5 Under-the-Radar Daily Fantasy Baseball Plays for 4/15/16

There are several expensive outfielders in great matchups today, which may leave Lorenzo Cain a forgotten man.

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.

Joe Ross, SP, Washington Nationals

FanDuel Price: $7,200

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Joe Ross pitched well in his debut but will likely go overlooked among all of the pitching options today.

Zack Greinke has struggled to start the season but looked good after a rough first inning in his last start. He'll likely be a popular target against San Diego after they allowed Vincent Velasquez to look like Cy Young against them yesterday.

Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner are also both on the board and are certain to draw some ownership. Carlos Martinez pitched well in his debut and gets a matchup against a weak-hitting Reds lineup. The ownership should be spread out enough among all the pitchers that Ross goes somewhat overlooked.

Why You Should Use Him:

Ross was terrific in his first 76 Major League innings, but what was most impressive about his rookie season was his dominance against right-handers. Ross allowed just a .252 slugging percentage and .205 wOBA against righties, while posting a pristine 26.3 percent strikeout rate and 3.8 percent walk rate.

In his first start this season, Ross gave up one run in seven innings, also collecting five strikeouts and the win. He totaled 45 FanDuel points and could be looking at similar production tonight against a weak Phillies' lineup.

Philadelphia struggled against right-handers last season, posting a putrid .297 wOBA against righties, the worst mark in the league. They also posted the 10th-highest strikeout rate against righties, whiffing 20.9 percent of the time. So far this season, they have posted a 22.1 percent strikeout rate with just a 25.9 percent hard-hit rate.

Ross shouldn't grace your cash game lineups, but he is intriguing for tournaments.

Lorenzo Cain, OF, Kansas City Royals

FanDuel Price: $4,000

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Bryce HarperMike Trout, and Jose Bautista all are in terrific matchups and all should be popular options. Christian Yelich is also in a good matchup and has been red-hot to start the season. There are also several other viable value plays scattered throughout the outfield today and as a result, Lorenzo Cain will go overlooked, despite an excellent matchup of his own.

Why You Should Use Him:

Cain's opponent on the mound today will be Oakland's  Rich Hill, who has a career 4.15 SIERA and has struggled specifically with right-handed batters. Hill has allowed righties to post a higher slugging percentage and wOBA against him, as well as a lower strikeout rate, than lefties did. He also gave up a 44.4 percent fly-ball rate to righties, which explains why 51 of his 60 career home runs have come off of the bat of right-handers.

Cain performed better against left-handed pitching last season, raising his slugging percentage from .432 to .568, his ISO from .139 to .232, and his wOBA from .338 to .405. He also elevated his fly-ball rate from 28.7 percent to 36.3 percent, his line-drive rate from 21.3 percent to 26.8 percent, and his hard-hit rate from 30.7 percent to 35 percent.

Cain won't get near the attention that some of the top options do today, but his lower price and high upside make him a worthwhile tournament target.

Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox

FanDuel Price: $3,700

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

First base is always deep.  Jose Abreu has gotten off to a slow start this season, and the White Sox are projected for a low total according to Vegas, which will keep many off of him.

Why You Should Use Him:

Jake Odorizzi posted a respectable 3.9 SIERA last season, but his splits against right-handers offer plenty of reason for optimism for Abreu tonight. 13 of the 18 bombs he gave up came against righties, which makes a lot of sense when you examine his underlying stats.

Last season, Odorizzi saw his slugging percentage jump from .366 against lefties to .435 against righties and experienced similar splits down the line. His wOBA against rose from .273 to .324, his strikeout rate fell from 25.2 percent to 16.7 percent, his walk rate rose from 4.6 percent to 9.0 percent, and his fly-ball rate rose from 37 percent to 44.9 percent.

Similar to his counterpart Odorizzi, Abreu posted some reverse-splits last year, hitting right-handed pitching much better than left-handed pitching. Against righties, he elevated his slugging percentage from .352 to .548, his ISO from .120 to .240, and his wOBA .288 to .384. He also posted a 33.1 percent fly-ball rate and 34.2 percent hard-hit rate against righties, which helps to explain why 27 of his 30 home runs came against right-handed pitching.

Abreu comes at quite the discount today and possesses upside similar to that of the top-tier first basemen in this matchup. Use him liberally in tournaments tonight.

Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians

FanDuel Price: $3,100

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Jose Altuve and Daniel Murphy will likely be the chalk at second base today, which will leave Jason Kipnis overlooked once again.

Why You Should Use Him:

Kipnis will face right-handed pitcher  Bartolo Colon today, who posted a 4.02 SIERA last season, along with some poor splits against left-handed batters. Most encouraging for Kipnis' upside tonight is the 40.6 percent fly-ball rate Colon allowed to lefties.

Kipnis fared much better against right-handed pitching last season, raising his slugging percentage, ISO, wOBA, and hard-hit rate. He was even better at home against righties, as evidenced by the chart below.

Jason Kipnis SLG ISO Hard% wOBA
vs Left-Handed Pitching 0.377 0.127 30.4% 0.296
vs Right-Handed Pitching 0.496 0.161 30.7% 0.389
at Home vs Right-Handed Pitching 0.606 0.218 34.5% 0.458

Altuve and Murphy are much safer options for cash games, but Kipnis is intriguing in tournaments. Give him a look if you can't fit one of the expensive second basemen in your lineups.

Mitch Moreland, OF, Texas Rangers

FanDuel Price: $2,700

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

As mentioned previously, outfield is ripe with options tonight.  Mitch Moreland has really struggled this season and shouldn't see high ownership today.

Why You Should Use Him:

Right-hander  Vance Worley will be tasked with pitching to the lefty-heavy Rangers' lineup today, and considering his 2015 SIERA of 4.28 and splits against lefties, he could be in for a long day. Most specifically, Worley gave up a 41.7 percent fly-ball rate to lefties, as opposed to just a 28 percent fly-ball rate to right-handed hitters.

Moreland crushed right-handed pitching last season, elevating his slugging percentage from .387 against lefties to .528 against righties, his ISO from .142 to .234, his wOBA from .297 to .372, his hard-hit rate from 34.5 percent to 36.7 percent, and his fly-ball rate from 31.9 percent to 35.9 percent. He also cut down on his strikeout rate from 24 percent to 20.7 percent.

The Rangers have one of the highest implied team totals on the board today, and Moreland should be a big part of that, hitting in the heart of the order. He makes for an excellent tournament option tonight, especially if you're paying up at pitcher or for the elite outfielders.