3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 5/20/19
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.
J.A. Happ, P, New York Yankees
FanDuel Price: $8,300
This slate features five pitchers over $9,000, and those five are truly deserving of those prices to start the season, which should see most of the other pitchers go overlooked. J.A. Happ is a pitcher who should fall into that overlooked category, and it's not because of his matchup versus the Orioles, who are carrying a 28.0% strikeout rate versus left-handed pitchers this season, which is the fourth-worst clip in the league.
The bad stats for the Orioles seemingly go on and on as they are near the bottom of the league in wRC+, ISO, and hard-contact rate, but Happ hasn't been good against them.
He has actually faced the Orioles three times this season, and despite the fact they aren't a good team, he has allowed nine earned runs in 13.2 innings pitched while striking out 11. A sub-20.0% strikeout rate versus lefties and righties is nothing to get excited about, along with the fact he is getting blasted by righties overall this season, allowing 2.41 homers per nine innings.
But despite all the inconsistency from Happ, he has two shutouts in his last four starts and picked up the win in three of those four. He can make up some of the fantasy points by grabbing the quality start or the win, which should help bolster his potential DFS value.
Eric Hosmer, 1B, San Diego Padres
FanDuel Price: $3,000
Eric Hosmer didn't have the best start to the season, but he has been turning around things recently and comes in at a very modest price tag tonight.
In the first month of the season, Hosmer posted a 100 wRC+ and 23.3% strikeout rate, though he had a solid .189 ISO. The former All-Star simply wasn't producing enough to be considering a viable fantasy option on a nightly basis, but since the start of May, he is looking like a new hitter with a 15.3% strikeout rate and 126 wRC+, though he's got a shockingly low .092 ISO in that span. It seems the first part of the year was a swing-big-but-miss-big thing for him.
Right now, he isn't bringing nearly as much power, but he is actually a better hitter overall -- not wasting chances at the plate with excessive strikeouts -- and is working on a six-game hitting streak. Hosmer has the platoon advantage tonight against Luke Weaver, who allowed a 4.88 xFIP and .327 BABIP to lefty hitters last season. The San Diego Padres have a modest 3.74 implied run total, which should keep their ownership lower, making Hosmer a nice GPP.
Yonder Alonso, 1B, Chicago White Sox
FanDuel Price: $2,800
In his last six games, Alonso has only four hits, and they were both in multi-hit games, meaning he went hit-less in the other four games. The lack of production can be a downfall for your MLB DFS lineups, unless you are hunting pure upside for tournaments. The matchup for the White Sox tonight is solid, but you should look to stay with their lefty hitters against Brad Peacock, who allowed a 3.98 xFIP, 3.13 homers per nine innings, and a 39.1% hard-contact rate to left-handed hitters last season. We know that the Houston Astros' pitching staff is very good, but Peacock is the outlier here and not a pitcher you should be afraid of.
Alonso and his .188 ISO and 39.3% fly-ball rate versus righty pitchers from last season should put him in a spot to continue his all-or-nothing approach.