4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for 4/15/21
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.
Rich Hill, SP, Tampa Bay Rays ($7,700)
This is one of those rare cases where one of the slate's top value pitchers may actually be the best pitcher overall.
That says more about tonight's options than Rich Hill, but in terms of both strikeouts and matchup, he very well could emerge with the top score on the night.
Following an iffy 2020 -- at least in terms of his peripherals -- Hill appears to be back to his old ways, striking out 11 in 10 innings so far, which gives him a rock-solid 27.5% strikeout rate thus far.
And while his actual results have been mediocre at best, he now draws a fantastic matchup against the Texas Rangers. Dating back to last season, the Rangers own a 27.9% strikeout rate and 81 wRC+ versus left-handed pitching.
Given Hill's age and team, don't expect a high pitch count for him (83 pitches in his second start), but on a day with no sure things, he checks enough boxes to roster.
Sean Murphy, C, Oakland Athletics ($2,200)
Between Mark Canha ($3,000), Jed Lowrie ($2,800), and Stephen Piscotty ($2,500), we're getting a ton of value out of the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, but none of those guys come at a lower salary than Sean Murphy does.
Admittedly, there's a reason Murphy's salary is so low -- he's hasn't done much of anything in 2021. But we're talking about a whopping seven games for him so far, and he's never had a low strikeout rate, making peaks and valleys inevitable. But what we do like is his power potential, as he's produced a .236 ISO over 227 career plate appearances.
Murphy will also have the platoon advantage against Tarik Skubal, who has really scuffled through two starts with a 6.26 SIERA, 17.1% strikeout rate, and 12.2% walk rate. Skubal demonstrated more firepower last season, so those punchouts should rise, but he's also surrendered 12 career home runs over just 41.1 innings. The Athletics are one of the better stacks this evening.
A.J. Pollock, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,400)
A.J. Pollock is another guy who's off to a slow start, but he has a long enough track record to expect a turnaround soon, and you tend to get more opportunities to accumulate fantasy points in a lineup that's as deep as the Los Angeles Dodgers' offense.
The Dodgers are in yet another ideal matchup, with left-hander Austin Gomber on the mound for Colorado. Gomber doesn't seem to have any idea where the ball is going so far this season, which includes issuing seven walks in three innings against these Dodgers in his first 2021 start. While he ultimately gave up only one earned run (three runs), it could've been far worse.
Given that Gomber also hasn't exhibited a high strikeout rate, we should expect Los Angeles to take advantage of this rematch. Pollock has put up a hard-hit rate above 40% in each of the last three seasons, so the power should emerge, and baserunners could be aplenty tonight.
Rowdy Tellez, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays ($2,100)
Junis performed well in his first start, but he's allowed 1.58 home runs per 9.0 innings off a 40.4% hard-hit rate over his career and has never been a high-strikeout pitcher.
A rising Blue Jays lineup could knock him down a few pegs, making them an intriguing stack. Tellez owns a career .230 ISO and will have the platoon advantage, so his slow start shouldn't deter us from rostering him.