5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 8/20/19

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.

Cole Hamels, SP, Chicago Cubs ($7,300)

Cole Hamels is one of the cheaper pitchers on tonight's slate, which is very odd considering he’s been pretty good for most of 2019.

Since coming back from the IL, Hamels has certainly struggled. A 10.80 ERA in 10 innings across three starts is not great, but Hamels matchups in those starts have not been close to as easy as his matchup tonight is.

Hamels faces the Giants tonight. The Giants as a team rank 27th in both team-wide wOBA and wRC+. This feels similar to John Means last night, in which FanDuel is under-pricing good starting pitchers going through a rough stretch. The Giants are a great matchup for Hamels tonight, who should go back to being the very good starting pitcher he’s been most of the season.

Albert Pujols, 1B, Los Angeles Angels ($3,000)

Albert Pujols has struggled in 2019 but still has an ability to hit left-handed pitching well. His .809 OPS against lefties is far better than his .681 mark against righties, but tonight’s matchup is the bigger reason Pujols makes today’s values.

Tonight, Pujols will face off against Rangers starter Brock Burke. Burke had been very bad in short sample against Triple-A hitting, posting a 7.88 ERA with six walks in eight innings. His numbers in Double-A were fine, but Burke projects to be a long-reliever with command issues and has a chance to get rocked tonight in his MLB debut against the Los Angeles Angels in the second half of their doubleheader tonight.

Amed Rosario, SS, New York Mets ($2,900)

Amed Rosario has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball since the end of June. In his last 200 plate appearances, Rosario has a .355/.387/.516 slash line with six steals and 19 extra-base hits. As a former top prospect, it makes sense that he’s taken a jump and it looks pretty legitimate. Rosario ranks in the 85th percentile of expected batting average (xBA) according to Baseball Savant, and also has above-average exit velocity and hard-hit rates.

Tonight, Rosario has a tough matchup against Indians starter Shane Bieber, but given Rosario’s recent hot stretch and the fact he’ll be at the top of the New York Mets lineup, I feel comfortable putting him in my lineups at just $2,900 dollars.

Mark Canha, OF, Oakland Athletics ($2,800)

Another player in the midst of an extended hot stretch, Mark Canha has a .910 OPS over his last 269 plate appearances with 13 home runs and a 35:61 walk-to-strikeout ratio (BB:K). He’s shown himself to be a very good hitter when getting full-time appearances, as he consistently over the past couple of weeks since Ramon Laureano was put on the injured list.

Canha will face Yankees starter Domingo German tonight. German has struggled a bit since a hot start to the season. His 5.19 ERA isn’t great, but what’s hurt him the most is the 20 home runs he’s surrendered in his last 60 ⅔ innings. Canha's .518 slugging percentage against right-handed pitching leads me to believe he has a good chance to take advantage of German’s long-ball issues.

Josh VanMeter, 1B, Cincinnati Reds ($2,600)

With Joey Votto injured, Josh VanMeter has finally started to see more consistent playing time. I view VanMeter very similarly to J.D. Davis, as they are both very good hitters that FanDuel is going to undervalue because they don’t see consistent playing time.

In starts this season, VanMeter has a .326/.392/.543 slash line with four home runs, three steals, and a 10:17 BB:K ratio. His awful numbers as a pinch hitter have made his season look worse than it’s actually been, which is another factor in his low price.

Vanmeter will face off against right-handed pitcher Cal Quantrill. On the season, VanMeter is slashing .301/.378/.487 against righties, and while Quantrill has been decent lately, it’s not a matchup I’m scared of. Everything is lining up for a big night from VanMeter.

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.