5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 7/5/19
With production being highly variable on a night-to-night basis, daily fantasy baseball plays a bit differently than other sports.
An 0-for-4 dud from a chalky high-priced slugger is a lot more common than a total dud from a top-priced NBA player or even than a stinker from a top quarterback or running back.
That means that it's not uncommon for value plays to end up doing the heavy lifting in carrying your lineup. The fact that they can be the difference between a good and a great lineup isn't much different than other sports, but value plays being able to make up for a whiff on a high-priced play completely is somewhat unique.
Let's get right into it and take a look at the top value options on today's slate.
Adam Eaton, OF, Washington Nationals ($3,000)
The Washington Nationals have the highest implied total on the slate (5.92 runs), but we haven't really seen their hitters' salaries adjusted for that like we do when it's a Coors Field team with an implied total this high, leaving them as a serious source of value.
That high implied total comes in a great matchup against Kansas City Royals righty Brad Keller, whose 5.39 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) is the third-worst among all qualifying pitchers in 2019. The 5.5 percentage point gap between his strikeout rate (16.3%) and walk rate (10.9%) is also the third-worst among qualifying pitchers, and he has an especially rough 5.42 xFIP and 13.5% walk rate against left-handed bats.
Adam Eaton started the season slow, but he really picked things up in June with a .358 wOBA on a 34.3% hard-hit and 40.8% fly-ball rate. He's never been a major power threat, with a career .125 ISO, but he also has no trouble producing against right-handed pitching. Since joining the Nationals in 2017, he has turned in a .356 wOBA across 679 plate appearances with the platoon advantage.
Matt Adams, 1B, Washington Nationals ($2,900)
Going right back to that Brad Keller matchup, Matt Adams absolutely is a power threat, and he makes regular appearances in this article.
Adams owns a career .210 ISO, and he hasn't finished a season with a mark below .220 in that category since 2015. He offers a low floor with plenty of strikeout risk (30.0% rate in 2019), but his power more than makes up for it.
Things get even better if we just narrow to his splits against right-handers, rocking them for a .348 wOBA and .260 ISO on 40.4% hard hits and 46.2% fly balls since 2017.
Dominic Smith, OF, New York Mets ($2,600)
I'm not usually talking about .400 wOBAs in this piece, but when that's possible it becomes tough to ignore.
Smith's only made 146 plate appearances on the year, but his .407 wOBA and .252 ISO are pretty staggering for a guy priced this low. Yes, his .376 BABIP suggests his production is going to fall off some, but a 38.7% hard-hit rate, 14.0% soft-hit rate and 34.8% fly-ball rate are great marks and likely to let him keep up some solid numbers moving forward.
He's also got the platoon advantage tonight, and he's never finished with an ISO lower than .200 against righties in any of his three MLB seasons, with a career-average .330 wOBA and .230 ISO in the split. Add in a matchup with Vincent Velasquez and his career 4.35 xFIP against left-handed bats, and Smith's got some terrific power upside tonight.
Jarrod Dyson, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,900)
Here we've got a leadoff hitter for a team with an implied total pushing five runs with the platoon advantage for less than $3,000. It's hard to think of many situations in which that's not going to make for a strong value option, but we can still dig deeper into why Dyson in particular is worth a play.
Colorado Rockies righty Antonio Senzatela has an abysmal 5.66 SIERA on the season, with a 10.5% walk rate that sits worryingly close to his 12.7% strikeout rate. He's only getting 49.6% of his pitches into the strike zone (following a 49.1% rate last year), and he's only forcing 6.5% swinging strikes. His career walk rate against left-handed bats is also about one quarter higher than against righties.
Dyson is walking 11.7% of the time this season, which is up slightly from 11.4% in 2018, and against righties that rate jumps slightly to 11.9%, with a .317 wOBA in the split.
Getting on base is key for him here. It positions him well to score runs in an offense likely to generate scoring, and more importantly, once he's on base his fantasy upside really shows through. He's already stolen 19 bases this year, which is tied for the third-most in the Majors.
Jose Martinez, OF, St. Louis Cardinals ($2,700)
Our models have Martinez tied as the second-best point-per-dollar value among today's hitters. He comes in with a viable .332 wOBA on the year, bringing his career average to .358. His 37.7% hard-hit and 13.1% soft-hit rates aren't far off his career averages (39.2% and 14.5%, respectively), and as always he's doing his best work against southpaws.
With the platoon advantage, he has a silly .452 wOBA this season, and while that's over an unreliably small 50 plate appearances, he also owns a .417 wOBA and .250 ISO over 270 career plate appearances in the split.
He's not up against an especially tough lefty today, either, as San Francisco's Drew Pomeranz has a middling 4.43 SIERA on the year, and dating back to 2018 (489 batters faced), he's allowed an absurd .401 wOBA and a 4.94 xFIP to right-handed bats.
Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.