashner, it shouldn't surprise you to see multiple Rays on the list.

Cashner is also especially terrible against left-handed hitters, with a 5.28 xFIP since 2017, positioning Nate Lowe especially well.

Lowe dominated at the Triple-A level this year, with a .405 wOBA and .228 ISO across 296 plate appearances, and it's largely been more of the same in the majors. It's only a 115-plate appearance sample, but he's managed a .367 wOBA and .216 ISO so far. His hard-hit rate jumps from 35.7% against southpaws to 43.3% against righties, also posting a 13.3% soft-hit rate and 43.3% fly-ball rate in the split.

Editor's Note: After publication, Lowe was sent down to Triple-A.

Jose Martinez, OF, St. Louis Cardinals ($2,700)

The wheels seem to be coming off a bit for the Chicago Cubs' 35-year-old southpaw Jon Lester this season. It may not be obvious when you look at his 3.63 ERA, but that's backed up with a middling 4.21 SIERA. This is his third straight season with a SIERA worse than 4.00, and the only other such stretch of his career was from 2006 to 2008 -- his first three years in the majors.

His average fastball velocity in 2019 is the lowest we've seen in those last three years, and the 39.3% hard-hit rate he's allowing is 6.7 percentage points higher than he's ever allowed before. Against right-handed sticks, that hard-hit jumps to 41.5% with a 37.4% fly-ball rate.

Jose Martinez is more than capable of taking advantage of a plus matchup versus a southpaw, absolutely raking with a .421 wOBA and .252 ISO on 40.4% hard-hits in 283 career plate appearances in the split.

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.