4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Thursday 7/1/21

Ian Anderson stands out as a top value at pitcher on tonight's slate. Which other low-salaried plays should we target?

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.

Ian Anderson, SP, Atlanta Braves ($8,400)

The top of tonight's pitching slate includes Jacob deGrom ($11,500), Corbin Burnes ($10,600), and Framber Valdez ($10,200), but if you're not inclined to go with one of those studs, might I interest you in Ian Anderson?

Anderson gets a solid draw in the New York Mets tonight. Over their last 16 games, New York's 68 wRC+ and 26.8% strikeout rate ranks dead last and third-worst in the Majors, according to FanGraphs.

The Atlanta Braves righty has had a solid season. His 3.42 ERA is backed up by a 3.35 xFIP and 3.78 SIERA. Anderson also sports a rock-solid 26.1% punchout rate this campaign.

From a fantasy perspective, Anderson hasn't knocked anyone's socks off, but he's been decent. The 23-year-old has managed at least 34 FanDuel points in 8 of his last 12 starts, and that includes performances of 40, 42, 46, and 55. He's likely the top value play at pitcher on this thin slate.

Jace Peterson, OF, Milwaukee Brewers ($2,400)

Offense is certainly not what the Milwaukee Brewers are known for in 2021, but the team actually had a respectable month of June at the plate, finishing third in runs. Tonight, they'll get to face Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Wil Crowe.

On the season, Crowe carries an abysmal 6.50 ERA, and his 5.73 xERA doesn't provide much hope. Through 54 big league innings, the 26-year-old has been battered for a .299 opponent batting average and 2.67 dongs per nine innings. That's...not very good.

Most of Milwaukee's viable bats will actually cost you $3,000-plus, but Jace Peterson stands out as an intriguing value option. Over his last 10 games (27 plate appearances), Peterson has 11 hits, 8 runs, 5 RBI, 6 walks, and 2 steals with just 3 strikeouts. The utility man has garnered at least 12.5 FanDuel points in each of his last five starts.

Tyler Stephenson, C, Cincinnati Reds ($2,500)

The San Diego Padres will have rookie lefty Ryan Weathers on the mound tonight, and that gives us some interesting value options from the Cincinnati Reds.

Through 47.1 big league innings, Weathers has a 2.47 ERA, but his 4.71 xERA, 4.52 xFIP, and 4.54 SIERA imply that he's been extremely lucky so far. Opposite-handed hitters have tagged the 21-year-old for 1.71 homers per nine frames, so targeting power bats from that side of the plate isn't the worst idea. Enter Tyler Stephenson.

Across 74 career plate appearances versus southpaws, Stephenson has posted a .818 OPS, .269 ISO, .344 wOBA, and 115 wRC+. He's also had the benefit of batting cleanup lately, especially when there's a left-handed toeing the rubber for the opposition.

A.J. Pollock, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,400)

There's some weather concern in this matchup between the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers, but if it looks like it'll happen, we can target a stack against Patrick Corbin.

In 2021, Corbin has posted a 5.33 ERA and 5.34 xERA. His 19.3% K rate is nothing to fear, and the fact that he's ceding 1.63 HR/9 makes him a pitcher to go after. Righties, in particular, have smashed the veteran southpaw for 2.11 dongs per nine innings this season.

That brings us to A.J. Pollock. Since 2019, the 33-year-old has a .314 average, .921 OPS, .243 ISO, and 141 wRC+ versus opposite-handed pitching.