FanDuel MLB Value Plays: (Monday 7/17)
12 games greet us as we head into the back half of July, and it’s shaping up to be a solid one for fantasy purposes. There is a series kicking off in Denver, so identifying some value will be crucial if you want to get some exposure to not only Coors Field, but some other positive scoring environments that are available. Let’s look at some top FanDuel value plays.
For reference throughout the season, be sure to bookmark our overview of MLB Park Factors and how to Use Weather to Your Advantage in MLB DFS. Also, check out our GPP and Cash Games Primers to learn more about different daily fantasy game types specific to MLB.
Josh Tomlin (CLE): $7,600 @ SF
Out west we go, as Cleveland visits San Francisco in the final game of the evening. While this isn’t an appealing matchup a strikeout perspective, the Giants’ lack of power coupled with an overall ineptness against right-handed pitching makes Tomlin a viable value. Outside of a lack of strikeout upside (6.77 K/9), the other knock on Tomlin is being susceptible to power, which should be neutralized between the opponent and the park. If you’re looking to save a pitcher in tournaments in an effort to spend up on hitters, Tomlin is a decent option despite having capped upside.
Evan Gattis (HOU): $2,700 vs. SEA
With a lefty on the hill for Seattle, I’d look for Gattis to find his way into the lineup tonight against Ariel Miranda. While Miranda has allowed a .304 wOBA to right-handed hitters, it’s the power we’re targeting here, which just happens to be Gattis’ strong suit. Miranda has allowed 18 home runs to right-handed hitters in 85 IP this season, which simply isn’t good. The Astros have an implied run total in the mid-5s, and with Gattis having a solid history against left-handed pitching (.219 ISO since 2015), he makes for a strong option tonight.
Chris Davis (BAL): $3,000 vs. TEX
Davis has just one hit in 11 at-bats since returning from the disabled list, but his power upside is worth targeting tonight against Andrew Cashner. Cashner has been skating on thin ice with a 4.43 K/9 and an xFIP nearly two runs higher than his ERA, and he could be just what the doctor ordered for Davis and the Orioles. Cashner has been plagued by lefties over the past couple of seasons, and while the numbers have been much improved on the surface, the underlying contextual factors point to trouble ahead (6.1 xFIP).
Brandon Phillips (ATL): $2,900 vs. CHC
Phillips is making the decision of whether or not to trade him very difficult for his hometown team, and he sticks out as a decent value tonight. Jon Lester has not fared well against right-handed hitters this season, as he’s allowed a .353 wOBA and 14 home runs in 80.2 IP. This is an important series for both squads, and the start of a crucial stretch for the Braves, so I look for their wily veteran leader to continue his recent stretch of strong play.
David Freese (PIT): $2,800 vs, MIL
Brent Suter is a soft tossing lefty who isn’t anything to be scared of, and with third base devoid of any clear value, Freese sticks out as a decent play. Freese figures to slot in the middle of the batting order, which should translate to some run-producing chances tonight. With a decent track record against lefties, Freese is an acceptable value this evening.
Alcides Escobar (KCR): $2,400 vs. DET
While being parked near the bottom of the batting order is less than ideal, a matchup against Jordan Zimmermann could help to offset a lot of that risk. Escobar continues to struggle in regards to patience at the plate, and with just two stolen bases, there isn’t a ton of value left in him. However, he has been hitting as of late, having collected 13 hits since July 1st (.289 AVG), including two home runs. For someone priced in this range, that’s good enough for me, especially given the other contextual factors in play.
Seth Smith (BAL) : $3,000 vs. TEX
I noted Andrew Cashner’s troubling underlying statistics against lefties earlier, so I don’t mind targeting Smith this evening. Adam Jones has led off for the Orioles for the past three games, which would definitely hurt Smith’s values if that remains the case tonight. Two of those three were against lefties in which Smith didn’t start, but he was in the seventh spot in the order against a right-handed pitcher on Saturday, so keep an eye on this tonight.
Matt Kemp (ATL) : $2,800 vs. CHC
Back to Atlanta we go, where Kemp will look to build upon a strong weekend performance against the Diamondbacks. Kemp logged four hits in 12 at-bats against Arizona, including a home run yesterday and four runs batted in during that span. He will hold the platoon advantage over Jon Lester, who I noted earlier has really struggled with right-handed hitters this season. I wouldn’t risk it in cash games, but Kemp is a fine tournament play, or as part of an Atlanta stack.
Odubel Herrera (PHI) : $2,800 @ MIA
Herrera was inserted in the leadoff spot yesterday, thanks to his recent production, and he responded with yet another strong outing. If he remains in that spot tonight, it’s tough not to love him on the road, where he should be afforded an opportunity for an extra at-bat. Tom Koehler has been awful through 10 starts this season, and he’s allowed six home runs to lefties in just 16.1 IP. While the park certainly won’t do Herrera any favors, he’s still a viable value this evening.