3 MLB FanDuel Value Plays to Target on Friday 8/19/22
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?
LaMonte Wade Jr., OF, Giants ($3,000)
It's been a little easier to find value plays at Coors Field this season, and we shouldn't pass up the opportunity to nab a value leadoff man whenever we can. That's especially the case when the team in question has a massive 6.35 implied total.
LaMonte Wade Jr has bounced up and down the Giants' lineup this season, but he's now gotten four straight starts at the top of the lineup when facing right-handers. Considering he's homered in three of those games, I'm guessing San Francisco will be content to leave him up there moving forward.
Injuries have limited Wade to just 134 plate appearances in 2022, but he boasts a .265 ISO and is tied for third on the team in barrels per plate appearance. The power isn't a fluke, either, as he owns a rock-solid .221 ISO over his career.
Matchups don't get a whole lot better than a date at Coors against Jose Urena.
While Urena lucked his way to some positive results early on with the Rockies, it's predictably fallen apart as regression has taken hold of him. The right-hander carries a 5.47 SIERA, 11.9% strikeout rate, and 11.5% walk rate, and the home runs have started to pile up after giving up a whopping five across back-to-back starts against Arizona.
There's little doubt that San Fransico will be a popular stack tonight, but it's easy to see why. Wade is an easy way to gain exposure without breaking the bank.
Albert Pujols, OF, Cardinals ($2,400)
The Cardinals are a fantastic non-Coors team to load up on against an inexperienced Tommy Henry, and what's even better is that it's a team filled with easy-to-roster options like Dylan Carlson ($2,900), Tyler O'Neill ($3,000), and Paul DeJong ($2,400).
Albert Pujols should also be in the lineup, as he's regularly batting fifth whenever there's a left-hander on the mound. The 42-year-old is obviously a shell of his former self, but he's still making some noise in limited playing time with a .221 ISO off a 39.4% hard-hit rate and 41.9% fly-ball rate.
While hitter splits can often be overblown, he's posted a 132 wRC+ against left-handed pitching dating back to 2019, so he's still getting the job done with the platoon advantage.
As for the matchup, Henry has been more lucky than good in his first three MLB starts.
Although the southpaw has a 4.15 ERA, that doesn't hold up under scrutiny when you see a 5.68 SIERA, 12.3% strikeout rate, and 11.0% walk rate. Instead, a .208 BABIP has carried the day, and seeing as Henry had a 5.16 xFIP in Triple-A before getting the call, he could be in for a rude awakening against a Cardinals offense that mashes lefties.
Jurickson Profar, OF, Padres ($2,900)
At first glance, the 35-year-old righty doesn't have terrible numbers, but if we narrow things down to just his work in the rotation, we see he's been rocked for a 5.27 ERA and has a meh 4.44 xFIP, 17.1% strikeout rate, and 38.3% ground-ball rate. He's had a difficult time keeping the ball in the park, allowing 2.30 home runs per nine innings as a starter.
Jurickson Profar has enjoyed a bit of a resurgent campaign in 2022, and batting atop the order has helped him be a productive DFS asset. The addition of Juan Soto batting directly behind him only further helps his run-scoring chances.
While Profar doesn't bring huge power to the table, the switch-hitter has shown more pop against right-handers throughout his career, and 10 of his 12 dingers have come off righties this year.
Overall, he's showcasing his usual plate skills with a 14.6% strikeout rate and 12.0% walk rate, and his 114 wRC+ would be a career-best if the season ended today.