3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 4/1/19

A nine-game slate kicks off the week with a ton of DFS options. Which players could go overlooked in tournaments?

When being contrarian in daily fantasy sports, there's a fine line between taking a calculated risk and being reckless. But differentiating your lineups from everyone else is the name of the game if you plan on taking down one of those highly lucrative DFS tournaments. Whether it's because of Vegas totals, other options at a given position, or some gem you've found that everyone is overlooking, we can always find potential under-owned plays if we look hard enough.

Here are three such players to consider branching out for on FanDuel's main slate.

Caleb Smith, P, Miami Marlins

FanDuel Price: $7,400

Caleb Smith is affordable and in a spot to be a great point per dollar value tonight. What makes his situation so appealing? He is facing off against the New York Mets, who he went up against twice last season for a total of only 11.2 innings but with 15 strikeouts. Yes, that’s a small sample size, but it was a trend throughout the course of the season, as he averaged 10.07 strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) versus right-handed hitters and 10.71 K/9 versus left-handed hitters.

The question is, can Smith sustain those numbers over an entire season? He only pitched a total of 77.1 innings last season, but a 27% strikeout rate and an 11.6% swinging strike rate are very encouraging at his price point. The Mets active roster from last season had a 25.8% strikeout rate versus left-handed pitchers, which would be the third-worst in the league. Smith had six or more strikeouts in 6 of his 16 games last season, which is right where we see his strikeout projection tonight.

The savings are there on Smith, as is the matchup. He flashed just enough consistency last season, which should make him an interesting tournament play tonight.

Daniel Vogelbach, 1B, Seattle Mariners

FanDuel Price: $2,000

Dan Vogelbach comes in at minimum salary today and will have the platoon advantage against Chris Stratton, a pitcher who struggled significantly with left-handed hitters last season.

Stratton allowed a .357 wOBA, 1.41 HR/9, and a whopping 38.8% hard contact rate to left-handed hitters last season, some of the worst numbers you can find on tonight's slate. Vogelbach doesn't have a huge sample size from last season but finished with a .357 wOBA and a .194 ISO versus right-handed pitchers in 67 at-bats. That's a nice bit of power upside for a player who is minimum salary tonight, and on a team that has scored six or more runs in four games.

Is Vogelbach safe for cash games tonight? No, but if you are in need of some salary relief and looking to stack up the Mariners against a weak right-handed pitcher, he is absolutely in play for tournaments and GPPs.

Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

FanDuel Price: $2,300

Kevin Kiermaier was out of the lineup yesterday, so he should be set to return tonight versus righty Chad Bettis, a pitcher who we want to stack against on this slate.

Kiermaier dealt with a number of injuries last season and only played in 88 games for the Tampa Bay Rays, where he posted a .298 wOBA and a .165 ISO versus right-handed pitchers. Those are some tough numbers to look at, but if we go back to 2017, we can see that he had a .358 wOBA and a surprisingly strong .213 ISO versus right-handed pitchers.

Hopefully, last season was just a down year in production and he can return to his 2017 level of production. Bettis finished last season allowing a .315 wOBA to lefties, a 9.5% walk rate, and 1.33 HR/9. The Rays come in with an implied team total sitting at 4.61, which is the third-highest on the slate, presenting us with plenty of runs and fantasy points to get exposure to.

Thomas Vecchio is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Thomas Vecchio also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username TomVec629. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.