5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 7/19/19
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.
Sam Travis, 1B, Boston Red Sox ($2,100)
In a vacuum, Sam Travis doesn't give us much to get excited about. He's never made more than 83 plate appearances in a major league season, and over 156 career appearances, he has a career-average .271 wOBA. He hasn't exactly raked at the Triple-A level, either, turning in a middling .349 wOBA across 268 plate appearances this year.
He's not hitting in a vacuum tonight, though. He's priced only $100 above the minimum salary and is hitting in a Boston Red Sox lineup that boasts a 5.65-run implied total in a matchup with southpaw John Means and the Baltimore Orioles.
Means has only managed a 4.69 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) across 19 games in 2019, and he's only managed a brutal 5.52 xFIP against right-handed hitters.
Jordan Luplow, OF, Cleveland Indians ($2,600)
The 30-year-old Montgomery has only pitched 27 innings this season, but he has a terrible 5.25 SIERA in that sample, with only a 14.6% strikeout rate and 10.6% walk rate. Also expected to pitch for the Royals on Friday are Jorge Lopez (4.52 career SIERA) and Brian Flynn (4.70 career SIERA).
Jordan Luplow has produced very well across 179 plate appearances this year, turning in a .353 wOBA and .250 ISO on career-best marks in both hard-hit (36.0%) and soft-hit (14.0%) rates. He's turned in an especially dominant 42.2% hard-hit rate and 43.8% fly-ball rate against southpaws, which has translated to a ridiculous .449 wOBA and .389 ISO across 105 plate appearances. Montgomery and Flynn are both lefties, so Luplow should get plenty of cracks with the platoon advantage tonight.
Roberto Perez, C, Cleveland Indians ($2,800)
Roberto Perez should also get his fair share of plate appearances against southpaws on Friday, but he's also looked capable against pitchers of either handedness this season.
His .392 wOBA and .284 ISO against southpaws are certainly the numbers to get excited about, but a .320 wOBA and .227 ISO against right-handed hurlers is still more than respectable, and that has come on a 38.0% hard-hit rate.
Just looking at active rosters, KC's relievers rank fifth-worst in the majors with a 4.39 SIERA, and a bullpen game out of that group should go very well for Cleveland.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Toronto Blue Jays ($2,900)
It's a righty-versus-righty matchup for Vladimir Guerrero Jr., but that doesn't take him out of consideration tonight.
His overall production has definitely been underwhelming in his first major league season, but there's still plenty of room for optimism -- even against righties. In that split (192 plate appearances), he has a 39.0% hard-hit rate and 35.3% fly-ball rate, which has turned into only a .319 wOBA and .164 ISO. That lack of production comes on a low .285 BABIP, though, so there's still room for serious improvement even if he just keeps hitting the ball the same way.
Tonight's matchup also gives him a massive boost. Detroit Tigers righty Jordan Zimmermann has an awful 5.35 SIERA so far this season, putting him on pace for a mark worse than 5.00 for the second time in his last three seasons. He's getting tagged for 38.5% hard hits and 37.2% fly balls, and even in same-sided matchups, he's got an ugly 5.35 xFIP.
Eric Thames, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers ($2,800)
Eric Thames is a guy who very much does need the platoon advantage. But when he's got it, he's almost always going to make for a viable boom-or-bust value play.
He's striking out at a rate above 30% again, and a dud is always going to be well within his range of outcomes -- especially because he's a liability to get pinch-hit for if a southpaw reliever comes into the game.
He's flexing a .368 wOBA and .258 ISO on a 48.4% hard-hit rate and 43.5% fly-ball rate against righties, though, which isn't far off the .370 wOBA and .274 ISO he owns in the split since 2017.
Arizona Diamondbacks righty Taylor Clarke has only managed a 5.36 SIERA across his 10 major league games this season after posting an awful 6.40 xFIP in his 33 2/3 Triple-A innings. Don't expect him to make it deep into this game, but while he's pitching, Thames will be a constant threat to launch one deep.
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.