3 MLB FanDuel Value Plays to Target on Tuesday 7/5/22
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 -- whether it be a pitcher unexpectedly piling up strikeouts or a low-salaried batter racking up points -- can be the secret sauce to taking down a tournament.
Which budget options stand out today on FanDuel?
Yusei Kikuchi, P, Blue Jays ($7,900)
Yes, the A's just knocked around Alek Manoah yesterday. But baseball is weird, and Oakland has been miserable offensively for most of the season. The A's are dead last in wOBA (.268) and sport the fifth-highest strikeout rate (23.6%). Their 3.75 implied total is the third-lowest of the slate.
Kikuchi has the stuff to take advantage. He's recorded a 26.3% strikeout rate and 12.4% swinging-strike rate, so there's legit upside here. Kikuchi's big bugaboo this year has been free passes (12.8% walk rate), but the A's can help in that regard since Oakland has the third-lowest walk rate (6.9%).
On a blah pitching slate, Kikuchi makes some sense. Our model projects him for just 24.7 FanDuel points. I like him a little bit more than that, and once you factor in his salary, Kikuchi has an argument to be one of the top pitching plays of the night.
Austin Slater, OF, Giants ($2,500)
Whenever San Fran sees a southpaw, Austin Slater is a viable value target. Slater usually hits leadoff against left-handers, and that alone makes him appealing at this salary. He produces in the split, too, as he owns a .343 wOBA with the platoon advantage.
Gilbert isn't very good. He struck out only 12.6% of hitters this year in 44 Triple-A innings. In his brief MLB career, he's pitched to a 4.99 SIERA, and righty bats have mauled him to the tune of a .377 wOBA.
Assuming Slater hits leadoff, which he did yesterday versus a southpaw, he's a fantastic low-salary option. We rate him as the slate's best point-per-dollar hitter.
Josh Donaldson, 3B, Yankees ($2,500)
The Yanks will square off with Jose Quintana. The Pittsburgh Pirates' left-hander has some positives in his profile this season, including a 12.1% swinging-strike rate. But the Yanks are showing a 5.17 implied total, the third-highest of Tuesday's main slate, and their righty-heavy lineup could make life rough for Quintana, who is punching out just 19.0% of righties.
Donaldson swings from the right side and has put up a 43.2% fly-ball rate this year with the platoon advantage. He had a .394 wOBA and 43.4% hard-hit rate in the split in 2021 and should be slotted in the heart of the lineup.
We project Donaldson for 12.7 FanDuel points and rate him as the fifth-best point-per-dollar bat.