3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 4/2/19
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.
Zack Greinke, P, Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Price: $8,800
There is no doubt that Zack Greinke's first start of the season last week was horrible. There is really no other way to put it. He ended with seven earned runs, seven hits and two walks in just 3.2 innings pitched against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It was very rough way to start the season, but he's got a chance to get things going in the right direction tonight.
Greinke is facing off against the San Diego Padres. The Padres made a few upgrades to their lineup this offseason, but their active roster still comes in with only a 106 wRC+, which is just slightly above average. Historically, this has always been a very solid matchup for Greinke, who has 140 career strikeouts versus the Padres in 143.1 innings pitched.
The reason Greinke will go overlooked on tonight's slate is due to the strength of pitchers at the top of the player pool -- Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Justin Verlander and Blake Snell are all on this slate, just to name a few. This is one of the strongest pitching slates we've had in this young season, and coming off a bad opening day start, Greinke should be among the lowered-owned options tonight.
Max Kepler, OF, Minnesota Twins
FanDuel Price: $2,500
Kepler is off to a slow start this season, with only one hit in his first three games. But that's a very small sample size, so don't put too much stock into that. We want to look back to last season, when he had a .314 wOBA, .187 ISO, and a very low 13.5% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers. While a .314 wOBA isn't good, he carried a 48.2% fly-ball rate in the split and was doomed by an unusually low .219 BABIP.
Tonight, Kepler will likely be in the leadoff spot and will be up against Brad Keller, a young pitcher with only one season in the majors under his belt.
Last year, Keller allowed a .326 wOBA to left-handed hitters, and he pitches to contact as shown by his low 16.5% strikeout rate. We're not expecting Kepler to go nuts here, but a multi-hit game is on the table due to the matchup with a contact-prone pitcher.
Peter O'Brien, OF, Miami Marlins
FanDuel Price: $2,100
They are facing off against Jason Vargas, who allowed a staggering 1.92 homers per nine innings to right-handed hitters last season along with a 40.9% fly-ball rate. Vargas is a bad pitcher -- it's as simple as that.
O'Brien is a good way to get a cheap Miami player -- either as part of a stack or as a one-off play -- into your lineup. O'Brien doesn't have the largest sample size from last season, only 12 at-bats versus left-handed pitchers, but he was able to post a .458 wOBA and .333 ISO in that time. If we look back to 2016 (he didn't play in the majors in 2017), O'Brien posted a .409 ISO versus lefties, but that also comes from a small sample size.
Hopefully he finds his way into the starting lineup today, and if he does, he will bring a strong platoon advantage into a date with a weak left-handed pitcher.
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.