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.
Andrew Heaney ($8,300) – Los Angeles Angels – Heany had a rough go of it in his big league debut last year, but he’s been nothing short of outstanding with the Angels this year. In seven starts, he has pitched 45.2 innings to the tune of a 3.05 FIP and 3.75 xFIP with a respectable 19.3% strikeout rate. He should probably have a few more punch outs, as his 9.8% swinging strike rate is exactly the league average, per FanGraphs, and the league average in strikeout rate is 20.2%. He should get an uptick in that department tonight facing the Orioles. They’ve struck out in a whopping 22.3% of their plate appearances against southpaws this year, have an ugly 5.5% walk rate and a non-threatening 90 wRC+. Heaney’s allowed no more than two earned runs in any of his seven starts this year and he’s pitched six or more innings in six of seven. He’ll look to continue his success tonight.
Kevin Gausman ($5,400) – Baltimore Orioles – Heaney’s opponent, Gausman, makes for a nifty play at a bargain price. He’s done well as a starter this year. He’s split time in the pen and starting and in six starts he’s tallied a respectable 3.79 FIP and 4.00 xFIP. His 18.5% strikeout rate as a starter is underwhelming, but it belies his excellent 10.6% swinging strike rate. Gausman is coming off of back-to-back strong starts in which he’s gone pitched a total of 14.2 innings and allowed two earned runs on 10 hits, one walk with 11 strikeouts. The Angels aren’t an easy opponent, but Gausman makes for a fine dice roll who pairs great with a $15,000 Clayton Kershaw.
Others to Consider – Daniel Norris ($6,400), Gerrit Cole ($10,800)
Jesus Montero ($2,700) – Seattle Mariners – The former catcher earned has earned his promotion and recent playing time by pummeling Triple-A pitching this year (.346/.388/.551 with a 148 wRC+, per FanGraphs). He’s hit very well in his limited time in the majors this year, too. The right-handed hitter is at his best against lefties, and he has a .175 ISO and 104 wRC+ in 64 plate appearances against them since 2013. Cole Hamels isn’t your average southpaw, but he hasn’t been in his best form of late allowing five earned runs or more in three of his last four starts, with his no-hit bid the only good start sprinkled in.
Justin Smoak ($2,500) – Toronto Blue Jays – What year is this? Jesus Montero and Justin Smoak touted in the same fantasy baseball article? Smoak hasn’t shaken his bust label, but he’s been decent at times this year and regularly slots fifth in the order for the Blue Jays when he plays. The important factors to keep in mind with him, beyond his bargain basement price, are Nathan Eovaldi’s struggles with left-handed batters and the sweet park factors for left-handed batters at Yankee Stadium. Eovaldi has coughed up a .340 wOBA to left-handed batters since 2013 and Yankee Stadium features left-handed batter park factors of 147 for homers and 109 for runs scored, per StatCorner.
Ian Kinsler ($4,200) – Detroit Tigers – There are some bargain options at the keystone position that are sure to appeal to daily gamers, and Kinsler is facing a righty, which hurts the appeal of using him. As a result, Kinsler’s ownership will likely be limited to a smattering of teams that aren’t stacking the Tigers. Kinsler is only a slightly above average hitter against righties in recent years, but a matchup with Joe Kelly has to have the Tigers batters licking their chops. The right-handed pitcher has allowed a jaw-dropping .374 wOBA to right-handed batters this year and has allowed four or more earned runs in four straight starts and five of his last six. If the Tigers rough him up, Kinsler should be in the middle of the action and have a hand in the run production.
Anthony Rendon ($3,200) – Washington Nationals – Third base is rather top heavy, but Rendon stands out as a bargain play. He’s not showing off his hitting prowess he demonstrated last year, but he’s been decent since his activation from the disabled list. He’s settled into the two-hole for the Nationals and has a juicy matchup with lefty Jorge De La Rosa on the docket tonight. De La Rosa has allowed a .323 wOBA to right-handed batters this year, and he’s been even more giving since 2013 allowing a .334 wOBA to them.
Jhonny Peralta ($4,100) – St. Louis Cardinals – Guys like Troy Tulowitzki and Hanley Ramirez figure to be more popular than the similarly priced Peralta. Don’t sleep on Peralta at Miller Park against rookie Tyler Cravy, though. Cravy doesn’t miss many bats, 15.3% stikeout rate, and his 3.00 ERA is a bit lucky according to his 3.56 FIP and 4.20 xFIP. Miller Park awards right-handed batters park factors of 135 for homers and 107 for runs scored, and Peralta is very good against righties with a .151 ISO, .335 wOBA and 113 wRC+ against them since 2013.
Lorenzo Cain ($4,700) – Kansas City Royals – Cain’s price is identical to that of Nelson Cruz, and Cruz is facing a lefty. You do the math as to what that means for Cain’s ownership. Cain is in the midst of a breakout season in which he’s showing off power, 11 homers and .182 ISO, and speed, 19 stolen bases. Lefties have had no answer for him this year as he has a .230 ISO, .427 wOBA and 178 wRC+ against them. The best part is, he’s facing a bad lefty. John Danks has allowed a .356 wOBA to right-handed batters since 2013 and a .377 wOBA to them this year.
Others to Consider – Matt Wieters ($2,800), Miguel Sano ($4,400), Jayson Werth ($3,100)