5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Friday 6/11/21

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 six-game main slate, which locks at 7:05 PM Eastern.

Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers ($9,800)

Is $9,800 a value pitcher? Well, probably not.

But on this slate, with four pitchers at or above $10,700, Clayton Kershaw is something of a value. And with Jacob deGrom, Lucas Giolito, Brandon Woodruff, and Max Scherzer at our disposal in addition to Kershaw, it kind of feels like a waste of time for me to half-heartedly recommend a low-salary pitcher I have zero intention of using.

So let's talk about Kershaw, who our model rates as the best point-per-dollar play among the five pitchers we've named.

The Los Angeles Dodgers' southpaw has a delightful matchup against the Texas Rangers, an offense that ranks fourth-worst in wOBA against lefties (.291). Kershaw brings a 3.17 SIERA, 28.3% strikeout rate, and 15.8% swinging-strike rate into this start. Texas' 2.76 implied total is the second-lowest on the slate.

While he doesn't usually have the ceiling or floor of some of the other elite aces on this slate, Kershaw can pop in this spot. We project him for 39.1 FanDuel points, the third-most on the slate and just 4.1 fewer than deGrom.

Josh Naylor, 1B/OF, Indians ($2,100)

Being able to find some good low-salary bats is going to be imperative today with the quality of the slate's high-end pitchers. Enter Josh Naylor.

Naylor will have the platoon advantage against Justin Dunn. Dunn is pretty bad overall, especially against left-handed hitters. For his career, the Seattle Mariners' righty carries a 5.79 SIERA and 16.0% walk rate. Lefties have a .343 wOBA, 21.7% walk rate, 41.5% hard-hit rate, and 46.6% fly-ball rate against him. Yes, please.

Naylor should be in a meaty spot in the lineup, and he can be a key piece to Cleveland Indians' stacks -- they have a 5.03 implied total -- or a standalone salary saver. He's got a .335 wOBA and .779 OPS this year with the platoon advantage.

Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Brewers ($2,500)

Dan Vogelbach is projected to hit second for a Milwaukee Brewers lineup that carries a solid 4.64 implied total. Given Vogelbach's $2,500 salary, the spot in the lineup and the implied total are enough to make him interesting. When you factor in a matchup with struggling righty Chase De Jong, Vogelbach becomes very intriguing.

De Jong isn't any good; it's as simple as that. In 64 1/3 career innings, he's put up a 5.61 SIERA and 15.6% strikeout rate. If you don't want to full-on stack Milwaukee, I get it, but Vogelbach deserves a look as a one-off play or as part of two-man stacks.

Vogelbach is pretty good against righties. In the split this year, he has a .337 wOBA with a 14.7% walk rate and 19.4% strikeout rate. Five of his six dongs have come versus right-handers, and he's red-hot right now with a .466 wOBA in June.

Tyler Stephenson, C/1B, Reds ($2,500)

The Cincinnati Reds are in a dream spot at home against Kyle Freeland. Cincy -- a team with a 5.49 implied total -- should be a popular stacking option, and Tyler Stephenson is a low-salary way to get exposure to them.

Stephenson has been hitting clean-up at times recently, and he'll carry the platoon advantage against Freeland, who owns a 5.14 SIERA and 14.4% strikeout rate since the start of 2020. In his brief MLB career, Stephenson has been really good both at home and against lefties. He's mashed his way to a .365 career wOBA versus southpaws, and he's got a .427 wOBA at Great American Ball Park.

Stephenson checks a lot of boxes, and if he's hitting in a juicy spot in the order, he's a great value pick tonight, although he might be chalky.

Mike Brosseau, 2B/3B, Rays ($2,400)

Mike Brosseau is usually worth checking out when the Tampa Bay Rays are facing a lefty, and that's the case tonight as they'll see Keegan Akin.

Brosseau has slumped this season, but he typically pummels left-handers. In a small sample in the split in 2020, he racked up a .455 wOBA, 62.1% hard-hit rate, and 51.7% fly-ball rate -- popping four jacks in 47 plate appearances. For his career, he's put up a .352 wOBA across 202 plate appearances against southpaws.

While Akin shown the ability to miss bats, registering a 26.6% strikeout rate in 45 2/3 career frames, right-handed hitters have a 45.3% fly-ball rate against him, which has lead to him permitting 1.38 homers per nine in the split.