4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Friday 7/2/21
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 loaded 14-game main slate.
Logan Gilbert, SP, Seattle Mariners
Whenever you have a slate with 14 games, there's bound to be no shortage of solid pitching options, and tonight's no exception. The top of the pool is headlined by Max Scherzer ($11,000) and Lance Lynn ($10,000), and there's a number of intriguing options in the mid-range as well. However, if you want to conserve salary for a couple of expensive stacks, Logan Gilbert should be atop your list.
Gilbert had a rough start to his career, ceding 9 earned runs through his first 10.2 innings. That said, he's begun to look like the pitcher that made him a top prospect for Seattle Mariners recently. Over his last five starts, the rookie has a 2.84 ERA to go along with a 28.0% strikeout rate.
Prior to his two-inning, rain-shortened start his last time out, Gilbert had thrown 105, 92, and 100 pitches in his three previous starts, so we probably don't have to worry about a short leash.
Luckily, the 24-year-old also gets a mouth-watering draw tonight in the Texas Rangers. Per FanGraphs, Texas ranks bottom-12 in both wRC+ and K rate versus right-handed pitching, and they haven't exactly been raking recently, either. Since the start of June, Texas' 94 wRC+ is tied for the eighth-worst mark in the big leagues. The fact that they'll be playing in the third-friendliest park for pitchers tonight certainly doesn't help matters.
Honorable Mention: Were it not for the weather concerns in New York, Jordan Montgomery ($7,000) might have been my top value play. The New York Mets' 91 wRC+ and 25.2% strikeout rate versus lefties both rank as ninth-worst in the Majors, and they're also dead last in wRC+ over their last 17 games.
Phil Gosselin, 2B, Los Angeles Angels ($2,000)
Outside of the two teams playing at Coors Field, the highest implied run total of tonight's slate belongs to the Los Angeles Angels, according to numberFire's Matchup Heat Map. Toeing the rubber against the Angels will be Baltimore Orioles southpaw Keegan Akin.
Through 38 innings this season, Akin sports a 7.11 ERA and an xERA over 5.00. The 26-year-old is surrendering 1.66 homers per nine innings, which makes him an ideal target in DFS. When facing opposite-handed hitters, Akin hasn't exactly been missing many bats, as indicated by his 16.8% strikeout rate in that split.
There are a number of plays we can target from LA's lineup, but the minimum-salaried Phil Gosselin stands out as a top value play. In 143 plate appearances versus lefties since 2018, the journeyman has hit for a .349 average, .919 OPS, and 151 wRC+. That'll play.
Miguel Rojas, SS, Miami Marlins ($2,600)
Smyly enters this contest with a 4.79 ERA, but his 5.01 xERA and 5.42 FIP imply that he's been even worse than that. The 32-year-old is allowing 2.0 HR/9 this season, a number that jumps to 2.1 in a 208-inning sample since 2019. Yikes.
Since 2019, Rojas has tagged southpaws for a .343 average, .917 OPS, and 149 wRC+. Sign me up.
Yuli Gurriel, 1B, Houston Astros ($3,200)
While Yuli Gurriel isn't as cheap as the usual "value" plays, he is a stud that you can roster for only $3,200 tonight.
The reason Gurriel is such a great play tonight is the fact that he'll be squaring off against Cleveland Indians lefty Sam Hentges. For the campaign, Hentges carries a 7.32 ERA and 6.82 xERA, while also giving up 1.77 dongs per nine frames.
Right-handed hitters have absolutely demolished the rookie southpaw, posting a .357 average, 1.015 OPS, .433 wOBA, and 2.05 HR/9.
That makes this a dream spot for Gurriel, since he's made a living by smashing lefties, especially over the last two seasons. In 186 plate appearances with the platoon advantage since 2020, Gurriel has racked up a .323 average, .958 OPS, .263 ISO, and 159 wRC+. He should be your starting point for any Houston Astros stack tonight.