3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 8/20/19
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.
Aaron Sanchez, P, Houston Astros
FanDuel Price: $8,500
One thing is certain on this slate -- there are a number of different aces to pick from, and Aaron Sanchez isn't one of them.
With the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Shane Bieber, Stephen Strasburg, Aaron Nola, and even Sonny Gray in action tonight, it can be tough to look past those options who bring the most consistency and the highest upside. The question becomes, what do you gain from passing on the top pitchers tonight?
First off, we get a bit of salary relief, which is always nice when it comes to roster construction, and second, hopefully, Sanchez will come in at lower ownership in tournaments.
So what does Sanchez really have going for him tonight? He comes in with a very solid 30.0% fly-ball rate and a 47.0% ground ball rate, which can help him limit the damage against a weaker offensive team. That weak offensive team is the Detroit Tigers, who come in with a 74 wRC+ (30th in the league), a .150 ISO (28th), and a 38.7% hard-hit rate (15th) versus right-handed pitchers.
The Tigers have very limited power in their lineup, which should play right into the hands of Sanchez, who wants to generate ground balls to limit the potential damage.
Ian Desmond, OF, Colorado Rockies
FanDuel Price: $3,300
The Colorado Rockies generally see lower ownership when they are away from home. Will that be the case tonight?
A 4.39 implied run total for Colorado isn't amazing, but it's also not horrible for a team that should be overlooked tonight. They are on the road to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks, who will have Alex Young on the mound, a young pitcher with plenty of struggles so far.
Young only has 43 innings pitched this season -- which is a small sample size -- but is allowing 1.00 home runs per nine innings, a 43.0% hard-hit rate, and an unimpressive 17.7% strikeout rate versus right-handed hitters. It's nothing to get excited about, nothing to worry about, and actually, a pitcher you want to roster against tonight.
We can look towards a player like Ian Desmond, who despite being away from Coors Field, still has solid numbers in this split. He has a .306 ISO, 43.1% hard-hit rate, and a 33.3% home-run-to-fly-ball rate versus lefty pitchers while on the road this season.
Even if you take away the hitting environment of Coors Field, Desmond still crushes pitchers in this split and makes a great, moderately priced option tonight.
Hanser Alberto, 2B, Baltimore Orioles
FanDuel Price: $2,900
The Baltimore Orioles aren't going to be setting any offensive records this season, but that doesn't mean they don't have viable options in DFS.
Hanser Alberto comes in under $3K tonight, and despite him lacking power versus righty pitchers, he has some legitimately good numbers against them. Since the All-Star break, Alberto has a 115 wRC+, 2.9% strikeout rate, 35.5% ground-ball rate, and a .839 OPS.
Those numbers aren't going to win him any awards, but he is up against Brad Keller, who comes in with a 4.75 xFIP, 38.7% hard-hit rate, and a lackluster 15.7% strikeout rate.
Keller has had some flashes of being a solid pitcher but has yet to show that over a consistent period of time. Side with Alberto, who happens to be riding an eight-game hitting streak.