5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Wednesday 4/28/21

Will Kyle Tucker take advantage of a plus matchup against Justin Dunn? Which other low-salary players stand out?

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.

Alex Cobb, SP, Los Angeles Angels ($8,000)

Tyler Glasnow ($10,800) and Carlos Rodon ($11,000) are the obvious high-salary options at pitcher, but if you're willing to buy into some encouraging early-season numbers, then Alex Wood ($8,800), Alex Cobb ($8,000), and Huascar Ynoa ($7,900) pop up as possibilities in the mid-range.

I went over Wood in today's helper, so between Cobb and Ynoa, Cobb arguably gets a slight edge due to his better workload, as he's hit 97 pitches in two of three starts.

So far, Cobb has posted a 2.87 SIERA, 30.9% strikeout rate, 7.4% walk rate, and 53.8% ground-ball rate. That's pretty good! His punchouts are also backed by a 16.1% swinging-strike rate, and a change in pitch mix, as he isn't throwing his sinker as often. The results haven't followed (6.28 ERA) but an absurd .436 BABIP will do that to you.

Cobb's never been much of a strikeout pitcher, so this could all evaporate, but the matchup is right to take the leap of faith. The Texas Rangers have a 26.5% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitching going back to last season.

Rowdy Tellez, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays ($2,400)

Erick Fedde is another guy who's seen a dramatic rise in strikeout rate, but a 6.5% swinging-strike rate is pretty suspect, and he's still struggling with walks.

Furthermore, most of those punchouts are coming against right-handed bats (38.7% strikeout rate) compared to lefties (14.0%), which is a dramatic difference even when acknowledging the small sample. Fedde has never had a high strikeout rate against left-handed batters -- just a high ground-ball rate -- so even if we give Fedde credit for his improved strikeout rate, lefties should still have an advantage.

That brings us to Rowdy Tellez, who's been hitting cleanup lately and has the type of power to make Fedde pay. Despite a slow start, all of his batted-ball metrics sure look the part, so it should only be a matter of time before he starts racking up more dingers.

Wil Myers, OF, San Diego Padres ($2,800)

The San Diego Padres are in a good spot again, so we can go right back to the well with Wil Myers.

Taylor Widener may have the 2.82 ERA, but he's done nothing to prove he's a quality big league starter. A 4.51 SIERA and 19.4% strikeout rate tell the real story, and his track record with home runs isn't a good one, allowing 1.91 per 9 innings over 42.1 career innings behind a high rate of fly balls and hard contact.

Myers has four dingers and four stolen bases thus far, and they're backed by both a high barrel rate and high sprint speed.

Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros ($2,800)

When strictly looking at the opposing pitcher, the Houston Astros could very well have the best matchup in Justin Dunn.

Dunn is another guy who's gotten away with rotten underlying numbers, and his 5.58 SIERA, 21.5 strikeout rate, and 16.9% walk rate won't keep that ERA down for long. Not only that, but those marks are hardly anything new for Dunn: over his career he's averaged a 6.22 SIERA, 19.5% strikeout rate, and 17.4% walk rate over 17 starts.

The young right-hander can't outrun all these free passes forever, and the Astros are looking more like the offense of years past compared to the underwhelming 2020 edition.

Kyle Tucker is having an uneven campaign so far, but his expected stats all suggest he's played better than his results, so there shouldn't be anything to worry about. Tucker produced a .244 ISO and .349 wOBA last season.

Rougned Odor, 2B/3B, New York Yankees ($2,400)

Considering the New York Yankees' inconsistent play in 2021, I'm a little wary of how they might perform against Dean Kremer, who's actually posted a 27.1% strikeout rate over seven career starts. But that's also come with a 13.5% walk rate, so if the "good" Yankees show up, then this could get ugly fast -- especially with high temperatures and the wind blowing out tonight at Camden Yards.

Rougned Odor is typically about as all-or-nothing as they come, so it might surprise you that he's actually sporting a 15.4% strikeout rate so far. He's hit cleanup in New York's last two games against a right-hander, and Kremer has performed worse versus lefties (5.20 xFIP).