The Contrarian Corner will provide a list of players that can separate your MLB lineups from the rest of the pack. We’ll take a look at those players that will likely be low-owned, who have high-upside for the day. Here is the list of today’s daily fantasy baseball picks in the Contrarian Corner at DraftKings.
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Madison Bumgarner ($10,300) – San Francisco Giants – It’s a Clayton Kershaw start night, Danny Salazar is facing an Athletics squad that he tied up recently and no longer has Ben Zobrist, and there are some other intriguing cheap arms, so I expect Bumgarner’s ownership rate to be a touch lower than it should be. He has a fantastic matchup with a lefty-laden lineup that struggles mightily with southpaws. The Rangers rank 25th in wRC+ (83) with a 23.0% strikeout rate against lefties this year, according to FanGraphs. Bumgarner is pitching like his usually awesome self with a 24.6% strikeout rate, 3.20 FIP and 3.25xFIP. He should deliver on his five-figure cost and throw up a hearty fantasy point total.
Eduardo Rodriguez ($7,700) – Boston Red Sox – Rodriguez has been up and down, but he followed up a messy start two starts ago with a nice bounce back. Overall, he has a passable 4.15 FIP and 3.93 xFIP and solid 20.6% strikeout rate. In 11 starts, he has three in which he’s given up six earned runs or more, and seven in which he’s allowed one eared run or fewer. Talk about extremes! He’s a modest betting favorite at home at -119, per Pinnacle Sports, and the Rays provide him big upside with a strikeout rate of 22.2% against southpaws. They do, however, also rank third in wRC+ (111) against lefties, so there is some risk.
Others to Consider – Ian Kennedy ($6900) ***Editors Note: Kennedy has been scratched to be with his wife for the birth of their child. Despaigne will take his spot tonight***
Stephen Vogt ($3,400) – Oakland Athletics – The A’s are in full-fledged seller mode, but Vogt’s name isn’t one that’s been bandied about. July hasn’t been kind to the late-blooming hitter, but we have more than a year’s worth of production to lean on and buy into, and a bounce back is likely. Salazar makes for a tough matchup, but when he gets into trouble, it’s often with the long ball (1.21 HR/9 this year). Vogt can put a charge into the ball and owns a .175 ISO against righties since 2013. The catcher makes for a cheapish home run chase option behind the dish.
Brandon Belt ($4,200) – San Francisco Giants – First base is loaded tonight, and Belt should slip through the cracks for most people. He gets a break from hitting at pitcher-friendly AT&T Park to hit in Texas. Rangers Ballpark in Arlington has left-handed batter park factors of 96 for homers and 108 for runs scored compared to marks of 62 for homers and 88 for runs at AT&T Park. Those are massive upgrades. Belt’s been great against righties, and since 2013, he has a .212 ISO, .368 wOBA and 142 wRC+ against them. He faces a very giving one in Nick Martinez tonight. Martinez has allowed a .336 wOBA to lefties in his career.
Dee Gordon ($4,400) – Miami Marlins – Gordon’s game is predicated on speed, and his stolen base upside gets a huge lift tonight facing the Ian Kennedy and Derek Norris battery tonight. Gordon has stolen 33 bases this year after stealing 64 last year, and Norris has allowed 57 stolen bases in 80 starts. The speedster provides a sky-high ceiling gamers covet in GPPs, but there are some other strong, cheaper options at the keystone position who should help suppress Gordon’s ownership level.
Pedro Alvarez ($3,400) – Pittsburgh Pirates – Alvarez is your prototypical boom-or-bust player. He’s swatted 15 homers with a .203 ISO but also owns a 24.9% strikeout rate this year. His power plays in all ballparks, but tonight he’s hitting in a dreamy ballpark for left-handed power. Great American Ballpark has a left-handed batter park factor of 145 for homers, per StatCorner. He’ll also enjoy taking cuts against Michael Lorenzen since the righty has allowed a .454 wOBA to the 144 left-handed batters he’s faced in his career.
Carlos Correa ($4,900) – Houston Astros – Correa is extremely expensive at a position where gamers often choose to punt and he doesn’t hold the platoon advantage over Rubby De La Rosa. These are all the reasons he won’t be rostered heavily. Correa’s nine homers, five stolen bases, and his .186 ISO, .347 wOBA and 123 wRC+ against righties are the reason gamers should consider ponying up for him. Throw in that the game between the Astros and Diamondbacks is played at hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park, and you’ve got a very compelling case for rostering the uber-talented rookie.
Bryce Harper ($5,500) – Washington Nationals – Harper requires a sizable salary cap commitment on a night where Kershaw and a few other pricey arms are getting the ball, including the righty he’s facing, Matt Harvey. Hello recipe for low ownership. Harper has blossomed into one of the best hitters in the game, and he’s been death on righties this year with a .387 ISO, .494 wOBA and 223 wRC+. The Dark Knight is going to have his hands full with Harper tonight.
Others to Consider – Jonathan Schoop ($3,600), Luis Valbuena ($3,700), Preston Tucker ($3,600)