8/7/17 MLB Main Slate GPP Strategy

I’m going to call this slate “ESM.”  For Ervin Santana Monday.  Because if I play the large GPPs I will have ZERO Ervin, but I will have many of the Brewers hitters opposing him.  Mad Max Scherzer, Carlos Martinez and Jake Arrieta should be the SPs used ahead of Ervin and his 12-7 record with numerous complete games.

Santana’s advanced numbers are all 1.5 runs higher than his ERA and he has been extremely lucky with his BABIP (.223) and Left On Base% (83%).  Regression is coming.  Whether its on ESM or in the future, it is coming.  Eric Thames has been in hiding for too long.

The rest of the slate is not nearly as interesting.  With the Nationals line not yet out, the Cubs are the biggest favorites on board going up against Matt Moore.  For GPPs I will have a slight mixture of Cubs, but hopefully less than the majority and we will not discuss them below.

The Cardinals/Royals game is a pick em’, which is surprising considering it is Carlos Martinez vs. Ian Kennedy, but the Royals roster does a lot of the “other stuff” much better than the Cards.  Remember they will be without Salvy Perez.  Unfortunately on Sunday I did not have the “perfect parlay” despite having much Jimmy Nelson, Nelson Cruz, Cardinals and Orioles, so it was still a good day.  Good luck!

ASSUMED CHALK BASED OFF VEGAS LINES/TOTALS (and fine plays for cash games):  Cubs, Nationals, Arrieta, Scherzer.

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):

Ian Kennedy vs. Cardinals:  Its a boring night for SPs.  Even on DK I could see people playing it safe and spending up on 2 of the top 4 SPs for their lineups.  Even though as we know from above there are only 3 top SPs on Ervin Santana Monday.  If you are ready to gamble take a shot with Kennedy.  He has an average strikeout rate and is facing an opponent who will swing and miss.  He’s a Royals pitcher so he gives up his fair share of fly balls into the spacious home outfield with great outfield defense.  High Risk, high reward here.  Also a situation where if you are building multiple lineups you will want a couple Cardinals.  (xwOBA = .330)

JC Ramirez vs. Orioles:  Not a sexy GPP option.  I get that.  Lower K numbers than you generally want.  However on a slate with 14 pitching options you want a “steady eddy” in a couple lineups.  In case Scherzer is too expensive or re-injures himself and Arrieta and Martinez go bust, this is a guy that may sneak the points you need in a contrarian manner.  He’s very good against righties and has an incredible defense behind him.  The Orioles will not like the park move out to Anaheim.  (xwOBA = .331)

Along with Scherzer, Arrieta and Martinez, these would be the only SPs I believe I would play as of now before lineups and weather are announced.

GPP PITCHERS to FADE:  

Ervin Santana vs. Brewers:  Discussed above.  If you play hundreds of lineups, you obviously should have shares because of the Brewers strikeout potential, but you are also probably not depending on these articles.  If you play a lesser amount of lineups, just fade him completely.  (xwOBA = .296)

Tim Adleman vs. Padres:  I probably would not fade him on Draftkings but would on Fanduel.  Its tough to like him beyond the price and opponent.  He just got kicked out of the Reds rotation which is easily the worst rotation in the majors, and is only starting Monday due to an injury to Stephenson.  Worst park for pitchers by far on the slate.  Don’t invest on hopes and dreams.  (xwOBA = .330)

Dylan Bundy @ Angels:  We’ve discussed the Angels lineup in this space before.  Its basically Mike Trout and a bunch of guys who make a lot of contact.  Escobar, Pujols, Revere and Simmons all never strike out, with K rates all clearly under 15% for their careers.  The juice won’t be worth the mid-priced squeeze.  (xwOBA = .325)

GPP HITTERS to USE:

Miguel Cabrera:  It will probably be #criminalownership © here.  He got Sunday off and has had the disappointing year.  Trevor Williams and the Pirates pen can be exploited and he’s one of the best hitters of our lifetime.  

Anthony Rendon:  Lefty Masher against a crappy lefty.  If you need more analysis beyond that, O’Grady’s flyball rate is sky high.  Dont forget to have lineups with Ryan Zimmermann as well.  

Scooter Gennett:  Chacin has extreme handedness splits and Gennett does as well.  Gennett is 51% better than league average against righties this season and 14% better for his career.  I love him in the 5 hole where he’s been hitting recently behind Cozart-Votto-Duvall in the Great American SmallPark against the Padres defense.

Wil Myers:  People are sleeping on him and his price has come down on the major sites.  $3600 on DK and $3100 on FD with a ceiling that could involve multiple extra base hits, runs, rbi and a steal.  Get shares.

Robbie Grossman:  He is actually 15% better than the league average hitter against lefties.  One worry is that he is extremely patient and walks a ton.  In that case you may want the hitter or two behind him in the Twins lineup on Monday.  Also in 105 plate appearances against lefties this season Eduardo Escobar has been 22% better than the league average hitter.

Ryan Braun:  Among other Brewers on ESM.

Kole Calhoun:  Great matchup with Bundy who is giving up alllllllll the longballs this season.  Calhoun might be in the cleanup spot behind Trout and Albert.

GPP TEAM STACKS to USE:  

Reds:  Best park to hit in tonight, best defense to hit balls into.

Brewers: The bullpen is weaker.  We are already projecting Santana to have a letdown.  These guys steal and bomb so have a few different mixtures of Brewers including Thames.

Angels: They’ve quietly been playing quite a few high scoring affairs and only need a few guys around Trout to have big innings..

Tonight as always will be tough to hit the jackpot.  I could see pairs taking the cake as opposed to full stacks.  Don’t be shy about combining 3 or 4 team pairings in lineups with Carlos Martinez.  That will probably be where I am at on ESM.

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