3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 4/8/21
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.
Taijuan Walker, P, New York Mets ($7,700)
If you want to be different at pitcher today, going to Taijuan Walker could be the answer.
Today's slate features three very clear options at the top for pitchers and then after that, it can be a bit of a toss-up. Walker should be in the conversation today given the fact he is up against the Miami Marlins, who are one of the weaker offensive teams in the league. That is what we want to go on since Walker doesn't have a decent same size to look at since 2017. In 2018, he only pitched 13 innings. In 2019, he pitched 1.0 innings, and last year, he pitched 53.1 innings. Walker has dealt with a number of injuries that have kept him sidelined over the past few seasons.
The Marlins' current roster struggled against righties last season, only carrying an 89 wRC+ and a .120 ISO, both of which were in the bottom-10 of the league. If there was any matchup for Walker to get back on the right track after all of his injuries, this is the one to do so.
Trey Mancini, OF, Baltimore Orioles ($2,900)
With Coors Field on today's slate, we could see some of the hitters in other games go a bit overlooked.
The Baltimore Orioles are at home, giving them a solid park factor for home runs, which is where Trey Mancini has some upside. Mancini didn't play last season, so we'll look back to 2019 when he held a very solid .267 ISO, 136 wRC+, 42.1% hard-contact rate, and a 27.9% HR/FB versus left-handed pitchers. Mancini is off to a slow start this season but you shouldn't be worried about the lack of production through only six games.
The Orioles will be taking on Eduardo Rodriguez, who will be making his first start since 2019, adding in another dimension of how much he will be able to return to his prior form. If the Coors Field game, the Chicago Cubs, and the Minnesota Twins draw the most attention today in tournaments, stacking the Orioles could be a great under-the-radar option.
Jorge Soler, OF, Kansas City Royals ($3,100)
Even though Lance Lynn is a great pitcher, it doesn't mean there aren't holes in his game.
Right from the jump, we have to get the obvious out of the way -- Lynn has shown to be a very strong pitcher in recent seasons, carrying a 25.9% strikeout rate and a 28.1% strikeout rate over the past two years, respectively. He pounds the strike zone with fastballs (76.2% of the time in his career) which gives him plenty of strikeout upside, but also leaves him vulnerable to giving up home runs. Specifically, giving up home runs to right-handed hitters, showing he is a bit of a reverse splits pitcher. In 2019, Lynn allowed 1.29 HR/9 to righties compared to 0.52 HR/9 to lefties. The same was true for 2020 when he allowed 1.73 HR/9 to right-handed hitters and 1.06 HR/9 to lefties.
This means we may want to attack him with a right-handed power hitter such as Jorge Soler, who has plenty of home run upside. Soler has a big swing that led him to hold a .223 ISO versus right-handed pitchers last season along with a 35.1% strikeout rate. Those were very similar to what he posted in 2019 with a .318 ISO and a 25.9% strike-out rate. He swings big but can also miss big, which is great since we want to target him for tournament upside.