3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Thursday 4/22/21
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-rostered plays if we look hard enough.
Here are three such players to consider branching out for on FanDuel's main slate.
Aaron Sanchez, P, San Francisco Giants ($7,200)
On a smaller five-game slate, Aaron Sanchez is actually a viable fantasy option.
Sanchez carries a career 18.7% strikeout rate and normally isn't the ideal option for DFS, but tonight he has a great matchup. He's at home in San Francisco, giving him a fantastic pitcher-friendly environment, and will be taking the hill against the Miami Marlins, who carry the second-lowest (3.90) implied run total on the slate.
If Sanchez isn't going to be striking out a ton of hitters, what are we hoping for? Ideally, he'd be able to go at least 6.0 innings, grab the quality-start points (4) and make a great point-per-dollar pitcher. That is certainly doable since the Marlins don't present too much of a threat on offense. To start this season versus right-handed pitchers, they have an 84 wRC+ (22nd), .105 ISO (30th), 36.3% fly-ball rate (17th), and 31.3% hard-contact rate (18th).
This is really an ideal matchup for any pitcher, and Sanchez should be able to limit the damage tonight.
Jared Walsh, 1B, Los Angeles Angels ($3,900)
Are the Los Angeles Angels going to be overlooked tonight?
With a 4.31 implied run total, the Angels are the seventh-highest out of 10 teams. That really doesn't move the needle much, and if that is going to cause them to be less popular in tournaments, well, you should be willing to look to a few of their hitters. While Mike Trout is always going to be popular, Jared Walsh probably won't be today, and with his power, he has plenty of tournament upside.
In his short MLB career so far, Walsh is carrying a very impressive .291 ISO, 135 wRC+, 42.9% hard-contact rate, and 38.1% fly-ball rate versus right-handers. He is looking to be a classic lefty power hitter, and that means we should use him when he's facing blah righty pitchers.
That is what we have with Cristian Javier, who is on the mound for the Houston Astros. Javier has a total of only 63 innings pitched in the MLB, but in that time, he has allowed 1.85 homers per nine, a 4.78 xFIP, and a 43.3% fly-ball rate versus lefties. Walsh should be able to show off his power tonight.
Kyle Seager, 3B, Seattle Mariners ($3,100)
Here's my hot take for tonight -- Kyle Seager hits a home run.
Seager is currently in an 0-for-16 slump in his last four games, and that is going to change tonight versus Nick Pivetta. Let's start with the simple stuff, this is a massive positive park shift for the Seattle Mariners since they are on the road in Boston. Next, they carry a 4.24 implied run total, which is the third-lowest on the slate and should cause them to go overlooked.
Let's talk about Pivetta, who is really just an average pitcher. Throughout his career, Pivetta is allowing 1.33 homers per nine, a .332 wOBA, and 10.5% walk rate to left-handed hitters.
This is where Seager and his career .191 ISO and 44.3% fly-ball rate versus right-handed pitchers comes into play. While he's not off the best start this season, Seager is still sporting a hard-contact rate of 44.4% versus right-handed pitchers, and given his slump, Seager is sure to see a low draft percentage.