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?
Ian Anderson, SP, Atlanta Braves ($8,100)
Two of baseball's best hurlers -- Shane McClanahan and Shohei Ohtani -- are set to square off in Anaheim. If you're looking elsewhere, Ian Anderson draws an assignment where I think he can finally turn it around.
Anderson's breakout campaign in 2021 all the way through the World Series had him on the radar as a potential star. Needless to say, a 5.07 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) has been a grave disappointment thus far in 2022. There are still bright spots though, including a lofty strikeout rate (13.5%) and a low flyball rate (31.5%).
There isn't a more toothless matchup in MLB right now for right-handed pitchers than the Boston Red Sox. They chased Kyle Wright off the bump in Atlanta on Tuesday, but they still hold the sixth-worst weighted runs created plus (wRC+) mark in all of baseball against righties (79). Their .119 isolated power (ISO) against orthodox arms isn't very threatening, either.
Anderson brings some swing-and-miss upside to the table himself, and the Red Sox lineup has just four players with a current wRC+ against righties above 70. He has a great opportunity to bring home a quality start with some punchies tonight.
Robbie Grossman, OF, Detroit Tigers ($2,600)
Stacking Detroit Tigers feels somewhat hopeless at this stage, but this is the right platoon for them.
Logue's 2.84 ERA isn't bad, but his 4.45 SIERA indicates some regression could be on the way. The 26-year-old has a lot of ingredients of a guy to stack against in daily fantasy, largely predicated on his low whiff rate (8.5%) and massive flyball rate (57.1%) in small samples thus far.
Robbie Grossman has actually had a tremendous year so far against lefties. The switch hitter Grossman has a .930 on-base plus slugging (OPS) swinging from the right-handed batter box.
There are plenty of right-handed sticks in this lineup with low salaries. Grossman, Miguel Cabrera, Jonathan Schoop, Jeimer Candelario, and Derek Hill will all bat from that side, and this stack could blow up if Logue's concerning home run formula comes to fruition.
Jonah Heim, C, Texas Rangers ($2,300)
The Texas Rangers have a gaudy 4.47 implied team total at home against him. Singer's 2.29 SIERA is not poor, but he doesn't generate a lot of missed bats (8.5% swinging-strike rate). Moreover, Singer's longest start this season has been just three full innings, so this is largely a bullpen game for Kansas City.
Considering K.C. has a bullpen sporting the sixth-worst expected fielding independent pitching (xFIP) in MLB (4.04), we can do far worse than stacking against it.
Likely hitting cleanup, Jonah Heim is a guy I can't ignore. He's a switch hitter that's mashed right-handed pitching for a .179 ISO. Absurdly, that mark creeps up to .538 against lefties -- albeit in just 13 plate appearances.
He's arguably Texas' best bat that's not Corey Seager at present, and he comes at this tiny salary. He's an excellent one-off, but Marcus Semien, Brad Miller, Kole Calhoun, and Nathaniel Lowe are also under $3,000 to form a low-salaried stack.