3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 5/17/19
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.
Frankie Montas, P, Oakland Athletics
FanDuel Price: $8,800
A full 15-game slate has every team in action and should see ownership spread out, giving DFS plenty of tournaments options, so let's take a look.
There are three top-tier aces on the slate tonight and a significant number of pitchers in the mid-tier, including Frankie Montas, who has a great matchup, which should allow him to continue his strong start to the season. Montas has allowed three runs or in each if his eight starts this season, posting five or more strikeouts in six of the eight. He's been consistent, but shown a slight lack of upside with his 22.0% strikeout rate, which means many players will pass on him since a 50-point performance is almost certainly out of the question.
The matchup tonight versus the Detroit Tigers is what you want to be attacking though, since they come in with an implied team total set at 4.00 tonight. Detroit comes in as one of the worst teams versus right-handed pitchers this season, with a 72 wRC+ (29th in the league), a .142 ISO (28th), and a 26.3% strikeout rate (28th).
Tommy La Stella, 3B, Los Angeles Angels
FanDuel Price: $3,400
Tommy La Stella is currently posting some of the best numbers in his career and while it might not last a full season, you should strike while the iron is hot.
La Stella currently has a .418 wOBA, .310 ISO, 168 wRC+, and a staggeringly low 6.0% strikeout rate. Yes, that's over a smaller sample size to start the season, but they are all legitimately the best numbers he's ever had and some of them aren't even close. Is he due for some regression? Of course. But that regression likely won't come tonight versus Brad Keller, who is allowing a 4.62 xFIP, 12.9% walk rate, and a .336 wOBA.
There is no doubt that Keller is a very average pitcher, and with La Stella punching above his weight he should be able to continue this hot streak and post another multi-hit game, something he has done four times in his last seven outings.
His price is also right on the edge of being too expensive, His hot streak has elevated his salary to a level that's a big high for who he has shown to be throughout his career. That should help keep his ownership lower tonight when we have a full slate of games.
Jonathan Villar, 2B, Baltimore Orioles
FanDuel Price: $2,900
This isn't breaking news to anyone, but the Baltimore Orioles aren't a good team. Tthat doesn't mean they don't have viable options for DFS though.
On a full slate of games, the Orioles don't really jump off the page with their 3.94 implied run total, which is on the lower end of the slate. While you may want to stay away from fully stacking them, taking a player like Jonathan Villar, could provide benefits given his matchup tonight.
He is up against Jefry Rodriguez, who doesn't have a ton of major league experience under his belt, but allowed a 7.37 xFIP, 1.52 homers per nine innings, and a 42.9% fly-ball rate to lefty hitters last season. Yikes. Those are some rough numbers to look at, and his stats from this season versus left-handed hitters are much of the same.
Villar, at a very modest price point and a very clear platoon advantage should be able to jump on Rodriguez tonight, who seemingly cannot get lefty hitters out.