3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 7/30/19
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.
Tanner Roark, P, Cincinnati Reds
FanDuel Price: $6,800
With the Cincinnati Reds slipping a bit further back in the playoff race, we should see them as sellers at the deadline. Is this Tanner Roark's last start for them?
Roark is having what could be his best season in the Major Leagues and has seen his name thrown around in trade talks prior to the deadline. Tonight he is up against the Pittsburgh Pirates, who come in with a 103 wRC+ (11th in the league) versus right-handed pitchers but lack power, holding a .169 team ISO, which is 23rd in the league. Part of Roark's consistency comes from the fact he is able to limit the hard-contact against him, holding hitters to a 35.3% hard-hit rate this season along with a fly-ball rate of only 35.2%.
Roark has just a 22.8% strikeout rate this season, so we aren't expecting massive upside from him, but he offers a ton of salary relief on a Coors slate, has shown consistency and has a somewhat sneaky soft matchup versus the Pirates.
Jason Heyward, OF, Chicago Cubs
FanDuel Price: $2,800
The Chicago Cubs come into this game tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the division lead, and we are in for a very important series.
A 4.36 implied team total for the Cubs is just the 13th-highest clip on the slate tonight, putting them firmly in no-man's land. There are plenty of teams ahead of them with better park factors and better matchups, and all of that should cause the Cubbies to go under-owned tonight, making them a great tournament play.
Jason Heyward comes in with hits in four of his last five games and will sport the platoon advantage over Adam Wainwright. Waino is holding a 4.80 xFIP while allowing 1.50 homers per nine innings and a 22.6% home-run-to-fly-ball rate this season versus lefty hitters.
Heyward sits under $3,000 tonight, and despite his lower price, he is carrying a .206 ISO versus right-handed pitchers this season. The power is usually there for Heyward, but the consistency is not, which is why we will likely see him garner less ownership today than Anthony Rizzo or Kyle Schwarber, who also have the platoon advantage.
Donovan Solano, 2B, San Francisco Giants
FanDuel Price: $2,500
The San Francisco Giants are playing themselves into the Wild Card race and will look to add a few more wins on their East Coast trip.
Donovan Solano has only 45 games under his belt this season but has shown a solid .364 wOBA, low 12.3% strikeout rate, and a 43.1% hard-hit rate versus lefty pitchers. He isn't going to be out here belting home runs with a super-low .102 ISO, but he is very cheap and the Giants are carrying a 5.00 implied team total. He should be hitting near the top of the lineup, which gives him plenty of opportunities to reach value on his already cheap price tag. The savings shouldn't be overlooked tonight when there are four pitchers over $10,000 and we have Coors Field in action (plus the pricey New York Yankees' offense in a great spot).
The Giants are up against Drew Smyly, who is with his second team this season and is holding a 5.67 xFIP, 46.0% hard-hit rate, and 44.9% fly-ball rate versus righty hitters -- some of the worst numbers you will find on this slate. Smyly is a guy we can feel good about attacking, and Solano offers a cheap option to do so.