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.
Trevor Bauer ($7,600) – Cleveland Indians – With a walk rate of 10.9% this year, Bauer creates an uneasy feeling using him due to his ability to make messes. When he’s sharp, though, he’s incredibly helpful in daily games. Embracing volatility is huge in GPPs, and Bauer’s 23.4% strikeout rate provides incentive to take a chance on him. He’ll benefit from playing a National League team in a National League park since that means no designated hitter. He’s not pitching in just any NL park, either, as PNC Park is especially pitcher friendly. The Pirates have been a middle of the pack offense against righties this year. The upside for Bauer exceeds his cost, making him a high upside SP2 tonight.
Noah Syndergaard ($8,700) – New York Mets – One way to assure yourself of being contrarian is picking the starting pitcher opposing Clayton Kershaw. It will undoubtedly be a tall task netting a win, but Syndergaard has been awesome this year and might not need one to provide a positive return on investing in him. “Thor” owns a 24.0% strikeout rate, just a 4.5% walk rate and his glowing underlying stats have helped fuel a 2.74 FIP and 3.11 xFIP that best his 3.59 ERA. The Dodgers are a tough assignment for a righty, and that will also drive down Syndergaard’s ownership, but he has the goods capable of carving up the lineup multiple times.
Others to Consider – Jesse Chavez ($7,000)
Brian McCann ($3,800) – New York Yankees – McCann’s home and road splits are like night and day since he joined the Yankees last year, and he loves some home cooking. In 393 plate appearances at Yankee Stadium since the beginning of last year, he owns a .277 ISO, .376 wOBA and 138 wRC+. With a left-handed batter park factor of 152 for homers and 112 for runs, per StatCorner, it’s easy to understand why he thrives there. Chris Archer will be one of the more popular pitchers to use tonight, and for good reason. By picking a player facing him you’ll be assuring yourself a player with low ownership.
Adam Lind ($4,600) – Milwaukee Brewers – Lind is priced around the elite first basemen today, and that should suppress his ownership quite a bit. The truth is, though, Lind is elite, at least when facing right-handed pitching. Since 2012, he’s tallied a .206 ISO, .387 wOBA and 145 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers. Rookie Michael Lorenzen makes for one of the better pitchers to target today (5.64 FIP and 4.94 xFIP) and Great American Ballpark will provide Lind a left-handed batter park factor of 151 for homers.
Joe Panik ($3,400) – San Francisco Giants – It probably won’t last for the duration of his career, but Panik sports a reverse platoon split and has hit lefties harder than righties thus far in his big league career. He makes a ton of contact and his ability to put the ball in play (11.8% strikeout rate) against lefties has helped fuel a .363 wOBA and 138 wRC+. Interestingly, Gio Gonzalez actually has a tiny reverse platoon split in his career, too. Gonzalez has allowed a .304 wOBA to lefties and a .301 wOBA to righties in his career. If you’re playing the all day slate, give Panik a look as a cheap second base option.
Maikel Franco ($4,200) – Philadelphia Phillies – Franco’s initial cup of coffee in the show was rather bitter, but it has been much tastier this time. Through 192 plate appearances he’s already reached the seats 10 times and totaled a .244 ISO. He’s the rare breed of power hitter who avoids strikeouts (14.6% strikeout rate). Rolling the dice on power against a fly-ball pitcher can often pay off in a big way, and with just a 40.0% ground-ball rate this year, Julio Teheran qualifies as a fly-ball pitcher.
Brandon Crawford ($3,700) – San Francisco Giants – Crawford began his big league career exhibiting a normal platoon split, but over the last few years he’s turned into a lefty masher. Since 2012, he owns a .130 ISO, .322 wOBA and 109 wRC+. Those numbers jump to a .190 ISO, .398 wOBA and 162 wRC+ if you just look at his work against lefties since the start of last year.
Michael Brantley ($4,500) – Cleveland Indians – Charlie Morton has allowed a .334 wOBA to left-handed batters this year. That’s bad news for him since he’s facing a lefty-laden Indians squad. Brantley hits right in the middle of things. Pinnacle Sports has the over/under at 3.5 runs for the Indians, but I’m more optimistic about their run scoring outlook tonight as a result of all the lefties they have in their lineup to throw at Morton. Having said that, Brantley should have great run production potential. He’s also a very good base stealer with nine this year and has some power, albeit not as much as he demonstrated last year.
Others to Consider – Brandon Moss ($4,100), Rougned Odor ($3,700), Chris Colabello ($3,400)