3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Wednesday 6/16/21
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 who 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.
Aaron Civale, P, Cleveland Indians ($9,000)
There are four elite pitchers on tonight's slate, so other pitchers should fly far under the radar.
For a smaller eight-game slate, the top-tier pitching options are amazing tonight. Jacob deGrom, Gerrit Cole, Zack Wheeler, and Clayton Kershaw lead the way -- all fantastic options. Combine that with the fact we don't have Coors Field on this slate, rostering one of those pitchers is very easy.
However, they should all be popular tonight, and that's not what we're looking for. We want tournament options who will be at lower rostership rates. This is where you can turn to Aaron Civale, who has a soft matchup against the Baltimore Orioles.
This season, the Orioles come in with an 81 wRC+ (29th in the league), .144 ISO (21st), 25.0% strikeout rate (12th), and 30.2% hard-contact rate (26th) versus right-handed pitchers this season. They are a truly terrible offense in this split, and you should be looking to attack them on a nightly basis. Even with that said, Civale shouldn't be too popular because the other pitchers on the slate have higher upside with their strikeout potential.
Jorge Polanco, 2B/SS, Minnesota Twins ($3,800)
The Minnesota Twins have a 4.52 implied run total tonight but still shouldn't be too popular.
That implied run total has the Twins as the fourth-highest team on the slate, but they still shouldn't be among the chalkier options. Other top offenses have solid matchups and are in better hitting environments compared to the Twins, who are on the road in Seattle, which is a solid pitcher's park. This should push the Twins down the list compared to the Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, or Boston Red Sox. This could put the Twins in a fantastic spot for tournaments because they have a soft matchup versus Justus Sheffield.
This season, Sheffield is allowing 1.42 HR/9 with a 4.81 xFIP, 15.9% strikeout rate, and 36.2% hard-contact rate versus right-handed hitters. An inexperienced pitcher struggling with too many home runs is nothing new, and that means you should be stacking against him.
Polanco comes in with a .192 ISO, 110 wRC+, 40.9% fly-ball rate, and 37.3% hard-contact rate versus lefties this season. The home run potential is there for Polanco tonight, and I love him as a one-off.
Brandon Crawford, SS, San Fransico Giants ($3,000)
Brandon Crawford has shown plenty of power this season, and you should look to capture it in tournaments.
A 4.43 implied run total for the San Francisco Giants is even lower than the Twins mentioned above, so we shouldn't see the Giants' hitters as popular options tonight. This is where you should be looking to Crawford, who comes in with a very solid .289 ISO, 165 wRC+, 36.3% hard-contact rate, and 44.1% fly-ball rate versus right-handed hitters. Those are legit power numbers this season and when 10 of his 15 home runs have come against righties, you should want some exposure to him in this matchup.
Speaking of his matchup, Merrill Kelly will be on the mound tonight, and he is a pitcher you shouldn't be worried about. He is only allowing 0.74 HR/9 to lefties this season but has a low 18.8% strikeout rate, 4.18 xFIP, and 36.3% hard-contact rate. There's really nothing inspiring about Kelly's numbers this season, and the power Crawford has in this matchup is undeniable.