3 MLB FanDuel Value Plays to Target on Thursday 7/14/22
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?
Kutter Crawford, P, Boston Red Sox ($6,200)
The Boston Red Sox starter is a spot to look for some salary relief tonight.
If you are opting to pay down at pitcher and load up on hitters, Kutter Crawford is a solid option. This is his first full MLB season, and he has 30.0 innings under his belt, which isn't the biggest sample size, but it's all we have to work with.
During this time, he has a strong 28.8% strikeout rate, 11.4% walk rate, 3.69 SIERA, 46.8% medium-contact rate, and 53.2% fly-ball rate. It's a mixed bag from Crawford, but that strikeout rate has allowed him to rack up six strikeouts or more in three of his last four starts.
The matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays is why we should be interested in Crawford. This season, the Rays have a 24.7% strikeout rate versus righties, which is the fourth-highest in the league. On top of that, they have a .142 ISO (22nd), 98 wRC+ (16th), and 29.2% hard-contact rate (20th) in this split.
All of this leads to Crawford being the best-projected value option among pitchers tonight.
Travis d'Arnaud, C, Atlanta Braves ($2,900)
Their total is that high because they are taking on Anibal Sanchez, who was on the 60-day injured list to start the season and didn't pitch in 2021. If we look back to 2020, Sanchez got crushed by righties, allowing a .615 SLG, .423 wOBA, 5.79 xFIP, 2.70 HR/9, and 40.5% fly-ball rate. These are some rough numbers to see, and it won't be a surprise if the Braves' lineup does their thing and hits multiple home runs tonight.
Travis d'Arnaud hits in the middle of the lineup for the Braves and should be in a spot to pile up the FanDuel points. This season, d'Arnaud is sporting a 105 wRC+, .323 wOBA, .203 ISO, and 38.7% fly-ball rate versus right-handed pitchers.
It all lines up for d'Arnaud, who's in a great spot to break out of his slump.
Max Kepler, OF, Minnesota Twins ($2,700)
If you need value in the outfield, Max Kepler is a viable option tonight.
The Minnesota Twins have a 4.68 implied team total and are set to take on Johnny Cueto. Despite some results that look good on paper, Cueto has some really bad underlying metrics. This season versus left-handed hitters, Cueto is allowing a .384 SLG, 4.67 xFIP, 1.30 HR/9, 40.7% fly-ball rate, and 38.3% hard-contact rate. Those numbers put him in a spot to get hit hard each and every time he is on the mound.
We turn to Kepler, who comes in rocking with a 125 wRC+, .173 ISO, .344 wOBA, 35.0% fly-ball rate, and 33.8% hard-contact rate versus right-handed pitchers. The Twins' offense should be a popular stack tonight, and Kepler is a cheaper way to get exposure to them.