3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Tuesday 9/21/21
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.
Jose Urquidy, P, Houston Astros ($8,700)
Can we trust Jose Urquidy on tonight's 11-game MLB slate?
Urquidy is back from his shoulder injury and has three starts under his belt since then, but what have we seen from him? In those three starts, Urquidy has thrown just 71, 70, and 81 pitches -- good but not great. In the first two starts back, he only went 4.1 innings and 3.0 innings, but he turned in a solid 6.0 innings in his most recent start. If that last start is any indication, this is the time to jump on board.
Getting to six innings is a good sign for Urquidy, and that is something he can certainly replicate tonight versus the Los Angeles Angels. With their current active roster, the Angels have a 98 wRC+ (14th in the league), a .168 ISO (13th), a 31.2% hard-contact rate (27th), and a 35.3% fly-ball rate (20th) versus right-handed pitchers. They are very clearly a below-average offense and one that Urquidy should be able to handle.
Urquidy comes in with a modest 21.8% strikeout rate, but he makes his living with a low 4.8% walk rate, a 55.2% ground-ball rate, a 4.20 xFIP, and a 10.5% HR/FB ratio this season.
James McCann, C, New York Mets ($2,500)
The New York Mets could make an interesting tournament option tonight.
This is very clearly a positive park shift for the Mets' hitters. They visit Fenway Park tonight, and the Metropolitans come in with a 4.49 implied run total, which is just the eighth-highest on the slate. They could go overlooked against Eduardo Rodriguez, who is a solid pitcher but no one without some faults.
While at home this season versus righties, Rodriguez is allowing 1.26 HR/9, a 42.4% fly-ball rate, and a 12.0% HR/FB ratio. Given the number of fly balls Rodriguez is allowing, his HR/FB ratio is below the league average, which could indicate he is due for some regression.
We can look to attack that regression with James McCann, who comes in with a .163 ISO, a 117 wRC+, a 38.0% fly-ball rate, and a 14.8% HR/FB ratio versus lefties this season.
Max Kepler, OF, Minnesota Twins ($2,600)
This certainly isn't the greatest game on paper with two teams near the bottom of the league, but there's still some fantasy value here. The Cubs will have Alec Mills on the mound, who comes in allowing a .203 ISO, a 5.03 xFIP, 1.59 HR/9, and a 15.7% HR/FB ratio versus left-handed hitters this season. Once Mills is out of the game, the Cubs' bullpen comes into the fold, and they are allowing a league-worst 1.73 HR/9 to lefties. That will continue to put the Twins' hitters in a good spot.
Of note amongst Twins' hitters, we look to Max Kepler. Kepler enters with a .236 ISO, a 12.7% walk rate, a 107 wRC+, a 43.4% fly-ball rate, and a 39.8% hard-contact rate versus right-handed pitchers this season. This is a sneaky good spot for Kepler, who could be a value one-off tonight even if his offense is not good enough to stack.