3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Thursday 7/22/21
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.
Kenta Maeda, P, Minnesota Twins ($8,100)
With Walker Buehler and Sean Manaea set to be two of the most popular pitchers, why not be a little bit different in tournaments?
Several of the mid-tier pitchers should go overlooked, one of which will be Kenta Maeda. I know, I know. Maeda got off to a bit of a rough start this season, but things have settled down for him. He comes in with three earned runs or fewer allowed in nine of his last 10 starts. Combine that with the fact he is giving up fewer home runs, as his homer-per-fly-ball (HR/FB) ratio has dropped in each month since April.
A 25.0% strikeout rate and a 7.6% walk rate are solid marks, with a 3.94 xFIP coming along with it. As long as he can keep the pitch count under control, he should be able to get deep into the game versus the Los Angeles Angels and rack up fantasy points.
Franmil Reyes, OF, Cleveland Indians ($3,500)
Franmil Reyes is always a threat to hit a home run, and tonight is no different.
With a massive .380 ISO, 159 wRC+, 54.3% hard-contact rate, and staggering 44.8% HR/FB ratio versus right-handed pitchers, Reyes is the definition of a power hitter. That is on display each and every time he is at the plate, because he is swinging to hit the laces off the ball. Yes, this also means he comes in with a high 35.8% strikeout rate in the split, so it's plenty of boom or bust with Reyes.
That level of risk is great for tournaments since he has multi-home run upside, and that has the chance to be front and center tonight. He is up against Luis Patino, who doesn't have a big sample size this season, so we'll look at his career stats. He has allowed 1.80 homer per nine, a 4.79 xFIP, 52.9% fly-ball rate, and 35.3% hard-contact rate. Giving up too many fly balls is bad, but giving them up to a hitter with the power Reyes has can spell disaster.
Adam Duvall, OF, Miami Marlins ($3,200)
The Miami Marlins will likely be overlooked tonight.
But, yes, the Marlins and their 3.77 implied run total could be worth a look. They will be up against Blake Snell, who isn't looking like the pitcher he once was.
Snell hasn't gone past five innings in any of his last five starts, has allowed three or more walks in four of those five outings, and has given three earned runs or more in three of those same five starts. He is also allowing 1.67 diners per nine to right-handed hitters this season, one of the worst rates of his career.
On top of all that, Snell has seen his strikeout rate drop along with his hard-contact rate sitting at or above 38.5% in three of those five starts. Snell is off his game right now -- there's no other way to put it.
So we can check out Adam Duvall, who comes in with a .228 ISO, 56.0% fly-ball rate, and 34.0% hard-contact rate versus left-handed pitchers this season. If you are looking for a truly under-the-radar play, Duvall could be the answer.