Mad Max’s DraftKings Summer Games Rundown

I really hope you guys have been enjoying my articles so far. I can’t emphasize enough how important proper GPP strategy is, especially for someone new to baseball. Even if you’re not great at evaluating hitters, with good tournament strategy you can easily overcome that flaw and be a quick winner in MLB. GPPs are the most profitable form of DFS there is–if you do them right.

Tonight is a big tournament day on DraftKings, so my GPP article is going to be completely DraftKings focused. Sorry to all those FanDuel fans out there.

DraftKings GPP strategy is a little different than FanDuel GPP strategy because of position flexibility on DraftKings (players like Miguel Cabrera can be used at both 1B and 3B) and the ability to choose 2 pitchers for one lineup.  Because of this, we usually see Pitchers and Hitters with very high ownership even on 15 game slates like tonight.

As always, this article is not about who the best overall plays are at each position. It’s about predicting ownership and finding the right guys to play and fade. All this advice should be used sparingly, fading a guy here or peppering one of my GPP plays into a lineup or two. As Robert Downey Jr. said in Tropic Thunder, “Don’t go full retard.”


High Used Pitchers:

I think there will be three pitchers with high ownership tonight, and it’s possible that one of these guys will be used by upwards of 60%-70% of the field in the Summer Games Main Event. While I don’t recommend avoiding any of these pitchers completely, try not to use two of these guys in the same lineup, and if you do, make sure you’re using some contrarian plays at hitter.

Masahiro Tanaka ($10,600) – This one is a tough to call. Tanaka is great when he’s on his game, and he’s shown signs of being back in form, having quality games in his last 2. His matchup is good against the Marlins as well, but he is on the road. I think he gets at least 35% ownership, and it’s possible this number could be way, way higher (I could see 70%). I think DFSers like to see recent quality play, and Tanaka has given them just that. He’s a favorite in a low over/under game as well.

My thoughts here? I think Tanaka is a solid play, but does have a chance at a blow up here. I think chances are his ownership levels are way too high, so I’m going to use him sparingly.

Francisco Liriano ($10,000) – This one I’m a little more comfortable with predicting. I think Liriano gets 35-55% ownership and I’d bet good money on that. He’s clearly a solid play at home against the White Sox, and he’s been great this year. I think he has a high floor, so there’s no reason to avoid him.

Dallas Keuchel ($9,600) – With the lowest price point of the top three but also the lowest ceiling, Keuchel should have pretty high ownership, but likely in the same range as Liriano at 35-60%. My guess is closer to 50-60% if I had to bet. The Rockies are have been horrible against lefties this season, with a 25.7% K rate and a .672 OPS, so it’s a great matchup for Keuchel. Keuchel seems like a solid play and I don’t see a reason to avoid him.


Mad Max’s GPP Pitcher:

Noah Syndergaard ($8,200) – Coming off two poor games, and with talk of the Mets moving Syndergaard to the bullpen, I can see why players may be scared to play Syndergaard tonight. His matchup looks poor on paper, but I actually think it’s pretty good for a few reasons. 1) Syndergaard strikes out a lot more righties than lefties, and the Blue Jays is a righty heavy lineup. 2) The Blue Jays are moving from a hitters park to a pitchers park, hitters like Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista simply won’t be as good. 3) The Blue Jays are playing in an NL park, their pitchers are going to have to hit making their lineup even weaker.

Syndergaard also has a great price, so I’m thinking of loading up on him tonight. With such high strikeout upside, I think he’s the perfect GPP play.


High Used Hitters:

We have a weird scenario building here. The Tigers game looks like it may be postponed, and they had the highest run projection tonight. I think that leaves some players scrambling, and we’ll see some higher usage here than normal.

Joey Gallo (3B, $3,800) – Gallo is red-hot and has a great price. With Miguel Cabrera not an option at 3B with his game likely postponed, I think Gallo gets ridiculous ownership. Gallo is the perfect type of player to fade in this scenario, he’s a total boom or bust power hitter who is just as likely to strikeout 4 times than hit a HR. Fade him for another high upside 3B and it could pay off big time.

Chris Davis (1B/3B, $4,200) – With position flexibility, a great matchup, and a great price, I think Davis is used upwards of 25% tonight. He’s a total boom or bust play like Gallo, and could easily put up a 0. It’s not a bad idea to lower your Ranger and Oriole stack exposure because of this. If neither player puts up a good game, you will have a sick, sick edge on the field.

Mike Trout (OF, $5,700) – Because of Trout’s price, it will be interesting to see what kind of usage he gets, but my guess is 15-25%. DFSers love to target great right handers against weak left handed pitching, and that’s exactly what we have here with Trout against Robbie Ray. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great matchup for Trout, but I think there are plenty of high salary outfielders with high potential here and most will immediately go for Trout. Players like Andrew McCutchen or Yasiel Puig are just as likely to have big games.


GPP Hitting Targets:

These are players or stacks I think will be under-owned, high-upside, and great plays for GPPs.

Pirates Stack with Andrew McCutchen ($5,000) – The Pirates don’t have the greatest run projection here, but I think this is the perfect match up for them. The Pirates elite hitters are all right-handed base-stealers, and Carlos Rodon is a young lefty who’s been horrible at holding runners in his short career. There is definitely blow up potential here, and our lineup also plays well into a Trout fade since we’ll be using both Starling Marte and McCutchen, who are high-salary hitters who should have low-ownership tonight.

Mike Moustakas (3B, $3,900) – As a flyball power hitter, Moustakas has the perfect park change here going to HR friendly Miller Park. He’ll be overlooked because everyone will be on Joey Gallo and Chris Davis’ nuts. Moustakas is the perfect GPP play tonight.

Dexter Fowler (OF, $4,100) – Most DFSers completely overlook SB matchup when making their picks, so I’m certain Fowler will be low-owned here. Most people won’t be looking to target hitters against Trevor Bauer, but he’s been poor at holding runners in his career. Fowler is one of the only base-stealers on the team and his chances of getting an SB increase significantly with Bauer on the mound. Fowler also has some power, so playing him doesn’t limit the upside of your lineup.

Albert Pujols (1B, $4,900) – I don’t think Pujols will be low-owned tonight, but I do think he’s a fantastic play and it’s not because he’s facing a lefty. Pujols has mashed 4-seam fastballs in his career and Robbie Ray throws over 70% 4-seams. It literally can not get any better for Albert, I recommend spending up to play him. At a better hitters park, I might guarantee a HR.

That’s all folks. Good luck tonight and make sure to tweet me @maxjsteinberg if you have any questions about this article.

View all posts by Max J Steinberg
Max J Steinberg

About the Author

Max J Steinberg Max Steinberg is a professional poker player and a top Daily Fantasy player who uses his creativity and mathematical abilities he cultivated as a poker player to win money on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He already has several big tournament scores to his name including the Victiv Bowl and countless MLB Monster wins. Follow him on twitter @maxjsteinberg.

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