3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 4/7/21
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 is the name of the game if you plan on taking down one of those highly lucrative DFS tournaments. Whether it's because of Vegas totals, other options at a given position, or some gem you've found that everyone is overlooking, we can always find potential under-owned plays if we look hard enough.
Here are three such players to consider branching out for on FanDuel's main slate.
Jack Flaherty, P, St. Louis Cardinals ($7,900)
Jack Flaherty is far too cheap for the potential ceiling he has.
Flaherty had a rough first start of the season with 6 ER in only 4.1 innings pitched but he is a much better pitcher than this. Looking back to the 2020 season is a mixed bag for Flaherty. He gave up more home runs per nine innings compared to 2019, had a lower strikeout rate, and a high walk rate. Regardless, Flaherty is still a very good pitcher and one that should be more expensive than $7,900. But it helps that he is at this salary since it could cause him to go overlooked with the likes of Shane Bieber, Trevor Bauer, Blake Snell, and Aaron Nola on today's slate.
First off, he has a great pitcher's park behind him since he is on the road to take on the Miami Marlins, who come in with a low 3.69 implied run total. This shouldn't come as a surprise since the Marlins' current roster held very weak numbers last season with a 34.6% fly-ball rate, a 32.2% hard-contact rate, and a 93 WRC+ versus right-handed pitchers, all of which were in the bottom-10 of the league.
As noted above, Flaherty struggled a bit in 2020, but he also had some positives last season. He gave up a 25.7% fly-ball rate, which was lower than the 38.3% rate he allowed in 2019. He also gave up less hard contact (33.3%) than he did in 2019 (37.6%). Flaherty was burned mostly by a 23.1% HR/FB ratio, which was significantly higher than his 13.8% rate from 2019. All in all, Flaherty was still a good pitcher last season and the home runs he allowed skewed his numbers. This Marlins lineup doesn't have a ton of power and should put Flaherty in a good spot today.
Bradon Lowe, 2B/OF, Tampa Bay Rays ($3,000)
With the eighth-highest (4.39) implied run total today, the Tampa Bay Rays could go overlooked in tournaments.
It's clear that the top few offenses on today's slate are going to be very popular but after that, it's a bit of a toss-up on who is in a good spot. The Rays are interesting since they are getting a positive park being in Boston and that makes someone like Brandon Lowe intriguing. He is coming off a great season where he had a 130 wRC+, .238 ISO, 40.6% hard-contact rate, and a 41.6% fly-ball rate versus right-handed pitchers. All of that power should play nicely in a park such as Fenway and it could prove to be a source of tournament upside if he isn't popular.
He will be up against Nathan Eovaldi, who only allowed 1.01 HR/9 to lefties last season, but his underlying numbers of a 40.9% hard-contact rate and a 39.7% fly-ball rate show he was getting hit very hard and the hitters were a bit unlucky. The power is certainly there for Lowe in this matchup and could be a solid addition to a Rays' stack.
Franmil Reyes, OF, Cleveland Indians ($3,000)
The Cleveland Indians could be a good stack today and several of their players have plenty of power.
One player to keep an eye on today would be Franmil Reyes, who is not only very affordable but also has a sneaky great matchup versus Kansas City Royals' pitcher Jake Junis. Last season, Junis only pitched 25.1 innings, so we don't want to look at that sample size since it's too small. We'll look back to 2019 when he pitched 175.1 innings. In 2019, he was actually worse against right-handed hitters, allowing a 5.08 xFIP, 1.89 HR/9, a 40.7% hard-contact rate, and a 41.5% fly-ball rate. None of those stats are close to being good and you should look to attack him with power.
That is where Reyes comes into play since he is showing to be a bit of a reverse splits hitter, carrying a .212 ISO versus righties in 2020 and a .271 ISO in 2019. While he does strike out a ton versus right-handed pitchers, the power is very clear for Reyes who is in a plus matchup against Junis.