Every Tuesday and Friday, I am going to give you my top tournament plays for all Daily Fantasy Baseball GPPs (guaranteed prize pool). GPPs are a general term used across the industry for your big money tournaments.
GPPs are very different from your cash games and you use a different strategy with them. In our GPPs we are not interested in safe plays, since GPPs are all about UPSIDE. We want players who can explode, as all-or-nothing type players can become GPP gold, and your value players are just as important as your star players. You need your players to have huge nights in order to take down these big tournaments.
My goal is to provide players who will be under-owned and have that big game upside you are looking for. I will also try to find as much value as I possibly can. Now, let us get to the FanDuel MLB GPP plays!
Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals - Gonzalez has looked fantastic in 2016, allowing only one earned run in 13 innings pitched, with a 12:3 strikeout to walk ratio. We know the strikeouts will be there, but if Gio can continue to limit the walks, he will be a hot commodity in Daily Fantasy Baseball this year. The Minnesota Twins have struggled versus southpaws this season with a .273 team wOBA and a 23% strikeout rate. If Gonzalez can harness his control, he should be able to go six-to-seven innings in this game, while generating at least a K per inning and coming away with the win.
Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies - The former first round pick (7th overall) has a great arm and he has the big game upside we require in our tournaments. Nola’s 5.68 ERA is very misleading as he has actually pitched quite well this season, as evident by his 10.98 K/9 rate and 1.88 walk per 9 rate. The Milwaukee Brewers offense’ has been much better recently but this is not an offense to fear, and they are striking out over 25% of the time against right-handed pitching. The Brewers’ biggest offensive threats are all right-handed and Nola has dominated righties so far in his young career, posting a 27.5% strikeout rate. At $6,900, Nola is easily the best bang for your buck on the bump tonight.
Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants - I am not hearing a lot of buzz about Posey tonight with all the runs expected to come from Colorado, Cincinnati and Houston to name a few places. Posey remains the best offensive catcher in the game and with the San Francisco Giants’ low projected run total on the MLB odds board; this should keep his ownership down in tournaments.
Welington Castillo, Arizona Diamondbacks – I am generally all about saving as much salary as possible at the catcher position. I prefer an inexpensive option with home run upside and Castillo meets those criteria tonight. Beef Welington has many things going for him tonight. Not only has he hit three homers in his last five games, but he is also facing a lefty in a great hitting environment.
Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles – With this game being played in Kaufmann Stadium you can bet Davis will be highly under-owned tonight. Chris Young is a very hittable, fly-ball pitcher and Davis has the power to leave any yard with ease. Crush has multi-homer upside regardless of the ballpark, and nobody is on him tonight.
Lucas Duda, New York Mets – Bud Norris has been a very hittable pitcher throughout his career (career 6.23 ERA, with a 1.67 WHIP), with left-handed batters doing some serious damage to him (career .355 wOBA VS LHB). Duda’s bat has come alive in his last three games, producing six hits, including two doubles and three long-balls. Because there is a plethora of studs at first base, Duda often is overlooked in GPPs. Even with his hot streak and inexpensive salary, I expect Duda to be low percentage owned tonight in large field tournaments.
Neil Walker, New York Mets - Despite tearing the cover off the ball recently (10 hits and five homers in his last six contests), Walker continues to go under-owned in tournaments. Perhaps it is because of his lower spot in the batting order; however, that has not stopped him from being the most productive hitter in baseball over the last week. Norris struggles to retire lefties and I expect Walker to remain red hot in this matchup.
Logan Forsythe, Tampa Bay Rays – Forsythe has been the catalyst for the Tampa Bay Rays’ offense, racking up six hits and five runs scored in his last three games. The new version, or should I say the more recent version of C.C. Sabathia is a pitcher who no longer throws gas, but one that has had to learn how to pitch. He continues to shut down lefties, but right-handed batters have really hit him hard over the last two years (.320 BAA, .401 wOBA in 2014 and a .304 BAA, .370 wOBA in 2015). Forsythe does his best work against lefties (.357 career wOBA VS LHP) and he should have a productive night in Yankee Stadium.
Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays - I spoke earlier about C.C. Sabathia’s struggles with hitters from the right side of the plate, and we know that Longoria has been a lefty killer throughout his career (.383 wOBA). He also has outstanding numbers versus the New York Yankees’ southpaw: 24-64, .375 BA with eight doubles and six bombs.
Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals - Andrew Cashner really struggled in 2015 with left-handed batters doing some serious damage against him (.383 wOBA). Carpenter excels versus right-handed pitching and he is a multi-hit machine. With this game playing on the West Coast in a pitcher’s paradise, I think it is safe to assume Carpenter will be low percentage owned in large field tournaments.
The top three (Carlos Correa, Trevor Story and Corey Seager) are all fantastic options tonight, but if we are looking for salary relief we will have to look elsewhere. Asdrubal Cabrera is swinging a hot stick these days and he will face Bud Norris who gave up a .385 wOBA to lefties last season. Alcides Escobar has hits in eight of his last 10 games, including four of the multi-hit variety. Leading off for a potent Kansas City Royals offense, Escobar has multi-hit/run upside on a nightly basis. Jordy Mercer is another inexpensive shortstop who is starting to heat up with the bat and he faces a southpaw in Chase Field tonight.
J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton, Detroit Tigers – In 2015 Josh Tomlin allowed a solid 1.03 HR/9 rate to left-handed batters, however that number was much higher when facing right-handed hitters (2.64 HR/9). Both Martinez and Upton mash righties and I think they make a sneaky mini-stack in GPPs.
Colby Rasmus, Houston Astros – Rasmus is coming off of a monster game (2-3 with two bombs, two runs and three RBIs) against the Texas Rangers and he is in a great spot to produce again tonight. Hitting clean-up in the Houston Astros’ explosive lineup should give Rasmus plenty or RBI opportunities versus knuckleballer Steven Wright.
Brandon Guyer and Steve Pearce, Tampa Bay Rays - The Tampa Bay Rays righties should have plenty of success versus C.C. Sabathia in Yankee Stadium tonight. Both Brandon Guyer and Steve Pearce have big game upside and make tremendous punt options in the outfield this evening.