3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 5/16/19
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.
Michael Pineda, P, Minnesota Twins
FanDuel Price: $6,500
A smaller five-game slate brings us limited options at each position, but still plenty of ways to differentiate your lineups in tournaments.
Michael Pineda has shown a few flashes of solid pitching this season, but there is no doubt he has also had plenty of struggles. This has him coming in as the third-cheapest pitcher on the slate, which should naturally help keep his ownership lower. This season, he has posted a 20.1% strikeout rate, 4.39 SIERA, and 5.2% walk rate.
Pineda is all over the place this season, with three starts where he allowed four or more earned runs, while giving up three or fewer earned runs in the other five. Consistency is not his calling card this year, and with a lower strikeout rate, the potential for lower ownership should be there even on this five-game slate.
He gets a positive park shift being in Seattle tonight--a pitcher's park--up against the Seattle Mariners, whose current roster only carried a 102 wRC+ versus right-handed pitchers last season. Grabbing a quality start tonight is not out of the question for Pineda, since the Mariners have taken a bit of a step back after their hot start.
Rowdy Tellez, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays
FanDuel Price: 3,100
Tellez played a very limited amount in 2018 and actually has more plate appearances this year, so that is the sample size we will be looking at. He comes in with a modest .305 wOBA versus right-handed pitchers but a very powerful .207 ISO. The upside is certainly there for him, and he's shown that with five of his six home runs coming against righty pitchers.
One of the issues is that he is also carrying a 31.7% strikeout rate versus righties this season, though. He is almost the definition of boom or bust, which makes him a high-risk play, but one who can often provide benefits in tournaments.
He is up against Dylan Covey, who allowed a 16.4% home-run-to-fly-ball rate last season to lefty bats, along with a 37.4% hard contact rate. That gives us a home-run prone pitcher up against a power-hitting lefty in a solid hitter's park.
Starling Marte, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
FanDuel Price: $3,600
Marte comes in with hits in 11 of his last 12 games, where six of those games were multi-hit performances, though he only has one home run in that span. His 38.7% hard-contact rate so far this season is the highest of his career, along with a solid 18.2% strikeout rate, showing he is hitting the ball hard and not wasting chances at the plate.
The Pittsburgh Pirates come in with an implied team total set at only 3.56 tonight, which is the lowest on the slate and probably a major reason they will go under-owned tonight. You may not want to fully stack up the Pirates, but Marte is producing fantasy points every single game, and if the negative park factor and the low total are going to keep people away, he can become even more valuable.
Marte is flat-out good right now and the platoon advantage will be there against Eric Lauer, who allowed a 40.1% hard-contact rate and 1.12 homers per nine innings to right-handed hitters last season.