3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 8/7/19
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.
Trevor Williams, P, Pittsburgh Pirates
FanDuel Price: $6,900
Choosing a pitcher on a smaller slate can always be tough, especially if you are pivoting off the top-tier options.
There is no doubt that James Paxton, Eduardo Rodriguez, and even Zac Gallen are the top pitching options on this slate, but going with one of them can limit your stacking options. Both the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox come in with implied team totals over 5.50 tonight, and you will want their -- very expensive -- hitters in your lineups. If that is the case, you should consider Trevor Williams for a pitching option since he is significantly cheaper compared to Paxton and Rodriguez. Over his last 18 innings pitched, Williams has 16 strikeouts, which is solid for a pitch who only has an 18.9% strikeout rate this season.
Williams simply isn't a big strikeout pitcher, but what he can do is limit the damage via only carrying a 33.7% hard-hit rate and a fly-ball rate under 40%. That should play in his favor tonight as he is at home in a solid pitcher's park and against the Milwaukee Brewers, who could be without Lorenzo Cain -- he left with an injury last night -- and Christian Yelich, who could be getting another day off. The Brewers lineup is weakened by those two players missing, putting Williams in a spot to continue his streak of three or fewer earned runs in three straight starts.
Austin Nola, 2B, Seattle Mariners
FanDuel Price: $2,600
It was a hot start for Austin Nola, but that was a few weeks ago, and now we see him hitless in his last four games. Is he a lower-owned tournament option tonight?
With only five games on the tonight's slate, finding lower-owned players can be tough, but if you do, it can truly set you apart from the field. The Seattle Mariners are at home and have a 4.35 implied run total, which is nothing special on this slate or really any slate. That doesn't jump off the page, but with most DFS players likely looking to stack the Yankees or Red Sox, the Mariners have a chance to come in far lower owned.
They are facing off against Joey Lucchesi, who is allowing 1.18 home runs per nine innings, a 38.3% hard-hit rate, and carries a 4.46 xFIP versus righty hitters this year. None of that is threatening and none of that screams stay away from this pitcher. In fact, you should look to attack him in some spots.
Nola is very cheap tonight, which is always good on a small slate, so you can slot him into most lineups or use him as a one-off. Nola, in his first year in the Majors, is carrying a surprising .419 ISO, 45.8% hard-hit rate, and a 66.7% fly-ball rate versus left-handed pitchers. He only has 36 games played this season, giving him a small sample size, but the power is certainly there for him to start his career.
Trent Grisham, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
FanDuel Price: $2,500
While I do like Trevor Williams as a pitching option tonight, that doesn't mean I dislike all of the options on the Brewers. Yes, their lineup is weaker with a few players out, but that doesn't mean we can't target an option here or there for some savings at hopefully lower ownership.
Grisham was recently called up from Triple-A and only has five games played in the Major Leagues. Don't take this with a grain of salt -- take it will a block of salt. He has 18 plate appearances, so we can't really draw anything from that, so why not look at his minor league numbers?
This season in Triple-A, he carried a .396 ISO and 13 home runs in 34 games played, along with a super low 13.9% strikeout rate. Oddly enough, that lines up nicely against Williams, who isn't a big strikeout pitcher and is allowing 1.49 home runs per nine innings to lefty hitters this season. Take the savings and a bit of power upside for a young player set to see the starting lineup tonight.