3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Tuesday 5/4/21
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.
Kyle Gibson, P, Texas Rangers ($8,600)
The pitching options on tonight's slate are interesting, to say the least.
Jacob deGrom ($12,500) is on this slate which means one thing, he is going to be extremely popular. It's clear he is the best pitcher on the slate and offers the most consistency and the most upside. However, $12,500 is extremely expensive and doesn't leave you with a ton of roster construction flexibility. If you are looking to save a bit, consider Kyle Gibson, who has been awesome this season outside of his first start of the season where he gave up 5 earned runs in 0.1 innings pitched. Since then he has allowed just 3 earned runs in 33.0 innings.
On top of that, Gibson has a low 27.1% fly-ball rate and a 29.2% hard-contact rate. Those are really solid underlying numbers that are helping him prevent the damage on a game-by-game basis. While the matchup for Gibson isn't the easiest versus the Minnesota Twins, he shouldn't be popular and that makes a great option for tournaments.
Andrew McCutchen, OF, Philadelphia Phillies ($3,300)
Having the 13th-highest run total on the slate really isn't moving the needle for most people and it should cause the Phillies to go under the radar tonight. They will be taking on Eric Lauer, who has been in the MLB for four seasons and has posted very modest numbers in the process. Lauer comes in with a career 4.58 xFIP, 1.13 HR/9, a 38.4% fly-ball rate, and a 40.9% hard-contact rate versus right-handed hitters. Those are below average numbers across the board and very much worth attacking tonight.
Andrew McCutchen isn't expensive, has great career numbers versus left-handed pitchers, and is a great one-off for tournaments. He holds a career .234 ISO, 156 wRC+, 39.9% fly-ball rate, and a 38.8% hard-contact rate against southpaws. Those numbers line up nicely against Lauer, and while you may not fully stack the Phillies, McCutchen has some power upside tonight.
Joey Wendle, 2B/3B, Tampa Bay Rays ($3,200)
Alex Cobb is a solid pitcher but still somewhat prone to giving up home runs.
The Tampa Bay Rays have the 12th-highest (4.17) implied run total on the slate and they are right there with the Phillies as a team that doesn't move the needle. Finding a team at lower rostership in tournaments is always a benefit and the Rays could be that team tonight. If that interests you, you should look to Joey Wendle, who is showing some decent power versus right-handed pitchers to start the season. He is carrying a .246 ISO, a 39.7% fly-ball rate, and a 41.4% hard-contact rate this year, which are all noticeably higher than what he posted in either of his last two seasons.
Since the start of the 2019 season, Cobb is allowing 1.70 HR/9 to left-handed hitters, along with a .329 wOBA. Cobb isn't a big strikeout pitcher (17.0%) and if he is going to be susceptible to home runs, Wendle is worth rostering as a tournament one-off.