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

Adam Jones' price has dropped significantly during his early-season slump. Can a matchup with CC Sabathia help him return to form?

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.

Carlos Rodon, SP, Chicago White Sox

FanDuel Price: $8,000

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Carlos Rodon is a very volatile pitcher and is pitching against Boston, who is perceived as one of the league's premier offenses.

Why You Should Use Him:

Rodon has been very effective outside of one horrible start. In his other four starts, Rodon has a 2.67 ERA and has 26 strikeouts in 26.2 innings.

His opponent tonight, the Red Sox, has been excellent against right-handed pitching this season, ranking second in wOBA. It has been a much different story against lefties, though. Boston ranks 28th in wOBA against left-handers and has the 5th-highest strikeout rate against southpaws. Just last night, they allowed lefty Jose Quintana to throw eight innings of one-run ball.

Rodon shouldn't go anywhere near your cash game rosters, but his combination of upside and low ownership makes him intriguing in tournaments.

Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, New York Yankees

FanDuel Price: $3,100

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Jacoby Ellsbury and the Yankees have struggled to begin the season. He's unlikely to be a popular option tonight.

Why You Should Use Him:

While Ellsbury hasn't looked like his usual self, we may have a chance to see vintage Ellsbury in tonight's matchup against right-hander Tyler Wilson.

The Yankees can stack their lineup full of lefties, and Vegas has this game being a scoring barrage for New York. Ellsbury, who has hit righties much better throughout his career, will be hitting leadoff and have plenty of run-scoring opportunities against Wilson.

Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore Orioles

FanDuel Price: $2,700

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Adam Jones should be popular and is hitting in the middle of the order for the team with the second-highest implied team total, but he has really struggled this season and disappointed in similar spots. It's unlikely he is as popular as he should be in this matchup at this price.

Why You Should Use Him:

This pick is really all about Jones' opponent, CC Sabathia. Sabathia owned a 4.08 SIERA last season and was absolutely horrendous against right-handed batters. Facing a team boasting right-handers Manny Machado, Adam Jones, and Mark Trumbo in the middle of the order, I'd have to agree with Vegas' assessment that Sabathia is in for a long day.

Jones has hit lefties better in his career and has had no problem with Sabathia historically. He owns a .311 batting average with 4 home runs in 19 career games against Sabathia.

The Orioles are projected for 4.7 runs, which is the second-most on the slate. Hitting third, Jones should be a big part of that.

Steve Pearce, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

FanDuel Price: $2,300

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Steve Pearce is a part-time player, and the Rays' 4.1 implied run total doesn't stand out. He likely won't see the ownership he should at this price.

Why You Should Use Him:

Lefty Alex Wood isn't a bad pitcher, but when he faces right-handers, he sure looks like one. His wOBA against jumped from .274 against lefties to .429 last season, while his wOBA jumped from .228 to .343.

Pearce, a right-hander, crushes lefties and will likely hit cleanup for Tampa Bay's lineup that features eight right-handed bats. Wood could be in for a long day, and Pearce could be a very cheap way to get exposure to the potential run-scoring explosion.

Justin Smoak, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays

FanDuel Price: $2,200

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Justin Smoak hasn't done much this season and hits in the bottom half of the order. He may get some buzz with Toronto projected for the highest run total, especially coming off of a two-home run game. It's unlikely he is overly popular at a loaded first base position, though.

Why You Should Use Him:

Smoak hit his first two homers of the season last night, both coming off of right-handed pitchers. Tonight, he'll face an even weaker righty, in Colby Lewis. Lewis posted an ugly 4.43 SIERA last season and was specifically woeful against batters of the left-handed variety.

Smoak has tormented Lewis in their past meetings, hitting .438 with 2 home runs in five games against him. This should come as no surprise, considering Smoak hits considerably better against right-handed pitching.

Toronto has the highest implied team total on the slate, and Smoak is an interesting way to get cheap exposure to those runs.