3 MLB FanDuel Value Plays to Target on Friday 7/8/22

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?

Aaron Ashby, P, Brewers ($6,800)

Aaron Ashby is an enticing value pitcher.

With a 28.1% strikeout rate and 13.2% swinging-strike rate, Ashby has swing-and-miss stuff. That's always appealing in DFS, especially at this salary. He draws a fantastic matchup, too, getting the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pittsburgh is third-worst in wOBA (.289) with the second-highest strikeout rate (25.4%). It's about as good of a matchup as there is, and the Pirates are showing a measly 3.32 implied total.

Of course, there are reasons Ashby is salaried at this lowly level. He struggles with walks (10.4% rate), and he was pulled after just 62 pitches last time out, which was his first outing off the IL., although he's gone at least 100 pitches in two starts this season.

The reward outweighs much of the risk here, and Ashby's salary makes it a lot easier to get to the stud sticks on the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers -- three elite offenses in smash spots tonight.

We project Ashby for 32.4 FanDuel points and rate him as the best point-per-dollar hurler.

Alek Thomas, OF, Diamondbacks ($2,700)

The Arizona Diamondbacks are a handy offense to get a piece of on this slate.

Arizona has a cozy matchup versus Chad Kuhl, and with just one bat salaried above $3,100, the D-Backs can be a valuable source of salary relief, pairing nicely with a stud pitcher and higher-salaried stack.

Kuhl has a really hard time with left-handed hitters, permitting a .341 wOBA in the split with a blah 16.7% strikeout rate.

Alek Thomas is projected to hit second, and the rookie owns a .345 wOBA with the platoon advantage. He's one of a few modest-salaried ways to get exposure to Arizona's 4.99 implied total, the third-highest of the night. Josh Rojas ($2,800), David Peralta ($3,000) and Ketel Marte ($3,100) need to be on our radar, as well.

We have Thomas scoring 12.7 FanDuel points, making him the seventh-best point-per-dollar bat.

Jonathan Villar, 2B/3B, Angels ($2,200)

Jonathan Villar has been penciled into the leadoff spot in four straight games for Los Angeles Angels, and we should always have some level of interest in a $2,200 leadoff hitter -- especially when he's hitting right in front of two of the game's best bats.

Villar will tangle with Tyler Wells on Friday. Wells has benefitted from a lot of good luck on his way to a 3.09 ERA. His SIERA is 4.61, and he's striking out only 16.7% of hitters. Despite allowing a 47.8% fly-ball rate, Wells has given up just 1.1 homers per nine thanks to a fortunate 8.3% homer-to-fly-ball rate.

With how bad the Angels' offense is outside of Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and Taylor Ward, it's been difficult to get excited about any other Halos stick. Villar can be an exception as long as he keeps leading off.

Our model projects Villar for 11.9 FanDuel points and ranks him as the number-one point-per-dollar hitter.