Mad Max’s GPP Rundown
Welcome to another edition of Mad Max’s GPP Rundown! If you missed it, I had an hour long stream on twitch this morning while doing my morning baseball research. It had a lot of great information and you can watch a recording on the DFW twitch page here: http://www.twitch.tv/dailyfantasywinners.
Today is a full day of baseball in many ways. Not only are there 14 games, there are several great pitching plays to choose from and several teams with run projections over 4.5. Plus, there’s a game at Coors. There is a lot of info to analyze, so let’s just get right into it.
We have several names at pitcher that stand out, but none of them have an elite match-up.
Corey Kluber (Best Price DraftKings $10,600): Kluber is has the best match-up with regards to lineup, the Twins are weak against righties and strikeout quite a bit. But he’s surprisingly not a big favorite here and sportsbooks seem to have the Twins scoring somewhere between 3.3-3.5 runs. That being said, he’s clearly the best option on DraftKings with that great $10,600 pricetag. But, I don’t see a reason to over-own him here, there are a lot of quality options and on the road he certainly is not a lock for a good game.
David Price (FanDuel $11,700, DraftKings $12,300): Regardless of price (pun intended), David Price is my highest projected pitcher tonight. The Yankees aren’t terribly high strikeout but there are a ton of lefties in there lineup which makes them a better match-up than normal for Price. He’ll likely be my cash play.
Dallas Keuchel (FanDuel $10,700, DraftKings $11,000): He definitely doesn’t have the upside as Price and Kluber, and the Tigers aren’t a fantastic match-up as they have mostly right-handers. But he’s a huge favorite and an innings eater, I see no reason not to use him but he likely won’t be my pitcher for cash games.
Max Scherzer ($11,400): He’s on the road vs a team that doesn’t strikeout at all, but you can’t deny that his price here is fantastic. He’s not a huge favorite right now, but I could see the line moving toward the Nationals throughout the day as Matt Cain has been really bad since he’s come off the DL and his velocity is down. I honestly could see an argument for using Scherzer in cash on FanDuel, as he’s actually significantly better as a pitcher (skill-wise) than Price.
Jaime Garcia ($8,200): The pitcher who’s expected to hold his opponent to the least runs out of all these elite guys is actually Garcia, Fantasy Labs has the Marlins scoring only 2.8 runs tonight. He has the best match-up out of anyone so while he’s not a guy who’s going to strikeout a bunch of hitters, his price may make him a play in cash especially since there are plenty of high salary hitters to pay up for tonight.
Mad Max DraftKings Specials
Below are three pitchers that are risky, but should be very low-owned and make intriguing GPP plays on DraftKings.
Julio Teheran ($7,000): He’s not a favorite, but he has a sneaky good match-up here. Julio Teheran is great against right-handed hitters, but terrible against lefties, and luckily for him he’s facing a team that has very few left-handed bats and many right-handed ones. He has double digit strikeout upside which makes him a great GPP play.
J.A. Happ ($6,600): I doubt Happ was even a thought for you prior to reading this article but hear me out. He may be on the road, but he’s at a pitchers park and he’s facing a Mets lineup that struggles a bit vs left-handed pitchers. But what I really like about Happ is his new catcher, Francisco Cervelli. Cervelli is an elite pitch-framer and is likely partially responsible for the great years of Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett. I think he works his magic on Happ and we see a significant improvement. The results weren’t there in his 1st start, but he did strikeout 6 in only 4 innings.
Matt Cain ($5,100): You probably are looking at this one and yelling “No!!!!” at your computer screen. Cain has been awful since he’s gotten off the DL, his velocity is down and his xFIP is enormous. But, I think we could be reading too much into a small sample here and it’s very possible he just needed a few starts to get the kinks out. Don’t get me wrong, Cain was never an elite pitcher but this price is just ridiculous for a player capable of striking out some hitters and playing at home.
Phew! that was a lot of Pitcher talk. I’m going to pause and take a breath here for a second…
I have two recommendations today that are a little out of the box.
1) I think we should fade Padres and Rockies hitters tonight in GPPs.
2) I don’t think we should be stacking tonight.
The first point especially may be making you cringe, but here’s my reasoning. I think that Coors games in general have been running hot this season, I think the over has been hit almost 75% of the time this year. Now you might say to yourself, “Well maybe the over/under’s have been wrong!” But the fact is Vegas has been handicapping baseball for 25+ years and these over/under’s are very accurate and in line with historical data.
The over/under usually ranges from 10-11 (it’s sitting at 10.5 right now), which means there’s a 50% chance of the game hitting under 10 runs, and could easily end 4-3 or 3-2. With so many teams tonight projected to score 4.5+ runs (The Mariners, Red Sox, Brewers, and Orioles to name a few) it seems ridiculous to focus on two teams that aren’t projected to do much better, and who’s prices are completely jacked up on both FanDuel and DraftKings.
To the 2nd point, I’m beginning to think stacking in general is sub-optimal in GPPs, especially when everyone else is doing it. Especially on DraftKings where runs and RBIs are just 2 points, you just aren’t gaining too much value from playing guys on the same team. And if you look at the historical data, player performance of players hitting next to each other in the batting order is not as correlated as you may think. You also sacrifice a lot of expectation by using 5-6 players on the same team instead of going with the best players from several teams, and you also end up using some hitters that just don’t have a ton of upside. There’s a lot of arguments against stacking, and not many for it.
And if there was a night to try a “un-stacked” lineup, this would be the one. Most of the teams tonight are flawed stacks (aside from maybe the Mariners) because of handedness or price, so it makes a lot of sense to go with a variety of hitters.
If we choose not to stack, our number one focus should be upside. In baseball, upside means HRs and SBs, so we’re looking for players who have a great chance to go deep or at least steal a base. Below are some guys I really like to have big games.
Chris Davis (4900 FD, 5000 DK):
His price is really bad, way too high, and he has a lefty on lefty matchup, but that’s almost precisely the reason I’m recommending him. He will have incredibly low ownership, but he has great upside and a sneakily great matchup. Lefty Brad Mills throws 85 MPH fastballs, which suggests that extreme about of homeruns he’s given up in his career should continue. He also throws no sliders, only curves and changeups, which along with a slow four seam suggests a pitcher with neutral splits, meaning lefties should fair just as well as righties. And lefties have actually done much better than Mills in a small sample, which is comforting. Davis has one of the highest projections of the day not considering price, so in the event popular 1st base plays don’t work out, Chris Davis could work out fantastically.
Billy Burns ($2,700 on FD):
His price is fantastic here, but his team isn’t projected to do well. With stolen base guys, however, team performance matters a lot less than SB match-up, and Burns has a great one here against Ubaldo Jimenez. He’s ridiculously well priced here and has a legit shot at 2+ SBs tonight and is playing at a great hitters park. 2 singles and 2 stolen bases is the equivalent of hitting a HR fantasy points wise, and I could see it happening easily.
Mark Trumbo (2300 FD Only):
Mark Trumbo isn’t an elite hitter, but one thing he does have is great bat speed. That’s going to benefit him. Joe Kelly isn’t a fantastic pitcher but his 95.6 MPH average fastball speed is one of the highest in the league. Guys with poor bat speed can’t catch up, but Trumbo should be able to. Our algorithm likes him a lot already, especially because he’s traveling from such a bad hitters park to a great one. Love the price and the match-up.
Stephen Vogt ($2,300 on FD):
Jonathon Lucroy is going to be used quite a bit on FanDuel tonight, which makes Vogt a sneaky play at the exact same price point. Camden Yards is a great park for lefty hitters and Vogt has great power here. He actually probably has more upside than Lucroy, who isn’t a big power hitter, but he’ll be used a whole lot less.
Delino DeShields ($4,000 on DK):
Deshields loves stealing off of right-handers, and Nate Karns has trouble holding baserunners. His team has a high run projection already so he’s not totally off the radar here, but his SB upside makes him a great GPP play.
Khris Davis ($3,600 on DK):
I have a feeling Davis is going to be really under-owned given his match-up tonight. He’s facing a high HR allowed lefty, meaning that the power hitting Davis should have a significant chance of going deep tonight. But with so much focus on Coors Field, I think he’ll get overlooked a bit. His price is awesome.
Mookie Betts (3400 FD, 4500 DK):
It’s not like this is too surprising of a pick, Mookie Betts is facing a bad lefty at home and his price is decent, which makes him a great play. It could scare some people off that he just recently came back from a concussion, but he’s been fine in his return, even managed to steal a base. Michael Montgomery is 6’5” which suggests he’s vulnerable to stolen bases, and Mike Zunino the Mariners regular catcher is below average at holding base stealers. Easily one of the best plays of the day.
That’s all. Hope you enjoyed my article and make sure to join us on the forums for more baseball discussion later in the day. Good Luck!View all posts by Max J Steinberg