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/or 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!
Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals – I can see why some fantasy owners will shy away from Strasburg in cash games tonight, but it would be a mistake to fade him in tournaments. Strasburg has looked as good as ever (20 IP, 3 ER, 25 Ks) since his return from the disabled list and he has a terrific matchup this evening. The San Diego Padres rank 12th in the National League with a lousy .300 wOBA versus right-handed pitching (run through RotoGrinders’ MLB team stats for more interesting numbers) and they are striking out at a 21.6% clip, which is the second most in the Senior Circuit. Strasburg has massive DFS upside in this game and you are going to want to have at least some exposure to him in GPPs.
Nathan Karns, Tampa Bay Rays – Karns has been a pleasant surprise for Tampa Bay this season and his 8.80 K/9 rate should play well at the Trop tonight versus the Minnesota Twins. The Twins have been a very good team at home, but they are a mess on the road. Minnesota is dead last in team wOBA and they are striking out the third most in the American League away from Target Field. If you want to go with a value pitcher, Karns is safe with a high ceiling.
Travis d’Arnaud, New York Mets – The Mets offense exploded last night and d’Arnaud did his part by chipping in with three hits, including a double and a home run. New York should be one of your top teams to target again tonight as they face whipping boy Jerome Williams. Look for d’Arnaud to roll out his third straight multi-hit game tonight.
Francisco Cervelli, Pittsburgh Pirates - Not only is Cervelli inexpensive, but he has been insanely good against left-handed pitching this season, sporting a .368 batting average and a .419 wOBA. Dollar for dollar, Cervelli is my top catcher this evening.
Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays – The Blue Jays are a very scary offense and Encarnacion tends to be the guy who often gets overlooked. Double-E has now hit safely in 19 consecutive games and he has really turned it on in his last five contests, producing two doubles, three home runs and nine RBIs. Encarnacion has double-dong potential tonight and at the very least he should see plenty of RBI opportunities.
Michael Cuddyer, New York Mets – Cuddyer may not have the splits in his favor, but that means very little against gas can Jerome Williams. Both lefties (.311 BAA, .345 wOBA) and righties (.333 BAA, .407 wOBA) are crushing Williams this season and I have no idea how he is still pitching in the Major Leagues. At the end of the day, I am just happy I get to pick on him every five days.
Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins - Dee Gordon lacks home run upside, but he more than makes up for it with his blazing speed. Charlie Morton has struggled to keep left-handed hitters off the base paths his entire career and Gordon is an on-base machine. Gordon has multi-hit, multi-steal and multi-run upside in this matchup.
Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians – Kipnis has yet to have that “big game” since his return from injury and I think it happens tonight. Wily Peralta is a talented young pitcher, but left-handed batters continue to give him issues. Peralta is allowing a .368 wOBA to lefties in 2015 and Kipnis is hammering right-handed pitching (.357 BA, .410 wOBA) this season.
Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays - Despite being in a great spot to go off tonight, I expect Donaldson to be highly under-owned thanks to his sky high price. He has put it all together in 2015, including a .468 wOBA against lefties. If you plan to go with a value pitcher in your GPPs, I would find a way to roster Donaldson. The matchup (facing a southpaw in a hitter’s park) does not get much better for big Josh.
Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds - Todd Frazier has fallen off a cliff since the All-Star break. However, he has started to show signs of life recently, and even with his prolonged slump, he still owns a .403 wOBA against left-handed pitching. Frazier is more of a boom-or-bust option these days, but the upside remains quite high.
Troy Tulowitzki, Toronto Blue Jays - Troy Tulowitzki has cooled off recently, but I expect that to change tonight in Texas against Derek Holland. Thanks in part to his mini-slump, his price has come down across the industry, and that is something we need to take advantage of in our tournament play this evening. Look for Tulo to bust out in a big way tonight.
Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis Cardinals – Peralta is starting to heat up at the dish and he is currently riding a seven-game hitting streak. Not only is Peralta very reasonably priced on most sites, but he gets a nice park boost and faces a southpaw tonight. Peralta has abused lefties throughout his career and I expect more of the same tonight in Chase Field.
Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies – Blackmon has base knocks in 10 straight games and he has been a beast versus righties (.310 BA, .377 wOBA with 39 extra base hits and 26 stolen bases) all season long. Mike Foltynewicz has been abysmal against left-handed batters (.331 BAA, .416 wOBA) in his young career and we should expect Blackmon to exploit that tonight.
New York Mets Outfield – ALL the Mets are in play tonight. New York gets to tee off on Jerome Williams in the band box known as Citizens Bank Park, and even though they will be popular, I think fading them will backfire.
Kole Calhoun, Los Angeles Angels – Alfredo Simon has struggled mightily versus lefties this season, allowing a .290 batting average and a .371 weighted on-base average. Calhoun does his best work against right-handed pitching and I love his potential in this game.