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 underowned and have that big game upside you are looking for. I will also try to find as much value as I possibly can.
Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets - The matchup does not get much better than this for Thor. He will face one of the weakest lineups in baseball in a pitcher’s paradise. The San Diego Padres are an awful offense and they are even worse against right-handed pitching. The Fathers are striking out over 25% of the time versus righties, which is a number that will likely increase tonight. Syndergaard has been a beast this season and I expect him to dominate this weak Padres team. Look for Thor to pitch at least seven innings while racking up double-digit strikeouts along the way.
Rich Hill, Oakland A’s - Hill has been nothing short of brilliant this year for the Oakland A’s. Neither righties nor lefties are hitting him and he continues to rack up the strikeouts. Hill has 41 punch-outs in just 32 innings pitched, including two double-digit strikeout performances already this season. Not only has Hill been lights out this year, but he has shut down some of the best offenses in the American League. The Baltimore Orioles are a scary offense to face, but they are also very aggressive, striking out 23% of the time versus southpaws. The Orioles are also loaded with right-handed bats, but fear not, as Hill has slammed the door on righties in 2016, holding them to a .218 BA while striking out 33 in just over 23 innings pitched. Because of the matchup and ballpark, I expect Hill to be highly under-owned in tournaments. You might consider Hill a boom-or-bust option this evening, however I think he is more boom than bust.
Drew Pomeranz, San Diego Padres - Pomeranz has very quietly put together a great season thus far for the San Diego Padres. The Southpaw owns a .194 BAA along with 36 strikeouts in 29 innings pitched. The New York Mets are a potent team against right-handed pitching, but they are just middle of the pack versus lefties, striking out over 23% of the time. The win may be tough to come by here, but Pomeranz has big game upside, and even without the win, he can be very productive. With his inexpensive salary across the industry, the Padres’ lefty makes a great roll of the dice in tournaments
Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants – Posey has produced four multi-hit games in his last five contests and he is now hitting .330 on the season. The catcher position is quite ugly tonight and no other backstop has Posey’s upside. The Giants’ catcher is rarely popular in tournaments when playing at AT&T Park against a right-handed pitcher, making him even more attractive to roster tonight.
Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers – With two average starting pitchers taking the mound tonight, backed up by two bad bullpens, we should see plenty of runs scored tonight at the Great American Ball Park. Hitting in the middle of the Brewers lineup, Lucroy should have a very productive game.
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox – Michael Pineda has really struggled this season (.304 BAA, 6.33 ERA), allowing an alarming seven home runs in just 27 innings pitched. If I had to predict one player to have a double-dong tonight, I would go with David Ortiz.
Justin Smoak, Toronto Blue Jays - We saw Smoak’s upside earlier this week and he remains a great bargain on most sites. The 6’4” 220 lb Smoak is a much better hitter from the left side of the plate, compiling a .324 BA and .447 wOBA versus right-handed pitching thus far in 2016. At the very least, Smoak should see plenty of RBI opportunities in this game, hitting out of the five-hole.
Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners - Cano might be the hottest hitter in baseball right now. He has five straight multi-hit games and 16 hits in his last nine contests. Cano feasts on right-handed pitching and Doug Fister is extremely hittable. Look for Cano to roll out his sixth straight multi-hit performance this evening.
Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds - Tyler Cravy projects to be an average pitcher at best and he was not good in his brief time in the Show last season. Both lefties and righties smacked him around in 2015 and I think we see a similar result tonight. Phillips is swinging a hot stick, producing four hits in his last two contests, including a double and two home runs. Considering his price and matchup, Phillips may be the best value play on the board tonight.
Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners - Doug Fister has been smacked around for a couple of seasons now and that makes the Seattle Mariners a strong team to target tonight in GPPs. Left-handed hitters are doing some serious damage to Fister this year (.409 wOBA), and Seager does his best work against right-handed pitching. Look for Seager to have a big game tonight in very hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park.
Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks – Lamb typically hits second when facing a righty and if that is the case tonight, he makes a terrific value play. The D-Backs’ third bagger has blasted right-handed pitching so far in 2016 (.300 BA, .363 wOBA) and I love his potential tonight against Aaron Blair and that awful Atlanta Braves bullpen.
Carlos Correa, Houston Astros - It is not often we find Correa highly under-owned in tournament play but that could be the case this evening. Not only is Correa the most expensive shortstop on most sites, he also has a difficult match-up versus Taijuan Walker. On night where extra salary is hard to come by, paying up for Correa is not only contrarian, but it could also pay off huge.
Jimmy Rollins, Chicago White Sox – Facing Ricky Nolasco in hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field, the Chicago White Sox have one of the highest run totals on the slate. Hitting out of the two-hole, Rollins has multi-hit/run upside at a very reasonable price.
Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds - The Cincinnati Reds bats came to life last night and I expect them to stay hot in this plus matchup. Bruce can be a frustrating player to roster in cash, but his power upside keeps him in play for tournaments. Facing the very hittable Tyler Cravy, I think we see Bruce go yard for the second consecutive game.
Jacoby Ellsbury, New York Yankees - Ellsbury’s bat is starting to come around after a slow start. The Yankees’ offensive catalyst has six hits in his last four contests, including three extra-base hits. I am not going out of my way to pick on Rick Porcello with the way he has been pitching, but Ellsbury has hit him very hard throughout his career (12-28, .429 BA with two doubles and four homers). Ellsbury has multi-hit/run/SB upside in this game.
David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks – Peralta is another left-handed slugger from the Arizona Diamondbacks that should fly under the radar tonight. Peralta has punished righties throughout his career (.315 BA, .381 wOBA) and he remains a bargain on most sites.
The game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ball Park features the highest run total on the board tonight. We should see plenty of runs scored in this game, as well a few value bats in the outfield. All of Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton, Domingo Santana, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Alex Presley are in play, assuming they are in the lineup.