3 MLB FanDuel Value Plays to Target on Friday 5/27/22
With production being highly variable on a night-to-night basis, daily fantasy baseball plays a bit differently than other sports.
As a result of this, the primary method of selecting hitters is to "stack" certain teams in good spots to produce. Most of the top stacks on a given day come with hefty salaries. In addition to that, a vast majority of pitchers with the upside to win tournaments are high-salaried hurlers.
Therefore, crushing your value plays can be the secret sauce to taking down a tournament. That could be a low-salaried pitcher piling up strikeouts, or it could be a low-salaried hitter swatting a long ball.
Which budget options stand out today on FanDuel?
Jon Gray, SP, Texas Rangers ($7,100)
This massive slate has plenty of high-salaried stacks, but the aces are in precarious spots. There will be one consensus value pitcher who gets plenty of attention tonight, but here's another.
Jon Gray is back for the Rangers, and he's slowly building momentum. He followed up eight punchouts against the Angels with a quality start against the Astros. Tonight, that competition level falls off a cliff as Texas visits the Oakland Athletics.
Shane Bieber will get plenty of love because Detroit is so bad against right-handed pitching, but the A's are right there in terms of both wRC+ (74) and strikeout rate (24.3%) as a team against righties.
Bieber's 24.7% strikeout rate also isn't that far in front of Gray (22.8%). However, at much lower popularity, Gray's salary allows you to go bananas at the top high-salaried stacks of the day and jam in as many of their studs as you want.
It's not a bad package in baseball's friendliest park for pitchers.
Luis Arraez, 3B/2B, Minnesota Twins ($2,900)
The Twins might not make that list of high-powered stacks of the day, but they've got a solid 4.60 implied team total.
They're in Minneapolis tonight opposite Brad Keller. Keller's ERA was elevated above his skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) in 2021, but in 2022, it's the exact opposite. One would expect negative regression from his 3.20 ERA considering his SIERA this year is 4.42, and he's leaving plenty to chance with a paltry 14.6% strikeout rate.
Minnesota won't break the bank as a stack. They have just one projected middle-of-the-order starter above $3,500 on FanDuel, but they also only have one below $3,000 -- Luis Arraez.
Arraez will sit against southpaws, but he's done his job against orthodox pitching. He's posted a .425 wOBA, meaning he's on base early and often for the Twinkies.
K.C. also has the seventh-worst bullpen xFIP in baseball (4.17), so the home team could plate some runs tonight in the Twin Cities.
Chris Taylor, 2B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,800)
There's zero debate on tonight's top stack on paper. It's the Los Angeles Dodgers. Shocker.
They're in Arizona, and they check every single box. Tonight's starter for the D-Backs is Madison Bumgarner, and he's scuffled to a 4.81 SIERA and 7.6% swinging-strike rate so far this season. Arizona has the worst bullpen in terms of xFIP (4.58) in the major leagues. Chase Field is also a top-10 park for hitters. It's really hard to see the best offense in baseball falling short.
However, there is one major drawback -- their salaries. The quality bats in this offense against lefties are pushing $4,000 in many instances, but one value option is present.
Chris Taylor is likely to hit sixth tonight with Edwin Rios sitting against a lefty, and the super-utility man has done his job again in 2022. He's posted a sneaky .843 OPS against left-handed pitching this season at the bottom of the Dodgers' order.
Los Angeles' supreme spot only heightens the appeal of a Bieber or Jon Gray at the top of your lineup, but Taylor is also a building block if you're going to attempt to make them work with Justin Verlander or Alek Manoah.