3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Wednesday 8/4/21
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 11-game main slate.
Steven Matz, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
FanDuel Salary: $7,000
Tonight's slate features a number of aces, including Shohei Ohtani ($10,700) against the Texas Rangers, Max Scherzer ($10,500) in his Los Angeles Dodgers debut, Kevin Gausman ($10,000) versus the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Lucas Giolito ($9,200) taking on the Kansas City Royals, but if you don't feel like spending up at pitcher, Steven Matz is an intriguing value option.
Matz enters tonight's outing with a 4.58 ERA, but his 3.84 xFIP and 3.98 SIERA show that he hasn't been quite that bad. The southpaw carries a 23.1% strikeout rate, which doesn't exactly push the needle in either direction.
The 30-year-old's numbers were hurt quite a bit by the fact that the Toronto Blue Jays were playing their home games at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, which has the second-highest park factor for runs in all of baseball this season, per ESPN. That led to him racking up a 5.51 ERA on his home turf. For comparison, Rogers Centre in Toronto, where Matz will toe the rubber tonight, ranked 20th, 20th, and 12th over its previous three full seasons, respectively.
Matz will also benefit from a salivating draw tonight, as he gets to take on the Cleveland Indians. This season, Cleveland's 90 wRC+ against lefties ranks fifth-worst in the majors, per FanGraphs. The Indians have also struggled to get much going offensively recently, as they've posted the fourth-lowest wRC+ (91) and the highest strikeout rate (25.9%) in the big leagues since the start of June.
Adrian Sanchez, 3B, Washington Nationals
FanDuel Salary: $2,000
In 77 and 2/3 innings since 2020, Anderson has been battered to the tune of a 6.95 ERA, .911 OPS, and 2.1 homers per nine frames. However, same-sided hitters are the ones who have had a majority of the fun against the right-hander, pasting him for a .335 average, .998 OPS, .418 wOBA, and 2.3 dongs per nine frames. Wowza.
Now, in 113 plate appearances against righties between the minors and majors this season, Sanchez has posted a .304 average, .807 OPS, 13 RBI, and a mere 14.2% K rate. The 30-year-old has started each of the last four games, and if he starts again tonight, he could return fantastic value at the minimum salary. Meanwhile, Carter Kieboom ($2,400) has started each of the last six games for Washington and also comes in at a low salary.
Corey Dickerson, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
FanDuel Salary: $2,000
The reason to be so bullish on Toronto is the fact that they're facing Cleveland right-hander J. C. Mejia. Through his first 45 big league innings, Mejia has racked up a 7.60 ERA while ceding 2.0 HR/9. Not great.
It's worth noting that opposite-handed hitters have pounded Mejia into the ground thus far. The 121 lefties that the 24-year-old has faced have garnered a .324 average, 1.040 OPS, .437 wOBA, and yes, 3.24 homers per nine. Sheeesh.
Corey Dickerson made his Blue Jays debut last night, going hitless in four at-bats, but we should turn to him tonight, provided that he's in the lineup. In his career against right-handed pitching, Dickerson has accrued a .846 OPS, .227 ISO, .356 wOBA, and 121 wRC+. That's pretty good for a hitter that can be had for the minimum salary.