4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Wednesday 9/22/21
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 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 these low-salary picks can be the difference between a good and a great lineup isn't much different than DFS for other sports. But value plays being able to completely make up for a whiff on a high-salaried play is somewhat unique.
Ian Anderson, P, Braves
FanDuel Salary: $8,000
Ian Anderson is quietly piling up strikeouts, and he enters his most favorable matchup of September tonight.
Anderson posted seven strikeouts against the Marlins and nine against the vaunted Giants, which makes for encouraging upside tonight against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Arizona has just a 79 wRC+ combined with a 25.9% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching since the trade deadline, and their .149 isolated power (ISO) is not prompting much danger for righties, either.
Unlike some young arms in September, it appears Anderson is not limited by pitch count after tossing 99 pitches in his last start. The downside -- and why he falls into the value area -- is a 41.0% hard-hit rate in September that will spell trouble before too long, but Arizona's .282 wOBA against righties does not inspire confidence they can turn any potential homers into huge innings. In this spot, Anderson's upside at his salary far outweighs the negatives.
Tommy La Stella, 2B, Giants
FanDuel Salary: $2,700
Many San Francisco bats are high-salaried tonight, and it is for good reason.
Vincent Velasquez has been terrible much of the 2021 campaign, and his shift to the San Diego Padres hasn't helped matters. Velasquez gave up four runs in four innings against the Cardinals, and the peripheral underlying data was not much better. His 4.10 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) was fine, but the 66.0% hard-hit rate and 66.7% fly-ball rate indicate Velasquez has not resolved the issues that led to his demise with the Phillies.
Enter the Giants, who have a team 113 wRC+ against right-handed pitching since the trade deadline. Stacking them is certainly in play away from their ocean-bordering home park, and Tommy La Stella is a key cog to that. La Stella is hitting leadoff as one of two Giants' projected starters under $3,000 on FanDuel tonight, and he is performing well. La Stella has a .206 ISO against righties since the trading deadline.
LaMonte Wade Jr is the other under-salaried option, but he is more questionable to start than La Stella. If both start, they should be heavily considered as stacking components against the struggling Velasquez tonight.
Luis Arraez, 2B, Twins
Max Kepler, OF, Twins
FanDuel Salary: $2,300 and $2,600
Kyle Hendricks is struggling mightily at the moment as he enters Wednesday's start. In September, Hendricks has a 6.65 xFIP, which has largely come on the back of a 9.0% strikeout rate and a concerningly-high 11.2% walk rate for the normally well-commanded Cubs' righty. He still is doing a solid job of avoiding hard contact (25.9% hard-hit rate in that sample), but too much traffic on the bases has been his demise lately.
The Twins have actually been serviceable against righties as well. They have a 97 wRC+ and .187 ISO as a team against right-handed pitching since the trade deadline, and both of those marks are in the top half of the league in those respective categories. Both Luis Arraez and Max Kepler have been a huge part of that. As the leadoff man, Arraez has a .330 wOBA against righties, and Kepler has done his job in the middle of the order with a .232 ISO against orthodox-handed pitching.
It is important to note that Minnesota is not an offense predicated on dingers, and Hendricks has not struggled with home runs amidst his issues. Therefore, the Twins can still put plenty of traffic on the bases tonight and score even as the high winds may damper the home-run potential of the contest.