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.
Dallas Keuchel ($11,000) – Houston Astros – There are a handful of aces getting the ball tonight, and the Tigers still have a few bats in their lineup that might provide pause for gamers selecting Keuchel. The fact they rank second in the majors in wRC+ against lefties could also scare some gamers off, but the Tigers offense isn’t as potent as it was earlier in the year, though. Over the last 30 days, they rank 21st in wRC+ (92) with a 21.4% strikeout rate, per FanGraphs. The lefty Keuchel has been awesome this year totaling a 22.2% strikeout rate, 2.80 FIP and 2.72 xFIP. His strikeout upside isn’t as great as Max Scherzer, David Price or Corey Kluber, but it’s not terribly far behind and Keuchel is a monster betting favorite tonight.
Matin Perez ($4,100) – Texas Rangers – This pick isn’t for the faint of heart. The Rays offense is clicking on all cylinders and leads the league in wRC+ (140) over the last 14 days. They’ve also been very good against lefties this year ranking third in wRC+ (113). They do, however, punchout with some enticing frequency with a 21.7% strikeout rate against southpaws on the year. Perez has one nightmare outing in his five this year that skews his ERA (5.81), but the underlying stats paint a more favorable picture with him holding a 2.80 FIP and 3.93 xFIP through 26.1 innings pitched. He’s keeping the ball on the ground at an elite rate (60.7%), and his control has been great in his return from Tommy John surgery with him walking only 6.1% of the batters he’s faced. Since his meltdown start against the Yankees on July 28, Perez has tallied back-to-back quality starts allowing three earned runs on nine hits and one walk with 11 strikeouts in 14.1 innings pitched. His assignment won’t be easy, but at just $4,100, he has to do very little to return a positive value on his minimal cost.
Others to Consider – Robbie Ray ($7,500)
Jonathan Lucroy ($3,300) – Milwaukee Brewers – Lucroy is scuffling through his worst offensive season since 2010. He, like many of the Brewers, will be happy to start fresh next year. If ever there was a time for him to remind the world of his offensive prowess, though, that would be tonight. He’s playing at his hitter-friendly home ballpark tonight and facing Adam Morgan. The rookie southpaw is coughing up a .371 wOBA to right-handed batters this year.
C.J. Cron ($2,900) – Los Angeles Angels – Hidden in the bargain bin at the always loaded first base is C.J. Cron. He’s a bat first player, like many first basemen, and he’s at his best against lefties. In 171 plate appearances against lefties in The Show, he has a .172 ISO, .331 wOBA and 117 wRC+. According to Minor League Central, he owns a career minor league OPS of .914 against lefties with a .229 ISO.
Logan Forsythe ($3,800) – Tampa Bay Rays – Yes, I listed Martin Perez as a contrarian selection and I’m now selecting a bat who he’s facing. It’s not advisable to play the two together, but if you’re entering multiple GPP entries, Forsythe makes for a great target on your non-Perez squads. Forsythe is shining in a full-time gig with the Rays and owns a .220 ISO, .338 wOBA and 120 wRC+ against southpaws since 2013. This year, though, he’s absolutely tearing the cover off of the ball when facing lefties tallying a .324 ISO, .404 wOBA and 166 wRC+.
Alex Rodriguez ($4,000) – New York Yankees – A-Rod is back in a big way this year, and he’s facing one of the best pitchers getting the ball this evening. Price is a monster betting favorite and should be heavily rostered. With his ownership likely to be high, expect a number of Yankees bats to be underowned, including Rodriguez. A-Rod’s power plays at any ballpark, but Rogers Centre will provide him park factors of 116 for doubles/triples and 118 for homers, per StatCorner.
Jung Ho Kang ($3,500) – Pittsburgh Pirates – Kang isn’t hitting in a great ballpark for offense, and he doesn’t hold a platoon advantage facing righty Bartolo Colon. That said, he’s been a well above average hitter in his rookie year against righties totaling a .154 ISO, .363 wOBA and 136 wRC+ in 275 plate appearances. He’s also on fire getting everyday playing time, and over the last 30 days, he’s sporting a .273 ISO, .444 wOBA and 192 wRC+.
Gregory Polanco ($3,900) – Pittsburgh Pirates – Speaking of Pirates who are on fire, Polanco is on some kind of heater. Over the last 30 days, he has tapped into his power (.196 ISO) and given opposing pitchers fits (.388 wOBA and 153 wRC+). The once highly-touted prospect seems to be blossoming into the impact player prospect prognosticators were projecting, and in his big league career, he has a solid .131 ISO, .325 wOBA and 110 wRC+ against righties for those not willing to go all-in on his recent play.
Others to Consider – Eric Hosmer ($4,100), Chase Utley ($2,800), Wilmer Flores ($3,300)