3 MLB FanDuel Value Plays for Wednesday 5/1/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD

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. Betting odds as well as our projections -- which are powered by numberFire -- may change after this article is published.

MLB DFS Value Plays

Andrew Heaney, P, Rangers ($7,200)

This isn't the best slate for value arms, but I can get behind Andrew Heaney against the Washington Nationals.

Heaney has been up and down this season, and his 6.26 ERA suggests there have been more downs than ups. But his 4.37 SIERA and 1.26 WHIP are passable marks, and Heaney's 11.2% swinging-strike rate gives me hope that his 21.6% strikeout rate can inch closer to his career mark of 25.0%.

The southpaw is permitting fly-balls at a career-high 52.9% clip. That's a bit concerning given the 11.8% barrel rate he's surrendered. But it's early, and his 17.6% soft-contact rate is his best mark since 2020.

He's coming off his second-best fantasy performance of the season, posting 27 FanDuel points thanks to pitching 6.0 innings and striking out 7 despite giving up 4 runs.

So, while the stuff is so-so at times, he's been serviceable and remains someone we can target in friendly matchups, especially when his Texas Rangers are -188 moneyline favorites.

Tonight's date with Washington is a quality spot for lefties. The Nationals rank 21st in wOBA (.293) and are striking out at a league-average 21.4% clip against lefties.

C.J. Abrams is a terrifying sight for southpaws (.556 wOBA and .439 ISO), but the Nats' lineup otherwise doesn't scare me. That's reflected in their measly 3.94 implied total, and it puts Heaney in a nice spot to outperform his salary.

Our projections back that. We project him for 26.3 FanDuel points, making him the third-best point-per-dollar value among pitchers (3.66 FanDuel points per $1,000).

Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, Rangers ($2,800)

In this same Nationals-Rangers matchup, Texas first baseman Nathaniel Lowe is coming off a pair of two-hit games and now gets an advantageous matchup with Washington's Trevor Williams.

Lowe's played only nine games thus far after missing the first month of the year, but he's picked up right where he left off last season. Lowe has a hit in all nine games and has a .385 wOBA through 37 plate appearances.

The 28-year-old has a career .807 OPS against righties, and he benefits from hitting third in the Rangers' lineup. That's especially intriguing tonight when Texas has the slate's highest implied total (5.06).

Some of that has to do with the Rangers' offensive track record, but it also speaks to how exploitable Williams is.

Though Williams has a 2.70 ERA through five starts, he hasn't exactly faced the best the league has to offer. Three of his five starts have come against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland Athletics, and Miami Marlins -- teams ranked 27th, 28th, and 29th, respectively, in wOBA against right-handed pitchers.

The Rangers are eighth.

For his career, Williams has surrendered a .343 wOBA while registering just a 14.7% strikeout rate against left-handed hitters -- music to Lowe's ears.

Batting in a prime spot within Texas' high-powered lineup, Lowe is well-positioned for a big night.

Jeremy Pena, SS, Astros ($3,000)

Righty Triston McKenzie takes the bump for the Cleveland Guardians tonight, so I'm happy to turn to Jeremy Pena as a value bat for the Houston Astros.

McKenzie has pitched to a 6.00 SIERA while posting subpar WHIP (1.68) and strikeout rate (17.6%) marks. He's also pitching with a torn ligament in his throwing elbow, so he's far from the 2.96 ERA ace we remember from 2022.

Pena, meanwhile, has mashed righties this season, compiling a .368 wOBA and 14.0% strikeout rate in the split.

He's also coming off a trio of strong fantasy outings, going for 12.2, 24.9, and 12.4 FanDuel points over the last three games.

Houston has the third-highest implied total (4.71) of the slate, offering Pena considerable upside despite his usual batting slot of sixth in the Astros' lineup.

That lineup spot hasn't stopped him from scoring five runs over the last three games. Pena is listed at +120 odds to record a run on FanDuel Sportsbook.

With Pena's recent hot streak, we can consider him as a value one-off or a part of a wider Astros stack in DFS tonight.

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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.