This article is intended to be a guide for MLB GPP play, covering chalk pitching to contrarian hitting. I will say though that I wrote the article the night before so no lineups are finalized yet, which is why my stacks doesn’t say what players specifically. This will be merely a statistical, analytical approach to the top plays of the slate for the day for Fanduel main slate.
Justin Verlander: $11,700 – Not sure how much statistical analysis this one needs, but Verlander faces off against the Blue Jays as the biggest Vegas favorite on the board. With the highest K/9 of all pitchers on the slate, he gets a Jays squad that has a 22.5 K% against RHP over the last calendar year. Add that to his slate highest SwStr% of 13.1% and you’ve got all the makings of a solid play for both cash games and GPP. The only thing better than his pitching stats are his wife Kate Upton’s measurements, and while they aren’t going to win you a GPP, they’re sure nice to look at.
Mike Foltynewicz: $8,700 – Coming in as the third highest Vegas favorite, I can definitely see Foltynewicz being decently owned for $8700. Owning the third highest K/9 and second highest K% (10.71 & 28.9% respectively) of all pitchers, it is more than likely that he will get the win against the Reds.
Cole Hamels: $8,900 – I can’t believe I would be writing this, but I can actually see Hamels having some ownership tomorrow night. Anytime you have a pitcher facing the Padres who are notorious for striking out, you have to give them some consideration. Yes, I understand that there are other teams with smaller implied run totals on the slate, and that this is a very hitter friendly park, but the Padres own a 25% K% against LHP over the last 12 months, a .300wOBA, and a wRC+ of 88. Hamels does own the 7th highest SwStr% of all pitchers on the slate, and I can certainly see him getting several strikeouts tonight.
Jonathan Loaisiga: $6,400 – An interesting low-tier price option who gets the Phillies who have a tendency to strike out a lot, and aren’t the greatest at generating offense against RHP. He has a 10.38 K/9 26.3% K%, and 12.0% SwStr%, all of which are top 10 for pitchers on the slate. His low price and favorable Vegas odds may gather him some ownership tonight.
Vincent Velasquez: $8100 – I may be totally wrong about this from an ownership perspective, but I do think that VV is a great GPP play tonight. He is going against a New York squad that has the third highest implied run total on the slate, but there’s some factors that people aren’t aware of. One, New York owns a 24.9% K% over the last 30 days against RHP. Their wOBA is at .306 and wRC+ is 92, which doesn’t indicate that they are crushing pitchers. Two, VV comes in with the second highest K/9 of all pitchers, as well as the third highest K% at 10.87 and 28.5% respectively. His price is definitely lower than his upside, and I feel he can make a great play this evening.
Blake Snell: $9,100 – The kid can certainly deal that’s for sure. He will be getting a Nats squad that isn’t the greatest against LHP, and Snell definitely has the upside that’s for sure. I will tell you though he comes with a little risk. His Fantasylabs advanced data shows that he is giving up 12% more hard hit contact, as well as 31 ft. more than he normally does with regard to distance. That being said, I really don’t see Washington getting ahold of him tonight. Add in the pitcher friendly park and you have the makings of a possible GPP stud.
Felix Hernandez: $7,500 – Let’s face it, the Orioles have be #notgood this year offensively. Outside of Manny Machado, there isn’t a whole lot to their lineup that scares me. They have a bottom 10 wOBA and wRC+ over the last 12 months and last 30 days. Not only that, but they own a 23.6% K% against RHP over the same 12 month time period. He’s certainly not the sexiest option on the board that’s for sure, and I can definitely see people stacking against him with Orioles bats. But, with his low price and the O’s inability to generate offense, I think that you can consider him for your GPP lineups.
Mariners: Haniger/Cruz/Seager – Cashner is a gas can, and whenever he is on the mound it always seems like the other team is a big favorite. As of right now the Mariners have the second highest implied total at 5.2. The interesting part of the M’s lineup is that they have very few lefty bats in it. However, Haniger has reverse splits, Cruz is Cruz, and Seager is only $2,900. This provides you with a great stack at a moderate price. If you want to get kinky though you could slide down to Healy and Zunino, both of who have great recent batted ball data over the last 15 days.
Rangers: Wait til you hear this. Joey Lucchesi’s recent batted ball data states that he is allowing an opponent distance of 301ft (a difference of 93ft, 93!!!), hard hit contact of 60%, and exit velocity of 98mph over the last 15 days. I’m not quite sure if this is an error on Fantasylabs’ part, but my god is that brutal. Even more brutal is that he will get a Rangers team who is top 10 in wRC+ against LHP at 102, as well as wOBA at .329 over the last 12 months. They’ve have the Vegas data to support them being a top play as well. Righty bats are in play for the Rangers, but since the lineup isn’t final yet I’m not sure who they will or won’t have in. Beltre is for sure in play, as is Profar and Chirinos.
Dodgers: Pederson/Muncy/Bellinger/Grandal – The Dodgers will seeing Duane Underwood tonight and have one of the highest implied totals of the evening, and for good reason. Against RHP this season they are top 10 in wOBA as well as wRC+, as well as in the last 30 days. The bats mentioned above are all lefty, several of which are absolutely mashing the ball or have great splits against RHP. My two favorite are Pederson and Bellinger, but all four are great options tonight.
Braves: Inciarte/Albies/Freeman/Markakis – I think this is a squad that can go under the radar tonight. They face Tyler Mahle who has been getting hit 10% harder than usual, and is giving up 20ft more over his last 15 days. He owns an xFIP of 4.15, a SIERA of 4.29, and a 1.84 dongs/9 both of which are bottom 6 on the slate among all pitchers. Assuming they play in the listed order, Braves 1-4 may be in play tonight in the hitter friendly SunTrust Park.
Indians: There are SEVERAL Tribe bats that I like tonight. I have to be very honest, I think that this could be a brutal series for the Cardinals. The Indians are one of the best offenses in baseball, and they tee off against John F’ing Gant. They are my favorite team of the evening because I don’t think anyone is going to use them due to their high priced, especially with Verlander on the mound tonight. Right now I am leaning toward Lindor, Brantley, Ramirez, and Encarnacion, however you can also go to Chisenhall, Kipnis, Gomes, and Naquin as well. So, basically their whole lineup. That is of course the names above play tonight.
D-Backs: Jay/Lamb/Goldy/Peralta/Descalso – The Diamondbacks will get the luxury of facing homerun prone Dan Straily, who gives up the slate worst 2.15 HR/9, owns an xFIP of 5.00, and a SIERA of 5.09. The D-Backs have definitely picked up their performance against RHP the last 30 days, and with several of their bats moderately priced, I think they are a great option if you are seeking high upside with low ownership.
Good luck tonight!
Author: Matt N
*This information was gathered through Fantasylabs and Fangraphs*