3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Wednesday 7/21/21
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.
Dylan Cease, P, Chicago White Sox ($8,600)
With a few chalky pitching options in the top tier, it's easy to be different in tournaments tonight. It's pretty clear that Lance McCullers and Adam Wainwright are primed to be the chalky pitching options tonight, leaving an opening for Dylan Cease to come in a bit under the radar.
While Cease's matchup against the Minnesota Twins presents a bit of risk, Cease has flashed some nice fantasy upside. In his most recent start, Cease went 5.2 innings against the Houston Astros and posted 10 strikeouts and only 3 earned runs. If Cease has the ability to reach towards double-digit strikeouts, that is the type of upside you want in your lineups -- especially if he isn't going to be popular tonight.
Of course, that's just a one-game sample, but for the entire season, Cease has a 30.0% strikeouts rate, 3.74 SIERA, and 49.8% medium-contact rate. He truly has strong numbers, and if that strikeout rate is front and center tonight, another 10 strikeouts are certainly doable.
Tyler O'Neill, OF, St. Louis Cardinals ($3,200)
The Cards don't have a great offense, and that's reflected in their modest run total, all of which is fine tonight. I'll be honest, I don't expect the Cardinals to score 10 runs tonight, but that doesn't mean I don't like a few of their options tonight.
They are going up against Kyle Hendricks, who is allowing 1.44 HR/9 to right-handed hitters this season. Historically, Hendricks hasn't struggled with home runs, but this year, he is posting a career-worst mark.
If Hendricks is going to continue to struggle, I'll target Tyler O'Neill, who has 16 home runs this season, 15 of which have come off of right-handed pitchers. That's due to his .271 ISO, 41.7% fly-ball rate, and 40.3% hard-contact rate, making him an ideal candidate for a home run tonight.
Hunter Renfroe, OF, Boston Red Sox ($3,300)
Yes, Robbie Ray is a good pitcher, but that doesn't mean you can't target him tonight.
Ray should be popular tonight, and it's for good reasons, as he has a 30.4% strikeout rate versus right-handed hitters this season with a low 3.55 xFIP and 6.5% walk rate. Ray is really good, there are no two ways about it.
However -- and it's a big however -- Ray is also allowing 1.86 HR/9 to righties and a 44.1% fly-ball rate. This is nothing new for Ray, who has always struggled with allowing too many home runs.
So if home runs are a potential issue for Ray, and he could be popular tonight, shouldn't we look at some Boston Red Sox hitters to be contrarian? This leads me to Hunter Renfroe, who has a solid .215 ISO, 152 wRC+, 38.6% hard-contact rate, and 20.0% HR/FB rate. He has some real power in this split, and the upside is there for him and the Red Sox versus Ray tonight.