3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 5/14/19
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.
Wade Miley, P, Houston Astros
FanDuel Price: $7,500
Wade Miley certainly isn’t the most exciting pitcher on the slate, but he offers a bit of salary relief and has been super consistent this season.
Miley comes in with eight starts under his belt this campaign, and he has allowed three or fewer earned runs in every single game. That is great -- no question about it -- but the issue for Miley is that he carries only a 16.2% strikeout rate this season. That implies, at times, that he is a better real-life pitcher than a DFS pitcher. By that I mean he will lack upside due to the fact he can’t pile up points from strikeouts, but in reality, he can limit damage while going decent deep into the game.
This always presents an interesting decision, especially tonight since Miley is up against the Tigers, who currently have a 102 wRC+ and 28.2% strikeout rate against southpaws.
He is taking on a very average Detroit lineup and that should allow him to reach toward the upper end of his strikeout potential. He has seven strikeouts in two of his last four starts, so it's not like he can't get swings and misses. Is Miley a dominating shutdown pitcher? No. But he gives you salary relief -- allowing you to stack nearly any offense you want on this loaded slate -- and is up against a very average Detroit lineup.
Ryan O'Hearn, 1B, Kansas City Royals
FanDuel Price: $2,900
Ryan O'Hearn has just one hit in his last five games, but he's in a spot to get back to some of the success he saw last season, particularly against right-handed pitchers.
The Kansas City Royals come in with a very healthy 5.32 implied run total, the second-highest on tonight's slate. They are facing off against Shelby Miller, who already has more innings pitched this season than he did in 2018 or 2017. We need to go back to 2016 for a solid sample size for Miller, and in that season, he allowed a .400 wOBA, 1.47 homers per nine innings, and a 39.1% hard-contact rate. Those numbers aren't great by any stretch, and they are echoed to an extent this season, just in a smaller sample size. Miller gets hit hard by lefty bats this year, last season, and all the way back to 2016.
A left-handed stack is where you want to be looking on the Royals, and O'Hearn shouldn't be left off that list even with his recent struggles. Last season, O'Hearn carried a .458 wOBA, .393 ISO, and 48.2% hard-hit rate versus right-handers, though it was from just a 44-game sample size.
O'Hearn is looking to be the classic case of a young lefty hitter who is significantly better versus right-handed pitchers than he is southpaws, and when he has the platoon advantage is really the only time we should be targeting him. His reasonable price tag tonight allows him to fit into any lineup while still having the salary to pay for one of the four pitchers over $10,000.
Kolten Wong, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals
FanDuel Price: $3,100
Mike Foltynewicz will be on the bump for the Braves, and to put it simply, he just hasn't had it yet this season. He started the year on the IL and has returned with three starts for a total of 16.2 innings pitched, allowing 11 earned runs with a very low 13.2% strikeout rate. His 2019 season is small sample size, of course, but if he is struggling right now, why not side with an always dangerous Cardinals team?
Kolten Wong often hits near the bottom of the lineup. That gives him less equity overall, but it also leaves him as the odd man out sometimes.
From a tournament perspective, that is great, and in Wong we are getting a lower-owned player who finished last season with a .328 wOBA, .159 ISO, and 15.4% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers. He isn't going to tear the seams off the ball, but he isn't wasting chances at the plate with his low strikeout rate, allowing him every opportunity to reach or exceed fantasy value.