4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Thursday 5/6/21
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.
Nathan Eovaldi, SP, Boston Red Sox ($8,600)
Between Zack Wheeler, Michael Pineda, and Nathan Eovaldi all having potential cupcake matchups, we have plenty of mid-range value to consider when not going all the way up to Gerrit Cole or Brandon Woodruff.
Eovaldi's strikeout rate is down at just 22.4% in 2021, but the good news is he's still showing a 13.3% swinging-strike rate that falls in line with last year's mark. Most importantly, the Detroit Tigers tend to do wonders for one's whiff numbers, as Detroit has a league-worst 27.2% strikeout versus right-handed pitching since the start of last season.
Miguel Sano, 1B, Minnesota Twins ($2,500)
Miguel Sano returned from the injured list yesterday, and while he's the same old boom-or-bust slugger as always, this is a possible "boom" spot.
That's because the Minnesota Twins are against Jordan Lyles, who has a pedestrian 18.0% strikeout rate and is getting absolutely blasted for home runs, including already seven by right-handed batters. Seeing as Lyles struggled with both strikeouts and home runs in 2020, too, it all lines up as a golden opportunity for sluggers like Sano to excel.
Sano hasn't gotten going yet this year, but his Statcast metrics speak for themselves. He's consistently found himself at the top of the leaderboards in barrel rate over his career.
Marcell Ozuna, OF, Atlanta Braves ($2,900)
He'll presumably see a bump soon after slugging a home run on Wednesday, so we should take advantage while we still can. Ozuna has now hit three home runs over his last seven games.
Atlanta is facing the corpse of left-hander Jon Lester, who has endured a steady decline in recent seasons. He held a 5.02 SIERA and 15.8% strikeout rate in 2020, and after producing just one strikeout in five innings in his 2021 debut, it's pretty safe to say we should expect more of the same.
Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Toronto Blue Jays ($2,800)
Similar to Sano, Teoscar Hernandez is someone with fantastic power but strikes out too often, so matchups against low-strikeout pitchers are excellent. That's what Hernandez and the Toronto Blue Jays have in Mike Fiers, who has a 16.0% strikeout rate from 2019 onward and experienced plenty of home runs issues. In his first 2021 start, Fiers mustered just three strikeouts in six innings and coughed up two dingers to the Baltimore Orioles.
Hernandez missed a good chunk of time due to COVID-19, but he slugged a home run in his first game back last week, so that shouldn't be a huge concern moving forward. He's coming off a 2020 season in which he put up a .289 ISO and owned the fourth-best hard-hit rate (48.8%) among qualified hitters.