3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 8/12/19
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.
Anthony DeSclafani, P, Cincinnati Reds
FanDuel Price: $8,000
With only eight games on tonight's slate, it's harder to find good options at lower ownership, but Anthony DeSclafani could be a solid tournament option to consider.
DeSclafani is the fourth-most expensive pitcher on the slate, yet the three pitchers ahead of him all have lower strikeouts rates. Zack Greinke ($10,800) is the most expensive pitcher, and he's got a 23.3% strikeout rate, while DeSclafani is nearly $3,000 cheaper and is up at 24.7% strikeout rate. That isn't a huge difference in strikeout rate, but the savings are massive when we are dealing with a mid-sized slate. The quality start or win equity sits firmly with Greinke, as he is a -290 road favorite and DeSclafani checking in at only -102.
DeSclafani is up against the Washington Nationals tonight, who could be without Juan Soto tonight, as he left yesterday's game with an ankle issue. The lineup will be slightly weaker overall if he's not in there, and frankly, it's not amazing to begin with. Sure they have some upside, but they are carrying just a 93 wRC+ (16th in the league), a .176 ISO (21st in the league), and a 35.4% hard-hit rate (25th in the league) versus right-handed pitchers this season.
The Nationals are a very average offense in this split -- there is really no other way to put it. DeSclafani should be able to control a weaker lineup tonight, and he might do so at lower ownership.
Austin Romine, C, New York Yankees
FanDuel Price: $2,800
The lineup for the first game has been announced, and Gary Sanchez will be behind the plate, leaving Romine to suit up for the second game. There is no implied run total yet for the Yanks for the nightcap, but with them being at home against the Baltimore Orioles, we should expect it to be at or above 5.00 runs. That shouldn't come as a surprise, and when you can get Romine at under $3,000 tonight, he makes for a nice play who go overlooked since he'll likely be hitting near the bottom of the Yankees' lineup.
Romine is up against John Means, who comes in with a 5.80 xFIP. Means is allowing 1.40 home runs per nine innings and a dangerous 48.9% fly-ball rate versus right-handed hitters this season. A fly-ball rate up near 50% in a hitter-friendly park like Yankee Stadium against a lineup like the Bombers' offense can turn sour quickly, putting Romine in a good spot to capitalize on his rather cheap price tag.
Kole Calhoun, OF, Los Angeles Angels
FanDuel Price: $3,200
While the Los Angeles Angels aren't making any noise in terms in real baseball, their players have plenty of fantasy value.
The Angels have a solid 5.11 implied run total tonight, which puts them as the sixth-highest on the slate. They aren't going to be among the chalkiest teams on an offense-heavy night, and a few of their players should go overlooked, thus making them solid tournament options on this mid-sized slate. The Angles will be facing Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Mitch Keller, who has only 12 innings pitched in the Majors, all of which have come this season.
There isn't anything that can be concluded from a sample size that small, so we will rely on the numbers of Kole Calhoun, who has some solid power numbers this season. He is carrying a .238 ISO, a 43.7% hard-hit rate, and a 20.5% home-run-to-fly-ball ratio versus right-handed pitchers this season. If you want to pivot off of Coors Field, the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, or Houston Astros, consider Calhoun and the Angels tonight.