4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Tuesday 8/31/21
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.
Austin Gomber, SP, Rockies
FanDuel Salary: $8,200
With Alex Wood sidelined, the value options at pitcher on this slate aren't too pretty. Plus, with high-ceiling guys like Brandon Woodruff, Walker Buehler, Lucas Giolito and Lance McCullers in the player pool, it's not the ideal slate to try to save coin on the bump.
But if you need a low-salary arm, Austin Gomber isn't a bad route to pursue.
The matchup is definitely there as he's battling the Texas Rangers, a team with a lowly offense and a meh 4.05 implied total. Gomber has been pretty good this season, boasting a 4.09 SIERA, 23.9% strikeout rate and 11.4% swinging-strike rate. Away from home -- this one's in Texas -- Gomber has pitched to a 3.86 xFIP.
I'll likely go for one of the slate's aces, but Gomber is my favorite value hurler.
Chad Pinder, 2B/OF, Athletics
FanDuel Salary: $2,100
While Skubal is having a really nice campaign, he's also had trouble keeping the ball in the yard versus righties. In 2021, right-handed hitters have mashed 2.31 homers per nine against him. He's allowing 2.06 jacks per nine in the second half, including three over his last two outings.
Pinder is a quality low-salary dart throw in this spot. He's put up a .331 wOBA and 41.5% hard-hit rate with the platoon advantage. Oakland's 4.61 implied total means I likely won't be stacking them, but Pinder is a fine one-off option and the eighth-best point-per-dollar hitter, per our projections.
Randal Grichuk, OF, Blue Jays
FanDuel Salary: $2,700
Toronto has a slate-high 6.17 implied total for their clash with Keegan Akin, and Grichuk will likely be one of the slate's chalk low-salary hitters since as an economical way to get access to the Jays.
Akin is surrendering a .381 wOBA to righties while striking them out at a mere 17.5% clip. Against lefties this season, Grichuk has recorded a 50.5% fly-ball rate, and he finished with a .399 wOBA in the split a campaign ago.
Grichuk is the 10th-best point-per-dollar bat, according to our model.
Lane Thomas, OF, Nationals
FanDuel Salary: $2,600
While we don't have much of an MLB track record for Lane Thomas, what we do have shows him as a lefty killer.
In a very small sample of 38 plate appearances versus southpaws this season, Thomas has posted a .507 wOBA and 43.5% hard-hit rate. Over his career, he's got a .444 wOBA and 43.2% hard-hit rate across 57 plate appearances in the split.
Could it all be small-sample noise? Maybe. But I'm willing to roll the dice in today's date with Matt Moore, who owns a 4.93 SIERA and is giving up a .375 wOBA and 2.15 taters per nine to right-handed hitters.