3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 4/15/21
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.
Rich Hill, P, Tampa Bay Rays ($7,700)
With only five games on tonight's slate, we should see some very chalky players at every position.
Pitching is going to be very interesting, and it may leave some openings to attack in tournaments. One of those spots could be with Rich Hill, who is taking on the Texas Rangers in a matchup worth considering.
The past few seasons have been a bit up and down for Hill, who has been dealing with injuries since 2019. In 2018, Hill had a 27.4% strikeout rate in 132 innings. In 2019, he had a 29.8% strikeout rate but only pitched 58.2 innings. Last year, he held a low 19.9% strikeout rate, but that was from only 38.2 innings. Now, to start this season, he has a 27.5% strikeout rate through 10 innings. Suffice it to say, he has been all over the place, but I'm fine with that in tournaments.
The matchup versus the Rangers could allow Hill to reach toward his ceiling since Texas struggles versus left-handed pitchers. In fact, the Rangers current roster held a whopping 28.1% strikeout rate versus lefties last season, which was the worst in the league. They also put up an 82 wRC+ (26th) and .119 ISO (29th). Hill is in a good spot to post big numbers.
Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies ($2,900)
Even though Charlie Blackmon is off to a slow start this season, you can look to him in tournaments tonight.
Blackmon hasn't been able to get things going offensively, but he is a much better hitter than what he is currently showing. On paper, tonight's matchup versus lefty Julio Urias doesn't seem appealing, but if you are looking for an under-the-radar player, Blackmon could be the answer.
Over the course of Urias' MLB career -- 251.2 total innings -- he is allowing 1.19 homers per nine to left-handed hitters, a 42.5% fly-ball rate, and a 37.8% hard-contact rate. Those numbers are kinda bad. A lefty pitcher being hit this hard by left-handed hitters isn't what we typically see, but it's obviously noteworthy.
For Blackmon, he is actually very solid in lefty-lefty spots. In the last two seasons combined, Blackmon has carried a .237 ISO, 129 wRC+, 38.1% hard-contact rate, and 16.5% strikeout rate in the split. He has shown to be very proficient against southpaws, and with the Rockies unlikely to be a popular target, this is a good time to take a shot on Blackmon.
Jonathan Schoop, 2B, Detroit Tigers ($2,200)
Am I putting Jonathan Schoop in this article so I can try to make a "Scoop there it is" joke? No -- okay, maybe I am.
The Detroit Tigers have a 3.78 implied total tonight and are on the road to take on the Oakland Athletics. Right from face value, this doesn't appear to be the best spot since Oakland is a great pitcher's park, but we are aiming for players who are going overlooked on the slate.
Historically, Schoop is a bit of a lefty masher. In the split since 2017, Schoop has a .225 ISO, 115 wRC+, 37.8% fly-ball rate, and 36.7% hard-contact rate. While we'd like to see more fly balls and more hard contact, Schoop offers decent power.
He will be up against Sean Manaea, who has allowed a 38.1% hard-contact rate, 36.5% fly-ball rate, and 1.2 homers per nine to right-handed hitters in his career. Manaea isn't bad by any means, but I'm fine with taking a shot on Schoop tonight.