5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 7/31/19
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.
Brandon Crawford, SS, San Francisco Giants ($2,400)
The San Francisco Giants' offense is rarely going to be at the top of the heap on any given slate, but they do boast a strong 4.76-run implied total tonight as they take on right-hander Vincent Velasquez and the Philadelphia Phillies.
Velasquez hasn't posted a skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) better than 4.00 since 2016, and he's sporting a middling 4.15 mark through 22 games in 2019. Dating back to 2017 he's allowed a particularly worrying .370 wOBA to left-handed hitters.
Brandon Crawford isn't on our radar often, with a .290 wOBA and .141 ISO on the season. He's making some terrific contact against right-handed pitching though, with a 40.3% hard-hit rate, 13.3% soft-hit rate and only a modest 46.4% groundball rate, giving him the potential to take advantage of this great matchup at a discount.
Brandon Belt, 1B, San Francisco Giants ($2,800)
Belt gets the same appealing implied total as Crawford, and also gets that extra-appealing platoon advantage against Velasquez.
His overall numbers (.326 wOBA and .165 ISO) are right in line with what he posted in 2018, and aren't overly exciting either. He's a guy with some heavily defined platoon splits though.
In 2019 he's striking out only 17.5% while walking 14.8% of the time against right-handed pitchers, and when he is swinging he's turned in a 40.7% hard-hit and 51.0% fly-ball rate dating back to 2018. That contact has translated to a more encouraging .344 wOBA and .187 ISO in the split.
Rougned Odor, 2B, Texas Rangers ($2,800)
The Texas Rangers don't have an implied total set as of Wednesday morning, but we can expect it to be a big one as they welcome southpaw Wade LeBlanc and the Seattle Mariners to Globe Life Park (the most hitter-friendly on the slate) with 97-degree heat in the forecast.
Even at the best of times, Wade LeBlanc makes for an appealing fantasy matchup as well. He has a weak 4.69 SIERA across 16 games this season, with an ugly 5.38 xFIP against right-handed bats.
Rougned Odor is always a boom-or-bust fantasy option, with a hefty 31.7% strikeout rate but also a powerful .222 ISO on the season. That power comes on the back of a 42.5% hard-hit rate and 47.9% fly-ball rate, and he's a serious threat to take one yard against LeBlanc tonight.
Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Tampa Bay Rats ($2,800)
Another owner of some extreme platoon splits, Kevin Kiermaier's .300 wOBA and .178 ISO don't tell the whole story about his potential production.
Against right-handed pitching this season (255 plate appearances) he's turned in 36.6% hard-hits, 17.5% soft-hits, and 31.3% fly-balls. Those are far from elite marks, but they do blow away his 21.9% hard-hits, 21.9% soft-hits and 22.2% fly-balls against southpaws.
That contact has also translated to some nice power, with a .214 ISO in the split. That positions him well tonight against Boston's Rick Porcello -- a right-hander who has struggled to the tune of a career-worst 5.02 SIERA in 2019.
Ji-Man Choi, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays ($2,600)
For as bad as Porcello has been overall, his numbers against left-handed bats are especially worth attacking.
He's giving up a .359 wOBA and egregious 6.21 xFIP in the split, getting tagged for 35.4% hard-hits and 46.6% fly-balls. His strikeout rate drops from 20.2% against righties to 14.9% against lefties, and his walk rate climbs from 4.9% to 7.8%.
Ji-Man Choi has made 597 career plate appearances against right-handed pitching, and in that split, he's flexing a .347 wOBA and .209 ISO on a 39.3% hard-hit rate while walking 11.9% of the time.
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.