3 MLB FanDuel Value Plays to Target on Friday 7/22/22
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?
Lucas Giolito, P, White Sox ($9,100)
A $9,100 salary doesn't scream value, but on this slate, that salary is only the ninth-highest among pitchers.
We have a slew of high-upside arms going today -- guys like Corbin Burnes, Kevin Gausman, Shohei Ohtani, Yu Darvish and Max Scherzer. If we're going to pass on the high-end hurlers, we have to find someone with a high ceiling. Lucas Giolito has that.
Giolito seems to mostly be over the funk he was in a little while back, when he permitted 27 earned runs over a horrid five-star span. Since then, he's surrendered only eight earned runs across 25 innings, with five of those coming in one start -- and that one start was going really well (zeros through five) until he fell apart late.
A matchup with the Cleveland Guardians is a pretty good one. The Guardians are just 20th in wOBA (.303) in the past 30 days, slowing considerably after their hot start to the campaign. Giolito has faced Cleveland twice this season, holding them to one earned run in 13 1/3 frames while fanning 10.
We'll need more strikeout juice from him today if Giolito is going to match the upside of the slate's elite pitchers. But Giolito is capable of a good outing in this matchup, and his salary is at least $1,000 less than the salaries for any of the aforementioned aces.
We project Giolito for 33.4 FanDuel points and rate him as the night's second-best point-per-dollar arm (behind only Burnes).
Rowdy Tellez, 1B, Brewers ($2,700)
While Senzatela has always been a low-strikeout pitcher, his 12.5% strikeout rate this year is a career-worst mark. His 7.1% swinging-strike rate is his lowest clip since his rookie year. He normally survives by keeping the ball on the ground, but Senzatela's 44.8% ground-ball rate is another career-worst number. It's all led to an ugly 4.72 SIERA.
Milwaukee's 4.59 implied total is decent enough, and a pitcher who allows as many balls in play as Senzatela does will always be prone to blowup outings.
Tellez has amassed a 45.3% fly-ball rate and .335 wOBA with the platoon advantage in 2022. He can take advantage of Senzatela's .385 wOBA and 11.6% strikeout rate against lefties.
You can pair Tellez with the likes of Christian Yelich ($3,100), Andrew McCutchen ($2,700) and Kolten Wong ($2,500) without breaking the bank. Willy Adames ($3,500) is the only Milwaukee bat salaried above $3,100.
Jonah Heim, C, Rangers ($2,600)
In this split in 2022, Heim boasts a .447 wOBA and 42.0% hard-hit rate. It's a smaller sample of 71 plate appearances, but Heim has donged five times in those 71 trips to the dish. He's also swinging it well overall in July, recording a .364 wOBA and 39.5% hard-hit rate this month.
As for Irvin, he's showing a 4.51 SIERA this season and is striking out just 16.9% of right-handed bats while conceding a 45.1% fly-ball rate in the split.
This is a sweet spot for Heim.