3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Monday 9/20/21
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.
Sean Manaea, P, Oakland Athletics ($9,600)
Given the context of the slate, could Sean Manaea be overlooked tonight?
There's no doubt that Robbie Ray is the best pitcher on tonight's slate, and I'm not here to debate that. If you are paying up for pitcher, he is the top option, and there are other viable options -- Ranger Suarez or Nestor Cortes -- if you are looking to save at the position. This puts Sean Manaea in a bit of no man's land, making him a clear option who could fly under the radar.
Manaea comes in with a 26.1% strikeout rate, 5.6% walk rate, 3.54 xFIP, 42.3% ground-ball rate, and 52.7% medium-contact rate. Manaea is a solid pitcher and is being passed on tonight because there is a better option. We should still be looking to Manaea, though, as he has a good matchup versus the Seattle Mariners.
This season, the Mariners come in with a 91 wRC+ (26th in the league), .160 ISO (23rd), 25.1% strikeout rate (3rd), and 30.0% hard-contact rate (26th) versus left-handed pitchers this season. It's a solid matchup, and we should trust Manaea tonight.
Marcus Semien, 2B/SS, Toronto Blue Jays ($4,100)
Even with all of their power upside, the Toronto Blue Jays might not be popular.
The Houston Astros, New York Yankees, and Atlanta Braves lead the way in terms of offense on tonight's slate, and it should cause the Blue Jays to fly under the radar. It sounds crazy that one of the best offenses in the league is a "sneaky" option, but that's what we could be seeing tonight.
The Tampa Bay Rays will have Shane Baz on the mound to make his MLB debut. I understand that he's a top prospect and posted a 36.0% strikeout rate in Triple-A this season, but this is another level of competition. In this scenario, I generally always side with the experienced hitters over a young and unproven pitcher.
This is where Marcus Semien comes into play, with his 144 wRC+, .284 ISO, 19.8% strikeout rate, 46.9% fly-ball rate, and 36.5% hard-contact rate versus right-handed pitchers this season. I'll take those types of numbers any day in my lineup, especially in tournaments.
Kolten Wong, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers ($3,500)
There are three top teams tonight, and the Brewers aren't a part of that group despite having a really solid matchup versus Jake Woodford. This season, Woodford is allowing a .237 ISO, 4.68 xFIP, 1.88 HR/9, 16.7% strikeout rate, 37.3% hard-contact rate, and 17.2% HR/FB rate versus left-handed hitters.
Kolten Wong is a player to consider with a 107 wRC+, .179 ISO, .334 wOBA, and 35.4% fly-ball rate this season versus right-handed pitchers. If Woodford is home run prone against lefties, this could be a good spot to attack if the Brewers aren't going to be as popular as other stacks.