3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Wednesday 7/28/21

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.

Max Fried, P, Atlanta Braves ($7,400)

The pitching options tonight are very clear at the top, which leaves an opening for the mid-tier options.

Whenever Walker Buehler, Zack Wheeler, and Lucas Giolito are on the same slate, we know where most people will land in their lineup construction. There's no doubt they are the best pitchers tonight but they are all very expensive on a slate where you may want to pay up for the hitting options.

Max Fried only has a 23.3% strikeout rate this season, which can't compete with the top pitchers on the slate, but he also has a solid 3.90 xFIP, 46.7% ground-ball rate, and a 52.7% medium-contact rate. This allows him to keep the ball down and limit the damage, which has led him to allow three earned runs or fewer in 7 of his last 10 starts. Fried has flashed 40 FanDuel-point upside multiple times this season, and if he can get deeper into the game, picking up the quality start points and the win points won't be an issue for him.

Asdrubal Cabrera, 1B/3B, Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,800)

Here's the thing, Jordan Lyles really isn't that good of a pitcher and he gives up too many home runs.

Last Wednesday, in this very same piece, I mentioned that Lyles is essentially getting lucky versus left-handed hitters this season. That is due to the fact he is allowing a horrible 47.1% fly-ball rate, yet holds a low 9.4% HR/FB ratio. I'll say it again, a pitcher cannot continue to give up that many fly balls and so few of them result in home runs. The league average for HR/FB versus lefties this season is 13.3%, last week Lyles was at 6.7%, he's now at 9.4%. See which direction this is trending? He is still due for more regression.

Given all of that, I'm interested in the Arizona Diamondbacks and their 4.46 implied run total, which I think is too low based on Lyles' potential weakness when it comes to allowing home runs. Asdrubal Cabrera comes in with a modest .158 ISO versus right-handed pitchers, a very solid 43.3% fly-ball rate, a 34.0% hard-contact rate, and a rather low 8.9% HR/FB ratio. Given the number of flyballs Cabrera is hitting, his HR/FB ratio should be higher, aka he is due for positive regression and is now up against a pitcher who is due for negative regression. Hmm.

Andrew McCutchen, OF, Philadelphia Phillies ($3,300)

The Philadelphia Phillies have a 4.68 implied run total tonight, which could cause them to go overlooked.

That run total has them as the seventh-highest team on the slate, potentially in a spot to get lost in the mix and that could be great if you plan to roster them in tournaments. There are clearly a few teams ahead of them but I'm looking to roster them heavily tonight since they are taking on Patrick Corbin. This season, Corbin is allowing 1.91 HR/9, a 4.86 xFIP, and a 20.0% HR/FB ratio. I've been attacking Corbin all season with right-handed hitters since I made the mistake of drafting Corbin in my season-long league.

I realized my mistake and will now look to capitalize upon that with Andrew McCutchen, who has a .322 ISO, a 173 wRC+, a 39.3% fly-ball rate, and a 41.6% hard-contact rate versus lefties. McCutchen is a big-time home run threat tonight.