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Mad Max’s GPP Rundown: Pitchers to Play, Pitchers to Target

Lost in the excitement of the NFL season approaching, we actually have a full MLB slate today with quality options at pitcher and hitter. Below are the pitchers we should be playing tonight, and the pitchers we should be stacking against a little further down.

You’ll see that I list a lot of pitchers to play tonight. That’s because I do think there are a lot of quality options, so I recommend spreading out your plays a little bit. It’s really hot across the country today, the balls will be flying and it will be hard to grip the baseball, I’m not really confident in anyone aside from Kershaw, but his price obviously is an issue.

 

Pitchers to Play (Best price in parentheses):

Clayton Kershaw (Best price DK: $15,700) – You may be scratching your head when I say his best price is on DraftKings, but my reasoning here is that it’s easy to make up for Kershaw’s salary by pairing him with a low priced pitcher. On FanDuel, he is just handicapping you too much. Kershaw is on a ridiculous tear and his peripheral stats we’re just ridiculous in his last start. He had an F-Strike of 94% and a contact rate near 55%. Basically, he was pounding the strike zone with every pitch and no one could hit him anyway. He’s on the road against the Angels, and that’s not a good match-up for strikeouts, but when he’s pitching this well you can’t deny he’s in play, especially when you have a team like the Phillies that are projected to score over 4.5 runs and are cheap enough to easily stack with Kershaw.

Raisel Iglesias ($8,700 on DraftKings, $8,400 on Fanduel) – This is a name you’ve been seeing a lot in my articles lately, and hopefully you’ve been listening because Iglesias has been killing it lately, breaking 10 Ks in each of his 3 games. He has a great match-up for strikeouts against the Pirates here, but the heat in Cincinnati is a little worrisome and has moved this over/under a little higher than expected. I still love Raisel, I think there is some blow-up potential. I honestly wouldn’t mind a very contrarian Pirates stack. But I also will likely use him in cash, if that makes any sense.

Matt Harvey (Best price: FD $10,900) – He’s on the road, but has a good strikeout match-up against the Nationals. Harvey’s approach seems to be to pound the strikezone (although not always on the 1st pitch), and get strikeouts in that fashion. He’s not a guy with a low contact rate though. He’s not my favorite play, but he’s in play.

Masahiro Tanaka (Best Price: DK $9,500) – The Orioles are on of the highest strikeout teams in baseball and I actually like what I’m seeing from Tanaka on the recent performance sheet. He located very, very well in his last start and his stuff is very deceptive, his correct % (how often a player guesses correctly on whether his pitchers are balls or strikes) is consistently lower than any pitcher in baseball. His price is actually pretty good as well.

Cole Hamels (Best Price: DK $10,300) – Hamels is actually in my opinion the safest play at pitcher tonight aside from Kershaw.  He’s playing at Seattle which is the only cool environment in America today, and it’s a pitchers park. It’s a great strikeout match-up and everything I’m seeing from a recent performance standpoint looks fantastic.

Scott Kazmir ($9,600 on DK, $9,700 on FD) – Revenge game anyone? Kazmir has great location in his last start and also gets to play at a great pitchers park. The A’s are usually a low strikeout team, but they’re significantly worse against lefties so I’m very curious about their lineup. Kazmir isn’t a terribly high upside guy but he’ll be enough tonight.

Aaron Nola (Best Price: $6,100 on FD) – It’s funny how the only time I am recommending Nola is coming off his worst game of the year but I think he’s a solid play tonight. He’s not going to get a ton of strikeouts, but I do really love his approach for a young pitcher. He pounds the strikezone, and actually located better in his last start than any of his previous ones. His price on FanDuel is very, very good.

 

Pitchers to Target:

Below are three pitchers I think will struggle tonight.

 

Henry Owens (vs TOR. Target: Everyone) – Owens could not throw in the strikezone to save his life in his last start, and he paid big time. He couldn’t get out of the 2nd inning and allowed 7 runs at home. This is definitely not the time to struggle for Owens as he now goes up against the most feared lineup in baseball in the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays are already ridiculous against lefties, and it seems as they are on track to wreck Owens tonight.  The timing is perfect for DFSers: The Blue Jays are actually pretty reasonably priced tonight, especially Troy Tulowitzki ($3,900) and Jose Bautista ($5,100) on DraftKings.

Adam Conley (vs MIL. Target: Khris Davis and Jean Segura) – Conley struggled with location in his last start, and it hurt him badly. His contact rate shot up to 88% and his correct % was off the charts at 79%. Long story short, he wasn’t fooling anyone, and this was against Atlanta. Miami is a horrible park for hitters but it is better for righties, and the Brewers have a ton of good ones. I think Milwaukee is a very sneaky stack here and I especially like the prices of Jean Segura and Khris Davis on both sites.

Taijuan Walker (vs TEX. Target: Everyone) – Looking up and down the Rangers potential batting order, and the prices I’m seeing, I love this stack. It is a pitchers park which isn’t ideal, but Walker looks very bad. He’s lost 1 mph on his fastball, which would be fine for someone who throws hard, but he’s locating worse than ever which is a very bad sign. It’s not a hitters park, but everyone on the Rangers is under $4,000 on DraftKings so the value too ridiculous to pass up, especially when it may be worth it to pay up for Clayton Kershaw.

Ryan Weber (vs PHI. Target: Everyone) – Weber isn’t on our recent performance sheet because he’s never pitched an MLB game, but things don’t look good for him. He’s not even really a prospect and was a relief pitcher in the minors, so he likely won’t be in the game for long. And it’s really, really hot in Philadelphia, the ball is going to fly. The Phillies are projected to score 4.6 runs right now and their highest priced player is Ryan Howard at $3,600.  The value here is insane, and there’s no reason to think Weber, or anyone else on the Braves pitching staff, is going to shut the Phillies down at home. I think I’ll be stacking the Phillies and Rangers quite a bit here and actually using Kershaw in GPPs.

Good luck tonight!

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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