3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Monday 7/26/21

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 seven-game main slate.

Dallas Keuchel, SP, Chicago White Sox

FanDuel Salary: $7,200

The top of tonight's pitching pool includes Shohei Ohtani ($11,000), German Marquez ($10,200), Luis Garcia ($10,000), and Wade Miley ($9,600) -- I'd strongly recommend rostering one of those guys. That said, this is not a "studs" piece, so we will look at one potential value option -- Chicago White Sox' Dallas Keuchel.

The veteran southpaw will be toeing the rubber against the Kansas City Royals tonight, which presents us with an opportunity to embrace his volatility. Over his last six starts, the 33-year-old has racked up at least 37 FanDuel points three times (including two outings with 46), but he has also had outputs of 8 and -3 during that stretch. In other words...enjoy the ride!

This season, Kansas City's 94 wRC+ against left-handed pitching ranks 10th-worst in the majors, per FanGraphs. They don't strike out at too high a rate, but Keuchel's not going to collect many punch-outs anyway.

Andrew Vaughn, 1B/OF, Chicago White Sox

FanDuel Salary: $2,800

On their end, the White Sox are also going up against a lefty -- Mike Minor.

While his peripherals aren't quite as bad, Minor has amassed a 5.45 ERA through 112 1/3 innings this season, so he certainly can be battered around. To date, the 33-year-old hurler has ceded 1.36 homers per nine frames.

Right-handed hitters, in particular, have had their way with Minor over the last two seasons. Since the start of 2020, he's garnered a 6.01 ERA against opposite-handed bats, and they've smashed him for 1.8 HR/9 during that stretch. Yikes.

Enter Andrew Vaughn, who has simply demolished lefties in 2021. Through 92 plate appearances in this split, Vaughn has accrued a .304 average, 1.022 OPS, .316 ISO, .430 wOBA, and 179 wRC+. That'll play.

Aledmys Diaz, 2B, Houston Astros

FanDuel Salary: $2,000

Aledmys Diaz hasn't played since June 5 due to a hand injury, but the Houston Astros are expected to activate him ahead of tonight's bout with the Seattle Mariners. With Diaz coming in at the minimum salary, we should look to take advantage as long as he's in the lineup.

In the 18 games before he got hurt (67 plate appearances), Diaz posted a .306 average, .842 OPS, 7 extra-base hits, and 11 RBI -- that's all along with an impressive 10.4% strikeout rate.

Tonight, Diaz and the 'Stros will face off against Seattle rookie Darren McCaughan.

McCaughan has just 5 major league innings to his name, but in 59 Triple-A innings this season, he amassed a 5.36 xFIP and surrendered 1.68 dongs per nine. The 25-year-old wasn't any better in 2019, as he was rocked for a 6.12 xFIP and 2.4 HR/9 across 41 1/3 innings in Triple-A.

When building a Houston stack, Diaz and Michael Brantley ($3,000) would be my top-two priorities, especially if I'm paying up at pitcher.