5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 6/4/19
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.
D.J. Stewart, OF, Baltimore Orioles ($2,200)
Smyly has been absolutely awful through nine games this season, turning in a 5.56 skill-interactive ERA and a 14.6% walk rate. His 8.8% swinging-strike rate is on pace to be a career-low clip, and that is no surprise with his average fastball velocity sitting below 90 miles per hour as he tries to work his way back from Tommy John surgery.
D.J. Stewart has made just 20 plate appearances in the majors so far this year, so while he's struggling, the small sample-size means we don't need to be concerned, especially since he also has a small (47-plate-appearance) sample of strong work from last year in which he posted a .373 wOBA.
What is really exciting about Stewart is the work he did in his 187 Triple-A plate appearances this year, exploding for a .427 wOBA and .270 ISO. His early-season struggles have kept him nice and cheap, and this matchup positions him well for a bounce-back game.
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Chicago Cubs ($2,200)
The Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies might not be meeting at Coors Field tonight, but the conditions at Wrigley should create a scoring-friendly environment, with 12 mile-per-hour winds blowing out to center. That's priced into the game, which has a 10.5-run over/under, and the heavily-favored Cubs should be able to generate a ton of offense against Rockies righty Jeff Hoffman, who owns a career 4.97 SIERA over 40 games.
Carlos Gonzalez has had a weak start to 2019, with a .256 wOBA, but his track record against righties is more than enough to put him in play in this spot. He hasn't posted a wOBA worse than .350 in the split since 2014, and while that gets an obvious boost from Coors Field, he also makes solid contact in the split (37.0% hard-hit rate and 35.7% fly-ball rate last year) and finds himself getting great hitting conditions on Tuesday.
Kendrys Morales, 1B, New York Yankees ($2,500)
Continuing the theme of struggling hitters, Kendrys Morales also has an ugly wOBA (.265) so far in 2019. His batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is sitting at an absurdly low .219, though, while he has a .291 BABIP for his career and doesn't have a BABIP worse than .270 in any of the last four seasons. Regression on that front is highly likely, especially when you factor in the terrific contact he's making -- a 41.5% hard-hit and 12.3% fly-ball rate.
We can also expect Morales' home run numbers to seriously increase as only 5.4% of his fly-balls have gone for homers this year, which is down from 17.9% last season (his first time below 19.0% since 2015) and from his 15.8% career average.
The switch-hitting Morales brings that impressive contact into a plus matchup tonight, taking on Toronto Blue Jays lefty Clayton Richard, who struggles without the platoon advantage, giving up a huge .362 wOBA to right-handed hitters since 2017.
Matt Beaty, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,200)
Clarke has given us exceedingly little room for optimism so far. He has a 4.91 SIERA and 5.02 xFIP over four career major league starts. That sample is not nearly large enough to be damning, but he also managed only a 6.16 xFIP over 33 2/3 Triple-A innings last year, which comes after struggling to the tune of a 4.43 xFIP over 27 Triple-A starts in 2017.
Matt Beaty has also had a weak start to his major league career, with a .258 wOBA over 42 plate appearances, but he turned in a .369 wOBA in Triple-A this year and a .354 wOBA in Triple-A in 2018. He gets the platoon advantage against Clarke, and it's easy to like getting any kind of cheap exposure to the Dodgers' offense today.
Travis Shaw, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers ($2,700)
A lot of what we looked at for Kendrys Morales holds up for Shaw, who has been activated from the injury list after missing about three weeks with a wrist injury.
He has a poor .242 wOBA on the year, but his .222 BABIP is not sustainable, sitting well below his .282 career average despite a strong 37.6% hard-hit rate (higher than his 36.0% career average). Shaw is also not going yard nearly as often as we usually see, with a 10.3% homer-per-fly rate, compared to a 16.2% average in his major league career.
Shaw tends to be especially dangerous with the platoon advantage, boasting a wOBA of at least .370 in the split in each of the last two seasons. That helps negate the somewhat tough matchup he gets tonight against Miami Marlins righty Pablo Lopez, who has a solid 3.99 SIERA on the year but who also has a 4.13 xFIP against left-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.