3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 5/21/19
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
German Marquez, P, Colorado Rockies
FanDuel Price: $8,200
With a full 14-game slate on tap tonight the ownership should be spread out, giving us the opportunity to attack tournaments with lower owned options.
Since his one-hit, complete game shutout in the middle of April against the San Francisco Giants, German Marquez has been giving up runs and getting hit all over the place. He has six starts since the one-hitter and has allowed three or more earned runs in four of those six games, along with six or more hits in each game. Those numbers aren't encouraging by any stretch of the imagination, but what is worth noting is that he has a solid 24.5% strikeout rate and a 4.5% walk rate, which is the sixth lowest on the slate. Is it just a cold streak he is going through? Is it just a bit of bad luck? At this point, it's tough to tell since his numbers from this season (WHIP, xFIP, BABIP) are all largely the same compared to last season.
What we do have is Marquez at a pitcher-friendly park tonight against a Pittsburgh Pirates team who is flat out bad against right-handed pitchers. They currently carry a 90 wRC+ and a .150 ISO versus righty pitchers, both of which are in the bottom 10 in the league this season. It also helps that Marquez dominated while away from Coors Field last season, posting a .260 BABIP, 0.98 WHIP, and a 28.3% strikeout rate.
Marquez is a good pitcher, there is no doubt about that but he will likely go overlooked on a slate with the likes of Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Caleb Smith, and Zack Greinke, just to name a few.
Jason Castro, C, Minnesota Twins
FanDuel Price: $3,300
The Minnesota Twins had an offensive surge over the past week and are in a spot to continue that production tonight versus a very mediocre pitcher.
That pitcher is Trevor Cahill of the Los Angeles Angels, who is having one of the worst starts to the season you can possibly imagine. Yes, this is a smaller sample size to start the year, but Cahill legitimately cannot get hitters out and is getting knocked around every time he steps on the rubber. So far this season he has a 5.09 xFIP, 16.9% strikeout rate, allowing 2.86 homers per nine innings, and a 44.8% hard-contact rate. These are some of the worst numbers you find on this slate, but they are a bit off compared to what we saw from him last season, where he was an average but not an elite pitcher.
Cahill might be in for a bit of positive regression to the numbers he has posted in recent seasons, but if he is getting hit hard right now, we want to take advantage of that while we can. Jason Castro should almost certainly be getting the start tonight with Mitch Garver still on the IL, so we can look towards Castro as a tournament option who comes in boasting a .431 ISO and 50.0% fly-ball rate to start the season, granted it only comes from a 23-game same size.
Kolten Wong, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals
FanDuel Price: $2,900
The St. Louis Cardinals come in with a very healthy 5.03 implied run total, which is the third-highest on the slate, but still could be a bit lower owned due to weather concerns.
There is set to be some rain during this game which naturally keeps ownership lower, as many DFS players don't want to risk having exposure here. This can be a situation to capitalize on if you shoot for low ownership players who have upside and can tolerate the risk. Kolten Wong is a great example of a player you should be looking towards tonight since he is under $3k and brings a bit of pop against Homer Bailey, who is exactly who we thought he was. Bailey had a few flashes of greatness at points this season but we see that he is carrying a 4.27 xFIP, 46.9% hard-contact rate, and an 11.3% walk rate versus lefty hitters this season.
Those are bad numbers any way you shake it and with Wong posting a .322 wOBA, 38.8% hard-contact rate, and a 44.8% fly-ball rate versus right-handed pitchers, he is in a spot to produce despite the potential for rain. Not saying you need to be stacking up the Cardinals or going all in, but taking one player who is under $3k doesn't bust your lineup.