3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for 4/12/21
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.
Alex Cobb, P, Los Angeles Angels ($8,400)
Tonight's pitching slate is loaded at the top, and that could cause some of the other pitchers to go overlooked.
When pitchers such as Gerrit Cole and Tyler Glasnow are on the slate, you can expect them to be extremely popular because the strikeout upside they bring is borderline unmatched. However, this doesn't mean other pitchers aren't viable in DFS. If Alex Cobb is going to be overlooked tonight, he can provide plenty of point-per-dollar value while opening up some salary flexibility.
Cobb will be taking on the Kansas City Royals, whose current roster struggled against right-handed pitchers last year. In 2020, they held an 87 wRC+ (27th in the league), a 23.3% strike-out rate (15th), a 29.4% hard-hit rate (29th), and a 34.7% fly-ball rate (22nd). This offense is truly not one to be feared and even though Cobb only carried a 16.8% strikeout rate last season, he was able to boast a high 54.5% ground ball rate, which can help him limit the damage.
Evan Longoria, 3B, San Francisco Giants ($3,300)
Is Evan Longoria worth a shot in tournaments tonight?
The San Francisco Giants are carrying a 4.17 implied run total tonight, which is 15th on tonight's slate -- aka it doesn't move the needle. There are clearly a number of teams with better-projected totals compared to the Giants, so maybe you don't stack them, and you simply look to Longoria as a one-off in tournaments.
He is facing off against Reds pitcher Aaron Sanchez. Sanchez missed all of last season, and in 2019, he allowed a 5.61 xFIP to right-handed hitters, along with a horrible 12.2% walk rate, and a 41.7% hard-contact rate.
Longoria hasn't gotten a ton of power going yet this season versus right-handed pitchers, but he has a career .198 ISO against them, along with a 41.4% fly-ball rate. The home run upside is there for Longoria tonight, and he shouldn't be too popular.
Kyle Seager, 3B, Seattle Mariners ($2,900)
The Seattle Mariners have a 4.15 implied run total tonight, and that is too low.
The Mariners are on the road to take on the Baltimore Orioles, which gives them a very solid positive park shift because Camden Yards is hitter-friendly. The Orioles will have Dean Kremer on the mound, who made his MLB debut last season and pitched a total of 18.2 innings, giving us a very small sample size to work with. Regardless, in that time, he allowed a 5.87 xFIP, 15.4% walk rate, 52.2% hard-contact rate, and 60.9% fly-ball rate to lefty hitters.
Do I expect those numbers to stay at those levels going forward? No. Am I willing to take a shot with Kyle Seager against him? Yes. Seager has a career .192 ISO and 44.2% fly-ball rate versus right-handed pitchers, putting him in a spot to capture that home run power in a park such as Camden Yards.