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?
Jesus Sanchez, OF, Miami Marlins ($2,900)
Thursday's six-game slate is a little short on offense. The Marlins might be able to help.
They're facing Nick Martinez and the Padres in San Diego. Martinez has done fairly well in his first year back from pro ball in Japan, but with a 4.71 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), 13.8% walk rate, and 46.4% hard-hit rate allowed, he's -- at the very least -- still not someone to avoid altogether, especially in desperate times.
The Fish have absolutely blasted right-handed pitching this season. Their 118 weighted runs created plus (wRC+) are fourth in MLB, and Jesus Sanchez is a big reason why.
Sanchez has torched orthodox hurlers for a .410 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and .262 isolated power (ISO). That's a pretty sweet combination of floor and upside for a cleanup hitter.
Austin Meadows, OF, Detroit Tigers ($2,800)
Let's try this again.
Austin Meadows was rained out of Tuesday's main slate, and he wasn't on Wednesday's. Still, the Tigers' newest star outfielder is crushing right-handed pitching from a contact perspective, and the power should follow soon.
Against righties, Meadows has a .809 on-base plus slugging (OPS), but his .113 ISO -- which is significantly better than his .042 mark versus lefties -- has shown a real power shortage.
Jose Urquidy might aid Meadows' prospects of finding his first round-tripper of the season. The Astros' righty has scuffled to a 4.52 SIERA, but more concerningly, he's combining just a 15.1% punchout rate with a 50.7% hard-hit rate. Balls are in play often, and they are being scorched.
Every Detroit Tiger not named Javier Baez is under $3,000, so a Tigers stack can also help you save salary.
Rougned Odor, 2B, Baltimore Orioles ($2,200)
On name value, Thursday's best value stacks aren't ideal -- Marlins, Tigers, and Orioles... oh my?
The O's will wrap up their series with the Twins, and they easily had their best performance of the series Wednesday in a nine-run shellacking of Dylan Bundy. Bundy's 3.52 SIERA and 12.5% swinging-strike rate are both better marks than those of Thursday's starter, Chris Archer, so don't doubt their ability to put the ball in play again in this spot.
Odor's futility against left-handers has stalled his entire career, but he's holding a solid 97 wRC+ and .197 ISO against righties this season.
Baltimore's 3.62 implied team total is actually fifth-best on this slate (as of early Thursday), and even the marquee bats of an O's stack like Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander are below $3,300. This is another stack to make an ace work.