Mad Max’s GPP Rundown

Welcome to the first edition of Mad Max’s GPP Rundown. Eventually, this article will be restricted to premium members, but for now it will be offered to everyone on the main page of So take advantage while it’s still free!

The purpose of this article is not to evaluate who might be the best plays of the night, but to predict ownership and usage and find the guys who could help you win big in a GPP lineup, and avoid the players who will be highly owned without good enough reason. Winning a GPP is all about lineup construction, so hopefully you can learn some things about how to approach a GPP in this article that will help change you into a tournament crusher.

Pitching Analysis:

We’re sitting on 2000 horsepower of nitro-boosted war machine

There are a lot of great pitchers playing tonight, and I think on nights like this being aware of ownership matters a lot. On another night, Sonny Gray might be the clear choice, but tonight, he’s 4th or 5th at best. Most of the pitchers are close tonight, so here are my thoughts on what to do.

Not quite a fade:

Corey Kluber (FanDuel Price: $11,100, DraftKings Price: $10,900)

Kluber started off struggling this season, but is on an absolute tear as of late and actually looks even better than he did last year. Coming in so hot, he’s likely the highest used pitcher tonight (and also the best choice in my opinion), but with so many options I don’t think we see a sky high ownership for Kluber, especially on FanDuel. On DraftKings however, I’m going to try to restrict myself a bit on using him, I think his ownership touches 50% which is just way too high with all these options.

Again, let me emphasize that I think Corey Kluber is the best pitcher tonight, I just think he’s someone you should consider fading on DraftKings for tournaments because of high ownership levels.

GPP Target:

Max Scherzer (FanDuel Price: $11,600, DraftKings Price: $12,000)

Scherzer may be the best pitcher in baseball, but he’s going to have very low ownership tonight on the road against the Yankees with such a high price. When you have a situation like this, I think it’s important to have some exposure, especially with Scherzer who has such high upside. And honestly, is spending a couple thousand extra on Scherzer really going to hurt you? There aren’t a lot of high priced compelling hitters tonight anyway, and with 15 games I think you can make a lineup with plenty of low-priced hitters that goes off.


Carlos Rodon (DraftKings Price: $5,800) and Francisco Liriano (FanDuel Price: $9,500, DraftKings Price: $9,700)

I think you’ll see quite a few players go with Rodon on DraftKings. He’s a young, high strikeout pitcher with a great price. But I think it’s a pretty foolish play. He doesn’t have the upside of other pitchers tonight, even against the Astros (he’s no Chris Sale) and I don’t see the need to save the money and use him. My bet is the winning GPP lineup will have two pitchers $9,000+. My guess is his ownership is around 20%.

As for Liriano, with the Brewers lineup pretty healthy right now they are not as good of a matchup as they were earlier in the season. And against several power hitting righties, Liriano could easily tank in this game. He has a great price on both sites, but that’s exactly why I’m avoiding him, he’ll have an ownership level of over 30%.


Hitter Analysis:

“What are you doing?”


“To who?”

“Anyone that’s listening!”

One thing that you’ve probably noticed about 1/3 of the way through the MLB season is there is a ridiculous amount of variance when choosing hitters. Sometimes you are just sure a hitter is going to crush, and he ends up going 0-4 with 4 strikeouts (I’m talking to you Giancarlo Stanton). So when picking hitters in GPPs, we want to usually fade the players who are expected to have high ownership and find high upside players who are certain to have low ownership.

On a 15 game slate like today, no hitter is going to have really high ownership, so I’ll stick with those hitters who should be low-owned.


GPP Targets:

Matt Carpenter – Seeing the left on left matchup today, with Carpenter completely disappointing yesterday, and a high price, I think he’ll be wildly underused on both sites. The left on left matchup is a cause for concern, but Jorge de la Rosa has barely averaged 4 innings per start this year, so in all likelihood Carpenter will see the lefty in less than half of his ABs. On top of this, De La Rosa has injury concerns. I think Carpenter could be in for an awesome game.

Jonathan Lucroy – With many players going with Francisco Liriano tonight, I think it’s a great time to use Lucroy. He has a left on right matchup, is very well priced on both sites, and should be owned less than 5%, possibly less than 2%.

Jay Bruce – Aaron Harang is overachieving and in his career has been very home run prone. He also doesn’t hold baserunners well. It’s a perfect matchup for a power hitter with some speed in Bruce, and I think he gets overlooked because of the favoritism towards Cardinals and Rockies outfielders tonight, especially on DraftKings.

Albert Pujols – Pujols is totally off the radar tonight, I doubt he gets more than 3-4% ownership, but he does have a great pitch type matchup. Pujols has mashed 4-seam fastballs in his career, and Nate Karns is a heavy 4-seam thrower. Plays like this are some of my favorite because Pujols appears to have nothing going for him to the common DFSer, but has great upside.


Contrarian Stacks:

Finding the the right team to stack is crucial to winning GPPs, especially if you find one that most will overlook. Here are a few a really like:

Cardinals (All the lefties): It’s not like the Cardinals will be overlooked tonight, they will be one of the most common stacks, but there are hitters that will be underused on their team. DFS players hate using lefty on lefty matchups, so players like Kolten Wong, Jason Heyward and Matt Carpenter will probably be avoided somewhat in stacks. For the same reason I like Carpenter, I like all these lefties even with a bad matchup and I think a stack involving all these players will be very contrarian.

Astros: I think the Astros will get some burn tonight, but if I’m right about the ownership levels of Carlos Rodon, they are going to be underused. Rodon is the perfect pitcher to target a stack against, he’s young with blow up potential, and has been bad at holding baserunners in his short career. Make sure to include Jose Altuve and George Springer in every Astros stack you got.

Reds: I think savvy DFS players will be on this stack, but in the lower stakes tournaments my bet is the Reds will be an underused stack. Aaron Harang is overachieving big time, and should fall back to earth any minute now.


Hope you enjoyed this article. There will be many, many more to come. With lots of big tournaments on both DraftKings and FanDuel today, good luck and win big!

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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