3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Friday 7/16/21
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.
Tyler Mahle, P, Cincinnati Reds ($8,800)
If Tyler Mahle isn't going to be popular in tournaments tonight, you should consider rostering him.
There are several good pitchers to add to your player pool and it doesn't appear that Mahle is going to be a popular option for most people. This is something you want to run with tonight since Mahle has shown a strong level of consistency and has a solid matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers. Mahle comes into tonight with six strikeouts or more in eight straight starts, while allowing three earned runs or fewer in six of those eight starts. That highlights his 29.5% strikeout rate on the season, along with his 3.61 xFIP. He has also shown the ability to push past 40 FanDuel points on multiple occasions this season and yet is under $9,000 tonight.
The Brewers come in with an 89 wRC+ (22nd in the league), a .158 ISO (17th), a 25.5% strikeout rate (6th), and a 34.4% fly-ball rate (23rd) versus right-handed pitchers this season. Milwaukee strikes out too much, doesn't hit for power, and doesn't generate fly balls. Despite being in first place in the NL Central, they are an easier match for Mahle, who shouldn't be popular tonight.
Mitch Haniger, OF, Seattle Mariners ($3,600)
Andrew Heaney isn't a good pitcher versus right-handed hitters.
That's the easiest way to put things and why I'm looking to Mitch Haniger as a tournament option tonight. This season, Heaney is allowing a whopping 2.04 HR/9 to right-handed hitters, coming from a bad 44.8% fly-ball rate, and a 36.3% hard-contact rate. Any time there is a pitcher on the slate that is allowing this many home runs, I'm actively looking to target them, regardless of what team is on the other side.
I know what you are thinking and, yes, the Seattle Mariners aren't the best team in the league, we know that. But if that just means they aren't going to be popular due to their perceived skill, it makes them that much better in tournaments. This is where Haniger comes into play since he is carrying a 130 wRC+, a .269 ISO, a 37.3% fly-ball rate, and a 36.0% hard-contact rate versus left-handed pitchers. Those types of power numbers will play in any lineup.
Salvador Perez, C, Kansas City Royals ($3,300)
Salvador Perez has massive power numbers versus left-handed pitchers.
If you are looking for a player with real power upside tonight, Perez could be the ultimate answer. He comes in with a .391 ISO, a 202 wRC+, a 38.6% fly-ball rate, and a 45.7% hard-contact rate versus left-handed pitchers this season. Oh boy. You should be running to get Perez in your lineups tonight as a one-off in tournaments. The multi-home run upside is there for him and he has to be one of my favorite home run picks on the slate.
Perez and the Kansas City Royals will be going up against Keegan Akin, who is allowing 1.67 HR/9, a 5.18 xFIP, a 17.5% strikeout rate, and a 41.0% fly-ball rate versus right-handed hitters this season. Wehnever you see a pitcher that allows too many fly balls and can't strike out hitters, you should consider targeting them. They can't pitch themselves off the mound via a strikeout and are always vulnerable to the long ball, which makes for some serious DFS upside for the hitters.