3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Friday 4/23/21
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-rostered plays if we look hard enough.
Here are three such players to consider branching out for on FanDuel's main slate.
Huascar Ynoa, P, Atlanta Braves ($6,900)
When it comes to pitchers, we often see DFS players take the safe option available, leaving many pitchers going less-rostered.
Paying up for a top stud like Jacob deGrom or Tyler Glasnow is always great but we know they are going to be super popular. We also have Coors FIeld on this slate and paying up for hitters from that game means you need to find some savings at pitcher. This is where Huascar Ynoa comes into play. He has a total of 40.2 innings pitched in the MLB, with 16 innings coming this season. He is, for all intents and purposes, an unknown entity in the grand scheme of baseball pitchers. However, he is showing signs of clear upside and has a matchup tonight worth attacking.
In his first two seasons in the MLB, he held an 18.8% and 17.0% strikeout rate. This season, that has jumped up to a 31.7% strikeout rate. Again, we're dealing with a small sample size here, but that is a dramatic change worth noting. If the strikeout upside is going to be there for him, he can pay off his very nice salary quickly and hopefully sees a low draft percentage.
Ynoa will be taking on the Arizona Diamondbacks, who aren't good versus right-handed pitchers to start the season. They have a 24.9% strikeout rate (14th), .141 ISO (20th), 85 wRC+ (23rd), and a 28.2% hard-contact rate (29th). They are by no means a powerful offense and one you can certainly pick on tonight.
Nate Lowe, 1B, Texans Rangers ($3,400)
Will anyone look to the Texas Rangers in tournaments tonight?
The Rangers have a 4.21 implied run total, which is the 12th highest on the slate out of 28 teams. That's as close to middle-of-the-road as you can get and is in a weird grey area on the slate. They clearly aren't an elite offense, and they aren't one of the teams at Coors Field tonight -- so will anyone roster their hitters? I'm hoping the answer is no because their match versus Dylan Cease is a juicy one.
Cease has been in the Majors since 2019 and has 145.1 innings pitched, giving us a solid sample size to look at. In that time, he has allowed a .372 wOBA, a whopping 2.08 HR/9, a 12.7% walk rate, and a 5.61 xFIP to left-handed hitters. Yikes. Those are bad -- like really bad -- numbers for a pitcher and gives us a clear spot to target.
Nate Lowe has always crushed right-handed pitchers in his career, carrying a .223 ISO, 124 wRC+, and a 40.3% hard-contact rate. Sure, he strikes outs 27.6% of the time versus righties, but the power upside Lowe brings is undeniable tonight.
Carlos Santana, 1B, Kansas City Royals ($3,200)
Who do we trust: a hitter with over 10 years of experience or a pitcher with fewer than 50 innings pitched?
Santana's career .208 ISO and 42.6% fly-ball rate versus right-handed pitchers is exactly what we want to see when it comes to selecting players for tournaments. We want power upside that will be going under the radar in order to help us jump towards the top of tournaments. This is what Santana brings to your lineups, and since the Kansas City Royals have a 4.00 implied run total, they likely won't be popular tonight.
Mize is a former first overall pick from the 2018 draft but has struggled versus left-handed hitters, albeit through only 44.1 innings pitched at the Major League level. In this time, he's allowed 2.66 HR/9, a 6.02 xFIP, and a 39.7% fly-ball rate versus lefties. While Mize's career is young and he may pan out as a great pitcher, he's struggling right now, and Santana can make him pay.