5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 8/6/19

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.

Nicholas Castellanos, OF, Chicago Cubs ($3,200)

Nick Castellanos is my favorite play of the night. More than reasonably priced at $3,200, Castellanos has hit in the number-two spot since joining the Chicago Cubs, and he’s repaid Joe Maddon with a 1.129 OPS in his brief time in the Windy City. Castellanos has been hot for a while now, with 24 extra-base hits and a .893 OPS over his last 39 games.

Tonight, Castellanos will face off against left-handed pitcher Brett Anderson. Anderson has fairly pedestrian numbers on the season with a 4.66 FIP and an outrageously low 4.6 strikeouts per nine (K/9). Castellanos has hit better against lefties his entire career, but that has been especially so in 2019. In 84 plate appearances, Castellanos is slashing .351/.417/.622 against lefties with four of his 12 home runs on the season.

JD Davis, OF, New York Mets ($2,900)

J.D. Davis was on this list yesterday, and after a good performance in the doubleheader, he’ll make the list again today. He continued his red-hot stretch on Monday, going 2-for-6 with a home run and a walk to give himself a 1.066 OPS across his last 69 plate appearances. He’ll probably continue to make this list as he’s finally starting to get everyday plate appearances with Robinson Cano's season likely being over due to a torn hamstring

Davis will face off against Miami Marlins starter Jordan Yamamoto. After a great start to his major league career, Yamamoto has really struggled in his last four starts, allowing an 8.05 ERA with an awful 7% swinging-strike rate in that time. There should be more regression coming, as Yamamoto has surrendered a 51% hard-hit rate and is allowing a ton of fly balls (41.2%). Despite that, his homer-per-fly-ball rate sits at just 8.2%.

Franmil Reyes, OF, Cleveland Indians ($2,800)

Franmil Reyes being at such a low price is very surprising. He’s struggled since joining the Indians, but he is still a huge power threat in the middle of a very good Cleveland Indians lineup. Tonight they face off against Ariel Jurado. Reyes’s biggest flaw is his gaudy strikeout rate, but with Jurado entering tonight's game with a career 5.5 K/9 over 140 2/4 innings, I’m not too worried about Jurado taking advantage of Reyes’s weakness. The Indians have one of the higher implied totals of the night (5.23), and with Reyes in the middle of the lineup, it would not be surprising if he has his first big night as a member of the Indians.

Elvis Andrus, SS, Texas Rangers ($3,100)

Despite the fact that Elvis Andrus has been pretty bad this season with his bat, I still like him tonight for one big reason -- the opposing starting pitcher is Zach Plesac. On the surface, Plesac’s 3.41 ERA and 1.15 WHIP look entirely fine, but that has been thanks to extremely good fortune. His 5.23 FIP and 6.4 K/9 point to a a below average starting pitcher. The Texas Rangers should rock Plesac tonight, and Andrus, hitting third as he normally does, should be a big beneficiary of Plesac’s impending regression.

Jake Lamb, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,900)

Jake Lamb has quietly changed his plate approach and been a different hitter for the last month now.

His 51.1% hard-contact rate in that span goes with just a 6.7% soft-contact rate, both of which are elite marks. Despite him hitting the ball extremely well, his batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is just .244 in that time, which means he's due for some positive regression. His strikeout rate has been just 21.3% in that stretch, compared to the 27.0% rate he was at a season ago. He’s also walking at an elite 16% walk rate in that time, compared to the 11% walk rate for his career. The market may not be realizing that Lamb is breaking out in front of us, and with his price still manageable, I would be taking advantage of that.

His opposition tonight is Jake Arrieta. Arrieta has talked openly about how an elbow injury has been bothering the last couple of months. It shows in his numbers, as he has a 5.01 ERA over his last 15 starts and is allowing 1.52 home runs per nine innings. Lamb has a chance to take advantage of Arrieta’s diminished stuff and have a big night at the plate.

James Kohout is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, James Kohout also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username jt2115. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.