3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Plays for Wednesday 7/21/21

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 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 from other sports, but value plays can 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.

Dylan Cease, SP, Chicago White Sox

FanDuel Salary: $8,600

The top options on tonight’s pitching slate are pretty clear — Lance McCullers ($10,200) and Kyle Hendricks ($9,900) draw excellent matchups, while the form of Robbie Ray ($10,600) makes him impossible to ignore despite a meeting with the Boston Red Sox. However, if you do want to save some buck at pitcher while also differentiating your lineup a bit, Dylan Cease is worthy of consideration.

Cease, and the Chicago White Sox will be going up against the Minnesota Twins tonight, and that alone should keep his roster percentage low. That said, there are a number of reasons to be drawn to the young right-hander tonight.

First off, Minnesota’s offense has cooled considerably in the month of July, with their 94 wRC+ ranking 10th-worst in the majors. Second, Cease has been flat-out dominant on his home turf this season. Through 50 1/3 innings at Guaranteed Rate Field in 2021, the 25-year-old has accrued a 2.15 ERA, a 3.53 xFIP, a 31.9% strikeout rate, and a mere 8.0% walk rate — that’s compared to a 6.27 ERA, 4.42 xFIP, 27.9% K rate, and 11.7% walk rate on the road.

Over his last four home starts, Cease has racked up 55, 61, 43, and 38 FanDuel points (with the 43 coming against these same Twins). That’ll play.

David Dahl, OF, Texas Rangers

FanDuel Salary: $2,100

The Texas Rangers aren’t exactly at the forefront of everyone’s minds when it comes to hitting, but boy, do they have a tasty matchup tonight.

Toeing the rubber for the Detroit Tigers will be rookie Matt Manning, and he has been abysmal in 2021. Through 22 big league innings, Manning has garnered a 6.95 ERA, 5.92 SIERA, 8.9% strikeout rate, and 7.9% walk rate. And if you think those numbers are bad, wait until you see what he did in the minors prior to getting called up. In 32 1/3 Triple-A innings, the 23-year-old was pasted for 40 hits, 10 walks, 29 earned runs, and a whopping 11 dingers. Big yikes.

Texas’ lineup isn’t exactly loaded with pricey sluggers, but at just $100 above the minimum, David Dahl stands out as a top value play. Dahl has a .833 OPS, .215 ISO, and .350 wOBA against opposite-handed pitching for his career.

Yuli Gurriel, 1B, Houston Astros

FanDuel Salary: $2,600

According to numberFire’s Matchup Heat Map, the Houston Astros are one of just three teams that currently possess an implied run total that’s greater than 5.0, and that’s because of who they’ll be facing on the mound — Cleveland Indians rookie Eli Morgan.

The first stint in the majors for Morgan has gone anything but swimmingly. The 25-year-old hurler has amassed a 7.86 ERA and 6.12 xERA through 26 1/3 innings. Opposing hitters have smashed 3.08 dingers per nine frames against him.

Interestingly enough, Morgan’s struggles have been amplified against same-sided hitters this campaign. To date, righties have tagged him for a .324 average, 1.037 OPS, .434 wOBA, and 3.31 HR/9. Wowza.

That brings us to Yuli Gurriel, whose affordable salary makes him one of the top plays on the slate. Since 2019, Gurriel has posted a .298 average, .820 OPS, .180 ISO, .345 wOBA, and 121 wRC+ against right-handed pitching.