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 FanDuel 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’s get to the MLB GPP plays!
Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals – When looking for a GPP pitcher, we want two things: the win and big time strikeout upside, and Gio can provide both of those tonight. Despite some shoulder issues, Gonzalez had another great year with Washington in 2014, posting a 3.57 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 162 KS in 158.2 innings pitched. The Philadelphia Phillies struggled mightily versus LHP last season, finishing in the bottom five in both wOBA and strikeout rate against lefties. Look for a dominant performance from Gio tonight.
Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners – Walker has a live arm and he is one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. The 22-year-old Louisiana native posted incredible numbers in spring training (0.67 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, with 26 Ks in 27 IP) and looks poised to have a breakout season. Walker is inexpensive across the industry and he has big time K potential, making him one of the top value plays on the board tonight.
Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers – Lucroy is one of the top power hitting catchers in the game and he has that big game upside we are looking for. Lucroy has not only smashed LHP throughout his career, but he has also hit Jeff Locke extremely hard (.462 BA, including a double, homer and four walks) in 16 plate appearances.
Yasmani Grandal, Los Angeles Dodgers - Catcher is a nice spot to look for salary relief in your tournament play. You can still win a GPP by punting catcher, however you are still looking for upside. Grandal hit 15 home runs in just 377 at-bats last season and is only getting better. This 26-year-old Cuban has some serious pop in his bat and makes a great value play tonight.
Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers - Martinez is now only first base eligible on most fantasy sites and for that reason alone I expect him to be highly under-owned in tournament play. V-Mart posted career highs in 2014 at the “young” age of 36 and he has always raked versus RHP. Martinez has absolutely owned Zach McAllister in his career (9-for-18, .500 BA, with four doubles and a homer), and I expect more of the same tonight.
Matt Adams, St. Louis Cardinals – Adams is still looking for his first hit of the season and I expect him to break out in a big way tonight at Great American Ball Park versus RHP Jason Marquis. The 6-3, 230 pound Adams was money facing RHP last season (.318 BA, .349 OBP, 12 HR, 53 RBI in 406 AB) and Marquis is a very hittable pitcher.
Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates – Don’t get me wrong, I like Mike Fiers, but he is susceptible to the home run. Walker is a much better hitter from the left side of the plate, hitting 21 home runs as a lefty last season. Walker has hit Fiers well in a small sample size (.385 BA in 13 AB), and he has explosive upside.
Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians - Kipnis has rolled off back to back multi-hit games and certainly looks more like the player from 2013 than the one from last season. Kipnis is another second baseman with plenty of upside tonight and he can score points in many ways. Having the ability to homer or steal multiple bases makes Kipnis a great GPP play tonight.
Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies – This may be obvious, but he has to be mentioned. Arenado has crushed the baseball in his first three games, racking up six hits in 14 at-bats, including three doubles and a bomb. Like most Rockies, Arenado destroyed LHP in Coors Field last season and a multi-hit game seems automatic for him tonight.
Pablo Sandoval, Boston Red Sox – Here is the BvP special of the day. Sandoval is not only a much better hitter when batting left handed, but he has murdered Nathan Eovaldi in 11 at bats, with eight hits, including three doubles, a homer and nine RBI. Even for the anti-BVP guy, this is hard to ignore.
Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies – Tulo in Coors Field against a LHP? Sign me up. Tulowitzki is off to a hot start and he produced video game numbers last season in Colorado (.417 BA, .497 OBP, 1.245 OPS). Cubs’ LHP Travis Wood had a rough season and RHB did most of the damage against him. Fade Tulo at your risk tonight.
Jose Iglesias, Detroit Tigers – Iglesias is off to a fantastic start for Detroit with six hits (.545 BA) in his first three games, including three runs scored and two stolen bases. Iglesias may hit ninth in the Tigers order, but that has not stopped him from being one of the top value shortstops so far this season.
Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates – McCutchen is a stud and is always in play, but when he gets a plus matchup, he is a “must” play. McCutchen may be the best power/speed combo in baseball and he has really enjoyed facing Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers. In 14 career at-bats, Cutch has six hits off of Fiers, including four homers and nine RBIs. When he has connected off of Fiers, he has hit the ball a long way.
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals - Harper has started the season off with a bang, registering four hits in his first three games. Phillies’ RHP Jerome Williams is one of the top pitching options to pick on today and Harper is the guy with the most upside in this Washington lineup. Harper has double-dong potential tonight.
Jorge Soler, Chicago Cubs - Let’s not forget that there are not one but two teams playing at Coors Field today. RHB teed off on Tyler Matzek last season (.306 BAA, .374 OBPA) and I expect the Cubbies to put up a big number today. Soler has big time power and massive upside in this contest.