3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Wednesday 8/18/21

Marco Gonzales is in an excellent spot against the Rangers tonight. Which other lower-salaried plays should we prioritize?

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 10-game main slate.

Marco Gonzales, SP, Seattle Mariners

FanDuel Salary: $8,200

Tonight's slate features plenty of viable pitching options with salaries over $9,000, but if you to save some coin, Marco Gonzales would like to have a word.

Gonzales' season-long numbers -- a 5.19 FIP and 4.77 xFIP -- are pretty ugly, but his recent form has been far more promising. Over his last five starts spanning 32 1/3 innings, the veteran southpaw has garnered a 1.67 ERA and 3.58 FIP. Not bad.

Luckily for Gonzales, he should be able to keep that hot streak going tonight against a porous Texas Rangers offense. This season, Texas' 81 wRC+ ranks second-worst in the Majors, and their 78 mark against lefties is also good for second-worst, per FanGraphs.

That said, the Rangers' numbers over the last month is laughingly atrocious compared to their already awful season-long numbers. During that stretch, Texas' .188 team batting average, .556 OPS, .243 wOBA, and 51 wRC+ are all, by far, the worst in the league.

Gonzales actually faced the Rangers in his last start and amassed a whopping 61 FanDuel points while tossing a complete game. There's no shortage of upside with the lefty tonight.

Jake Fraley, OF, Seattle Mariners

FanDuel Salary: $2,600

Toeing the rubber opposite Gonzales will be righty Mike Foltynewicz, and that is absolutely delightful news for Seattle hitters.

Foltynewizc has truly been awful in 2021, as evidenced by his 5.66 ERA, 5.42 xERA, 6.19 FIP, 2.40 HR/9, and 16.3% strikeout rate. Big yikes.

What's great about stacking against Folty is that you don't only have to use hitters with the platoon advantage. This season, the righty is ceding 2.16 homers per nine to same-sided hitters. That said, lefties have completely obliterated him to the tune of a .285 average, .945 OPS, .394 wOBA, and a whopping 2.67 dongs per nine. And that's with a sample size of 249 hitters, mind you. Holy moly.

Jake Fraley is one low-salaried player who is primed to take advantage of this draw. In 115 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers, Fraley has accrued a .949 OPS, .261 ISO, .406 wOBA, and 165 wRC+. That'll play.

Travis d'Arnaud, C, Atlanta Braves

FanDuel Salary: $2,800

This season, few pitchers have struggled as much against opposite-handed pitching as Jesus Luzardo.

The 23-year-old lefty has simply been pummeled by right-handed bats, to the tune of a .313 average, .992 OPS, .414 wOBA, and 2.72 long balls per nine innings. Wowza.

The Atlanta Braves have a number of high-salaried bats who should undoubtedly be prioritized tonight, but Travis d'Arnaud recently returned from injury and can be had for under $3,000.

Since 2019, d'Arnaud has showcased significantly more pop against southpaws (.212 ISO) than righties (.173 ISO), which makes him a great play against a pitcher like Luzardo.

Over at FanDuel Sportsbook, the veteran catcher is +600 to go yard tonight, and that's a wager I'd gladly make.