3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Friday 8/6/21

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 14-game main slate.

John Means, SP, Baltimore Orioles

FanDuel Salary: $8,000

Tonight's slate is loaded with justifiable pitching options, especially in the mid-to-lower range, but John Means stands out as an upside value play in tournaments.

Means was absolutely dealing to start the year, racking up a 2.05 ERA through his first 11 starts, and then a shoulder injury placed him on the injured list in early June. The 28-year-old southpaw has made three starts in his return, including a six-inning, one-run performance against the Detroit Tigers his last time out in which he stuck out six and tossed 99 pitches.

Now that he appears to be fully stretched out again, we might very well get to see the version of him that racked up 44 or more FanDuel points in five of his first seven starts.

The O's draw the Tampa Bay Rays tonight, and that could be a boon for Means' outlook. On the season, Tampa's 92 wRC+ against lefties is tied for the sixth-worst mark in baseball, while their 27.0% strikeout rate in the split is "good" for the second-highest, per FanGraphs. Now, the arrivals of Nelson Cruz and Wander Franco help them in that department, but it shouldn't be enough to deter us from targeting Means for tournament upside.

Mitch Garver, C, Minnesota Twins

FanDuel Salary: $2,700

The Minnesota Twins are facing Zack Greinke tonight and have the slate's seventh-lowest implied run to, per numberFire's Matchup Heat Map, so rostering any of their bats will almost certainly go a long way toward differentiating your lineups.

While Greinke does sport a 3.65 ERA, his 4.17 xFIP and 4.44 SIERA hint at some good luck. The veteran right-hander has particularly struggled at home, where he sports a 4.59 ERA and 4.86 FIP.

The 37-year-old has struggled to contain same-sided hitters all year, but at Minute Maid Park, he's been downright awful against them. The 167 righties he's faced at home have tagged him for a .331 average, .955 OPS, .405 wOBA, and 2.52 dongs per nine innings (HR/9). Yikes.

That is all right up the alley of Mitch Garver, who has showcased reverse splits this season. In 95 plate appearances against right-handed hurlers, Garver has amassed a 1.013 OPS, .321 ISO, .428 wOBA, and 176 wRC+.

Over at FanDuel Sportsbook, Garver is +310 to go deep tonight, if you're looking for a solid under-the-radar bet.

Mark Canha, OF, Oakland Athletics

FanDuel Salary: $2,900

The matchup of the day might very well belong to the Oakland Athletics, who will square off against the ever-so-generous Mike Foltynewicz.

On the season, Foltynewicz is ceding an almost-too-hard-to-believe 2.51 homers per nine frames, and that's on top of his 6.00 ERA, 5.52 xERA, and 5.22 xFIP. The right-hander hasn't really discriminated against hitters from either sides of the plate, as righties have tagged him for 2.39 HR/9 and lefties for 2.66 HR/9. Wowza.

It's also worth mentioning that Folty has somehow been horrendously worse on the road, conceding a ridiculous 3.68 dingers per nine in the split. So, yeah, you'll want to stack some A's in this matchup.

While most of Oakland's top bats will cost you north of $3,000, Mark Canha actually has a reasonable salary to go with excellent same-sided splits. Since 2019, the 32-year-old has accrued a .867 OPS, .204 ISO, .374 wOBA, and 142 wRC+ against righty arms. That'll play.