6 Under-the-Radar Daily Fantasy Baseball Plays for 4/12/16

Kendrys Morales' matchup today gives him a terrific opportunity to continue his recent hot streak.

If you have played daily fantasy sports for a while, you realize by now the importance of being contrarian, especially in large-field tournaments. Being able to recognize which players are going to be owned by the majority of the field and to find players who you think have a similar point projection but will come at much lower ownership can really separate yourself from your opponents.

The purpose of this article will be to bring you some high-upside players who will likely go overlooked and give you an edge.

Jose Fernandez, SP, Miami Marlins

FanDuel Price: $10,900

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Jose Fernandez is priced in between Noah Syndergaard and Corey Kluber, who both have better matchups. He is also coming off of a loss in which he gave up five runs.

Why You Should Use Him:

Fernandez gave up five runs on just five hits and one walk in his first start, which is not an easy thing to do. He was a victim of some questionable fielding, as well as some bad luck on batted balls in play. He posted a bloated .500 BABIP and an unsustainably low left-on-base percentage of 21.7 percent, both of which are due for correction. He allowed just a 22.2 percent hard hit rate, too, so it isn't as if hitters were teeing off on him.

Everything else from his first start was actually better than his career numbers. His strikeout rate, swinging strike rate, first pitch strike rate, and walk rate were all improved. His SIERA and xFIP both suggest that he pitched well enough to have allowed one run, or even pitched a shutout.

So, should you be concerned about the five run implosion? No! It's Jose Fernandez! Instead, let's focus on the fact that 13 of his 17 recorded outs came via the punchout!

With FanDuel awarding four points for each strikeout (three for the strikeout, one for the one-third inning pitched), Fernandez's ridiculous bat-missing ability cannot be overstated in tournaments.

The Mets were below average against righties last season, ranking 20th in wOBA against right-handed pitching. Since then, they've added Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera, both of whom posted much higher strikeout rates against righties than lefties in 2015.

Fernandez has pitched well against New York in his career, too, posting a career 1.64 ERA in four starts against the Mets, with 27 strikeouts in 22 innings.

Syndergaard may be the safer choice in cash-formats against a Marlins team that struggles against right-handers, but Fernandez is the top tournament option on the slate -- bar none.

Mark Teixeira, 1B, New York Yankees

FanDuel Price: $3,300

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

First base is a loaded position, and people are scared of targeting players against Aaron Sanchez after how dominant he looked in his first start.

Why You Should Use Him:

Any time Teixeira draws a matchup against a righty, you need to give him consideration in tournaments because he has the biggest difference between his splits against lefties and righties than any power hitter in the Majors.

Last season, 25 of his 31 home runs came against righties, which isn't at all surprising when you consider the underlying numbers. Teixeira elevated his wOBA from .342 to .399 against righties, but where the differences really become noticeable are his power numbers.

He posted a .413 slugging percentage against lefties and an absurd .609 slugging percentage against righties. His ISO against righties jumps off the page at .339, as opposed to .190 against lefties. He also had a 38.6 percent hard hit rate and 45.7 percent fly ball rate against righties.

His opponent today, Aaron Sanchez, gave up nine homers last season, all to lefties. His slugging percentage jumped from .194 to .488 against lefties, and his wOBA jumped from .205 to .380 against lefties. Sanchez also pounds his fastball 69.2 percent of the time, which bodes well for Teixeiera, who was the Yankees' second best fastball hitter last year, posting a 4.56 wFB/C.

Corey Spangenberg, 2B, San Diego Padres

FanDuel Price: $3,200

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Daniel Murphy and Jose Altuve will be the chalk at second base, while Cory Spangenberg will go overlooked, even in an appealing matchup.

Why You Should Use Him:

Spangeburg and the Padres will square off against @Charlie MortoCharlie Morton, who put up respectable numbers last year, but really struggled against lefties. His slugging percentage against jumped from .348 to .506, while his wOBA jumped from .275 to .384.

Enter Spangenberg, the Padres' best left-handed hitter. Spangenburg has started off the season hot, averaging 12.4 FanDuel points per game, and has some pretty encouraging splits against righties for today's matchup. His career slugging percentage against righties is .423, as opposed to .363 against lefties. His ISO jumped from .075 to .157, while his hard hit rate jumped from 22.6 percent to 26 percent.

This game will also be played at Citizens Bank Park, which has the eleventh highest park factor over the past three years, and the highest HR-park factor over that time. Spangenberg makes for an interesting pivot off of Murphy and Altuve in tournaments.

Kendrys Morales, 1B, Kansas City Royals

FanDuel Price: $3,000

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

First base is always loaded, and most daily fantasy players will target Eric Hosmer before Kendrys Morales if they are taking a Royals first baseman.

Why You Should Use Him:

Morales' opponent on the mound today will be  Mike Fiers, who was effective at times last year but struggled against right-handed batters. Fiers allowed righties to hit for a higher slugging percentage and wOBA, while also walking more frequently. Righties also posted a 44.9 percent fly ball rate against Fiers, which bodes well for Morales, who posted 37.2 percent fly ball rate against righties last season.

Morales experienced similar splits against righties across the board, raising his slugging percentage from .412 to .538 against righties, while raising his ISO from .113 to .254. Morales' hard hit rate rose to 38.3 percent against righties last year too. All of these stats used in conjunction offer an easy explanation as to why Morales hit 18 of his 22 home runs against right-handed pitchers last season.

Morales has two home runs in his last three games and will look to make that three out of four tonight. Give him a look in tournaments.

Jed Lowrie, 2B, Oakland Athletics

FanDuel Price: $2,400

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Second base has several viable options tonight, and Jed Lowrie and the Athletics are only projected to score 3.8 runs.

Why You Should Use Him:

Lowrie will hit in the middle of the order for Oakland today against Hector Santiago, who posted a 4.50 SIERA last season and struggled mightily against right-handed hitters, surrendering 26 of his 29 home runs to righties. Lowrie is a switch hitter but will bat from the right side of the plate against the lefty, Santiago, today.

Lowrie hit much better as a right-hander last season, elevating his slugging percentage from .353 to .533, his ISO from .147 to .267, and his wOBA from .273 to .388. Lowrie also posted a 47.1 percent fly ball rate against lefties, which is encouraging considering Santiago allowed righties to post a 55.8 percent fly ball rate against him.

Lowrie is not a safe play by any means, but there is a decent chance that one of those fly balls carries over the fence, which would easily hit value at his price. It's not often you can get a cheap second baseman who hits in the middle of the lineup and has power potential.

Franklin Gutierrez, OF, Seattle Mariners

FanDuel Price: $2,300

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Carlos Gonzalez and Bryce Harper will both be very popular, and there are several other viable options in the outfield today. Franklin Gutierrez has just one hit on the season and is very unlikely to be a popular target tonight.

Why You Should Use Him:

Gutierrez absolutely terrorized left-handed pitching last season. The right-hander posted a .298 ISO against lefties, as well as a .411 wOBA, 44.2 percent hard hit rate, and a ridiculous 30.8 percent HR/FB ratio. His opponent today, Derek Holland, just happens to be left-handed.

Last season, Holland had some seriously concerning splits against right-handers. 10 of the 11 homers he allowed came off of the bat of righties, while his slugging percentage against rose from .415 to .511. He also posted just a 14.4 percent strikeout rate against righties, as opposed to a 27.9 percent mark against lefties. He held lefties to a 20.7 percent fly ball rate, while righties were able to loft the ball 38 percent of the time against him.

This is all very promising for Gutierrez, who is a very cheap and contrarian source of power potential tonight. You can also pair Gutierrez with Nelson Cruz, who will likely be much lower owned than Bryce Harper and possesses some nasty splits versus lefties himself.