4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Thursday 5/13/21

Clint Frazier is at the minimum salary in a solid spot versus left-hander Rich Hill. Who are some other top values?

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.

Zach Plesac, SP, Cleveland Indians ($8,400)

Jameson Taillon ($7,700) is a viable value play on Thursday's main slate, but Zach Plesac is another guy we can consider in the sub-$9,000 range.

Plesac is having a solid 2021 campaign with a 3.84 SIERA that's virtually identical to his ERA, and he's been effective through a high ground-ball rate (55.4%) and low walk rate (4.3%). The only problem? He's only displaying a 19.3% strikeout rate, which really doesn't move the needle in DFS.

But we're talking about a guy who held a 27.7% strikeout rate in 2020 and is coming off perhaps his best performance of the season versus Cincinnati, logging eight scoreless innings with seven punchouts. He's also recorded 112 and 110 pitches in his past two starts, a workload that's becoming a rarity these days.

The Seattle Mariners are the ideal opponent to work that strikeout rate back up, as their active roster has a 25.8% strikeout rate versus righties. Seattle also has a slate-low 3.69 implied total.

Nick Senzel, 2B/OF, Cincinnati Reds ($3,000)

This one is rather straightforward. The Cincinnati Reds face perhaps the worst pitcher on the board in Chi Chi Gonzalez and are at Coors Field with the highest implied total on the board (5.89). Nick Senzel is projected to bat leadoff at just $3,000. Need I say more?

As for the details, Gonzalez checks in with a 5.30 SIERA, 11.9% strikeout rate, 7.9% walk rate, and 39.2% ground-ball rate. Honestly, Coors Field is just a bonus -- there isn't anything imposing about those numbers.

Senzel hasn't produced much power this year, but his plate skills are strong (12.5% strikeout rate and 10.7% walk rate), helping him to an above-average .357 xwOBA.

Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros ($2,900)

The Houston Astros are another team with a high implied total (5.20) in a plus matchup versus Mike Foltynewicz.

While Foltynewicz is far weaker against left-handed batters, he'll still give up his fair share of dingers to righties, too, and so far he's allowing a 40.6% hard-hit rate and 37.5% fly-ball rate in the split. He's already given up 11 bombs (5 to righties) this season, which is tied for the league-worst with Kyle Hendricks.

Carlos Correa has one of the lower salaries in this lineup, and while we want to see his barrel rate go up, he's otherwise showing promising signs across his Statcast metrics and has dropped his strikeout rate to 17.4%.

Clint Frazier, OF, New York Yankees ($2,000)

Clint Frazier bats near the bottom of the order, which is never a plus, but the New York Yankees are such a deep lineup that we can easily stack the bottom of the order without much hesitation.

They can roll out an entire one through nine of right-handed hitters, which is why this is such a tough spot for Rich Hill despite his solid underlying numbers. All five of the round-trippers Hill has coughed up have come off righty sticks, and he's allowing a 39.7% fly-ball rate in the split. Hill's 23.5% strikeout versus righties is still pretty good, but it's a far cry from the elite numbers he used to have.

Frazier may not be hitting for average, but he owns a career .207 ISO and has an encouraging 11.1% barrel rate this year.