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?
Alex Wood, SP, San Francisco Giants ($8,600)
With some of the best stacks of the week on this slate, absorbing less salary at pitcher could be incredibly helpful.
Wood has a solid 3.26 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) this season, but some seeing-eye singles against the Nationals bloated his regular ERA to 4.19. His strikeout rate (22.6%) and swinging-strike rate (9.5%) are both concerningly lower than last year, but two of his four starts came against Washington, who currently holds the lowest strikeout rate against lefties (15.6%) in MLB.
The Dodgers -- so, so quietly -- also struggle with lefties. Their lineup crowded with All-Stars has posted just 86 weighted runs created plus (wRC+) against southpaws. That's good for the 10th-worst mark in the league.
L.A. doesn't have a high strikeout rate against lefties (22.1%), but a soft matchup most aren't targeting could still produce the desired result from a tournament pitcher in this space.
Gleyber Torres, 2B/SS, New York Yankees ($2,500)
There are three mouthwatering stacks on this slate, and the New York Yankees have an argument as the top one.
They're in Toronto facing Yusei Kikuchi. Kikuchi's 18.1% strikeout rate is leaving plenty of balls in play, and a 47.1% hard-hit rate on those balls in play makes him extra bases waiting to happen. Now, he'll be tasked with a Yankees lineup riding an 11-game winning streak? Good grief.
There's a reason Wood and Freddy Peralta are appealing on this slate; the Bronx Bombers carry some hefty salaries. However, Gleyber Torres is your lone source of relief in the heart of New York's lineup.
Torres went deep on Monday, and he's demolished left-handed pitching to the tune of 163 wRC+ and a .333 isolated power (ISO) in 2022. Pedestrian marks against righties are the reason his salary sits so low, but he should get a couple of cracks at Kikuchi before facing one.
Rowdy Tellez, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers ($2,500)
Rowdy Tellez homered out of the value article on Tuesday. If it ain't broke...
Tellez and the Brewers tagged the solid right-hander Tyler Mahle for five runs last night, and their white-hot offense will now draw a far less accomplished opposing hurler. Vladimir Gutierrez even was pushed back on Tuesday in lieu of Mahle still being on normal rest. It's likely because they don't want him to take the mound.
Gutierrez has combined an ugly 6.43 SIERA with a seemingly-unfathomable 18.1% walk rate. Unsurprisingly, Vlad has lost all four of his 2022 starts. Considering the Brewers have posted 126 wRC+ in the past week (fifth-best in MLB), they're well-positioned to exploit Gutierrez as others have.
This stack isn't high-salaried as a collective, but Tellez at $2,500 is absolutely the crown jewel. Kolten Wong and Andrew McCutchen also hold salaries below $3,000 as sticks projected for the heart of Milwaukee's order.