3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 5/6/19
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.
Walker Buehler, P, Los Angeles Dodgers
FanDuel Price: $8,700
Walker Buehler comes in at a very reasonable price tag tonight but isn’t near the level of the other elite pitchers on the slate. Will that cause him to go overlooked?
There are five pitchers on this slate who have higher strikeout rates this season than Buehler does, but they are also more expensive, putting him in a weird spot. Buehler is priced properly but isn’t a “value” play by any means and falls into this middle ground.
His 26.5% strikeout rate this season is promising, but allowing three or more earned runs in four of his six starts is not so good. Simply put, Cole, Scherzer, Snell, deGrom, and even Paddack have shown more consistency in 2019 along with a higher ceiling.
Buehler is a better pitcher than he is currently showing right now, however, posting only 7.36 strikeouts per nine innings, compared to his 9.90 strikeouts per nine last season. He is up against the Braves, who have a 22.3% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers this season and come in with an implied total set at 3.59. Buehler checks a lot of boxes as a guy who could fly under the radar in GPPs.
Kurt Suzuki, C, Washington Nationals
FanDuel Price: $2,400
Kurt Suzuki has hit a home run in three straight games, and you never want to walk away from a heater.
Yes, Suzuki has homered in three straight days and is now getting a positive park shift being in Milwaukee, which is one of the better hitter’s parks in the league. The Washington Nationals come in with an implied team total set at just 4.00, which isn’t too high, so not only should Suzuki go a bit overlooked, the Nationals as a whole should be a lower owned option.
Truth be told, the Nationals are dealing with a few injuries to their best players, which could have some in DFS staying away since their potential is clearly lowered, but on a slate where we want to pay up for pitching in a big way, a cheaper, low-owned stack can go very far in roster construction.
Suzuki finished last season with a 105 wRC+ and a .158 ISO versus right-handed pitchers. That's not elite by any means, but he is up against Jhoulys Chacin, who allowed a 36.7% fly-ball rate and a 33.6% hard-contact rate versus right-handers last season. There's some big potential here for Suzuki and the Nats.
Brandon Drury, 2B, Toronto Blue Jays
FanDuel Price: $2,900
Toronto is up against Martin Perez, who allowed a staggering .410 wOBA, 1.88 homers per nine innings, and a 44.9% hard-contact rate to right-handed hitters last season. Those are some of the worst numbers you will find on this slate, and you should be looking to stack the Blues Jays’ right-handed hitters tonight.
Drury doesn’t have the biggest sample size from this year and doesn’t have a large sample size from last year, either, since he dealt with a number of injuries. If we look back to 2017, we can see that he carried a modest .314 wOBA, .165 ISO, and 31% hard-hit rate versus left-handed pitchers. Those good-but-not-great numbers shouldn't attract too much attention today, meaning the potential for lower ownership is there against a pitcher prone to giving up dingers.
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.