With production being highly variable on a night-to-night basis, daily fantasy baseball plays a bit differently than other sports.
As a result of this, the primary method of selecting hitters is to "stack" certain teams in good spots to produce. Most of the top stacks on a given day come with hefty salaries. In addition to that, a vast majority of pitchers with the upside to win tournaments are high-salaried hurlers.
Therefore, crushing your value plays -- whether it be a pitcher unexpectedly piling up strikeouts or a low-salaried batter racking up points -- can be the secret sauce to taking down a tournament.
Which budget options stand out today on FanDuel?
Eduardo Rodriguez, P, Tigers ($7,200)
For just $7,200, Eduardo Rodriguez offers us a chance to get exposure to a good pitcher in a really nice matchup at a pitcher-friendly park.
Sign me up.
Rodriguez finished a breakout 2021 with a sparkling 3.65 SIERA and 27.4% strikeout rate. He's got similar numbers so far in 2022 -- 3.86 SIERA and 23.0% strikeout rate -- and he's coming off his best outing of the campaign, fanning eight and allowing one earned run in 6 2/3 frames against the Houston Astros.
Our projections peg Rodriguez to score 30.7 FanDuel points. He rates as the best point-per-dollar arm by a wide margin, and his salary is handy on a Coors slate.
Sam Hilliard, OF, Rockies ($2,600)
The Rox are facing Zack Greinke. The veteran right-hander appears to be at the end of the road for his career as he's punched out only 7.5% of hitters through his initial 33 2/3 innings in 2022. He's also allowing a 40.7% fly-ball rate. So, yeah, he might have some trouble tonight in Denver.
At home against righties for his career, Hilliard sports a .347 wOBA. His biggest issue is strikeouts, but that's not as much of a concern with Greinke on the bump.
We project Hilliard for 11.5 FanDuel points, and he has plenty of upside in this spot.
Christian Walker, 1B, Diamondbacks ($2,600)
While Walker's wOBA is .313, his expected wOBA is .394. His average exit velocity is up 3.0 MPH from last year, and he's just been really unlucky, holding a lowly .184 BABIP. The bad luck has kept his salary low, and he could pop against Smyly.
The southpaw's 17.3% strikeout rate so far this year would be a career-low mark by a huge margin, and the Arizona Diamondbacks are a sneaky-good stack as they boast a 4.43 implied total -- the fifth-highest mark on the slate.
Walker projects for 12.0 FanDuel points and is a sweet point-per-dollar play.