3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 7/26/19
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.
Kyle Hendricks, P, Chicago Cubs
FanDuel Price: $8,500
The Chicago Cubs find themselves in another tight divisional race and now face the Milwaukee Brewers, who are just two games behind them.
Taking the mound tonight for the Cubs is righty Kyle Hendricks, who comes in with only one bad start in all of June and July, where he allowed five earned runs in 4.1 innings to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Outside of that start, he has six starts in this span allowing three earned runs or fewer and posting five or more strikeouts in four of those six. Solid consistency from a pitcher who only has a 21.1% strikeout rate this season.
Tonight, he takes on the Brewers, who are a familiar matchup for him, and an opponent he often sees success against. Over the course of his career, he has 114.2 innings pitched against them, racking up 104 strikeouts while allowing 41 earned runs, which is good for a 3.38 xFIP. Strong numbers for him considering how hitter-friendly both Miller Park or Wrigley Field can be. While Hendricks isn't a big strikeout pitcher, he seems to get it done versus the Brewers, which should continue tonight since they have a 24.9% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers, which is the sixth-worst in the league.
Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres
FanDuel Price: $3,100
The San Francisco Giants might be surging right now, but one thing is certain, Jeff Samardzija still isn't a good pitcher.
Are they buyers, are they sellers? That is the question for the Giants right now, but that doesn't matter from a DFS perspective, we want to attack Samardzija, who isn't the pitcher he once was. This season, Samardzija is carrying a 4.33 xFIP, 44.3% hard-hit rate, and a very non-threatening 20.2% strikeout rate versus right-handed hitters this season. When a pitcher doesn't have a high strikeout rate and gives up a lot of hard-contact, I want to attack them with a power-hitter.
That power-hitter tonight is Hunter Renfroe, who comes in with an awesome .295 ISO versus right-handed pitchers, but also has a 30.7% strikeout rate. Renfroe swings big, can miss big, but that should be minimized tonight due to Samardzija lacking a ton of strikeout potential. We know that Samardzija gives up plenty of hard-hit balls to righties this season, which lines up nicely with Renfroe who has a 48.4% hard-hit rate and a 46.5% fly-ball rate versus right-handed pitchers. With a 14-game slate, the San Diego Padres and Renfroe shouldn't be one of the higher owned teams tonight.
Eric Sogard, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
FanDuel Price: $3,300
The Tampa Bay Rays are using an opener tonight, but what does that mean for the Toronto Blue Jays hitters?
Diego Castillo will open for the Rays and we should see Ryan Yarbrough take over as the projected long reliever. Castillo is a right-handed pitcher, while Yarbrough is a lefty, which can make things difficult when projecting hitters. Even with that said, Eric Sogard is in a solid spot since he carries a .349 wOBA and 39.2% fly-ball rate versus righties, along with a .372 wOBA and a 50.0% fly-ball rate versus lefties this season. He brings a bit more power when facing lefty pitchers, but as you can see, he has solid numbers regardless of who he is facing.
The Blue jays come in with a 4.44 implied run total tonight which puts them as the 15th highest on the slate. They are not nearly one of the top teams tonight, simply lost in the mid-tier. This should cause them to overlooked and make them a great tournament option on this loaded slate.