3 MLB FanDuel Value Plays to Target on Monday 8/15/22

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?

Alex Cobb, P, Giants ($9,300)

There are four standout pitchers on tonight's slate -- Gerrit Cole ($11,000), Shohei Ohtani ($10,000), Spencer Strider ($10,200) and Luis Castillo ($11,200). They'll likely account for a good chunk of the draft percentage at pitcher, so deviating from that group will be at least somewhat contrarian no matter who else you choose.

From the rest of the pack, Alex Cobb stands out as a solid target at a lower salary.

Cobb is having a really nice year, and he's scored at least 38 FanDuel points in three of his past five games, dipping below 27 FanDuel points only once in that time. He owns a 3.09 SIERA and 25.3% strikeout rate for the season. Cobb has been particularly stingy at home, giving up a mere .267 wOBA with a 27.7% strikeout rate in the split.

Tonight, he's at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It's not an easy matchup, as the Snakes are swinging it well lately, boosted by a four-game set at Coors. But we project Cobb for 34.1 FanDuel points. By our model, he's the number-four pitcher of the night and the second-best point-per-dollar option.

Marcus Semien, 2B, Rangers ($2,400)

There's a lot to like about Marcus Semien at this salary.

He'll likely hit leadoff today for the Texas Rangers against James Kaprielian, who sports a 16.3% strikeout rate and 5.07 SIERA. It's a matchup that favors the Rangers' offense, and they boast a 4.65 implied total. Getting Texas' leadoff bat for $2,400 is awfully enticing.

Semien had a brutal start to 2022, but he's been much better since. He posted wOBAs of .362 and .360 in June and July, respectively. While he's hit a rough patch so far in August, recording a .264 wOBA, Semien has donged twice over his last six games.

Semien's salary was just $3,300 on Sunday. It hasn't been under $3,000 since early June. Now is a great time to jump on board. We have him scoring 14.0 FanDuel points and rate him as the second-best point-per-dollar hitter.

Rafael Ortega, OF, Cubs ($2,200)

Rafael Ortega continues to serve as the Chicago Cubs' leadoff hitter versus right-handers, and the Cubbies are up against righty Josiah Gray on Monday.

Chicago boasts a decent 4.33 implied total against Gray, who is missing bats (26.3% strikeout rate) but walking too many guys (9.5% walk rate) and giving up way too many fly balls (51.3% fly-ball rate). That's led to Gray permitting an eye-popping 2.32 jacks per nine.

Any $2,200 leadoff hitter is appealing, and there are reasons to be bullish about Ortega in this matchup. He's amassed a 44.4% fly-ball rate this year with the platoon advantage and projects for 13.2 FanDuel points, according to our numbers. We rank him as the slate's best point-per-dollar bat.