4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Tuesday 6/15/21
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 full 15-game main slate, which locks at 7:05 PM Eastern.
Dallas Keuchel, SP, Chicago White Sox ($7,100)
The most expensive pitcher on tonight's slate -- Trevor Rogers -- comes in at an even $10,000, and one of the best plays on the slate is Mike Minor, who has a salary of just $8,800. All that's to say that we don't have to go very far down the totem pole to find solid, affordable plays. That said, this is a "values" column, so we will try to see what extreme savings we can get if one chooses to go that route.
Dallas Keuchel will be toeing the rubber for the Chicago White Sox tonight, and he'll be in a great spot against the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa's 93 wRC+ against southpaws this season ranks ninth-worst in the majors, and their 28.6% strikeout rate in that split is second-worst, according to FanGraphs.
Now, there's a reason that Keuchel's salary is so low. He currently sports an ERA of 4.14, but his 4.44 SIERA and 6.02 xERA imply that his numbers paint a pretty ugly pitcher. What's even worse is that the veteran has managed a mere 13.6% strikeout rate this season, and hasn't been above 18.7% since 2017. Yet, there is some reason for optimism.
Over his last five starts, Keuchel has pitched at least six innings three times, and that includes fantasy outputs of 40 and 46 points against the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays, two of the best offenses in all of baseball.
If you want to stack your lineup from top to bottom and need an extremely cheap pitcher, Keuchel might just be your best bet.
Ryan Zimmerman, 1B, Washington Nationals ($2,600)
Anderson has pretty much been the definition of mediocre in 2021. Through 67.2 innings, the 31-year-old has a 4.52 ERA, 21.6% strikeout rate, and 4.26 SIERA. However, he has been anything but average at keeping the ball in the park, especially in opposite-handed matchups. Righties are mashing Anderson for 1.95 dongs per nine innings this season.
Enter Ryan Zimmerman. At this stage of his career, Zimmerman is essentially a hitter's version of a lefty specialist, in that he rakes against lefties. Since 2017, the 36-year-old has a .350 average, 1.045 OPS, .286 ISO, and 171 wRC+ in 330 plate appearances versus southpaws.
Bryan Reynolds, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates ($2,800)
The Nationals will also have a lefty on the mound tonight in the veteran Patrick Corbin.
To say that Corbin hasn't been good this year would be underselling it quite a bit. Through 12 starts, the 31-year-old has amassed a 6.21 ERA to go along with a 6.54 xERA. Yikes. The southpaw has been absolutely hammered by right-handed hitters this season, as they've garnered a .312 average, .930 OPS, 15.3% strikeout rate, and a whopping 2.25 taters per nine frames against him. Wowza.
That brings us to Bryan Reynolds, who has flourished from the right side this season. In 79 plate appearances against left-handed hurlers, the switch-hitting Reynolds has racked up a 1.011 OPS, .268 ISO, and 174 wRC+. The 26-year-old has also been on a tear recently. Over his last 69 trips to the plate, he has swatted 6 dongs, driven in 13, posted an OPS of 1.063, and walked 12 times to just 9 punch-outs.
Billy McKinney, OF, New York Mets ($2,500)
In his 56 plate appearances since his trade to the New York Mets, Billy McKinney has accrued 10 extra-base hits (4 homers), 10 runs scored, 12 RBI, and a 1.049 OPS. Most of that damage has come versus righties, as evidenced by his 1.088 OPS, .424 ISO, and 194 wRC+ in a tiny sample of 36 plate appearances against them in a Mets uniform.
Left-handed hitters have treated Mills like their personal piñatas. The 29-year-old righty has faced 265 lefties since the start of 2019, and they've accumulated a .928 OPS and 2.2 home runs per nine innings against him. That'll play.