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.
Felix Hernandez ($10,700) – Seattle Mariners – King Felix doesn’t often qualify as a contrarian selection due to his excellence, but he shares a slate with Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber and Chris Archer, and at first blush, all three have softer matchups. In fact, Scherzer is facing a team he previously no hit. Felix takes on the big, bad Toronto Blue Jays. They hit lefties better than righties, but they hammer righties as well. That said, they’re simply not the same offense on the road as they are at Rogers Centre. They’ve struck out in more than 20.0% of their plate appearances on the road and own a wRC+ of 100 (and remember, those numbers include their road work against lefties). Hernandez remains one of the best pitchers in the league with a strong 23.9% strikeout rate, 3.24 FIP and 3.09 xFIP. He’s priced similarly to some of the other aces getting the ball tonight, and that should depress his ownership, making him a great GPP target.
Jose Quintana ($8,100) – Chicago White Sox – Quintana is opposing Kluber tonight, and that should reduce his ownership substantially. Run support and a win could be tough to come by, but the talented Quintana should be able to twirl a solid start that pays off a minimal investment in him, allowing gamers to spend more heavily on the boppers at Coors Field. Quintana owns a 20.7% strikeout rate, just a 5.3% walk rate and strong ERA estimators such as a 3.25 FIP and 3.46 xFIP. Many of the top hitters in the lineup for the Indians are left-handed, and they’ll have their hands full as the southpaw has allowed just a .300 wOBA to lefties since 2013.
Jonathan Lucroy ($3,500) – Milwaukee Brewers – With a pair of subpar righties getting the ball at Coors Field, and both Nick Hundley and Brayan Pena affordable to cheap, they should be the most popular backstops tonight. Lucroy doesn’t get to hit in the thin air of Colorado, but a trip to the desert tends to be kind to batters with Chase Field featuring some of the friendlier park factors for hitters in the game. Right-handed batters hit at Chase Field with park factors of 120 for doubles/triples and 105 for runs scored, per StatCorner. Lucroy has been a well above average hitter against lefties, and since 2013, he has a .163 ISO, .348 wOBA and 119 wRC+.
David Ortiz ($3,700) – Boston Red Sox – First base is loaded, and old reliable Ortiz is no longer a sexy pick at the position. His overall season totals aren’t what we’re used to seeing Big Papi produce, but his problem is struggles with left-handed pitchers, nothing more. Tonight he faces a righty, and one who is on the steep decline from his once proud Cy Young Award quality years. Justin Verlander has served up a .341 wOBA to left-handed batters since 2013.
Howie Kendrick ($3,400) – Los Angeles Dodgers – Kendrick isn’t the first name that comes to mind when thinking of top offensive second basemen, but he’s a good one, and an exceptionally good one when opposing a lefty. Since 2013, Kendrick rocks a .152 ISO, .355 wOBA and 132 wRC+ against lefties. Jon Niese is no great shakes against righties, either, having allowed a .332 wOBA to them in that same time frame.
Luis Valbuena ($3,800) – Houston Astros – Initially, Aramis Ramirez was pegged for this spot, but he’s on the move. Instead, I’ll take Valbuena against Jeremy Guthrie. The righty is absolutely befuddled by left-handed batters. Since 2013, Guthrie has allowed a staggering .383 wOBA to left-handed battes. Valbuena is an all-or-nothing hitter we’d prefer deploy at home, but he’s got plenty of pop to the leave the park anywhere, and Guthrie’s susceptibility to lefties plays right into Valbuena’s hands.
Carlos Correa ($4,800) – Houston Astros – Troy Tulowitzki is less expensive and playing at home, and Jhonny Peralta is less expensive and facing a lefty. They’ll be higher owned than Correa. Jeremy Guthrie is far more giving to lefties than righties, but he isn’t a strikeout pitcher, and allowing contact to Correa is a bad idea. He’s punished the baseball tallying a .237 ISO, .366 wOBA and 137 wRC+ through his first 162 plate appearances in the majors. He’s also a stolen base threat with five as a big leaguer.
Ryan Braun ($4,700) – Milwaukee Brewers – The outfielders at Coors Field project to be highly owned, and Mike Trout is always a popular pricey option. Braun remains a masher of offerings from lefties, though, and while he’s not hitting at his home digs, a road trip to Chase Field isn’t a bad alternative. This year, he has a .221 ISO, .387 wOBA and 146 wRC+ in 82 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers.
Others to Consider – Ben Zobrist ($3,300), Kole Calhoun ($3,900)