MLB DFS Contrarian Stacks Today: Back the Mets Against Taijuan Walker (May 16)

Ahead of a massive MLB slate on Friday, we have a small five-gamer tonight that locks early at 6:40p.m. ET on DraftKings. Using Stokastic’s MLB DFS Top Stack and Top Pitchers tools, let’s dive into the player pool to discuss the best MLB DFS contrarian picks and stacks for today’s action.

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MLB DFS Contrarian Picks Today: Thursday, May 16

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MLB DFS Contrarian Pitcher

Reds-Dodgers: Nick Martinez

Stokastic’s Top 2 Pitcher Rate
DraftKings: 6.3%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $7,600

Unlike the past couple of days where good pitching options were plentiful, tonight’s arms (outside of Tyler Glasnow) don’t inspire much confidence at all. We’re still forced to roster two pitchers on DraftKings, however, and Reds right-hander Nick Martinez has emerged as the top contrarian arm on the board. Although picking on the Dodgers is often a fool’s errand, Martinez is getting completely forgotten about on a slate where all of the options leave a lot to be desired.

Considering he’s only made four starts this season and is facing the Dodgers, it’s not all that surprising that Martinez isn’t picking up much ownership. Martinez has a mediocre 4.86 ERA and .326 WOBA in his first season in Cincinnati. His underlying numbers are much better, however, as his 3.64 xERA and .307 xWOBA indicate a pitcher who’s due for some positive regression. While it’s a tough ask to expect that regression to come against Los Angeles, most of the pitchers who are getting love tonight also come with major question marks.

Martinez is expected to serve as the Reds’ bulk reliever behind opener Brent Suter tonight, so while there might be some concern over how deep he can go, that concern is essentially negated by the fact that he will presumably miss Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman the first time through the order.

As of this writing, Martinez is the clear top-leverage pitcher in Stokastic’s Top Pitchers Tool. He is projected to be a top-2 pitcher 6.3% of the time, but only 1.0% of the field is expected to click his name. Those numbers don’t even account for the leverage against the popular Dodgers bats, only making Martinez look that much better.

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MLB DFS Contrarian Stack

Mets-Phillies: Mets

Stokastic’s Top Stack Projection
DraftKings: 9.4%
Ownership Projection
DraftKings: 10.6%

Unlike at pitcher where ownership is heavily concentrated on Glasnow, ownership on stacks is really spread out, with only three offenses projected for less than double-digit ownership. As of this writing, only two offenses are projected to be underowned according to Stokastic’s tools. Though both the Dodgers and Astros are coming in with positive leverage, they are also projected to be two of the highest-owned stacks on the slate. The Mets don’t offer a ton of leverage when looking strictly at their top stack and ownership percentages. However, a matchup with a popular Taijuan Walker is too good to pass up.

This play is more of a play against Walker’s ownership than is it on the Mets themselves. When looking at the pitching options across the board tonight, it’s understandable why the field is prioritizing a $6,300 Walker against the Mets. Walker is averaging 15.9 DraftKings points per game, and he’s been especially good recently with 39.6 fantasy points over his past two starts combined. Although his game log looks decent, the problem with Walker is that he’s just not very good. With his velocity down, not only is Walker not missing bats, but he’s also getting barreled at an extremely high rate. His 4.82 ERA shouldn’t inspire much confidence, and he’s been getting lucky, as evidenced by his 5.89 xERA.

Though the Mets are coming up neutral in Stokastic’s tools, they are in a prime leverage spot against a pitcher who is only getting ownership because of his price tag and the lack of other viable options.

Other Contrarian Stacks to Consider

Pirates, Cubs, Reds (very unlikely to work out, but Glasnow will be extremely highly owned)

Stokastic runs over some of the best MLB DFS contrarian picks and stacks for daily fantasy baseball lineups like one...

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Matt Belman graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Consumer Behavior. He has been playing and analyzing DFS full time since 2018. He has qualified for the 2023 DraftKings NBA World Championship (5x), the 2023 DraftKings MLB World Championship (2x), the 2023 FanDuel MLB World Championship (2x) and the 2023 DraftKings NFL World Championship. You can find him on X at @fantasytipsmatt.

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