4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Friday 9/3/21

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.

Nestor Cortes, P, Yankees

FanDuel Salary: $7,300

Nestor Cortes checks a few boxes tonight versus the Baltimore Orioles.

While the O's have a couple right-handed hitters with some pop, oddsmakers are backing Cortes to keep Baltimore quiet, giving the Orioles a 3.72 implied total. Cortes has been legit good for the New York Yankees, pitching to a 3.97 SIERA and 25.6% strikeout rate. He's been allowed to toss at least 95 pitches in three straight starts, and with the Yanks a -230 moneyline favorite, Cortes has a good shot at the win points.

Our model really likes Cortes. He's our fourth-best arm overall and the top hurler among those with a salary under $9,000. We project him to total 27.1 FanDuel points.

Lane Thomas, OF, Nationals

FanDuel Salary: $2,200

A $2,200 leadoff hitter should have your attention regardless of the matchup, and with Lane Thomas in a nice spot, he's a great place to look for salary relief.

Thomas -- who has been atop the order in five straight -- will have the platoon advantage against Rich Hill. In the split across his brief career, Thomas has mashed his way to a .454 wOBA and 43.6% hard-hit rate in a small sample of 60 plate appearances.

While the Washington Nationals carry a meh 4.21 implied total, we project them to plate 5.03 runs. Hill has struggled in the second half, allowing a .351 wOBA and striking out just 17.8% of hitters.

We slot Thomas as the sixth-best point-per-dollar hitter, and he can help you make room for the Coors bats you want.

Akil Baddoo, OF, Tigers

FanDuel Salary: $3,000

Vladimir Gutierrez is having a lot of trouble at home and against lefties. Akil Baddoo is a way to take advantage of both of those things.

At home this season, Gutierrez is surrendering 1.99 dingers per nine. Against left-handed hitters, he's giving up a 47.8% fly-ball rate and 1.81 homers per nine.

Baddoo has put up a .370 wOBA and 42.5% fly-ball rate this season versus righties. He has a 42.4% fly-ball rate in the second half.

Our projections have Baddoo as the slate's best point-per-dollar stick. With a 4.16 implied total, the Tigers are off the stacking radar despite the park boost they're getting in Cincy, but Baddoo is a fantastic one-off play.

Tyler Stephenson, C/1B, Reds

FanDuel Salary: $2,600

On the flip side of that game, the Cincinnati Reds are showing a 5.34 implied total for their matchup with Tyler Alexander. Tyler Stephenson can win this battle of Tylers.

Stephenson has been all over the place in the batting order the last few weeks, but he's hit second in each of the past two games. That would be a big boost to his outlook. The dude has pounced on lefties this year to the tune of a .349 wOBA and is striking out just 13.9% of the time in the split.

Alexander is a pretty meh pitcher. He's sporting a 4.39 SIERA and 19.1% strikeout rate for the year. The shift to Great American Ball Park won't help him, and Alexander has given up 1.77 homers per nine and a .349 wOBA to righties.

We rate Stephenson as the number-nine point-per-dollar hitter.