3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 4/20/21
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.
Jake Arrieta, P, Chicago Cubs ($7,900)
Even though Jake Arrieta isn't known for his strikeout upside, he can still be used in tournaments tonight.
Since the start of the 2018 season, Arrieta is carrying an 18.6% strikeout rate, which is very average and nothing to write home about. However, over that same time, he is producing a 50.4% groundball rate and 50.0% medium-contact rate, which are awesome. He prevents hitters from generating a ton of power and can limit the damage when he starts. He has shown that to start this season, allowing three earned runs or fewer in each of his three starts. That led him to picking up the quality start (QS) points (4) in two of his three starts so far.
From a points-per-dollar perspective, Arrieta can get the job done, especially in tonight's matchup against the New York Mets. First off, this game is at Wrigley Field where it's expected to be around 37 degrees with a slight wind blowing in. This is fantastic pitching weather and should also help contribute to limiting the power upside from the Mets. Now that I mention the Mets, they are off to a slow start this year with a .115 ISO versus right-handed pitchers, which is 28th in the league. They also have a 25.9% fly-ball rate (30th) and a 30.6% hard-contact rate (26th), presenting a surprisingly easy matchup for Arrieta.
Paul DeJong, SS, St. Louis Cardinals ($2,800)
You should be stacking the St. Louis Cardinals tonight.
Tonight's slate features a game at Coors Field, and we all know what that means. All of those players are going to be very popular, and that is where many people will be looking for stacking options. However, you should be looking at the Cardinals and their 4.49 implied run total because they are taking on Patrick Corbin.
To say Corbin is off to a bad start this year would be a vast understatement, so we'll look back and include last season, as well. Over the past two seasons, Corbin is allowing 2.0 HR/9, a .400 wOBA, and a 41.6% hard-contact rate versus right-handed hitters. Those are awful numbers, there's no two ways about it.
You should look to attack Corbin with righty power bats, and that means Paul DeJong is an option. Over the course of his career, DeJong has a modest .181 ISO versus left-handed pitchers but carries a high 46.5% fly-ball rate and a 38.5% hard-contact rate. If you want to get away from the popular Coors Field stacks, then look to DeJong and the Cardinals.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr., OF, Toronto Blue Jays ($2,200)
Can you look to the Toronto Blue Jays for some offense tonight?
In an effort to bring multiple options outside of the Coors Field game, we turn to the Blue Jays, who have a 4.25 implied run total tonight. They are on the road in Boston, which we know to be a very strong hitter's park. Eduardo Rodriguez will be on the mound for the Red Sox tonight and over the course of his career, he allows a 4.27 xFIP, 1.07 HR/9, and a 38.7% fly-ball rate versus right-handed hitters. While those numbers aren't horrible, they aren't amazing, either.
If there is power upside with the Blue Jays hitters, you can consider going there in tournaments tonight. This leads us to Lourdes Gurriel, who has a very impressive .266 ISO, 133 wRC+, and a 39.2% fly-ball rate in his career versus left-handed pitchers.