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.
Jose Fernandez ($11,800) – Miami Marlins – Fernandez was limited to 69 pitches in his last start, and a pitch cap is likely to suppress his ownership tonight. Facing off with Max Scherzer should also take a bit out of his ownership rate. That said, he was brilliant on a pitch count in his last start against a Nationals squad he’s facing again tonight. In that start, he totaled five innings, allowing two hits, one walk, zero earned runs with seven strikeouts. He’s been great this year, striking out a whopping 31.9% of the batters he’s faced while totaling a 1.67 FIP, 2.44 xFIP and 2.63 SIERA.
Drew Smyly ($9,400) – Tampa Bay Rays – Smyly’s cost is approaching five figures, and there are a handful of other extremely talented hurlers getting the ball. I think that will help him slip through the cracks, but he shouldn’t. The lefty has missed significant time this year, but he’s been awesome when he’s been healthy. He owns a 27.9% strikeout rate, 3.93 FIP, 3.34 xFIP and 3.12 SIERA. His opponent, the Orioles, provide him a big strikeout ceiling, too. According to FanGraphs, the O’s have struck out in 23.2% of their plate appearances this season.
Others to Consider – Mike Fiers ($8,700), Marcus Stroman ($7,000)
Travis d’Arnaud ($4,100) – New York Mets – Paying up for catchers in GPPs is typically a contrarian move, and doing so for a catcher who’s facing a talented starting pitcher is without a question a low-ownership move. d’Arnaud has missed significant time this year, but he’s been awesome when healthy, even against right-handed pitchers. In 2015, he has a .222 ISO, .358 wOBA and 132 wRC+ against same-handed pitching counterparts.
Joey Votto ($5,700) – Cincinnati Reds – Votto’s suspension remains on hold as he’s filed an appeal and the appeal hasn’t been heard. As long as the hearing doesn’t take place today or he doesn’t drop his appeal, he’s a dreamy selection. The Reds are at Miller Park tonight, where the left-handed batter park factors are 130 for homers and 110 for runs scored, per StatCorner, and he’s facing a rookie pitcher, Zach Davies. He’s on fire in the second half, and there’s little reason to think the rookie slows down the veteran in this matchup.
Odubel Herrera ($3,400) – Philadelphia Phillies- In a year of great rookie performances, it’s easy to overlook Herrera’s production for the lowly Phillies. He’s hit lefties and righties at an above average level, but tonight, we’re concerned with what he’s done against righties. This year, he has a .331 wOBA and 108 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers. He’s facing another rookie tonight, Williams Perez, and Perez has been exceptionally giving to lefties. The right-handed pitcher has surrendered a .385 wOBA to lefties.
Miguel Cabrera ($4,100) – Detroit Tigers – It’s not often that Cabrera can be had on the cheap and also considered a contrarian pick. He’s scuffling lately with zero hits in his last 19 plate appearances. Come on, though, are you really worried about Miggy? Speaking of scuffling, Johnny Cueto has made nine starts for the Royals and totaled a 4.30 FIP and 4.02 xFIP while striking out only 16.9% of the batters he’s faced. I like Cabrera’s odds of snapping out of his funk a lot better than the odds of Cueto righting the ship this evening.
Corey Seager ($3,400) – Los Angeles Dodgers – Seager hasn’t wilted under the bright lights of The Show. Because he’s new to the big leagues, there’s a limited sample size of data to work with, and many gamers might not be aware he owned a reverse platoon split in the minors. In 1,040 plate appearances against righties he tallied a respectable .199 ISO and .881 OSP in the minors, per Minor League Central, but those numbers ballooned to a .296 ISO and 1.011 OPS in 374 plate appearances against southpaws. His reverse platoon split lines up nicely with Jeff Locke’s modest reverse platoon split.
Matt Kemp ($5,200) – San Diego Padres – Kemp might be the least contrarian selection in this article since he’s playing at Coors Field, but I expect him to be lower owned than Carlos Gonzalez (if he returns to the lineup) and Charlie Blackmon. Kemp’s season is a tale of two halves. He struggled in the first half of the year, but he’s scalding hot down the stretch. In the second half, he has a .252 ISO, .377 wOBA and 144 wRC+. He’ll be awarded the standard Coors Field park factors boost, but he’ll also enjoy facing Chad Bettis. Bettis has yielded a .392 wOBA to the 355 right-handed batters he’s faced in his career.
Others to Consider – Paul Goldschmidt ($4,300), Brandon Crawford ($3,700)