3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 5/9/19
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.
Joe Musgrove, P, Pittsburgh Pirates
FanDuel Price: $8,200
With a smaller slate of games, it can be risky to fade the highest-projected pitchers since they typically bring the most consistency and upside, but going with a cheaper pitcher can drastically change your roster construction, giving you a unique approach in tournaments.
Joe Musgrove comes into this game with a strikeout rate sitting at only 20.8% this season, which is the fifth lowest among the starting pitchers today. We all know that strikeouts are king when it comes to MLB DFS, so if Musgrove doesn’t bring that, where does his value come from?
Musgrove brings the ability to limit the damage with his 47.7% ground-ball rate, which has him allowing three or fewer earned runs in five of his six starts this season. He may not be a big strikeout pitcher, but he's also posted five or more strikeouts in five of his six starts, though never more than eight this season.
The matchup isn’t anything to jump at, which should also help keep his ownership lower, as he is up against the St. Louis Cardinals, whose current roster had a 105 wRC+ and a .167 ISO last season versus right-handed pitchers.
Tim Beckham, SS, Seattle Mariners
FanDuel Price: $3,400
The Seattle Mariners come into this game having scored the most runs in the league and will look to continue that versus an inconsistent J.A. Happ, who is on the mound for the New York Yankees tonight.
When looking to stack up the Mariners, Tim Beckham isn't at the top of the list since he has average numbers overall versus left-handed pitchers and is often strikeout prone at the plate. Last season, he ended with a good .175 ISO but also had a low .311 wOBA, concerning 25.0% strikeout rate, and a 28.4% hard-contact rate.
The ISO is certainly something that can bring a bit of upside, though, and with the positive park shift the Mariners have in New York, it could be the spot to ride with him. The overall inconsistency versus left-handed pitching and a mediocre .311 wOBA is what should keep people away from him tonight, but this is a spot to attack.
In his career versus Happ, Beckham comes in a decent sample size of 22 at-bats, with seven hits, two home runs, and a stolen base. Those are some decent numbers to run with against Happ, who is getting torched by right-handed hitters this season, allowing a .347 wOBA and 2.45 homers per 9 innings.
Robinson Chirinos, C, Houston Astros
FanDuel Price: $3,200
Chirinos is a catcher, which means he could naturally go under-owned since you don't "have" to roster them on FanDuel. We know that most DFS players tend to go with a first basemen in that spot, so the potential for lower ownership on catchers is something we see on an almost nightly basis.
Chirinos is as solid as they come at catcher and showed that last season with his .333 wOBA, .196 ISO, 47.8% fly-ball rate, and 38.8% hard-contact rate versus left-handed pitchers. Those are some pretty solid stats regardless of position and if you are going to be getting them at potentially lower ownership, you want to ride with them in any format.
The Astros are facing off against Mike Minor, who is seemingly having a career year, but if we look back to 2018, we see he allowed 1.33 homers per 9 innings to right-handed hitters, a 37.5% hard-contact rate, and a 47.2% fly-ball rate. His numbers this season are better, but it's also a smaller sample size, which means he could be due for a bit of regression to where we saw him last year.
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.