3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 6/21/19
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
James Paxton, P, New York Yankees
FanDuel Price: $9,200
This is a really fun pitching slate, and the bevy of high-upside arms should keep ownership fairly spread out -- with Chris Sale ($12,000 vs. Toronto), Trevor Bauer ($11,500 vs. Detroit), Walker Buehler ($11,200 vs. Colorado), and Aaron Nola ($8,700 vs. Miami) likely to be the four most popular arms.
But Paxton tossed 108 pitches in his last outing after going 66, 83 and 63 pitches in his first three starts off the shelf, so he should have the leash off today. And while Houston is clearly one of the best offensive teams in baseball, they've been fairly average over the last 14 days, ranking 17th in wOBA (.322) over that span.
Paxton has shown elite swing-and-miss upside in 2019, pitching to a 30.5% strikeout rate and 14.2% swinging-strike rate. Those numbers are pretty much right in line with his 2018 output (32.3% strikeout rate and 14.2% swinging-strike rate). Our models are very high on Paxton for this date with Houston, projecting him for 38.8 FanDuel points, which ranks third on the slate and makes him tonight's best point-per-dollar value among all pitchers.
Christin Stewart, OF, Detroit Tigers
FanDuel Price: $2,800
As we touched on, Trevor Bauer will likely be one of the more heavily-owned pitchers tonight. Our models have Bauer as the slate's number-two hurler, and the Tigers carry a mere 3.40 implied total. That should keep people off of Christin Stewart, and this is not a horrible spot for him.
For starters, Bauer has been much worse this season versus left-handed hitters. Over 198 total lefties faced, Bauer is allowing a .342 wOBA, 40.5% hard-hit rate and 38.4% fly-ball rate in the split.
Overall, Bauer has been slipping as the year has progressed. He posted a 29.1% strikeout rate in April, followed by a 24.7% clip in May and a 21.9% strikeout rate over 24 2/3 frames in June. He's had single-game swinging-strike rates of just 7.6% and 7.7% in his last two outings.
After thriving at Triple-A last year -- .373 wOBA and 23 jacks with a 12.8% walk rate -- Stewart has struggled to a weak .305 wOBA in his first full season in the bigs. But his walk rate (11.2%) and fly-ball rate (45.0%) are promising, and he could pop a homer at low ownership.
Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies
FanDuel Price: $4,300
The Rockies being on the road will automatically pull some ownership away from Charlie Blackmon, and his matchup with Walker Buehler isn't going to draw people to him, either, since the Rox have a measly 3.25 implied total.
Buehler is a stud -- there's no debating that. The Dodgers' righty has a 3.62 SIERA and 26.1% strikeout rate this season, and he's red-hot in June, recording a 33.3% strikeout rate and 1.3% walk rate across 22 innings.
So why would you want to fork over $4,300 for Blackmon?
Because he's also on a tear in recent days, slugging seven dingers in 61 plate appearances in June while hitting .458 with a .573 wOBA this month. His stellar play actually dates back to May, when he put up a .457 wOBA across 86 plate appearances that month. And Blackmon is always good against righties, boasting a .442 wOBA, 40.0% hard-hit rate and 41.5% fly-ball rate in the split this year.
On a night when the masses will likely be dropping large coin on the mound, paying up for Blackmon against one of the slate's best pitchers is going to be contrarian, and he has some appeal as a one-off play in GPPs despite the tough draw versus Buehler.