3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Friday 8/13/21
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.
Charlie Morton, P, Atlanta Braves ($9,000)
Charlie Morton is a great pitcher and has a great matchup tonight.
Despite those two factors, we likely won't see Morton as a popular option tonight. Morton is carrying a 27.9% strikeout rate, 3.68 SIERA, 3.49 xFIP, 47.3% ground-ball rate, 56.0% medium-contact rate, and only 0.84 HR/9. Morton's numbers put him among the best on tonight's slate, but that still isn't enough to make him one of the chalkiest options.
He will be up against the Washington Nationals, who come in with an 84 wRC+ (24th in the league), 23.8% strikeout rate (16th), .133 ISO (28th), 28.1% fly-ball rate (30th), and 31.1% hard-contact rate (23rd) versus right-handed pitchers with their current roster. The Nationals are horrible. There's really no other way to put it, and Morton should cruise tonight with this matchup.
Harrison Bader, OF, St. Louis Cardinals ($3,400)
If the St. Louis Cardinals aren't going to be popular tonight, they are a viable team to target in tournaments.
With a 4.28 implied run total -- 15th on the slate -- the Cardinals aren't moving the needle for a lot of people, and that makes sense. They aren't close to being the best offense in the league, so if they go overlooked, it wouldn't be a surprise.
However, they are going up against Mike Minor, a pitcher who is certainly worth attacking when he is on the mound. Minor comes in with a modest 22.4% strikeout rate against right-handed hitters, along with a 4.43 xFIP while allowing 1.64 HR/9 and a 41.6% fly-ball rate.
After seeing Minor's stats, I'm surprised the Cardinals won't be more popular. We want home run upside versus Minor, and that leads us to Harrison Bader, who comes in with a .214 ISO along with a huge 57.1% fly-ball rate and 33.3% hard-contact rate versus left-handed pitchers. I like targeting Minor for some home run upside, and Bader could lead the way tonight.
Cedric Mullins, OF, Baltimore Orioles ($3,500)
The Baltimore Orioles are undervalued tonight.
If you've been following the Majors in recent weeks, you've seen that the Boston Red Sox have been struggling, mainly when it comes to their pitching. They are at home in Fenway Park tonight, and given how great a hitter's park that is and the Sox pitchers' recent struggles, going to some Orioles tonight is fully in play.
Nick Pivetta will be on the mound tonight, and he comes in allowing 1.44 HR/9 to left-handed hitters this season with a 4.43 xFIP, 12.6% walk rate, and 44.5% fly-ball rate. We've seen PIvetta struggle versus lefties as the season has gone on, putting the Orioles' lefties in a good spot.
We turn to Cedric Mullins, who comes in with a 157 wRC+, .236 ISO, 42.3% fly-ball rate, and 38.1% hard-contact rate versus right-handed pitchers. Mullins nearly reaches the 40-40 line we look for to find some home run upside, putting him a great spot.