3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Monday 8/2/21
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.
Chris Flexen, P, Seattle Mariners ($7,300)
Chris Flexen is coming off a rough start but is still worth a roster spot tonight.
Giving up seven earned runs in four innings pitched is never a good look for a pitcher, and Flexen is no exception. Despite that rough outing, Flexen could be an option tonight since he has shown the ability to limit the damage and be a source of value on a point-per-dollar basis. Over his last 10 starts, Flexen has allowed three earned runs or fewer eight times, adding five strikeouts or more four times. Yes, Flexen's 15.5% strikeout rate is not high compared to some other options on tonight's slate but that's also the reason he could fly under the radar.
Flexen is only allowing 0.83 HR/9, has a strong 45.2% ground-ball rate, and a 51.6% medium-contact rate. If he can return to form after one bad start, he has the ability to cruise to six innings and provide a bit of value along the way.
Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles ($2,600)
Any time we see a team that is a heavy road underdog, the chances that they are going to come in at lower rostership rates are strong. On top of that, the Orioles are holding a 3.93 implied run total, which is the fourth-lowest on the slate right now. This gives us the perfect combination to target them in tournaments for their potential upside.
That upside comes from the fact they are facing Andrew Heaney, who is allowing 1.83 HR/9 to righties this season, as well as a 43.4% fly-ball rate and a 35.6% hard-contact rate. This is also going to be Heaney's first start at Yankee Stadium, and guess what? Allowing too many fly balls in a hitter's park such as Yankee Stadium isn't going to end well.
That is why I'm targeting Ryan Mountcastle, who comes in with a .225 ISO, a 116 wRC+, a 34.5% fly-ball rate, and a 20.7% HR/FB ratio versus left-handed pitchers tonight. This sounds crazy to say but the betting lines have nothing to do with batter versus pitcher matchup in the actual game. Mountcastle is in a great spot.
Dylan Moore, 2B/OF, Seattle Mariners ($2,400)
The Seattle Mariners are interesting for tournaments tonight.
Yes, this is the second Mariners' player in the same article and it's simply due to the fact they both shouldn't be popular and we are dealing with a smaller seven-game slate. Michael Wacha is allowing too many home runs to right-handed hitters. That is a fact and it's not up for debate. Wach is allowing 2.47 HR/9, from a 37.3% fly-ball rate, and a 49.2% hard-contact rate versus right-handed hitters. None of that is good -- legitimately, none of that.
So when I see a pitcher who is struggling with home runs and facing a team that shouldn't be popular in tournaments, I see the potential for upside. This is where Dylan Moore comes into play with his .169 ISO, massive 49.5% fly-ball rate, and a 12.5% HR/FB ratio versus right-handed pitchers. That fly-ball rate is insane, yet his HR/FB ratio is below the league average, so he should be hitting more home runs than he has been producing.