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.
Carlos Carrasco ($10,100) – Cleveland Indians – Facing the Yankees at home as a righty is one way to assure yourself of suppressed ownership, but when you’re opposing Masahiro Tanaka as an underdog, that low ownership dwindles even further. The factors that will detract gamers from using him help make him exactly what we’re looking for in a contrarian selection, a high upside player who will be low owned. Carrasco has been excellent on the year year with a 27.1% strikeout rate, 2.89 FIP and 2.79 xFIP, but some poor luck has resulted in a 3.63 ERA. Over the last 30 days, though, the poor luck has disappeared and he’s posted a 2.68 ERA that lines up nicely with his 2.97 FIP, 2.73 xFIP and 2.81 SIERA. Over that time frame he’s struck out a quarter of the batters he’s faced. The righty has pitched like a stealth ace all year, and he has a ton of upside against a Yankees squad that Josh Tomlin held in check yesterday and has posted a 77 wRC+ over the last 14 days, per FanGraphs.
Felix Hernandez ($9,900) – Seattle Mariners – There are more colorful ways to describe King Felix’s last start than how I’ll choose to, but suffice to say, he was shellacked. The Red Sox knocked him around for 10 earned runs in just 2.1 innings. It was his second implosion in his last four starts as he also allowed seven earned in just 6.2 innings facing the Diamondbacks at home on July 29. Rolling with King Felix isn’t bulletproof as it so often has been throughout his career, namely because his velocity was down a tick (or a bit more on his fourseam fastball and his sinker in his last start, but his velocity has been up and down all year as you can see in his game log at Brooks Baseball. If the velocity dip in his last start is the result of him pitching at less than 100%, then there is a chance he gets knocked around again today. Oddsmakers don’t seem to harbor those concerns, though, or at least they don’t suspect bettors do since Hernandez is home favorite against fellow ace Chris Sale and the game has an over/under total of just six runs, per Pinnacle Sports. Over the last 30 days, even while Hernandez has struggled from a surface stats perspective, he has a 21.3% strikeout rate, 3.6% walk rate and 3.34 xFIP. His struggles of late and opposing Sale will almost certainly reduce his ownership, making him a prime target for those willing to embrace some volatility.
Others to Consider – Drew Smyly ($8,400)
Josh Phegley ($2,800) – Oakland Athletics – Phegley essentially epitomizes what an A’s player is. He’s a platoon option who is deployed against lefties, and he fits the lefty masher role incredibly well. Since 2013, in 158 plate appearances he has a .207 ISO, .343 wOBA and 120 wRC+ against southpaws.
Chris Davis ($5,000) – Baltimore Orioles – Some of the chalkiest picks among hitters can be found at first base tonight with the position headlined by Paul Goldschmidt facing a bad lefty at homer-friendly Great American Ballpark and his opponent, Joey Votto, facing a righty, Rubby De La Rosa, who has been lost against left-handed batters. If gamers are willing to pay through the nose for a first baseman, those are going to be the top two options at just a few hundred more than Davis. Davis, however, gets a home tilt against southpaw Tommy Milone. A home tilt means left-handed batter park factors of 132 for homers and 121 for runs, according to StatCorner. Davis has been a man possessed during the second half of the season, tallying 15 homers, a .420 ISO, .482 wOBA and 215 wRC+ in 136 plate appearances. Also, unlike in years past, Davis is doing some damage against southpaws with a .268 ISO, .396 wOBA and 155 wRC+ against them this season.
Rougned Odor ($3,600) – Texas Rangers – I can’t wrap my head around the decision to drop Odor to seventh in the order for the Rangers, but his bat remains a hot one, and the low lineup spot serves as a depressor to his ownership. In the second half, Odor has a .236 ISO, .387 wOBA and 144 wRC+.
Miguel Sano ($4,700) – Minnesota Twins – Sano is likely to be the highest owned player of those highlighted in today’s article, but there will still be a number of gamers who shy away from paying his price tag when he’s totaled just a .140 ISO, .293 wOBA and 84 wRC+ against southpaws in the bigs. Don’t be dissuade from using him based on his tiny sample size in The Show. Sano missed all of last year, but since 2011, he’s posted a .321 ISO and 1.003 OPS in the minors against lefties, according to Minor League Central. His small sample size struggles in the majors will be a thing of the past soon enough.
Carlos Correa ($4,900) – Houston Astros – Correa’s contrarian status is achieved this evening as a result of being the most expensive player at a position frequently punted, and also as the result of some tantalizing alternatives such as Jose Reyes at home and Troy Tulowitzki against a fly-ball lefty at a $700 discount from Correa’s cost for rostering. Of course, this is also a punt position for many gamers, which will also eliminate Correa from roster consideration for some gamers. The rookie is a special player, though, and especially so against lefties. Through his first 83 plate appearances against lefties in the majors, Correa owns a .288 ISO, .410 wOBA and 166 wRC+. His offensive value will be further bolstered by the hitter-friendly nature of Minute Maid Park.
Byron Buxton ($3,600) – Minnesota Twins – With the emergence of so many talented, young players, it’s easy to forget many outlets pegged Buxton as the top prospect in the game. He hasn’t hit the ground running like the others, but he hit leadoff for the Twins yesterday in his reemergence from the minors. Buxton was injured in late June, and after his rehab assignment concluded, the team opted to activate him from the disabled list and option him to Triple-A for more seasoning. All he did at the Triple-A level was terrorize young pitchers. His first healthy game post injury for Rochester was August 7, a game in which he tallied three hits in five plate appearances. Buxton played 13 games for Rochester and recorded at least one hit in all of those games, and multiple hits in six of those contests. He’s in good current form and the toolsy outfielder is ready for a second crack at major league pitching, and if he hits leadoff again tonight, his value gets a considerable boost.
Others to Consider – Welington Castillo ($3,500), Derek Dietrich ($3,700)