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($8,800) – Cleveland Indians – Chris Sale will be the most popular hurler on the hill tonight, but others such as Jacob deGrom, Sonny Gray and Lance McCullers will get their share of love, too. Carrasco might fly slightly below the radar, and that’s largely due to a 4.38 ERA that flies in stark contrast to his 2.67 FIP and 2.85 xFIP. The righty misses bats at a high rate with a 27.4% strikeout rate, is stingy with the walks (5.8% walk rate) and keeps the ball on the ground at a high rate (47.2% according to FanGraphs). The Indians are a sizable betting favorite at home against the Rays, and the Rays struggle mightily with right-handed pitchers ranking in the bottom half of the league in wRC+ against them and striking out at the seventh highest rate (21.0%). The upside is immense for Carrasco.
Matt Wisler ($6,100) – Atlanta Braves – The rookie righty gets his first big league turn in the rotation, and he has a soft matchup with the Mets. They rank 23rd in wRC+ (89) against right-handed pitchers and are posting the 10th highest strikeout rate (20.6%). Wisler’s 4.29 ERA at the Triple-A level doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence, but his 3.33 FIP does. The highly touted prospect has two pitches that FanGraphs grades as above average currently in his fastball and slider, and his repertoire has depth with a curveball and changeup that grade out just a wee bit below average. A quality start is attainable and it would be plenty to pay off his modest cost.
Matt Wieters($4,100) – Baltimore Orioles – There is a game at Coors Field, and the reality is that means anyone selected outside of the thin air in Denver can be considered contrarian tonight. My favorite swerve at backstop is Wieters. The switch-hitting catcher has raked against righties since the start of last year. Yes, that sample size is small (117), but it is amazing (.234 ISO, .408 wOBA and 164 wRC+). Playing at the Rogers Centre and facing Marco Estrada are pluses as well, but I’ll expand on those in a bit.
Joey Votto ($4,700) – Cincinnati Reds – At a loaded position like first base, it never feels like Votto gets his due. He’s at home tonight, and I’m here to shower him with praise. Since 2012, he’s tallied a .203 ISO, .417 wOBA and 167 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers. He’s piled up those gaudy number partly due his discerning eye (19.5% walk rate and 16.7% strikeout rate), but he’s also done it as a result of squaring seemingly everything up (28.5% line drive rate and 1.7% infield fly ball rate, per FanGraphs, against righties in that time frame). Sticking to the theme of today’s article, foreshadowing, I also love the ballpark he’s hitting in and the matchup with Dan Haren, but I’ll expand on those points later.
Jimmy Paredes ($4,000) – Baltimore Orioles – Circling back to the Rogers Centre and Estrada, as promised, the two add to the appeal of using O’s. Paredes, like Wieters, is a switch-hitter. He’ll be hitting lefty tonight and backed by park factors of 122 for doubles/triples and homers, according to StatCorner. As for Estrada, he’s coughed up a 1.41 HR/9 to left-handed batters since 2012. Paredes regularly hits second for the O’s when he’s in the lineup, putting him in a great spot for run production, and he’s been better against righties than lefties this year totaling a 137 wRC+ and .369 wOBA against righties.
Josh Donaldson ($4,900) – Toronto Blue Jays- Don’t worry, right-handed batters don’t get cheated at Rogers Centre (park factors of 113 for doubles/triples, 121 for homers and 103 for runs). Donaldson rightfully gets tons of love when he faces a lefty since he’s one of the best hitters in baseball when facing one, but he also gets unfairly overlooked against righties. Since 2012, he has a .164 ISO, .339 wOBA and 118 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers and he faces a scuffling rookie, Mike Wright. The over/under run total in Toronto is only a half run below that at Coors Field, and with the Blue Jays serving as a big-ish betting favorite, they’re expected to do the heavy lifting.
Jhonny Peralta ($3,800) – St. Louis Cardinals – Troy Tulowitzki and uber-prospect/rookie Carlos Correa will likely be the most popular options at shortstop, and that makes Peralta a strong pivot. He’s assumed the third spot in the order for the injury ravaged Cardinals, and he’s a pitcher, Phillippe Aumont, who has been jerked back and forth between starting and relieving. He hasn’t had much success doing either at the big league level, and the southpaw looks like one of the weaker starters getting the ball tonight. Throw in that Peralta is better against lefties than righties and the eye-popping 162 park factor for homers for right-handed batters at Citizens Bank Park, and you’ve got a very high ceiling option at shortstop in Peralta.
Jay Bruce ($4,200) – Cincinnati Reds – Let’s round out the main picks with a trip back to Great American Ballpark (GAB). GAB is home to a left-handed batter park factor of 151 for homers. Does that seem like a good park for Haren to take his fly-ball tendencies (48.7% fly-ball rate this year)? Bruce has terrorized right-handed pitchers at home in his career tallying a .260 ISO, .374 wOBA and 133 wRC+ and he’s been better than that this year with a .260 ISO, .395 wOBA and 151 wRC+.
Others to Consider – Christian Yelich ($4,200), Travis Snider ($3,600)