Mad Max’s MLB GPP Rundown (8/22)

The MLB season is sadly coming to a close within the next two weeks, but Tuesday continues to be a big tournament day on both DraftKings and FanDuel, so as always I’m very excited for baseball tonight.

I’m going to break this article up into three sections. Pitcher Plays, Hitters to Build Your Team Around, and Stacks. As I wrote in my last article, I think in DFS baseball GPPs the salary of the top players should not be weighted very highly, since our goal is to nab one of those players who goes off, and low salary players are usually very good bargains. And by the way, I think there are going to be a ton of low salary hitting options today on DraftKings, so a high-low hitter strategy seems smart tonight.

This will also be a DraftKings-centric article since there are much bigger tournies going on over there. Salaries will be DraftKings unless otherwise noted.


Pitcher Plays

Jake Arrieta ($14,500) – Ok, so the sad part about Arrieta is he’s priced at $14,500, and that’s really high. Luckily, there’s a low salary pitcher we can pair him with that helps a lot with this issue, but I’ll get into that later. Arrieta has been amazing this season and I don’t see that changing anytime soon, the stats on pitcher recent performance back it up big time. His match-up with the Brewers is epic, especially considering he’s not a pound-it-in-the-zone type of pitcher. His style should dominate a free-swinging Brewers team that is very high strikeout. I think he’s worth it tonight as he’s the best pitcher by a mile.

Gio Gonzalez ($8,800) – Gonzalez’ last start makes him look epic on our pitcher recent performance sheet, but it was against the Phillies so we can’t weight it too highly. That being said, the Orioles are an incredibly high strikeout team, especially against lefties. His price is too high for his skill, but the match-up makes up for it and I think he builds on his last start. Look for Jose Lobaton catching, he’s a better pitch-framer than Wilson Ramos.

John Lackey ($10,300) – Like Gonzalez, Lackey’s price is a bit too high considering his skill as a pitcher. He looks incredible on pitcher recent performance, but it’s mostly due to the amazing match-ups he’s had in his last 5 games. I don’t buy that he’s going to strikeout 10 players a game. His k/9 hasn’t broken 7.6 in his entire career. That being said, it’s a good match-up and there aren’t many quality options. I’m not going to use him a lot, but I had to list him as an option here given how thin the pitcher position is tonight.

Logan Verrett ($4,500) – Verrett is a long reliever out of the bullpen with mediocre stuff making a spot start. But, he luckily gets a horrible hitting Braves team and we’ve seen from one of his spot starts against the Rockies he can go deep into games even if he’s not going to throw 100 pitches. I don’t really expect more than 5-6ks here, and I could legitimately see him going 6 innings with 2 strikeouts when all is said and done, but with such weak pitching today he’s absolutely in play, especially if you want someone to pair with Jake Arrieta. Just don’t expect another 8 inning performance with 8 strikeouts, it’s not gonna happen tonight. I don’t recommend using him too much here as he could easily get less than 10 points.


Deep Sleepers

Ubaldo Jimenez ($7,600) – He has not looked great in his past 5 starts, and he’s on the road, but everything I see from a pitcher recent performance standpoint looks very good and he has a great strikeout match-up vs the Nationals. He’ll be owned very little but I think he’s actually someone who could get 25-30 points tonight.

Ervin Santana ($8,300) – Vegas hates him, he’s a bit overpriced, but he looks incredibly good on pitcher recent performance. He’s at home and although he’s facing a team that doesn’t strikeout much, he could have a solid game. Obviously this isn’t a ringing endorsement but it’s more that I think he’s a more quality pitcher than he’s getting credit for right now.

J.A. Happ ($7,300) – If Happ was at home, we’d be all over him tonight. But, he’s at Coors, so no one will play him. I’m skeptical of this logic given he has a great strikeout match-up and has looked unbelievably good in his past few starts. I think he could have a solid game and will certainly get a little boost here as he’s likely to get the win. As I said, the pitching options are awful tonight so I think we can stretch a bit.

Jeremy Guthrie ($5,100) – Guthrie had been so bad as a starter that he was moved to the bullpen, but he’s actually looked decent since then and has been missing quite a few bats. I don’t know if this will translate into good pitching as a starter, but I actually think he has more upside here than Verrett and I’m willing to take a flyer on him. If he pitches well he’s a legit 7+ inning threat.


Matt Moore ($4,700) – I added Moore last minute here, because his last start was absolutely crazy. He gained 2 mph on his fastball and pounded the strikezone, yet achieved a contact rate of under 70%. He may finally be coming back into form. His match-up is awful and he’s at a terrible park for pitchers, but pitching this well he should legitimately be in the $8,000s, which puts him on my list.


Hitters to Build Around

Here are my favorite hitters to build your team around tonight. All these guys should be big upside plays.

Andrew McCutchen ($5,800) – No need to explain this one in detail, McCutchen is epic against lefties and at Coors we project him at Giancarlo Stanton level production.

Starling Marte/Josh Harrison/Aramis Ramirez – Any Pirate righty at Coors is going to be very well projected tonight. These three have a great chance at an epic game tonight.

Nolan Arenado ($5,500) – He’ll be under-owned given Josh Harrison and Aramis Ramirez are cheaper, more appealing options, but he has incredible upside vs a lefty.

Carlos Gonzalez ($4,200) – (If he plays) Even against a left-hander, we project him very highly and his price is fantastic. I think he’ll be under-owned given the left on left match-up.

Jason Heyward ($4,400) – He has one of the best match-ups of the night against a awful righty, he has fantastic upside.

Dee Gordon ($5,100) – No one will think of spending up on Gordon with such amazing hitting options tonight, but his SB upside

Kyle Schwarber ($4,400) – Actually pretty reasonably priced and plays catcher which has few high upside plays tonight.

Anthony Rizzo ($5,100) – Will be way overlooked tonight given the other high priced options but he has incredible upside every night and this one is no exception.

Miguel Cabrera ($4,600) – Cabrera vs a lefty has very good upside and he’s very well priced tonight.

Evan Longoria ($4,000) – 3rd base is so deep, I think he gets under-owned. At Fenway he has incredibly upside.

Paul Goldschimdt ($4,900) – He’s one of the best hitters in baseball and is facing a lefty, but he won’t be used at all.

Carlos Correa/George Springer/Jose Altuve – Hector Santiago is terrible and all of these guys have incredible upside.

Kris Bryant ($4,900) – He’s facing a righty, but one with small splits and with 3rd base being so damn deep he’ll also be wildly under-owned given his upside.


Favorite Stacks

These are my favorite stacks, not just from a value or upside standpoint but also taking into account ownership.

The Houston Astros

Words can not express how about Hector Santiago has looked in his past 5 starts, and this match-up is just awful for him as the Astros have a ridiculous amount of good right-handed bats.

The St. Louis Cardinals

Keyvious Sampson could not locate at all in his last start, and that’s almost always a sign of bad things to come. He was already a very bad pitcher, and he should get wrecked here. Fantasy Labs has the Cardinals at a 4.5 run projection tonight, I think it should be closer to 5.

The New York Yankees

This is my sleeper stack tonight. The Yankees have only about a 4 run projection tonight, but they’re at a great hitters park and Marco Estrada has looked quite bad on our recent performance sheet. I think they could be in for a huge game, and the stack should get less than 2% ownership.

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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