3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Thursday 8/5/21

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 six-game main slate.

Touki Toussaaint, SP, Atlanta Braves

FanDuel Salary: $8,500

Yep, tonight we have a slate where the third-most-expensive pitcher is considered a "value" play. Framber Valdez ($9,700) and Sonny Gray ($9,300) are the obvious top plays, but if you want to save some cap for the elite offenses that this small slate has, you can turn to Touki Toussaint.

Toussaint has only thrown 17 innings in the bigs this season, and while his 4.76 ERA in that small sample leaves a lot to be desired, his 3.02 xFIP, 3.25 SIERA, and 28.2% strikeout rate paint a different picture. Those metrics are what allowed him to racked up 42 and 52 FanDuel points in the first two of his three starts this campaign.

The volatile right-hander will benefit from a plus matchup tonight against a St. Louis Cardinals offense whose 87 wRC+ against righties this season is tied for seventh-worst in the majors, per FanGraphs.

If you want to save even more, Ross Stripling ($8,000) has struggled recently but gets an enticing draw in the Cleveland Indians.

Andrew Vaughn, 1B/OF, Chicago White Sox

FanDuel Salary: $2,800

The Chicago White Sox will be facing Kansas City Royals southpaw Daniel Lynch, which means it's officially Andrew Vaughn time tonight.

Through 22 big league innings, the rookie Lynch has posted a 6.95 ERA, and his advanced metrics aren't all that much kinder to him. Righties, in particular, have smashed the 24-year-old, posting a .337 average, .903 OPS, and .385 wOBA against him. Not great.

That's where Vaughn comes in. A fellow rookie, Vaughn has demolished left-handed pitching so far to start his career. Through 100 plate appearances with the platoon advantage, Vaughn has amassed a .322 average, 1.054 OPS, .322 ISO, .422 wOBA, and 187 wRC+. Damn...that'll play.

Aledmys Diaz, 2B, Houston Astros

FanDuel Salary: $2,800

According to numberFire's Matchup Heat Map, the Houston Astros have an implied run total well over 5.0 tonight (5.33, to be exact), and that has a lot to do with their matchup against Minnesota Twins rookie Griffin Jax.

Through 26 2/3 innings in 2021, Jax has accrued a 6.41 ERA, 5.69 xFIP, and 2.36 HR/9. Interestingly, the right-hander has reverse splits, as righties have tagged him for a .317 average, .982 OPS, .398 wOBA, and 3.45 dongs per nine frames.

One righty in Houston's stacked lineup that we should be considering is Aledmys Diaz, who also comes in with solid reverse splits. For his career, Diaz has garnered a .286 average, .816 OPS, .196 ISO, .344 wOBA, and 117 wRC+ against same-sided hurlers -- that's compared to .246, .728, .165, .313, and 97 when he's had the platoon advantage.