3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Thursday 7/8/21
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.
Adbert Alzolay, P, Chicago Cubs ($7,100)
Has Adbert Alzolay been consistent? No. Will he be popular in tournaments tonight? Also, no.
Alzolay's game log is like looking at a roller coaster, there's plenty of peaks and valleys, all of which can make your stomach turn. On a slate that features Yu Darvish ($11,400) and Max Scherzer ($10,900) at the top, along with Tyler Mahle ($8,900) in the mid-tier, the pitching options should be relatively straightforward tonight. This leaves an opening for Alzolay to go overlooked in tournaments.
He comes in with a 25.9% strikeout rate, 7.1% walk rate, 3.80 SIERA, 1.3% medium-contact rate, and 44.0% ground-ball rate. Those are pretty solid numbers for a pitcher who only had 31 innings pitched at the big league level prior to this season. The 1.99 HR/9 he is allowing this season is where things can get dicey. With all that said, he has flashed 40-FanDuel-point upside this season and could be one of the best point-per-dollar options on the slate if he can reach that level again.
Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds ($3,700)
As of now, the Reds aren't set to a chalky team, but there are two games on tonight's slate that could be impacted by weather. If both games are postponed due to rain, that would turn a solid seven-game slate into only five games, where each team could be a bit chalkier. That is what we don't want to happen because the Reds are in a good matchup versus Adrian Houser.
This season, Houser has a low 15.2% strikeout rate, allowing 1.05 HR/9 and a middle-of-the-road 4.25 xFIP versus left-handed hitters. He's simply an average pitcher in MLB and no one you should be shying away from. I'd rather shoot for some upside with Joey Votto, especially if he is going to be at lower rostership rates in tournaments.
Votto comes in with a solid .244 ISO, 145 wRC+, 38.8% fly-ball rate, and 43.7% hard-contact rate versus right-handed pitchers this season. This game is in Milwaukee, which has shown to be one of the better hitter's parks in the league this season, putting the Reds' offense in a good spot versus a mediocre pitcher.
Pete Alonso, 1B, New York Mets ($4,000)
Pete Alonso hits bombs -- we all know that.
With a 40.3% fly-ball rate and 41.0% hard-contact rate versus right-handed pitchers this season, Alonso is a threat to hit a home run on any given night. A home run is great, but a home run when that player is far under the radar is even better, and that is what we can be getting from Alonso tonight.
The New York Mets have a 4.24 implied run total and are in a game that could be impacted by rain. One, the run total is truly nothing special, so we wouldn't expect the Mets to be chalky. And two, weather issues always scare DFS players off of a game, which should further help push Alonso's rostership rate down.
If you are willing to roll the dice in tournaments, Alonso has that multi-home run upside we crave. Whether or not there is poor weather tonight, I still have plenty of interest in Alonso.