3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 7/1/19
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
Jeff Samardzija, P, San Francisco Giants
FanDuel Price: $6,200
A smaller five-game slate should see ownership concentrated around a few teams and pitchers, but Jeff Samardzija doesn't appear to be one of the latter.
Samardzija isn't the pitcher he once was, but the matchup tonight versus the San Diego Padres is solid, and he is on the cheaper side of options, which can help you load up on hitters. The Padres come in with a 92 wRC+ (16th in the league), a 26.2% strikeout rate (second worst), and a somewhat powerful .186 ISO (12th) versus right-handed pitchers. They have some power, but they strike out a ton and are a below average lineup overall.
It's not like Samardzija is an amazing strikeout pitcher who can reach double digits -- only 19.9% this season -- but he posted five or more strikeouts in six of his last seven starts. A solid park factor for him should help limit the damage considering the Padres have a modest implied team total of 4.42 tonight.
Kevin Newman, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates
FanDuel Price: $3,400
Kevin Newman is hot right now, and the Pittsburgh Pirates are at home with a 4.92 implied team total, so we can look to them for some offense tonight. Newman doesn't have the biggest sample size this season, but we can see that he is carrying a .377 wOBA, modest .178 ISO, and super-low 13.5% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers.
The thing with Newman is that he truly lacks power. He comes in with a hard-hit rate and a fly-ball rate both under 30% this season, which is truly bad. The massive ceiling just isn't there for him, but he is still showing multi-hit potential, with six such games over his last 12.
Ji-Man Choi, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays
FanDuel Price: $3,000
The Tampa Bay Rays are looking to be an interesting team tonight and could see lower ownership, which is always a benefit in tournaments.
Tampa comes in with a 5.40 implied run total but are at home in one of the worst hitting environments on the slate. This always presents an interesting decision, since there are far better hitter's parks on the slate, along with better or comparable offenses.
However, the Baltimore Orioles will have Tom Eshelman on the mound tonight, who is making his Major League debut. There isn't a ton on Eshelman from his minor league numbers this year, carrying a 6.17 xFIP, 13.1% strikeout rate, and 44.4% fly-ball rate in 20 innings pitched for the Orioles' Triple-A team.
In a spot like this, I tend to lean with the hitter, and in this case it's Ji-Man Choi, who has plenty of success against righty pitchers. Choi is holding a .184 ISO versus right-handers this season, along with a substantial 41.5% hard-hit rate and a 17.8% home-run-to-fly-ball rate.