5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 8/9/19
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.
Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres ($3,000)
Hunter Renfroe is an absolute lock to be in all of my lineups tonight. Renfroe has the combination of an easy matchup and a platoon advantage tonight. First the matchup, Renfroe will face Colorado Rockies starter Kyle Freeland tonight. Freeland has been awful in 2019 with a 7.24 ERA/6.35 FIP, 1.61 WHIP, 2.4 home runs per nine innings, and 3.6 walks per nine innings. Freeland ranks in the 7th percentile in expected slugging percentage against (XSLG), and opposing hitters are barreling 10.2% of Freeland’s batted balls. For comparison sake, Pete Alonso ranks 11th in baseball at barrel rate at 10.3%, so Freeland is essentially allowing everyone to hit the ball extremely hard off of him.
Freeland is also a left-handed pitcher. This season against left-handed pitching, Hunter Renfroe is hitting for a 1.030 OPS with 11 home runs in 95 plate appearances. His 52.2% hard-hit rate against left-handed pitching is among the elite marks in all of baseball, as is his 50.7% fly-ball rate. With all of this put together, I would be shocked if Renfroe doesn’t have a big night at the plate, and at just $3,000 dollars, he’s somebody I want in all of my lineups.
Cheslor Cuthbert, 1B, Kansas City Royals ($2,800)
The Kansas City Royals have an incredibly great matchup tonight against Detroit Tigers starter Edwin Jackson. On the season Jackson has an 11.12 ERA, 2.19 WHIP, and has allowed 12 home runs in 28 ⅓ innings. He’s been the worst pitcher to get multiple starts this season by any metric. It was hard finding a good value in the Royals lineup, as the top hitters in that lineup such as Whit Merrifield and Hunter Dozier are priced fairly, but wouldn’t be considered values, but Cuthbert fits that mold.
Cuthbert has consistently hit 5th for the Royals since Hunter Dozier’s return and has posted solid numbers on the season. He’s hitting the ball harder than he ever has at a 34.5% mark and his eight home runs in 238 plate appearances represent more power than he’s shown in the past. This one is mostly about the great matchup, but Cuthbert has enough in his profile to take advantage of it more than other hitters in the Royals lineup.
Renato Nunez, 3B, Baltimore Orioles ($2,800)
This price was shockingly low to me. It’s going to be a hot night in Baltimore and the ball is going to be flying out of the ballpark.
Renato Nunez has shown an ability to take advantage of that, especially against left-handed pitching. In 151 plate appearances against lefties this season, Nunez has 11 of his 25 home runs on the season with an .847 OPS. Nunez ranks in the 80th percentile of all of baseball in both exit velocity and hard-hit rate, so it would be no surprise to see Nunez take Houston Astros starter, Wade Miley, deep tonight.
Albert Pujols, 1B, Los Angeles Angels ($2,800)
Despite being a diminished version of what he used to be at the plate, Albert Pujols can still rake against lefties. Pujols’s .807 OPS against lefties is considerably better than his .689 mark against righties, and eight of his 17 home runs on the season have come against left-handed pitching. His soft-contact rate also drops from 22.3% against right-handed pitchers to just 13.9% against left-handed pitchers.
Tonight, Pujols will face off against Boston Red Sox starter Brian Johnson. Johnson’s dealt with injuries most of the season and has only pitched 17 innings for the Red Sox, but his 6.88 ERA and 2.12 WHIP represent a matchup that Pujols should be able to take advantage of tonight.
JA Happ, SP, New York Yankees ($6,600)
J.A. Happ hasn’t been great this season, but tonight he’s one of the cheapest starting pitchers on the board and that doesn’t make a ton of sense to me. He gets a pretty good matchup against Toronto, who rank 21st in WRC+ and 23rd in WOBA on the season. In his two games against the Toronto Blue Jays this season, Happ has gone 12 ⅓ innings with a 2.19 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and a 9:1 strikeout to walk ratio.
The New York Yankees will face off against Sean Reid-Foley tonight. Reid-Foley has a 6.26 ERA in Triple-A on the season, and in 21 ⅔ innings with the major league team Reid-Foley has posted an acceptable 2.49 ERA, but that has been extremely lucky as shown by his 4.83 FIP and 1.52 WHIP. Expect the Yankees to dominate Reid-Foley tonight, and for Happ to give you six solid innings and a win at the end of the night.
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.