5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 4/14/21

With production being highly variable on a night-to-night basis, daily fantasy baseball plays a bit differently than other sports.

An 0-for-4 dud from a chalky high-salaried slugger is a lot more common than a total dud from a top-salaried NBA player or even than a stinker from a top quarterback or running back.

That means that it's not uncommon for value plays to end up doing the heavy lifting in carrying your lineup. The fact that they can be the difference between a good and a great lineup isn't much different than other sports, but value plays being able to make up for a whiff on a high-salaried play completely is somewhat unique.

Let's get right into it and take a look at the top value options on today's slate.

Carlos Rodon, SP, Chicago White Sox ($8,300)

With no one pitcher truly standing out above the rest, this isn't a bad slate to take some chances, and Carlos Rodon certainly qualifies as a risky value play to consider.

Rodon was fantastic in his first 2021 start, as he smoked the Seattle Mariners for nine punchouts over five scoreless innings (40.9% strikeout rate) while showing good velocity and a long leash (95 pitches).

However, that was just his 10th start dating back to 2019, and Seattle is plus matchup for strikeouts. On the other hand, tonight's opponent, the Cleveland Indians, are much tougher in that department, showing a 19.4% strikeout rate versus lefties going back to last year.

Perhaps last week's debut ends up being a fluke, but Rodon has flashed promise in the past, so don't rule him out as a sub-$9,000 option.

Marcell Ozuna, OF, Atlanta Braves ($2,800)

The Atlanta Braves are one of the top stacks of the night, and I could honestly list half their lineup as value plays. Beyond Ronald Acuna and Freddie Freeman, every other bat in the order is below $3,000.

But Marcell Ozuna is especially enticing because he bats in the heart of the order and has fantastic power potential. In 2020, Ozuna put up a .298 ISO with a 15.4% barrel rate, and the year before that, he paired a .231 ISO with an 11.8% barrel rate.

Expect Atlanta to roll against right-hander Nick Neidert, who only has 12.2 innings of MLB experience under his belt and struggled in Triple-A. The Braves carry a 5.09 implied total tonight.

Brandon Lowe, wB/OF, Tampa Bay Rays ($2,900)

We're going back to the well with Brandon Lowe, who gets another opportunity to get things going tonight against Kohei Arihara.

That's because Lowe's biggest weakness is striking out too often, something Arihara doesn't seem very capable of capitalizing on. Over Arihara's first nine innings, he's posted a 5.4% strikeout rate with a 4.1% swinging-strike rate.

Lowe shouldn't have too much trouble getting the ball in play, and if he does, look out. Lowe rocked a 17.5% barrel rate in 2020.

Gavin Lux, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,400)

Right-hander Jon Gray should give the Los Angeles Dodgers more resistance than we saw out of Antonio Senzatela last night, but he'll still have his work cut out for him against one of the best lineups in baseball.

Gray is off to a much better start this year after struggling through a rough 2020 campaign, but he usually has a tougher time with lefties, and that's the way it's been in the early going. If we give him a mulligan for 2020 and hop back to 2019, we see that he owned a modest 4.30 xFIP, 22.5% strikeout rate, and 12.1% walk rate in the split that season.

Of the left-handed bats we expect to see tonight, Gavin Lux should have the lowest salary, and he projects to bat sixth. We're still waiting for the former top prospect to take off, but his batting position isn't terrible, and he'll help us lock in some of the higher priority bats in the lineup.

Yuli Guerriel, 1B, Houston Astros ($3,000)

The Houston Astros have the slate's highest implied total (5.33) and will look to jump on Michael Fulmer early tonight.

Fulmer has produced better than expected so far, but it's much too soon to buy into it after he was knocked around for a 5.58 SIERA over 10 starts in 2020. On top of that, he probably won't pitch deep into the game after going 68 pitches last time, meaning the Astros can also take their shots at a shoddy Tigers' bullpen.

There isn't anything particularly notable about Yuli Gurriel from a power perspective, but he's showing his usual plate skills thus far with an 8.3% strikeout rate, and he generally finds himself batting fifth or sixth in the order. He's one of the better values in an otherwise high-salaried lineup.