3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 8/9/19
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.
Brad Keller, P, Kansas City Royals
FanDuel Price: $8,800
One thing is clear -- if you are looking for a ton of strikeouts tonight, Brad Keller is not your guy. But will that cause him to go overlooked?
Keller is carrying a 17.0% strikeout rate this season -- which is the fourth lowest on the slate -- something that generally causes pitchers to go under-owned, due to a potential lack of upside. What he lacks in strikeouts, he makes up for with consistency, though, which is shown by him allowing two or fewer earned runs in five of his last six starts. Also, over this recent six-start stretch, he has picked up the quality start four times and the win three times. He can pile up a good amount of fantasy points, but it generally doesn't come from 10-plus strikeouts.
He is on a bit of a hot streak right now with the whiffs since he has seven strikeouts in three of his last five starts, which is his best stretch of the season. He is up against the Detroit Tigers. who have a 75 wRC+ (29th in the league) and a .152 ISO (28th) versus right-handed pitchers this season, which should allow Keller to continue his strong stretch of starts.
Bryan Reynolds, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
FanDuel Price: $3,600
The things that were true for Reynolds the other night haven't changed much, as he still holds a .408 wOBA, .196 ISO, and a very strong 48.3% hard-hit rate versus right-handed pitchers this season. The Pittsburgh Pirates rookie outfielder is looking very impressive so far and, most importantly, is carrying a lower 21.8% strikeout rate in this split. Not wasting opportunities at the plate is always important, since it can help maximize potential fantasy points.
He is facing off against Dakota Hudson, who isn't having the best season, which is his first extended period of time in the Majors. Hudson is posting a horrible 14.2% walk rate versus left-handed hitters, along with allowing 1.86 home runs per nine innings and a 45.9% hard-hit rate. A young pitcher who lets too many hitters on base, gets hit hard, and gives up home runs. That is a recipe for disaster, and Reynolds should be able to capitalize on that tonight.
Jason Heyward, OF, Chicago Cubs
FanDuel Price: $2,800
There is no doubt that Trevor Bauer is one of the best pitchers both on the slate and in the league, but does that mean we have to completely avoid him tonight?
Bauer comes in with a very strong 27.5% strikeout rate this season but is getting blasted by lefty hitters, allowing 1.99 home runs per nine innings to them this season. Sure, the strikeout potential for Bauer is always there, but he is allowing a 40.3% hard-hit rate and a 40.5% fly-ball rate in this split, making him a solid pitcher to target tonight. I've dubbed it the 40-40 club, essentially showing a threshold where pitchers are susceptible to allowing home runs, given the opposing hitter has the power to do so.
That hitter tonight could be Jason Heyward, who has a .214 ISO and 18.1% home-run-to-fly-ball rate and has hit 15 of his 17 home runs against right-handed pitchers this season. Heyward only has a 34.2% hard-hit rate versus righty pitchers this season, but he will have the benefit of a very solid park factor tonight, which should prove to be the extra push he needs tonight -- all while under $3K.