3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Monday 5/17/21
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.
Max Fried, P, Atlanta Braves ($7,200)
There are three top aces on tonight's slate and no Coors Field, which means roster construction could be very straightforward.
It won't be a surprise when Gerrit Cole, Yu Darvish, and Walker Buehler are among the chalkiest pitchers on tonight's slate, making going away from them a chance to be very different. This is where Max Fried could come into play because he has a soft matchup against the New York Mets. This season, the Mets hold a 100 wRC+ (16th in the league), .116 ISO (28th), 24.2% hard-hit rate (30th), and 37.0% fly0ball rate (9th) versus left-handed pitchers.
While Fried only has a 23.1% strikeout rate this season, he's inducing a 47.1% medium-contact rate and historically has a strong career 53.2% ground-ball rate. Fried is your classic ground-ball pitcher who can limit the damage when he is on the mound if the matchup will allow it.
Luckily for us, this matchup against the Mets is one that should do just that, all while seeing Fried less popular than the other pitchers.
Kyle Seager, 3B, Seattle Mariners ($3,000)
That implied run total puts the Mariners as the eighth-highest team on tonight's slate, which is largely uninteresting in the grand scheme of things. This should make most of their players viable in tournaments, most notably Kyle Seager, who is off to a good start this season. He comes in with a .294 ISO, 138 wRC+, low 17.7% strikeout rate, 52.3% fly-ball rate, and 45.5% hard-contact rate versus right-handed pitchers. With numbers like those, he is a home run threat on most nights, making him the ideal tournament option.
He will be going up against Casey Mize, who has allowed a .399 wOBA, 2.40 HR/9, 5.80 xFIP, and 39.0% hard-contact rate to left-handed hitters in his two MLB seasons. This game is also in Seattle, which isn't a great hitter's park but is another check mark that should keep Seager relatively under-rostered.
Franmil Reyes, OF, Cleveland Indians ($3,800)
Franmil Reyes crushes baseballs. That's not up for debate.
According to Baseball Savant, Reyes is in the 89th percentile or higher in average exit velocity, max exit velocity, hard-hit percentage, xSLG, and barrel percentage. Wow. He's a legitimate power hitter who can go for multiple home runs at any given time, which is perfect for tournaments.
He will be up against Patrick Sandoval, who has very limited experience at the Major League level and has struggled in that time. Allowing 1.60 HR/9 with a 10.7% walk rate, 38.7% hard-contact rate, and 24.4% HR/FB rate versus right-handed hitters is simply terrible.
Between Seager and Reyes, the power upside they have in their matchups is undeniable and a clear path to the top of tournaments.