3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Monday 6/21/21
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 ($8,000)
Aaron Civale isn't a massive strikeout pitcher, but he can excel given the right matchup.
The right matchup is what he has tonight against the Chicago Cubs, who come in with a 25.8% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers this season, which is the fifth-worst in the league. More importantly, they are the worst strikeout team in this split on tonight's slate, giving us a great matchup to attack. Civale only has a 19.3% strikeout rate this season but has been able to hit five strikeouts or more in five of his last eight starts. Three of those five matchups came against teams who are in the bottom four of the league in strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers. Hmm.
It's looking like Civale is a solid pitching option only when he has a super favorable matchup, as he has tonight. Most people will be turning to Yu Darvish or Frankie Montas, but Civale is a worthwhile option tonight.
Max Kepler, OF, Minnesota Twins ($3,000)
Even though Tyler Mahle is a solid pitcher, he's not impervious to some mistakes.
Let's get one thing clear: Mahle is a strong pitching option on tonight's slate, and I like his matchup to have a solid game. This doesn't mean we can't take a one-off from the Minnesota Twins, though, because we are trying to find players under the radar. Mahle is allowing a 39.5% fly-ball rate to left-handed hitters this season, along with a 33.3% hard-hit rate.
Tonight's game in Minnesota is projected to have 11 mph winds blowing out towards right field. If Mahle is already giving up fly balls and we have wind tonight, it kinda makes sense to target a lefty power hitter from the Twins.
That would be Max Kepler, who comes in with a .232 ISO, 113 wRC+, 41.8% fly-ball rate, and 38.0% hard-contact rate versus right-handed pitchers this season. Kepler's profile lines up nicely against Mahle, who is in a spot to allow a few dingers tonight.
DJ Stewart, OF, Baltimore Orioles ($2,500)
The Houston Astros are strong (-162) road favorites in Baltimore, and we should see their hitters be very popular tonight. This game has the highest (10.5) run total on the slate. and I have some interest in the Orioles' hitters.
They are going up against Jake Odorizzi, who is really just an average pitcher. Since the start of 2019, Odorizzi is allowing 1.0 HR/9 with a 4.38 xFIP, 45.0% fly-ball rate, and 40.4% hard-contact rate versus left-handed hitters. Nothing about those stats is encouraging. In fact, you should actively be targeting him tonight.
This leads us to Stewart, who has a solid .211 ISO, massive 52.4% fly-ball rate, and 29.4% hard-contact rate versus right-handed pitchers this season. Camden Yards is one of the better hitter's parks in the league, and if the home run upside is there on both sides of the matchup, I'm siding with Stewart.