3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Thursday 8/26/21

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.

Yusei Kikuchi, SP, Mariners

FanDuel Salary: $7,700

Those searching for a value pitcher may be drawn to Patrick Corbin ($7,200) due to his matchup with the Miami Marlins. It's hard to argue against it after what Erick Fedde did against Miami two nights ago. But if I get my arm from the value bin, it'll be Yusei Kikuchi.

Unlike Corbin, Kikuchi has been pretty darn good this year, pitching to a 3.97 SIERA, 25.6% strikeout rate and 12.8% swinging-strike rate. He got bombed by the Houston Astros last time out, but Houston does that to a lot of southpaws.

Tonight, Kikuchi is taking on a Kansas City Royals offense that is very much not the Astros. While the Royals do a good job limiting strikeouts, KC has a .286 wOBA over the last 30 days, the fifth-worst clip. Kansas City's 3.58 implied total is the second-lowest on the slate.

We project Kikuchi for 32.5 FanDuel points. He's our number-three hurler overall and the top point-per-dollar pick.

Bradley Zimmer, OF, Cleveland

FanDuel Salary: $2,400

Here's something we haven't said very often this season -- you should be interested in stacking Cleveland. They're up against righty Jordan Lyles and hold a 5.13 implied total. That's the second-best mark of the night and one of only two implied totals above 4.7 runs.

When looking for pitchers to stack against, we want guys who struggle getting strikeouts while allowing a lot of hard contact. That's Lyles. For the season, he's giving up a 39.8% hard-hit rate and punching out just 18.5% of hitters. Lefties are striking out only 16.5% of the time while amassing a 49.7% hard-hit rate. We project Lyles to give up 1.18 dingers tonight, the second-most.

This is a money spot for Bradley Zimmer.

Zimmer has a ton of swing and miss in his game, sporting an ugly 35.0% strikeout rate. But it's not as big of a concern in this matchup, and Zimmer does have pop, tagging righties for a .343 wOBA in 2021. He's got five taters in 115 plate appearances in the second half, and four of them have come against right-handers. As an added bonus, Zimmer runs, too, swiping four bags in August.

Alex Dickerson, OF, Giants

FanDuel Salary: $2,500

Carlos Carrasco is a good pitcher who has had an awesome career, but he's struggling right now.

After missing most of the season due to injury. Carrasco hasn't yet found his groove, allowing a 38.9% hard-hit rate and 2.76 jacks per nine. While his numbers will surely improve over time, Carrasco has a difficult matchup today against the San Francisco Giants, an offense that sports the sixth-best wOBA against righties (.329).

Alex Dickerson offers power upside at a low salary. With the platoon advantage this season, Dickerson has posted a 40.8% fly-ball rate, and he's red-hot right now, recording a .419 wOBA in August.

Our projections slot Dickerson as the fifth-best point-per-dollar stick tonight.