3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 9/17/19
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.
Caleb Smith, P, Miami Marlins
FanDuel Price: $7,600
A matchup in the desert has two inexperienced pitchers going head to head, where the visiting team has something to offer.
That team is the Miami Marlins, who will have Caleb Smith on the bump. For his cheaper salary, Smith is worth a look tonight. Earlier this season, Smith was priced over $10,000, and while that was back in May, he has flashed solid upside with his 27.8% strikeout rate this season, which is the eighth-highest on the slate.
The matchup versus the Arizona Diamondbacks isn't a tough one by any means, as they have an 87 wRC+ (22nd in the league), .172 ISO (22nd), 38.6% hard-hit rate (16th), and 21.7% strikeout rate (22nd) versus right-handed pitchers.
Smith is carrying a 4.28 SIERA and a dangerous 50.9% fly-ball rate, but he has a 44.3% medium-contact rate this season. Overall, Smith has flashed some serious upside but also gotten burned at times due to the high fly-ball rate. Arizona isn't a team you should be afraid of, and with his favorable price-point tonight, Smith makes a nice tournament option.
J.P. Crawford, SS, Seattle Mariners
FanDuel Price: $2,600
I'm a big fan of the Seattle Mariners tonight, and they make a great tournament option.
On a full 14-game slate, shooting for low-owned tournament plays can be a game-changer, and there are a few reasons on why the Mariners could be that team tonight. They are facing Mitch Keller, who has just 38 innings pitched in his Major League career, all coming this season. It's not a large sample size by any means, but he is allowing 1.93 home runs per nine innings to lefty hitters, along with a 39.1% hard-hit rate and 35.6% fly-ball rate. While some of his stats will regress with more innings pitched, they aren't good now, and he is worth attacking in a GPP.
The Mariners are very interesting tonight since they have the eighth-best ISO versus right-handed pitchers this season, along with the second-best fly-ball rate. That is interesting since Seattle sits near the bottom of the league in terms of their overall record. J.P. Crawford is a player to keep an eye on since he is very cheap and comes in with a .208 ISO and 39.6% fly-ball rate versus right-handed pitchers. The Mariners have some serious power in this split and make for a sneaky-good stack tonight.
Brandon Belt, 1B, San Francisco Giants
FanDuel Price: $3,000/
A 4.49 implied team total for the San Francisco Giants is decent, but should we be looking at any of their hitters?
By no means are the Giants a good offensive team, but they are getting a massive positive park shift since they are on the road visiting the Boston Red Sox, and they are also facing a weak pitcher. That pitcher is Nathan Eovaldi, who is allowing a disastrous 3.42 home runs per nine innings, 48.5% fly-ball rate, and 45.6% fly-ball rate versus left-handed hitters this season. Oh, boy, those are some horrible numbers for Eovaldi this season, and with this being a 14-game slate, no one team should be too highly owned outside of Coors Field.
Brandon Belt is certainly one of the better hitters in the Giants' lineup, and with a .185 ISO and 52.3% fly-ball rate versus right-handed pitchers, things are looking up for him in this matchup. Do I expect the Giants to break the slate and score 10 runs tonight? No. Can Belt exceed value at his modest price tag in a favorable matchup? Yes.