3 MLB FanDuel Value Plays for Wednesday 4/3/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
3 MLB FanDuel Value Plays for Wednesday 4/3/24

Finding low-salary production is one way to get a leg up on the competition in MLB DFS.

Here are some value plays to target on FanDuel for today's main slate.

Advanced statistics courtesy of FanGraphs. Betting lines via the MLB odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. Projections and odds may change after this article is published.

MLB DFS Value Plays

Ben Brown, P, Cubs ($5,600)

A small slate chock-full of inclement weather limits the value options at pitcher, but we can again turn to our tried-and-true strategy of targeting the Colorado Rockies on the road.

However, it's not as simple as rostering the Chicago Cubs' starter. Tonight, the Cubs are projected to deploy Luke Little as their opener after he pitched the ninth inning of yesterday's win. I'm not interested in a one-inning opener, but projected long-reliever Ben Brown is interesting at $5.6K.

Chicago's 10th-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Brown's registered a strikeout rate north of 30% each of the last two seasons in the minor leagues. Though he struggled with walks in Triple-A, the 6'6" flamethrower has three plus pitches and offers fantasy upside with his strikeout potential.

Brown was rocked by the Texas Rangers in an appearance last week, surrendering five hits, two walks, and six runs across 1.2 innings.

Still, that was his first major league appearance. Things should be a lot easier against the Rockies tonight. We just saw Javier Assad cook them for 43 FanDuel points (FPs) via six scoreless innings. Colorado is averaging just 2.5 runs per game thus far, the third-fewest in baseball.

They've managed just a .274 wOBA (22nd) and a 51 wRC+ (28th) against right-handed pitchers through 149 plate appearances. Coupled with tundra-like conditions at Wrigley Field, the Rockies may struggle to get anything going on offense yet again. Their 3.25 implied team total is the lowest on the main slate.

Brown also has a good chance to pick up a win (worth 6 FanDuel points) in relief considering Luke Little won't qualify for the decision unless he pitches five innings. The Cubs are 1.5-run favorites tonight, while numberFire's model gives Chicago a 69.9% chance to win outright.

numberFire projects Brown for 26.0 FanDuel points, making him the top point-per-dollar value among pitchers (4.64 FPs per $1,000).

Brown is best reserved for larger tournaments, but the fact that he won't show up as a starting pitcher could limit his roster rate, further upping his appeal as a value.

Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates ($2,600)

The Pittsburgh Pirates sport the main slate's highest implied total (4.89), so we can confidently turn to their cleanup hitter, Andrew McCutchen, for some value.

Cutch hasn't gotten off to a hot start in 2024 -- and while he's no longer an MVP candidate, he was still productive last season when he posted a .345 wOBA and 44.6% hard-hit rate.

Although he's traditionally been better against lefties, McCutchen had pretty even splits in 2023. Against right-handed pitchers, the 37-year-old racked up a .342 wOBA and a .767 OPS. The Pirates somehow haven't faced a right-handed starter through five games this season, but that'll change tonight when Trevor Williams takes the mound for the Washington Nationals.

The 31-year-old Williams is set to make his first start of the season tonight. He's coming off a disappointing 2023 campaign where he set career-worst marks for SIERA (5.09), hard-hit rate (38.2%), and strikeout rate (16.8%). Williams' average fastball velocity dipped under 90 mph for the first time in his career, and he gave up 3+ runs in 17 of 30 starts.

With the Pirates boasting the league's highest-scoring offense through five games, they're one of the top stacks for today's main slate. That puts McCutchen in a nice spot to produce in the heart of the order as his 12.4-FP numberFire projection makes him the second-best point-per-dollar value on the main slate (4.77 FPs per $1,000).

Yainer Diaz, C, Astros ($2,800)

If you exclude the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres -- who have two extra games thanks to the Korea series -- Yainer Diaz is tied with Juan Soto for the MLB leader for hits. The second-year catcher has collected 10 hits through six games thanks to four multi-hit outings.

He's been on fire in the Houston Astros' series with the Toronto Blue Jays, so I'm happy to ride the hot hand at a palatable salary tonight.

Opposing starter Chris Bassitt isn't someone we should worry too much about after he gave up six hits, a pair of walks, and four earned runs in his first start. Bassitt is coming off a middling 2023 campaign where he finished with 4.25 SIERA, 35.1% hard-hit rate, and 22.5% strikeout rate. Despite the strong quality of contact metrics, Bassitt's 21.9% whiff rate and 19th percentile average fastball velocity don't fit the mold of a pitcher we should shy away from in DFS.

That's especially true considering how good Diaz has been against righties in his short career. In 278 career at-bats against right-handed pitchers, Diaz owns a .393 wOBA and .943 OPS -- compared to a .284 wOBA and .665 OPS against lefties. With a .288 ISO and 16.8% strikeout rate against righties, Diaz offers a ton of upside in same-handed matchups.

Given his hot start, it could be worth looking into some of his props, too. Yainer Diaz to record 2+ total bases is +120 on FanDuel Sportsbook while Diaz to hit a home run is +560.

Furthermore, Diaz is the only one of Houston's first five hitters with a sub-$3,000 salary. With the Astros sporting a clean 4.8 implied total, the catcher is a low-salary way to get a piece of this high-octane lineup.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.