MLB GPP Strategy – 8/4/17

13 game slate tonight including the Phillies @ Coors Field.  The Red Sox should remain chalk.  If you’re reading these (and I have my doubts you are), just because we don’t discuss the chalk plays does not mean a GPP player should avoid chalk.  I have a little bit of everything, including players from the teams with high totals that might be the forgotten players.  That means tonight you definitely want some Phillies, Red Sox and Rockies mixed in with the lesser-owned lottery tickets we will discuss below.  I think tonight it is fairly easy to get contrarian with high ceiling pitchers as opposed to hitters.  We have 3 relatively unknown SPs for Milwaukee, Arizona and Los Angeles.  I assume more folks will stack against Milwaukee as opposed to the other 2 rookies, so the Rays could be popular and we should also have shares.  LOTS of nice spots to pick from at SP1 and SP2.  Let’s try and find last night’s Brandon Moss as well.

ASSUMED CHALK BASED OFF VEGAS LINES/TOTALS (and fine plays for cash games): Rockies, Red Sox, Pirates, Paxton and Darvish.

GPP PITCHERS to USE(In parentheses is “expected wOBA or xwOBA” based on statcast data from this season’s balls in play allowed, an experimental stat which may prove predictive):

Jacob Faria vs. Brewers:  This young guy is proving he belongs in a major league rotation.  He’s shown a full repertoire since his arrival and with hitters teeing off on most SPs this season, his performance is all the more impressive.  The Brewers come to town for a road Interleague game.  They will add the DH but lose the benefit of their spacious park.  I would not be surprised if Faria went 7+ with 8+ Ks.  He’s legit.  (xwOBA = .293)

Trevor Bauer v Yankees:  He is a scary one I’ll admit.  Boom or bust play with the double digit K upside you may need.  The Yankees are exploitable on the road with the addition of Todd Frazier, assuming he is in the lineup.  With him, Clint Frazier and Aaron Judge, you have a few golden sombrero candidates.  (xwOBA = .336)

Jacob DeGrom vs. Dodgers:  Yet another high-risk GPP play.  In full disclosure, I will have a couple shares of DeGrom, and a couple Dodgers stacks.  I am not here to say I KNOW what will happen in this game.  What I do know is that the range of outcomes includes DeGrom having 10+ Ks as well as the Dodgers having 10+ runs.  Don’t gloss over his name because of his high price and tough opponent.  Utilize game theory optimal strategies if you are building multiple lineups.  Everyone may have a lot of Boston/Rockies players mixed around, but not many may have them with this guy.  (xwOBA = .284)

Madison Bumgarner vs. DBacks:  I like this play because I can see a world in which the other popular GPP options bust (listed above and below, plus Peacock) while MadBum gets back to form.  He’s a top 5 pitcher in baseball but people may not be ready to buy back in after his injury at his prices against an opponent who just smashed the Cubs staff.  That lineup does bring K potential however and its the most friendly pitcher’s park by far.  People trying to get all Coors and Red Sox will not be able to afford him.  (xwOBA = .276)

Kevin Gausman vs. Tigers:  The streakiness factor.  I am not buying because he is hot, but rather because people generally avoid using SPs against the Tigers and sexier options are available.  However, Detroit has clearly gotten older and has lost possibly their most feared hitter this season in JD Martinez.  I could see Gausman continuing his strikeout train tonight.  (xwOBA = .354)


Ivan Nova vs. Pirates:  Its a really great matchup for Nova.  But in a real-life sense.  We have to fade pitchers who project to do well, but not “GPP-winning well.”  He pitches to contact with a pretty bad defense behind him.  The Padres have been making a lot more contact as a whole since Ryan Schimpf was demoted.  Stay off him.  (xwOBA = .328)

Justin Verlander @ Orioles:  No Trumbo in the lineup hurts his K upside.  Otherwise this is a pretty rough park shift for a guy who has been getting bombed even in his much more spacious home park.  Subpar defense behind him against a legit lineup, don’t try and find the diamond in the rough here.  (xwOBA = .334)

Yu Darvish @ Mets:  I think because of the trade and his move from Lucroy to Grandal while facing NL lineups, he may be more popular than warranted tonight.  He projects to do well, but I’m not sure with his recent struggles and certain career-low numbers warrants the price while other more sneaky options can be found.  (xwOBA = .301)


Jonathan Schoop:  Do not forget about this cat.  Hitting 3rd for Baltimore for a reason.  2nd base can be a spot where people want to save money or pay up for Coors/Altuve but not this smasher who is in a great spot.

Brett Gardner:  The Jake in the summertime and Trevor Bauer can be inviting for lefties with some pop and speed.  Gardner’s getting older but can definitely surprise with a bomb and a steal tonight.

Jordy Mercer:  Travis Wood is exactly the kind of guy he has hammered throughout his career.  Pirates are becoming bigger and bigger favorites by the minute.

Jose Abreu/Matt Davidson:  If you know baseball, you know these guys have 1 of the most favorable and opportunistic spots on the slate tonight.  Please have a lineup with both.

Giancarlo Stanton/Marcell Ozuna:  The same goes for these 2 gentleman as it does for the White Sox pair.  Nights when they are not the chalk but have the super high ceilings are when you want to invest.

Brian Dozier/Eduardo Escobar:  Some high ceiling potential at the middle infield spots and a nice pairing against Martin Perez

Buster Posey:  A lot of people don’t pay attention to the “Mr. Consistency” type guys like Posey and Votto.  At a premium position in a great matchup, he better be owned tonight.

Yonder Alonso:  He has gotten platooned out the last couple nights against lefties. Double dong potential exists every night against bad pitchers with his new uppercut swing.  I wouldn’t mind a pairing with Lowrie here.


Rangers:  Bartolo Colon we love thee.  And we must stack against thou.

Rays: We must have shares against the rookie with these bombers.  Really the same goes for the Giants and Athletics.

Braves: Conley is trash.  But he is left handed against the Braves lefties and its a slate with clearly far more popular offensive options.  Try one with Inciarte/Freeman/Flowers/Phillips.

Astros:  They’ve been struggling and are without 2 of their big names.  Valdez has given up insanely productive contact.  Don’t be afraid to pay up.

Note:  Call me crazy, but I will have ONE Padres stack.

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