Mad Max GPP Rundown (7/28)

It’s a really big day for tournaments on FanDuel and DraftKings, with their two biggest tournaments having $500,000 and $400,000 guaranteed respectively. I usually am a little more DraftKings focused in these articles, but given FanDuel’s upping of the guarantees lately and my excitement for a big $300 tournament, I’m going to be a little more FanDuel focused in this article. It seems like a lot of you lean a little more on DraftKings, but I feel like playing on both sites can be very positive especially with such ridiculous day-to-day variance in baseball. Because of the scoring system and salary structure differences, optimal lineups can be very, very different.


FanDuel Pitcher Analysis

Given there’s no game at Coors today and salaries are extremely reasonable for many of the hitters we’d like to target, I think the top salary pitchers are certainly going to be the most highly used. This means David Price on the road against the Rays (Revenge game!!!) and Jose Fernandez at home against a very banged up Nationals lineup. My guess is these two will make up 50%+ of ownership in tournaments. And both are absolutely fantastic plays.

I have a theory on FanDuel GPPs on how you should go contrarian at pitcher, and it has to do with the way people choose pitchers. On many nights, the most used pitchers will be in a specific price range. Tonight, for example, it’s the highest tier salary, the $10,500-$11,500 range.

Let’s say you want to fade those high-tier pitchers because they will be so highly used. The question is: Is there a reason to favor Ubaldo Jimenez ($7,600) over someone like Sonny Gray ($9,900), if you think they have similar upside and the same fantasy points per dollar?

I think the answer is yes. The reason is this: if you go with Gray, your lineup construction will be very similar to DFSers who go with Jose Fernandez or David Price, because you’ll have similar salary left over to choose your hitters. But if you go with Jimenez, your salary cap for hitters $3,000+ different, almost $400 per hitter.

So what we accomplish here is two-fold. If Price and Fernandez have mediocre games and fail to get the win, while Jimenez has a solid one and gets the win, we get a 6-8 point edge on those Price and Fernandez lineups. But what we also have is a totally different lineup construction, with more high priced hitters. So, if tonight is one of those nights where to elite guys have a big game, we absolutely need to be using Jimenez is order to fit those elite guys in. We’ve essentially created a scenario where we give ourselves the maximum chance of winning on a certain type of night.

Makes sense?

With that being said, I’m a little afraid that Fernandez and Price don’t get as high ownership as I think since the Blue Jays have such a great matchup and very high salaries. On top of this, everything I wrote above doesn’t apply fully to a big slate and a night like tonight, where the salaries of the non-top tier pitching options aren’t drastically different from the big guys. I plan on using Fernandez and Price a lot. But I felt compelled to share that theory with you because I think it applies often.

If you do plan to fade either of the top guys, here are a couple of pitchers I like:

Jaime Garcia ($8,200) – Garcia has a great price, is a big favorite, and has a pretty solid matchup at home against a Reds squad that doesn’t hit lefties very well.

Noah Syndergaard ($8,800) – In Syndergaard’s last 10 starts, he’s had double digit strikeouts on three occasions. 10 K’s against the Padres, 11 K’s against the Blue Jays, and 13 K’s against the Diamondbacks. What do all these teams have in common? They are all righty heavy lineups. This makes perfect sense, Syndergaard is a much better pitcher against right handers than lefties, striking out 11.42/9 innings against righties while only 6.88/ 9 innings against left handers in his short career. The Padres are slightly healthier than last month, and not as righty heavy as they once we’re, but their best hitters are all right handers. Syndergaard could be in for a big game.


DraftKings Special

Ubaldo Jimenez ($7,200) – It’s going to be very hard to make a stack you like tonight on DraftKings with pitcher salaries very inflated. There is one exception though, Ubaldo Jimenez. He’s very reasonably priced and has a fantastic matchup against the Braves. Ubaldo has been a completely changed man this season, with a 8.89 K/9 while only walking a career low 2.96BB/9. His xFIP of 3.38 is also the best in his career. These are fantastic numbers, especially considering David Price has only a 8.61 K/9 this season and an xFIP of 3.19, both very close with Jimenez. But he has arguably the better matchup and a price tag of over $5,500 less than Price!


FanDuel Stacks

The prices are drastically different on FanDuel compared to DraftKings, so my stacks will be site specific.

The Chicago Cubs

If a 4.8 run projection against weak lefty Yohan Flande was not enough, these hitter prices should make you absolutely drool. Kris Bryant ($3,000), Anthony Rizzo ($3,200), Jorge Soler ($2,400), Dexter Fowler ($2,900), and Kyle Schwarber ($3,300) are all priced incredibly well and are some of my highest projected players. This is my favorite stack on FanDuel in terms of both value and expectation.

The Cleveland Indians

I just don’t understand this run projection at all. We have a high splits right-hander in Chris Young, on the road, who allows a lot of HRs and gives up a ton of SBs, and he’s facing a team with a great combo of both power and speed. My favorite plays are Jason Kipnis ($3,600), Michael Brantley ($3,600), and Carlos Santana ($3,200), since they all hit for both power, are lefties, and can swipe a base from time to time.


DraftKings Stacks

Given the high priced pitchers tonight, value more than anything is going to be most important on DraftKings.

The Boston Red Sox

With no hitter priced over $4,100 and a run projection of over 4.5, I really love the Red Sox stack tonight especially for GPPs. With so many sexier stacks to choose from I could see them being incredibly low-owned.

The Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles have awesome prices and they could be even better depending on who’s at the top of the order, especially power hitters like Chris Davis ($4,000) and Matt Wieters ($2,600). Like the Red Sox, I think they will be very low owned but I like their synergy with Ubaldo Jimenez who I will be using a ton tonight.


That’s all. Make sure to join our conversation on the Daily Fantasy Winners Forums or tweet me @maxjsteinberg if you have any questions. And good luck!



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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