3 MLB FanDuel Value Plays to Target on Thursday 8/18/22

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?

Luis Patino, P, Rays ($5,600)

It's rare that we'll ever dip down this low in salary at pitcher, but Luis Patino is a decent dart throw tonight in a dreamy matchup with the Kansas City Royals.

KC has scored only two total runs over three games this week. They've been blanked in two straight contests. The Royals' active roster is 19th in wOBA (.316) over the last 30 days with the 4th-highest strikeout rate (24.5%). For the season, their active roster is 23rd in wOBA (.300) with the 11th-highest strikeout rate (23.2%). Their 3.25 implied total is the second-lowest of the slate.

Patino -- who is getting called up from Triple-A to make this start -- has the stuff to take advantage of the matchup. He flashed last year as a rookie, recording a 22.2% strikeout rate and 11.4% swinging-strike rate over 77 1/3 innings. He went five innings in his last minor-league appearance, so he should be fairly stretched out, and if he can go five, he might get the win with the Tampa Bay Rays a -190 moneyline favorite.

We project Patino for 22.5 FanDuel points and rate him as the night's best point-per-dollar arm. Patino doesn't need to set the world on fire to be a quality play, and he gives you the cap room to stack the high-salary studs from the San Diego Padres (5.17 implied total) and New York Yankees (4.57) -- something those who plug in Jacob deGrom ($12,000) or Yu Darvish ($10,600) will have trouble doing.

Ben Gamel, OF, Pirates ($2,500)

The Pittsburgh Pirates are taking on Josh Winckowski, a rookie who isn't very good, and they offer some appealing value sticks.

Through his first 55 2/3 MLB frames, Winckowski owns a 13.9% strikeout rate and 4.81 SIERA. Left-handed bats have pummeled him for a .377 wOBA and 1.40 dingers per nine while striking out just 12.7% of the time.

Ben Gamel is projected to hit fourth, and the lefty-swinging outfielder can do damage today. He's produced a decent .336 wOBA with the platoon advantage in 2022, and he's been hot of late, recording a 48.8% hard-hit rate and .344 wOBA in August.

Our model has Gamel scoring 11.5 FanDuel points and rates him as the slate's number-two point-per-dollar hitter. He's one of three Pirates among the top six point-per-dollar bats, and stacking Pittsburgh -- even a mini-stack -- can help free up salary for deGrom ($12,000).

Jurickson Profar, OF, Padres ($2,900)

Jurickson Profar is a low-salary way to get a piece of the aforementioned Padres, an offense whose implied total of 5.17 laps the field tonight.

The Padres are squaring off against Anibal Sanchez. The veteran righty is running out of steam. His 16.3% strikeout rate and 5.18 SIERA through 30 innings are his worst marks since 2007. He's allowing a 46.4% fly-ball rate and 3.00 homers per nine.

San Diego will be popular, and it's easy to see why.

Profar, a switch-hitter, will get to hit from the left side, and that's been his better side in 2022. He's racked up a .334 wOBA and 38.3% fly-ball rate versus right-handers.

We have Profar scoring 12.5 FanDuel points and rate him as the second-best point-per-dollar hitter among those with a salary of at least $2,900.