3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Thursday 6/24/21
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.
Joe Ross, P, Washington Nationals ($7,400)
The top tier of pitching has three very clear options, leaving the rest of the arms in the pitching pool to potentially fall through the cracks.
It's no secret that Walker Buehler, Luis Garcia, and Jose Berrios are the best pitchers on this slate, and they will likely be the chalk options. If you are trying to find a pitcher who could be under the radar, Joe Ross can be that guy. He has some mixed results this season but has a very soft matchup against the Miami Marlins. Ross comes in with a 22.5% strikeout rate, 4.32 SIERA, 51.0% medium-contact rate, and 43.7% ground-ball rate. He's not a big-time strikeout pitcher on a consistent basis, but he has flashed some upside at times.
The matchup against the Marlins can allow him to reach his ceiling since Miami comes in with a 25.2% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers, which is the eighth-highest in the league. They also hold a 91 wRC+ (19th), .135 ISO (28th), 31.1% hard-contact rate (21st), and 34.0% fly-ball rate (24th) in the split.
Whenever you can attack an offense as weak as the Marlins' lineup, you should look to do so.
Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox ($3,900)
Given the context of third base on this slate, Rafael Devers is in a spot to go overlooked.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($4,300) is the most expensive option at the position, and with the Toronto Blue Jays carrying a slate-high 5.93 implied total, you can expect Vladdy to be very popular. The Houston Astros have a 5.83 implied total, and some DFS managers could turn to Abraham Toro ($2,100) -- who had a big game yesterday -- for some serious salary relief. Spending all the way up or all the way down is looking like the route many could take tonight, and if players in the middle are going to be overlooked, I'll be turning to Devers.
He will be up against Michael Wacha, who is allowing 1.10 homers per nine to left-handed hitters along with a 4.92 xFIP and 13.2% strikeout rate. Devers, of course, has plenty of power in this split with a 159 wRC+, .363 ISO, 55.9% hard-contact rate, and 41.7% fly-ball rate.
With the Boston Red Sox holding a 4.31 implied run total, they probably won't be a priority for most, which puts Devers in a great spot for tournaments.
Josh Bell, 1B, Washington Nationals ($3,100)
The Washington Nationals have a great matchup tonight and shouldn't be a go-to team in tournaments.
Cody Poteet will be on the mound for the Miami Marlins, and he comes in with a total of 27.2 innings pitched this season, his first year at the MLB level. He's got a small sample size, but that's all we have to go off of. Against lefties, Poteet has allowed 1.69 homers per nine and a 48.8% fly-ball rate on his way to a 4.55 xFIP. Take that all with a grain of salt due to the sample size, but I'm willing to attack the rookie until there is a noticeable change with his numbers.
Josh Bell should be in the lineup for Washington and brings plenty of power with him. He comes in with a .220 ISO, 112 wRC+, 40.0% hard-contact rate, and 26.7% homer-per-fly-ball rate versus right-handed pitchers. Look to Bell for some one-off power in your tournament lineups.