5 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 4/7/21
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.
Let's get right into it and take a look at the top value options on today's slate.
Jack Flaherty, SP, St. Louis Cardinals ($7,900)
With a number of Opening Day starters taking the hill today, we have a pretty deep pitching slate this afternoon. But if you're willing to bypass guys like Shane Bieber and Trevor Bauer, we're getting nice value from Jack Flaherty against the Miami Marlins.
Flaherty's salary has taken a hit because he got shelled in his 2021 debut against the Cincinnati Reds, allowing 6 earned runs in 4.1 innings. But the one positive we can take from that outing is that he posted a 14.9% swinging-strike rate, which is on par with last year's 14.3% mark when he produced a 28.8% strikeout rate.
Perhaps he can get things going against the Miami Marlins, whose active roster owns a 24.1% strikeout rate against right-handers since the start of 2019. Miami also has a fairly modest 3.68 implied total.
Yoam Moncada, 3B, Chicago White Sox ($3,100)
Dunn was downright awful in 2020, owning a 6.07 SIERA over 10 starts. Walks are what really got him into trouble, as he issued free passes at a 15.7% clip, which could mean loads of baserunners for White Sox hitters to cash in on today.
The switch-hitting Moncada saw a dip in production last season, but this is still a guy who holds a career .186 ISO and has typically been more productive versus right-handed pitching. For another value play on Chicago, you could also take a shot on Yermin Mercedes ($2,800) who is off to a fast start in 2021.
Cavan Biggio, 3B/2B, Toronto Blue Jays ($3,100)
The Toronto Blue Jays are an easy stack to like again today, and that's in part because their salaries remain too low. They also have one of the better matchups on the board against Kyle Gibson, who was lit up on Opening Day by the Kansas City Royals. He recorded just one out while giving up five earned runs.
In theory, Gibson should be better moving forward, but if he's not, the Blue Jays are the type of offense that could make him pay dearly. The right-hander has worse splits against left-handed batters, so someone like Cavan Biggio could come through today. Biggio is batting second, and while he doesn't have some of the same pop as his teammates, he has double-digit power and speed upside.
Mitch Garver, C, Minnesota Twins ($2,400)
We see Mitch Garver atop the Minnesota Twins' lineup, making him an intriguing value in their spot against Matt Boyd. It remains to be seen if the 2021 edition of Garver is anything like the 2019 version when he notched a fantastic 15.0% barrel rate, but he already has a home run on the ledger.
Boyd didn't give up any runs in his opening start against Cleveland, but he was quite shaky, walking 4 and striking out just 2 in 5.2 innings. Coming off a down year in 2020 and having annual issues with home runs, Boyd could struggle against a tough Twins lineup, making Garver well worth rostering at his salary and lineup slot. A low-salaried Kyle Garlick ($2,000) is batting second, as well.
Ben Gamel, OF, Cleveland Indians ($2,100)
Ben Gamel isn't super exciting on his own, but if you're stacking up Cleveland today, he's barely above the minimum salary in the leadoff spot.
Right-hander Jakob Junis has been mediocre throughout his career (4.72 SIERA in 2020), and home runs have always been a problem, as well. He's only expected to go a few innings, making this mostly a bullpen game, but with no offenses seeing implied totals over five runs today, all of it should be enough to have us intrigued.
Gamel is one of the better values of the day, and Cleveland as a whole should be easy to stack. Only Jose Ramirez has a salary above $3,300 in today's lineup.