4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Monday 5/10/21

The Red Sox are in a plum spot tonight, and a low-salaried Marwin Gonzalez could be batting out of the leadoff spot. Who else is a good value play?

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.

Luis Garcia, SP, Houston Astros ($8,000)

Tyler Mahle ($8,900) and Alex Wood ($8,900) are the clear top pitching options on tonight's ace-less slate, and at their already fairly low salaries, you probably don't need to force yourself into going any lower.

But if you want to test the waters in a large-field tournament, then Luis Garcia might be the guy to consider. Garcia has produced a 28.0% strikeout rate over 24.2 innings, a figure that actually ranks second-best on the board behind only Mahle. The strikeouts are supported by a 14.2% swinging-strike rate, and he was a high-strikeout pitcher in the minors, albeit at the Single-A level.

And while pitch counts have been low for Garcia in his four starts, he was allowed to log 92 in his last one, so we can have a little more confidence in him reaching six full innings -- something he's yet to do this season.

The downside is Garcia's matchup against the Los Angeles Angels, a team that owns a 113 wRC+ and 22.0% strikeout rate versus righties going back to last season. Still, on a slate lacking many options, the strikeout potential he's demonstrated early on could be worth chasing.

Marwin Gonzalez, 1B/OF, Boston Red Sox ($2,500)

With tonight's Coors Field game suspended to weather, that leaves the Boston Red Sox as one of the top stacks on the evening out in Baltimore.

That's because they're up against Jorge Lopez, who is having a tough go of it yet again this season. Lopez is giving up 2.39 home runs per nine innings over a small sample this season, but when you look at the rates he gave up last year (1.62) and in 2019 (1.96), it's pretty clear that this is an ongoing problem. Left-hander batters have benefited the most from Lopez and his home run woes, too, knocking out 2.04 per nine innings over his career.

Marwin Gonzalez probably isn't the right guy to slug one out of the park, but the switch-hitter could still take advantage of those tasty splits, and he's been batting leadoff versus righties lately due to injuries on Boston's roster. Gonzalez hasn't done much at the plate this year, but in his last full season, he produced a respectable .151 ISO in 2019.

Mike Moustakas, 2B/3B, Cincinnati Reds ($3,000)

Mitch Keller has mixed in some good starts this season, but the overall numbers are ugly between a 5.08 SIERA, 21.2% strikeout rate, and 13.3% walk rate. Anytime we get a hurler offering this many free passes, you know it's a potential stacking bonanza for the opposing offense.

Dating back to 2020, Keller seems to have lost the ability to get lefties out, as he's showing an egregious 14.3% strikeout rate and 17.9% walk rate in the split. Mike Moustakas is off to a slow start, but he's produced a .238 ISO dating all the way back to 2016, so his power should come around.

Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros ($3,100)

It's hard to find worse splits than what we find in left-hander Jose Suarez against right-handed bats. Sure, we're talking just about 58.2 innings in the split since he debuted in 2020, but a 6.25 xFIP, 15.2% strikeout rate, and 10.1% walk rate is ugly across the board. Add in 3.2 home runs allowed per nine innings off a 50.9% hard-hit rate and 37.8% fly-ball rate, and it's hard to find a single positive for the young southpaw.

We're not getting a ton of value in this Houston Astros lineup, but Carlos Correa is someone we can get on board with at this salary. Although Correa isn't hitting barrels at as high a rate as we'd like, the rest of his Statcast metrics are generally positive, and he's cut down his strikeouts to an improved 17.6% clip.