3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 8/8/19
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.
Eric Lauer, P, San Diego Padres
FanDuel Price: $6,900
This might be something that goes unsaid, but should be emphasized at times, you should target the Colorado Rockies when they aren't at home.
Despite flashing massive run-scoring potential at times, the Rockies aren't actually a good team, which is shown by their 89 wRC+ versus lefty pitchers, which is 23rd in the league. They are also carrying a 25.4% strikeout rate, which is the fifth-worst in the league versus lefty pitchers. They are now on the road to take on the San Diego Padres in what is the best pitcher's park on the slate, a further downgrade for their offense.
This puts us in a spot to use Eric Lauer, who has a very nice price tag tonight, and comes in allowing two or fewer earned runs in four of his last six starts. Lauer isn't a big strikeout pitcher -- only 19.2% -- so he relies on his 43.8% ground-ball rate to limit the damage when he is on the mound.
Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians
FanDuel Price: $3,300
Cleveland sits just two games behind in the standings, making this a very important series for both teams. When looking at this slate overall, the Indians come in ninth-highest in terms of implied team total, sitting at 4.47, putting plenty of options ahead of them. There is a chance the Indians are one of the lower-owned teams tonight, and that is a shot worth taking given their matchup.
They are up against Kyle Gibson, who is having a pretty solid year but still gets hit hard by lefties and can give up home runs, which is shown by his 1.48 home runs allowed per nine innings to left-handers. That is from a 20.4% home-run-to-fly-ball ratio in the split, something which won't play well in this hitter-friendly park.
Jason Kipnis is someone to keep an eye on tonight since he has good power versus righty pitchers but is often inconsistent. He is carrying a modest .197 ISO but a strong 41.7% hard-hit rate and 41.8% fly-ball rate versus righties. The fly-ball and hard-hit rates suggest he would have better numbers this season, and he could be due for some positive regression.
Brian McCann, C, Atlanta Braves
FanDuel Price: $2,500
The Atlanta Braves have a 4.83 implied team total tonight, which is the fifth-highest on the slate. Will anyone in their lineup go overlooked?
The lowly catcher position is how we find low ownership tonight and most nights, since you don't actually have to roster one give the roster construction requirements. This always leaves an opening to attack in tournaments, and Brian McCann is that guy tonight. The veteran comes in with a .194 ISO, 42.8% hard-hit rate, and a modest 16.9% home-run-to-fly-ball ratio this season versus right-handed pitchers. Those numbers shouldn't blow you away, but the matchup is ideal.
Elieser Hernandez is on the mound for the Miami Marlins, and he comes in with only 41 innings pitched in 2019, which is a small sample size for a pitcher. But in that sample size, he is allowing 3.52 home runs per nine innings to lefties, a whopping 48.1% hard-hit rate, and a 26.1% home-run-to-fly-ball ratio. Those numbers are absolutely terrible, and while they may regress with more innings pitched, he is bad right now, and you should attack him while you can.