4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Thursday 4/29/21
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.
A.J. Pollock, OF, Atlanta Braves ($2,600)
I went over my favorite value pitchers already, so let's hop right into the bats today!
Although it isn't reflected by their implied total -- at least as of this writing -- it's abundantly clear the Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the top stacks on the board against Eric Lauer. The lefty is making his 2021 debut and hasn't shown a high skill level since debuting in 2018. In his last full season, he posted a 4.72 SIERA, 21.1% strikeout rate, and 39.9% ground-ball rate in 2019. There isn't any reason to think the Dodgers can't put up a bunch of runs tonight.
A.J. Pollock's numbers remain modest, but the hits have started to come around in recent starts, so perhaps he's starting to get things going. He'll enjoy the platoon advantage against Lauer and was excellent last season with a .364 wOBA and .291 ISO.
Ozzie Albies, OF, Atlanta Braves ($3,000)
The Atlanta Braves check in with a slate-high implied total, naturally putting them high on the wish list for such a small slate. They're taking on Adbert Alzolay, who actually has some excellent strikeout numbers this season, but the results haven't followed (5.40 ERA). He's struggled with walks throughout his young career, and that's what we're hoping for when stacking the Braves.
Alzolay's career marks versus left-handed batters are far worse -- including a 5.14 xFIP -- so Ozzie Albies looks especially appealing as a value play. Despite a somewhat sluggish start, he boasts a .389 xwOBA and has a minuscule .206 BABIP, so I'm inclined to still view him as the strong, all-around player we saw in 2019.
Stephen Vogt, C, Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,300)
Injuries have left the Arizona Diamondbacks' lineup rather sparse on impact bats, but their matchup puts them on the radar.
Antonio Senzatela has a 51.8% ground-ball rate over five starts, but his strikeouts are sorely lacking at just a 13.3% clip. None of this is new for Senzatela, and as long as the D-backs aren't killing rallies with the double-play ball, they should be able to have a strong night at the plate.
Stephen Vogt isn't getting any younger, but there's still some power in his bat if he's in the lineup. He's produced a 47.8% hard-hit rate and 69.6% fly-ball rate in the early going, making him the perfect type of player to combat Senzatela's high ground-ball rate.
If Vogt is out of the lineup, Asdrubal Cabrera ($2,800) has been the number-three hitter the past three games, so he's easy to like at his salary, too.
Matt Duffy, 3B, Chicago Cubs ($2,000)
Matt Duffy has hit third and fifth the last two games, so if he's in there again tonight, he's a no-brainer value at minimum salary. Duffy doesn't bring much power to the table (career .097 ISO), but he has solid plate skills, as shown by his 13.2% strikeout rate and 13.2% walk rate this season.
Opposing pitcher Bryse Wilson hasn't done much to show he belongs in a big league rotation over 51.2 career innings, and so far in 2021, he owns a 5.28 SIERA and 13.2% strikeout rate over two starts.