MLB GPP Strategy – 8/1/17

The true FULL slate, including a game at Coors Field.  Wow can this be fun, because it is a true lottery.  Anybody that tells you they can predict everything in regards to 15 games, about 250-270 hitters, 30 starting pitchers and 15 different venues, is lying.  All we can do is discuss some intriguing options and try and find some hidden high ceilings.  Yesterday we had Corey Dickerson, Gio Gonzalez and the Astros 9 hitter (to be honest we had Aoki, not Marisnick), so lets look for some diamonds in the rough again today.  Ownership is probably going to be spread out relatively evenly, so you really cant go wrong going full 100% Coors game, Yankees (vs Anibal Sanchez), Blue Jays (vs Pelfrey) or Mariners (vs Nick Martinez), or avoiding those teams completely.  Good luck!

ASSUMED CHALK BASED OFF VEGAS LINES (and fine plays for cash games):  Rockies, Blue Jays, Yankees, Dodgers, Rangers, Max Scherzer.


Chris Archer @ Astros:  This is a GPP article.  Remember what Aaron Nola did against these guys last time out.  But the Astros score double digit runs every night right?!?!?!  (xwOBA = .291)

Chris Sale v Indians:  Generally the Indians are not the best lineup to attack.  And DFSers will probably prefer Mad Max tonight because of that fact.  Sale has been just as great if not better, and he has CGSO potential obviously.  Don’t be afraid to pay up for the worse matchup in a lineup or two.  (xwOBA = .241)

Carlos Martinez @ Brewers:  Over the last couple of years, the Brewers have provided multiple ceiling games for opposing SPs.  Tough park, tough opponent, but CMart has ace-type stuff right there with Mad Max and Sale.  Make sure you have some shares.  (xwOBA = .295)

Jeff Samardzija @ Athletics:  My favorite play of the night.  Those of us who believe in the advanced stats will ride Samardzija until we die this season.  He has been as unlucky as possible on batted balls all season long.  While his ERA sits at 4.85, His FIP/SIERA/xFIP numbers are 3.50/3.29/3.14 respectively.  Much of those great underlying peripherals are due to his 26.1/3.0 K/BB% ratio.  The A’s have the hitters you need to rack up Ks and the park remains a great one for pitchers.  (xwOBA = .278)


Kenta Maeda @ Braves:  While most nights you can’t go wrong using a Dodgers SP due to the framing, defense and run support, I am fading Maeda tonight.  I just see him as a low ceiling and low floor play, which is totally unrecommended for GPPs.  The Braves bring at a minimum 4 very competent lefties to the plate and over his first 2 years in the majors Maeda has had some striking handedness splits.  Go elsewhere.  (xwOBA = .283)

Marcus Stroman @ White Sox:  I like Stroman tonight, but I don’t think I’ll like him more than the crowd and I don’t see the ceiling necessary to warrant usage.  While the White Sox do suck, Stroman wants to pitch to contact.  The K rate is at about 20%.  I just like guys like Martinez and Archer more tonight for GPP.  (xwOBA = .304)

Sean Manaea v Giants:  He has been quite good this year while the Giants have been a trainwreck.  The being said a number of the Giants hitters (Panik, Posey, Span, Pence) make contact at high rates and the Oakland defense is not a defense you want balls being towards.  I don’t necessarily think many people will be playing Manaea, but either way its a fade for me.  (xwOBA = .312)

Aaron Nola @ Angels:  People may look here as he has honestly been one of the best pitchers in baseball the last 6 weeks.  He also just held the high powered Astros scoreless.  I think his luck may be about to run out.  At least it is not worth it to me to find out.  I have mentioned it in this space before, but the Angels can be tough to record .  Its a good pitchers park, but its never a good thing to face a bunch of slap hitters and MIKE TROUT. (xwOBA = .270)


Todd Frazier:  I think it could be the night for his Yankee breakout.  Yet most people attacking Sanchez may go with the more traditional Yanks.  He hits lower in the order and at a position(s) that will probably have players not considering using him.  He has 40 HR power, playing in a ban box and facing a pitcher who gives up heavy flyballs.  Have a couple shares.

Seth Smith:  Moved down in the order and has had the last couple games off.  Ian Kennedy is someone you want to attack at Camden (as opposed to home in Kansas City).  There is always a chance Smith gets platooned out later in the game, and that’s 1 of a number of reasons why ownership will be down.  If you are using Baltimore, include him.

Mookie Betts:  Same story as yesterday.  You have to include a share or two of Betts at Fenway, even against an elite opposing right-handed SP.  The Green Monster and his stolen base ability always make him a GPP must.

Freddie Freeman: This is one of the best 3-5 hitters in baseball.  He will probably be at under 1% owned against a team and pitcher who DFS players generally avoid.  However we discussed Maeda’s splits above, and they aren’t pretty.  Roll the dice.

Matt Carpenter:  Jimmy Nelson has actually been better this year against lefties than righties.  Forget about that small sample stuff though.  Forget about Carpenter’s GREAT small sample size career numbers off Nelson too.  Its about his ability, swing plane, the park, the opposing bullpen, opposing defense and his lineup spot.  And the perception that Nelson is an ace now.

AJ Pollock:  Facing Jon Lester, not many will utilize his talents tonight.  But he should get 5 ABs, and has the HR and steal potential you need at low ownership.

Mike Napoli/Joey Gallo:  Off Erasmo Ramirez and company, these guys could go 0-8 with 8 strikeouts, or 5-8 w/ 5 HRs.  You would kick yourself if Gallo had yet another two 450 foot bombs and you had no shares.

Robinson Cano/Kyle Seager:  Nick Martinez in Texas.  Enough said.

Steven Souza Jr.:  Double Dong and steal potential against the rejuvenated Mike Fiers is on the table.  Recently moved down in the order, don’t forget about him.

Curtis Granderson/Neil Walker:  If they are in the lineup and their prices around the industry have not skyrocketed, make sure you don’t forget about these Coors threats.

Mike Trout:  Do I really have to explain why you might want to use Mike Trout?  Tonight more than most nights, I don’t think he fears Aaron Nola and he certainly doesn’t fear the triple A caliber bullpen.  On a Coors/multiple gascan night, he will go overlooked.


Mets:  They are the underdog in the Coors game.  Hoffman is not better than Matz however.  Make sure you mix in bottom of the order Mets as well.

Orioles: Ian Kennedy is a flyballer.  That usually does not work well in Camden in the summertime.  Don’t forget Jonathan Schoop in these stacks.

Nationals:  Facing a lefty in a hitters park the population may not want any part of Harper/Murphy/Goodwin/Rendon/Zimmerman.  This is a high ceiling squad as we’ve seen time and time again this season.  Also, the Marlins have depleted their bullpen via trades.

Cardinals:  A nice park shift from home to Milwaukee.  Should be low owned/high ceiling.

Mariners:  I actually don’t see them being chalky tonight due to the numerous gascans and Coors.  But they may be my main stack and I will probably pair them with Samardzija quite a bit.
Rays:  A GPP-winning type lineup with their explosive nature.  The Astros give up more high scoring nights than most people realize.  Their defense is REALLY bad.  I don’t buy the Mike Fiers hype.

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