3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 8/5/19
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.
Vince Velasquez, P, Philadelphia Phillies
FanDuel Price: $7,500
With a 13-game slate to start our MLB week, there are five pitchers over $9K, leaving plenty of options in the mid-tier to go overlooked.
If you are looking to load up on some big-name hitters tonight, taking a pitcher in the mid-tier like Vincent Velasquez could be the right call. He comes in with a surprisingly strong 27.4% strikeout rate this season and has posted five or more strikeouts in five of his last six starts. That is strong for a pitcher who was sent down to the minors earlier this season and has seemingly gotten back on track. This isn't to say Velasquez doesn't come without risk, as he has allowed four earned runs in three of his last seven starts.
Velasquez is holding a 4.18 SIERA while posting 10.67 strikeouts per nine innings this season, but he's also allowing a 47.2% hard-hit rate. There is upside but a bit of risk that can hopefully be minimized tonight against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have a .177 team ISO versus right-handed pitchers (20th in the league) and a 91 wRC+ (18th) in the same split. Arizona is a below-average offensive team versus righty pitchers, putting Velasquez in a spot to continue his second-half resurgence.
Rougned Odor, 2B, Texas Rangers
FanDuel Price: $3,200
Aaron Civale is on the mound for Cleveland tonight, who made his Major League debut last week and pitched six innings in his one start. We have to look towards his Minor League numbers to get a better idea of what kind of pitcher he is. In Triple-A this season, Civale had a 26% strikeout rate and 50.0% ground-ball rate, and he held hitters to 0.85 homers per nine innings. He looks to be a ground-ball pitcher who doesn't allow a ton of hard contact, and he doesn't have anything overpowering on the mound with an average fastball velocity sitting at 91 mph.
Overall, this doesn't look like a pitcher you need to avoid, and you should actually look to stack against him in a spot like this. Rougned Odor has always had good numbers versus righty pitchers in his career with a .215 ISO, 42.0% fly-ball rate, and a 36.1% hard-hit rate. A moderate price on Odor tonight should make him a great tournament option.
Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
FanDuel Price: $2,800
Kevin Kiermaier was out of the lineup yesterday due to a southpaw being on the mound, so he should be set to rejoin the lineup tonight.
The Tampa Bay Rays are at home and come in sporting a healthy 4.86 implied team total, which is actually 10th-highest on the slate. That's nearly five implied runs, yet it doesn't put them as a "top" offense tonight, which should make them an ideal tournament option at lower ownership.
Kiermaier is holding a .225 ISO this season versus right-handed pitchers, which is a very solid amount of power, but he also has a .294 wOBA, showing a lack of consistency. A player like this is always interesting for tournaments because they have the power to knock one over the fence and provide all sorts of value, but they can't be trusted on a nightly basis.
Kiermaier does hold a 39.8% hard-hit rate versus righty pitchers while at home this season, a bright spot for the overall inconsistency he brings. He will be facing off against Jacob Waguespack, who only has 30 innings pitched in his big league career -- all this season -- so take his numbers with a grain of salt. Waguespack is allowing a 4.79 xFIP and a modest 34% fly-ball rate to lefty hitters.