4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Wednesday 6/23/21

Wander Franco made a splash in his Major League debut last night. Can we count on him again tonight? Which other low-salaried plays should we target on Wednesday?

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 seven-game main slate.

Jose Urquidy, SP, Houston Astros ($8,500)

Tonight's small seven-game main slate actually has some viable options at the top, but if you want to conserve salary for some expensive stacks, Jose Urquidy could be the best value play at pitcher. Sure, Joe Musgrove ($7,900) is $600 cheaper, but he's facing the Los Angeles Dodgers and has topped 36 FanDuel points just once in his last nine starts -- so let's focus on Urquidy instead.

The 26-year-old right-hander will have the privilege of going up against the Baltimore Orioles tonight, which could mean that a solid fantasy outing is in store. This season, Baltimore's 83 wRC+ versus righties ranks as the fourth-worst mark in the league, and their 25.3% strikeout rate in that split is ninth-worst, according to FanGraphs.

Meanwhile, Urquidy has been racking up fantasy points lately. The Houston Astros starter has posted a quality start in six of his last eight outings, and he's managed at least 40 FanDuel points in three of his last four. That'll play at a salary of $8,500.

Wander Franco, SS, Tampa Bay Rays ($2,500)

The Tampa Bay Rays will be squaring off against Garrett Richards and the Boston Red Sox tonight, and their 4.57 implied run total is fifth-highest on the slate, according to numberFire's Matchup Heat Map.

While Richards has an ERA of 4.36 this season, his underlying numbers suggest that he might be overachieving. The 33-year-old has garnered a 4.56 xFIP, 4.83 SIERA, and 5.61 xERA. In 74.1 innings this season, Richards' home run per fly ball rate sits at 9.0%, whereas that rate was 16.4% in 136.1 innings from 2018-2020.

But enough about Richards. Let's talk about the man of the hour, Wander Franco.

MLB's top prospect made his major league debut last night, and he certainly did not disappoint. The 20-year-old walked, hit a three-run jack, and rocketed a double in his first big league action. Not too shabby.

In three minor league seasons, Franco got on base at nearly a 40% clip (.398) and generated a bunch more free passes (95) than punchouts (75). And if that kind of plate discipline isn't enough for you, he also possesses plus power and speed. The kicker is that you can roster him for only $2,500. Sign me up.

Tony Kemp, 2B/OF, Oakland Athletics ($2,400)

Okay, so Tony Kemp wasn't in the lineup last night, but he's certain to be in the lineup against a righty tonight. And with that righty being Mike Foltynewicz, we'll be prioritizing an Oakland Athletics stack tonight.

Through 74 innings this campaign, Foltynewicz sports a 5.59 ERA and is surrendering a whopping 2.07 homers per nine innings. In fact, if you extrapolate a larger sample size of 194.1 innings since 2019, the 29-year-old is still giving up two dongs per nine frames along with a 5.14 ERA. Yipes. And if you isolate his numbers to just left-handed hitters, his HR/9 jumps to 2.4 and his xFIP sits a 5.80. Not great.

Meanwhile, the left-handed-hitting Kemp has been on fire recently. Over his last 17 games (67 plate appearances), Kemp has accrued 8 extra-base hits (3 home runs), 16 runs scored, 12 RBI, an OPS of 1.025, and 12 walks to just 8 strikeouts. He's a great option tonight, especially if you plan on paying up for Matt Olson ($4,100) and Ramon Laureano ($3,600).

Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros ($3,000)

There's a chance that Kyle Tucker will return to the lineup today for the Astros, and if he does, he's an excellent value play at just $3,000.

Tucker was putting up some absurd numbers prior to an illness knocking him out for eight games. Over his last 31 games (136 plate appearances), the 24-year-old has accrued 21 extra-base hits (8 homers), 27 runs scored, 27 RBI, 3 steals, a .352 average, and a 1.060 OPS. Let's just say that his salary would be much higher if not for his eight-game absence.

The Astros have a 5.72 implied run total tonight, which is tops on the slate. They'll be facing Baltimore right-hander Thomas Eshelman, who, in 75.1 big league innings, has been pasted for a 5.02 ERA, 5.80 xFIP, and 2.39 dingers per nine innings.

If Tucker doesn't go, Abraham Toro ($2,100) and Myles Straw ($2,200) also qualify as solid economical options for Houston.