3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Monday 5/3/21
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's is the name of the game if you plan on taking down one of those highly lucrative DFS tournaments. Whether it's because of bookmaker 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.
Vince Velasquez, P, Philadelphia Phillies ($6,000)
Two elite pitchers and Coors Field on the slate should make things very interesting tonight.
Both Tyler Glasnow and Walker Buehler are over $10,000, and fitting them into a lineup alongside several hitters from Coors Field is no easy task. This is where saving some salary at pitcher can be helpful, along with grabbing them at a very low roster percentage. While Vince Velasquez isn't the most exciting option at pitcher, he has a surprisingly good matchup tonight and is very easy to fit in at only $6,000.
He will be taking on the Milwaukee Brewers, who are frankly looking terrible against right-handed pitchers this season. They are carrying a 77 wRC+ (28th in the league), a 26.8% strikeout rate (26th) a .149 ISO (19th), and a 33.6% fly-ball rate (23rd).
Their offense simply isn't getting it done, and this presents an opening for Velasquez, who has some promising underlying numbers this season. He has a high 30.0% strikeout rate while allowing a 29.0% hard-hit rate but is still giving up a high 51.6% fly-ball rate. There is a clear opening for Velasquez tonight, and he could be interesting for tournaments.
Note that there's some rain in the forecast, so keep an eye on things before lock.
Mitch Haniger, OF, Seattle Mariners ($3,300)
Mitch Haniger is going to hit a home run tonight.
Call it a spoiler, call it a hot take, call it whatever you want, but Haniger is in a great spot tonight. The Seattle Mariners are at home -- which is a solid pitcher's park -- and combine that with the fact we have Coors Field on this slate, and the Mariners' hitters should see a very low roster percentage tonight.
While we may not see the Mariners put up 10 runs, Haniger could be a great one-off in tournaments. He will be taking on Dean Kremer from the Baltimore Orioles, who is a very inexperienced pitcher, with only 33.2 innings pitched at the major league level. As is normally the case, there isn't anything we can take from that sample size, and we'll look to side with the hitter.
Haniger is off to a strong start this season against right-handed pitchers, holding a 120 wRC+, .217 ISO, and 40.0% fly-ball rate. If he can't get it done versus Kremer, he will have some chances against the Orioles' bullpen, too, who are allowing 1.36 HR/9 to righty hitters this season, which is the 11th worst in the league.
Jordan Luplow, OF, Cleveland Indians ($2,800)
The Cleveland Indians are up against the Kansas City Royals, who will have Daniel Lynch on the mound to make his MLB debut.
A pitcher making their MLB debut is always an interesting spot for MLB DFS because we don't know what to expect, we don't know how far into the game he will go, and we don't know a lot of things.
What we do know is that he didn't pitch last year and last saw game action in 2019 at the High-A (A+) level. He had a modest 23.5% strikeout rate in 2019 and allowed a 32.9% fly-ball ratio. We truly cannot take much from those stats, and frankly, he doesn't appear to be a dominant strikeout-type pitcher, and that has me interested in the Indians' hitters.
This is where turning to Jordan Luplow could be a good idea, as he has a low salary and brings a high level of consistency versus left-handed pitchers. Throughout his career, he has a 154 wRC+, .326 ISO, and 49.0% fly-ball rate. Those are surprisingly strong power numbers for a hitter under $3,000.