3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 7/16/19
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.
Marco Gonzales, P, Seattle Mariners
FanDuel Price: $7,500
Gonzales is on the road to take on the Oakland Athletics, who have a 5.32 implied run total tonight, which is the eighth-highest on the slate. This might normally seem like a spot to avoid him, but he has a strong history against the Athletics and has shown some solid form as of late. He has allowed three or fewer earned runs in six straight starts while posting five or more strikeouts in four of those same six outings. He is only carrying a 16.6% strikeout rate this season, but through his career against the Athletics, he has 33 strikeouts in 40.1 innings pitched, per Baseball-Reference.
This might be going too far into things, but Gonzales has been specifically good against Athletics while pitching in Oakland. Yes, this is a smaller sample size, but as noted above, this is tied for the best park factor on the slate for pitchers. Gonzales is holding Oakland to a .309 wOBA and has 17 strikeouts in 25 innings pitched in this split. Take that for what you will, but he is on when pitching in the Bay Area.
Jorge Soler, OF, Kansas City Royals
FanDuel Price: $3,600
The sun is shining and no better time to get a bit of Soler Power in your DFS lineups.
Soler Power, of course, being Jorge Soler on the Kansas City Royals, who have an implied run total set at 5.01 tonight, which is the 11th highest on the slate. If you can believe it, there are 10 teams ahead of the Royals tonight, which might put them in no-mans land of teams to target, thus putting them in a spot for lower ownership. Soler is facing off against Dylan Cease, who made his first-ever MLB start just two weeks ago, so we have to look at his minor league numbers to get a better idea of things. This season in Triple-A, Cease had a 4.29 xFIP, modest 24.0% strikeout rate, and a 10.5% walk rate. None of that is truly good or bad, but that means we should feel comfortable attacking him with the Royals hitters.
Soler is someone who should jump off the page with his .365 wOBA, .308 ISO, 39.5% fly-ball rate, and a powerful 42.9% hard-hit rate versus right-handed pitchers. When thinking of the best 'power-hitters' in the league, Soler wouldn't come to mind for most people, but he clearly has it this year and should be rostered with full confidence tonight.
Eric Thames, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers
FanDuel Price: $2,800
The Milwaukee Brewers offense has seen a slip dip in production, but will they be under-owned tonight?
Losing eight of their last 10 games has the Brewers just one game over .500 and are desperate to get things moving in the right direction, which could start tonight with their 5.23 implied run total. They are at home in a solid hitter's park to face off against Bryse Wilson, who has a very limited sample size this season in the Majors (14.2 innings pitched), allowing a .429 wOBA, 2.70 homers per nine innings, and a 50.0% fly-ball rate to lefty hitters. Obviously, that is from a small sample size, but even looking at his Triple-A numbers from this season, he doesn't appear to be a top prospect. He had a 23.1% strikeout rate, 4.39 xFIP, and allowed 1.22 homers per nine innings overall.
This is a classic situation where I want to side with the hitter, and in this case, Eric Thames, instead of a young pitcher who still needs to prove it in the Majors. Thames is a power-hitter who comes in with a .261 ISO, 48.3% hard-hit rate, and a 23.1% home-run-to-fly-ball ratio this season versus right-handed pitchers. As mentioned, the Brewers offense is struggling right now, but with the platoon advantage tonight, Thames their lefty hitters are in a good spot to put some runs on the board.