3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 8/16/19
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.
Kyle Hendricks, P, Chicago Cubs
FanDuel Price: $7,800
A loaded 15-game slate has a ton of aces at the top, which puts Kyle Hendricks in the perfect spot to go under-owned tonight.
Hendricks is coming off a very rough start where he allowed seven earned runs over 2.2 innings to the Cincinnati Reds. That's horrible -- there's really no other way to put it -- but with that outing, we have seen his price drop below $8K for the first time since May.
Prior to this recent bad outing, Hendricks has put together an amazing stretch where he's allowed three or fewer earned runs in 11 of 12 starts, picking up the quality start in eight of them, along with five or more strikeouts nine times. That is the near definition of consistency, yet a single bad start has seen his price drop below $8K.
It doesn't add up, and Hendricks should be able to get over that bad start given his favorable matchup tonight. He is up against the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have a modest 4.23 implied team total, and come in with a 35.6% hard-hit rate (25th in the league), a .170 ISO (23rd), and a 32.0% fly-ball rate (29th) versus right-handed pitchers this season.
Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres
FanDuel Price: $3,000
The San Diego Padres come in with the 17th-highest implied team total tonight. Does that mean no one will be on them?
A full slate of games that features Coors Field has the ability to go off the rails, and lower ownership could a game-changer tonight. The 17th-highest on the slate is nothing to get excited about at first glance, but there is plenty to dive into given the matchup for the Padres. They are up against Vincent Velasquez, who is in the midst of a season he'd rather forget. After being sent down to the minors and called back up, not much has changed for him, and he's still a pitcher we want to attack -- especially, when he is at home in a hitter-friendly park.
Velasquez is carrying a 5.09 xFIP while allowing 2.49 home runs per nine innings, a 52.7% hard-hit rate, and a 51.2% fly-ball rate versus right-handed hitters this season. Those are among the worst numbers you will find from a pitcher on this slate and shows he is clearly very home run prone this season.
We want to target him with power hitters from the Padres, and Hunter Renfroe fits that description tonight. Renfroe comes in with a .269 ISO, a 46.1% hard-hit rate, and a 24.7% home-run-fly-ball rate this season versus righty pitchers.
Renfroe is just $3K tonight and is, frankly, too cheap given how much power upside he brings in this matchup.
Travis d'Arnaud, C, Tampa Bay Rays
FanDuel Price: $3,100
As always, taking a catcher is generally a tournament option only, since they often produce less than other players, but they also come with lower ownership.
The upside is certainly there for them tonight versus Daniel Norris, who you shouldn't be afraid of by any means and truly want to be targeting. The Rays don't come off as a super exciting team, and with them at home in a pitcher's park, there shouldn't be too many people rostering them tonight.
Norris is allowing 1.68 home runs per nine innings this season to righty hitters, along with a 40.2% hard-hit rate and a 34.2% fly-ball rate. He is approaching the threshold I've dubbed the 40-40 club, where pitchers are prone to giving up home runs. Giving up fly balls and hard contact is the opposite of what you want to see in today's MLB, and Travis d'Arnaud is a player who should be able to capitalize on that.
d'Arnaud has a 43.0% hard-hit rate and a 45.6% fly-ball rate versus lefty pitchers, which as you can see, lines up pretty nicely versus Norris and where he struggles.