4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Friday 7/23/21

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 eight-game main slate.

Joe Musgrove, SP, San Diego Padres

FanDuel Salary: $7,900

Last night a slumping San Diego Padres pitcher (Blake Snell) had a big game (49 FanDuel points) in a dope matchup with the Miami Marlins.

It can happen again tonight.

There's a lot to like about Joe Musgrove is this spot. First of all, he's $7,900. Secondly, he gets a Miami offense that has been brutal over the last 30 days, carrying the second-lowest wOBA (.293) with the second-highest strikeout rate (26.6%). Lastly, Musgrove has really nice season-long numbers, sporting a 3.45 SIERA and 28.0% strikeout rate.

Of course, his salary is where it is for a reason as Musgrove hasn't gone past five innings in any of his past four outings, giving up 15 earned runs over 18 1/3 frames in that times. Yuck.

But Musgrove can get back on track today, and with some of the slate's top arms in difficult matchups -- Gerrit Cole at the Boston Red Sox, Zack Wheeler versus the Atlanta Braves and Freddy Peralta against the Chicago White Sox -- he's a very appealing option at his salary.

You can also look to Tyler Mahle ($7,600) against the St. Louis Cardinals if you're in the market for a value arm.

Tyler Stephenson, C, Reds

FanDuel Salary: $2,300

The Cincinnati Reds (5.20 implied total) profile as one of the night's top stacks, as they're at home versus Wade LeBlanc. The Cards' lefty owns a 5.24 SIERA and 13.4% strikeout rate this season, and righties have crushed him to the tune of a .364 wOBA.

Playing at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park, the Reds should be in business, and they offer a good number of low-salary bats. One of my favorites is Tyler Stephenson.

Stephenson will hit from the right side, and the former first-round pick is having an impact rookie year, posting a .341 wOBA. His wOBA is .383 at home, and he's tagged left-handers for a .365 wOBA. And there's a chance he hits in the four hole.

That's a lot of boxes checked off, and as such, our algorithm rates Stephenson as the top point-per-dollar stick on the slate.

Alex Dickerson, OF, Giants

FanDuel Salary: $2,300

An under-the-radar stacking option I like on this slate is the San Francisco Giants (4.81 implied total), who are at home against Chad Kuhl. Kuhl holds a 5.46 SIERA and strikes out only 18.4% of hitters while walking 13.5%. Yes, please.

Alex Dickerson usually hits in a meaty spot in the lineup versus righties, and eight of his nine jacks in 2021 have come in the split. Dickerson mashed his way to a .372 wOBA in June and is following it up with a .367 wOBA so far in July.

He's a fun one-off play or an economical inclusion to San Fran stacks.

Zack Short, SS, Tigers

FanDuel Salary: $2,300

The Detroit Tigers are playing some ball right now. Over the last 30 days, their team wOBA is .336, the eighth-best in baseball. Across the past seven days, it's up to .368.

They can keep it going today against Kris Bubic. The Kansas City Royals' southpaw has struggled to a 5.04 SIERA, 19.3% strikeout rate, and 12.0% walk rate. Righties have gotten to him for a .361 wOBA while striking out just 18.6% of the time.

Enter Zack Short.

Once an intriguing minor league player for the Chicago Cubs who boasted double-digit walk rates at every stop, Short is getting his chance with the Tigers and is showing some pop. He's got a .321 wOBA, 43.2% hard-hit rate, and five homers in just 91 MLB plate appearances this year, going deep in two straight.

Short has plenty of swing and miss in his game -- a 35.2% strikeout rate -- but he's walking 16.5% of the time and is a low-salary way to get a piece of a Tigers team that has been handed a 5.12 implied total.