Mad Max’s GPP Rundown (6/12)

“You’re never gonna have a better chance.”
“At what?”

Welcome back for another round of Mad Max’s GPP Rundown. My first crack at this article on Tuesday had some mixed results. My call to play Max Scherzer failed, but I was correct that his usage would be extremely low (He was under 3% owned on FanDuel). My Albert Pujols call worked out very well, he hit a HR, while Matt Carpenter did absolutely nothing. But in the end, that’s the point of this article, I’m suggesting plays that may blow up in our faces, but on the right night will have enormous benefits.

One thing I’d like to get into before I talk about my picks is what makes a good GPP lineup. I had several messages and tweets on Tuesday from people who showed me a lineup of Matt Carpenter, Albert Pujols, and Max Scherzer with the caption, “Don’t you love this lineup!?”

No, actually, I hate that lineup.

What makes a great GPP lineup is not a lineup with 9 contrarian plays. That’s what’s called a stupid lineup.

What makes a great GPP lineup is a lineup that has a lot of great plays (ones you might find on our algorithmic picks pages if you’re a premium member), and one or two plays no one else is making.
For example, let’s say you liked the Reds Tuesday. You stack them on DraftKings, along with several other DFSers. But now you need your Reds stack to do something that others won’t, that will differentiate you from the field and put you ahead of the pack if the Reds go off. So instead of using Corey Kluber and Francisco Liriano, you use Max Scherzer and Matt Shoemaker.

Suddenly, you’re unique. And while this wouldn’t have worked out, a Reds stack with Scherzer is a much better GPP lineup than one with Kluber. If Scherzer goes off and Kluber doesn’t, you can have as much as a 20 point edge on other Reds stacks who mostly had Kluber, which is the difference between getting 8th by 5 points for 1st by 15.

So in short, when you see the plays below, think about how they can fit into a lineup you already love, not how they can make a silly lineup you’ll hate.


Pitcher Analysis:

Today there are many elite pitchers on the mound. Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, David Price, and Madison Bumgarner all play and each have several positives. But who to choose?

FanDuel Breakdown:

My guess is Clayton Kershaw actually gets pretty significant burn at pitcher tonight in GPPs, I could see anywhere from 30-50% usage, depending on the tournament. For good reason as well, he’s my favorite pitcher tonight for cash games as the biggest favorite and the highest strikeout potential, and although he has a high price tag, there’s plenty of great value and no high salary guys that stand out enough to want to avoid him. But if I’m right about his usage, then he’s actually a solid fade in GPPs. There are a ton of good options tonight, so if he has a bad game using a different pitcher could be huge. My guess is that in lower stakes GPPs like the Rally, his usage will be closer to 25%, and in higher stakes tournaments like the Monster, we’ll see close to 50% usage. So depending on what you play, he’ll either be the best play or a gutsy fade.

I think Felix Hernandez against the always-fun-to-target Houston Astros should get burn, as well as David Price at home. But I don’t think either breaks 20% usage, but that being said, I don’t say that with a ton of confidence. I wouldn’t suggest purposely fading either one of them.

GPP Target:

Madison Bumgarner ($10,600) – With three pitchers ahead of Bum who are all enticing, I think it’s a perfect time to swoop up Bumgarner at home. While he doesn’t quite have the upside of the other pitchers, he does have big potential and I could certainly see a scenario where neither Price, Kershaw, and Hernandez have quality games. The D-Backs aren’t exactly a great lineup either, and they’re a poor fit for such a terrible HR park in San Francisco.

Mad Max Special:

Alex Wood ($7,800) – Coming in not particularly hot, on the road, and down toward the bottom of the list on FanDuel, my guess is Wood doesn’t crack 3% ownership on FanDuel. But I love two things about Wood here. 1) The Mets are just awful against left-handers, their best hitters in Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, and Curtis Granderson all hit from the left side. And 2) Wood’s price tag is so much different than the elite pitchers, that your lineup is going to be ridiculously different than the field. You may even be able to fit Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton.


DraftKings Breakdown:

The most significant pricing change at pitcher is Clayton Kershaw, who skyrockets to $12,800 while Felix Hernandez and David Price have much more reasonable salaries near $11,000. I think Kershaw has much lower ownership tonight on DraftKings and actually becomes a great GPP target (isn’t hedging fun!?).

I think Felix Hernandez and David Price get the highest ownership here, both hovering around 50-66%, but I’m not really focusing on fading either one.

GPP Target:

Michael Pineda ($8,900) – It wasn’t that long ago that Pineda struck out 16 Orioles and put up a 46 point effort, but I don’t think DFSers will jumping on Pineda here on the road. He has a good price (a $900 difference between FD and DK) and obviously has big potential, and my guess is his usage won’t be high with some many quality options and a 14 game slate. Even if I’m wrong about his usage you’re still playing a high upside pitcher, which is perfect for GPPs.


Danny Salazar ($9,400) – Salazar has been awesome this season, his K rate is sky high. He appears to have a pretty nice matchup against a Tigers lineup filled exclusively with righties. But, Salazar actually has pretty significant reverse K splits, he strikes out way more lefties, and Detroit is a great hitter’s park. His price also is $300 more on DraftKings than on FanDuel. I don’t think Salazar has a big game here and although he won’t be used a ton, I’m choosing to fade him completely.


Hitter Analysis:

“You know, hope is a mistake. If you can’t fix what’s broken, you’ll go insane.”

Without seeing all the lineups, hitter analysis for GPP’s is a little tough. So make sure you check out the Daily Fantasy Winners Forum for any thoughts I have once the lineups come out.

What we’re looking for when analyzing hitters for hitters are one of two things:

1) A hitter to target who is a good, high upside play who doesn’t stand out to the common DFSer.

2) A hitter who is a good play that stands out in every way, this is a player we’re usually going to want to fade.

This is something you can do on your own and is actually quite easy. One trick when starting out is to look at non-OF positions. There are usually only 1 or 2 guys that stand out there, and most will just use one of those 2 without giving it a second thought. If you can find a 3rd or 4th option with high potential, you’ll probably see very low ownership for that player.


Neil Walker ($2,700 on FanDuel, $3,700 on DraftKings)
The Pirates are going against a notoriously awful pitcher in Kevin Correia, so they should be a popular stack on both FanDuel and DraftKings. Walker’s price is reasonable on both sites, and there just aren’t that many other guys that stand out. I think he gets used a lot, but is actually a low upside (and therefore a bad GPP) play. He doesn’t steal bases and isn’t a big power threat, so unless the Pirates go off as a team, I don’t see big game potential from Walker. Dee Gordon on the other hand, is well priced and has big SB potential in a great matchup. His usage won’t exactly be low, but he’s a much better option for GPPs.

GPP Targets:

Adrian Gonzalez – As we saw with Joey Votto Tuesday, ignoring elite hitters when their matchups don’t standout can be a huge mistake. Adrian Gonzalez fits this mold perfectly tonight, he’s going against a pitcher who’s actually pretty poor in Despaigne, and the Padres park is not actually that bad for HRs if you’re a lefty.

Robinson Cano – The key to this play is Cano actually playing. He’s going against a lefty, so it’s possible the Mariners manager could put him on the bench. But, Brett Oberholtzer is the perfect matchup for Cano. He’s a flyball pitcher who throws mostly off-speed pitches, which historically has been very good for Cano, and he’s playing at a much better hitter’s park in Houston. If he plays, I love him.

Shin-Soo Choo – Going against a reverse splits lefty and a horrible pitcher in Tommy Millone, Choo seems like a pretty solid play to me, but probably won’t be used a ton by the field with a high price tag and a left on left matchup. He has the power to have a big game.

Brett Gardner – I think a mix of a high price tag, compelling high salary hitters like Giancarlo Stanton and Andrew McCutchen, and elite pitchers eating up a lot of our salary will keep Gardner’s usage low. But he has ridiculous upside tonight. Ubaldo Jimenez is terrible at holding baserunners and Camden Yards is a great park for lefties.

Hope you enjoyed my article. Make sure to tweet me @maxjsteinberg if you have any questions or comments. Good luck!

Want to qualify for the WSOP Main Event? Tonight, for only $27, you could win a seat on DraftKings! Just click through this link and find the WSOP Main Event Qualifier tournament in the DraftKings Lobby.

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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