3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 8/2/19
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.
Martin Perez, P, Minnesota Twins
FanDuel Price: $7,000
The Kansas City Royals are one of the weaker teams in the league, but does that mean we can target any pitcher against them?
A loaded 12-game slate tonight has options across the board, and if you are looking to take some savings at pitcher in order to load up on hitters, Martin Perez could be your guy tonight. He comes in with a very modest 20.1% strikeout rate this season, which means a massive upside from strikeouts won't be there for him, but the matchup is one of the better ones on the. The Royals come in with a .156 ISO (27th in the league), and 89 wRC+ (22nd in the league), a 37.1% hard-hit rate (20th in the league), and a 33.4% fly-ball ratio (27th in the league) versus right-handed pitchers this season.
The Royals simply don't have a threatening offense this season and come in with a very modest 4.40 implied team total tonight. Perez comes having picked up three quality starts over his last five outings, which is what we want to see tonight, boosting his point-per-dollar value at an already affordable price tag.
Christian Walker, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Price: $3,200
It seems that Christian Walker has finally shown what he can do in the Major Leagues, and it involves a lot of power.
Walker has bounced around to a few teams of the course of his career and has seemingly found a home with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He has the largest sample size of his career this season and comes in boasting a .249 ISO, massive 52.0% hard-hit rate, and a 21.9% home-run-to-fly-ball ratio this season versus righty pitchers. There is a ton of power sitting with Walker and with his very modest price tag, he should be able to slot into most lineups. The Diamondbacks have a 5.06 implied team total tonight, which is the eighth-highest on the slate.
They are facing off against Joe Ross -- who hasn't been able to stick in the Majors for the Washington Nationals -- bouncing up and down from the minors over the past few years. He has varying amounts of innings pitched over the past few seasons, but if we look at his entire Major League career, he is allowing 1.05 home runs per nine innings to righty hitters, along with an average 22.9% strikeout rate. He doesn't pose a big threat tonight and Walker has serious power in this split.
Austin Riley, OF, Atlanta Braves
FanDuel Price: $2,600
Austin Riley got off to a hot start once being called up, but has since cooled off in terms of production, can we still target him tonight?
A 4.82 implied team total for the Atlanta Braves is solid tonight and they are facing off against Alex Wood, who made his first start of the season last week after missing the first-half due to injuries. We have to look back to last season for a good sample size on Wood, to see that he had a 4.15 xFIP, allowed 1.15 homers per nine innings, and a 41.4% hard-hit rate versus right-handed hitters. While the 4.15 xFIP is decent, he has to prove that this year, and until that point, you should be willing to attack him.
Riley had a great start, took a slight downturn in production, but through that was able to maintain a .431 ISO, 61.3% hard-hit rate, and a 40.0% home-run-to-fly-ball ratio versus left-handed pitchers. Riley hasn't hit a home run since July 6th, he is due, and this is the perfect spot.