3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Monday 5/24/21
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 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.
Frankie Montas, P, Oakland Athletics ($8,400)
Tonight's pitching slate is very top-heavy, leaving an opening for some cheaper pitchers.
It's clear that Brandon Woodruff, Lance Lynn, and Blake Snell are the best three pitchers on the slate and should be the most popular, by far. Rostering them tonight won't be an issue since there aren't many hitters over $4,000 and there's no Coors Field on this slate. It seems very obvious that you can pay up for pitching tonight and it won't be a major issue for your total salary. However, for the sake of finding players who are "under-the-radar", this is where we look towards Frankie Montas. He's at home in a great pitcher's park and has a super-soft matchup versus the Seattle Mariners.
This season, the Mariners have an 86 wRC+ (23rd in the league), a .155 ISO (15th), a 25.8% strikeout rate (7th), and a 30.9% fly-ball rate (22nd) versus right-handed pitchers. They are legitimately one of the worst offensives teams in the league versus righty pitchers and you should be looking to attack them. Montas comes in with a modest 21.4% strikeout rate, solid 6.2% walk rate, and a 53.6% medium-contact rate. He's a solid pitcher who should be able to cruise through the innings with very little threat from the Mariners.
C.J. Cron, 1B, Colorado Rockies ($2,800)
The Colorado Rockies aren't going to be popular tonight.
I'm pretty confident in saying that since they have a slate-low 3.01 implied run total. That's bad, it's not good, it's whatever you want to call it but it should make them vastly unpopular. Should you stack them? Eh, probably not, but that doesn't mean you can't look to a player or two as a one-off. If the latter is the case, look to C.J. Cron for some power upside. Cron comes in with a 185 wRC+, a .286 ISO, and a 42.3% fly-ball rater versus left-handed pitchers. That gives him some home run upside, all while being under $3,000, and likely coming in at very low rostership rates.
He will be up against David Peterson, who is allowing 1.74 HR/9 to right-handed hitters, along with a 31.6% HR/FB. The Rockies probably won't pour on the runs tonight but I like Cron's home run potential.
Wilson Ramos, C, Detroit Tigers ($2,500)
The Detroit Tigers have a 4.45 implied run total tonight, which is the fourth-highest on the slate.
With a small six-game slate, we could see a few offenses be very popular, making pivoting away from them a great strategy in tournaments. The Tigers are taking on the Cleveland Indians, who will have Sam Hentges on the mound. This is his first year in the MLB and he only has 15.1 innings pitched under his belt. Obviously, this is a very small sample size but in those innings, he has allowed a .479 wOBA, 3.60 HR/9, a 5.18 xFIP, and a 43.2% hard-contact rate. Take it with a grain of salt, but considering he never pitched in Triple-A, I'm not too worried about the matchup.
This is where we can look to the Tigers and Wilson Ramos, who shouldn't be too popular considering he is a catcher. This season, Ramos has been struggling versus left-handed pitchers and comes in with a -10 wRC+ and a .037 ISO. That's right, a -10 wRC+, which is terrible. However, in 2020 he had a 118 wRC+ and in 2019 he had a 150 wRC+ versus southpaws. I would say he is simply off to a slow start this season and is due for some positive regression considering his career numbers -- 121 wRC+ and .171 ISO -- are much better than he is showing now. I'll buy into some positive regression against a very unproven pitcher, especially if it comes at lower rostership percentages tonight.