3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 8/22/19
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.
Masahiro Tanaka, P, New York Yankees
FanDuel Price: $7,700
Will the three top pitchers above $10,000 dominate ownership tonight, and are the options in the mid-tier viable plays?
Masahiro Tanaka has posted 29 FanDuel points or more in each of his last two starts, and his price has dropped. Not entirely sure why, but after 46.0 FanDuel points against the Toronto Blue Jays and 29.0 points against the Cleveland Indians, Tanaka is $500 cheaper than he was in his most recent start. That's not a massive drop, but his matchup tonight versus the Oakland Athletics isn't too tough, which is why his price is puzzling. He comes in with a 19.3% strikeout rate, 47.3% ground-ball rate, and a super-low 5.7% walk rate.
Tanaka often falls into the category of being a better real-life pitcher than he is a DFS producer, which is why he goes overlooked most of the time. The Athletics have a 98 wRC+ (15th in the league), 41.2% ground-ball rate (22nd in the league), and 39.7% hard-hit rate (8th in the league) versus right-handed pitchers. While the Athletics have some power in their lineup, their league average wRC+ can make them less of a threat overall than their upside may indicate.
Kike Hernandez, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers
FanDuel Price: $2,600
Getting exposure to the Los Angeles Dodgers powerful offense can always be beneficial. Are there any sneaky options in the lineup?
Enrique Hernandez just returned from the IL after missing one month and comes in under $3,000, offering plenty of salary relief on a slate where we want to pay up for pitching. The Dodgers have a 5.62 implied run total -- which is the third-highest on the slate -- so we should be expecting them to score some runs, as they always do. Hernandez is up against Jacob Waguespack, which puts him in a same-sided matchup but that is what we want.
Hernandez -- formerly a lefty killer -- comes in with a surprisingly strong .209 ISO this season versus righty pitchers, along with 41.5% hard-hit rate and 44.2% fly-ball rate. Those numbers are really strong for a player this cheap who is playing in an offense that can post runs in a hurry. He does hit near the bottom of the lineup, which is a potential issue, but the per-dollar value is awesome if he starts tonight.
Adam Duvall, OF, Atlanta Braves
FanDuel Price: $2,700
The top few hitters for the Braves bring the most power and have the most consistency -- that's not up for debate. The question becomes: can you fade those top guys in tournaments? The ownership will likely follow Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna, Josh Donaldson, and Ozzie Albies. Where does that leave Adam Duvall?
Duvall and the Braves are facing off against Sandy Alcantara, who comes in with a 5.10 xFIP, 10.0% walk rate, and a 34.9% fly-ball rate versus right-handed hitters this season. Alcantara is a pitcher we want to stack against, which is shown by Atlanta's team total tonight. Duvall doesn't have the biggest sample size this season but is carrying a .200 ISO, 38.7% hard-hit rate, and massive 53.3% fly-ball rate. He's a cheap way to get exposure to one of the night's top offenses.