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.
Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals – Martinez is having another fine season for the St. Louis Cardinals, thanks to a decent strikeout rate (20.8%) and a terrific ground ball rate (58.7%). He seems to have traded in a few strikeouts in order to pitch to contact, but it is hard to argue with the results. Left-handed batters have not had much success against him in 2016 and righties do not stand a chance (.202 wOBA and a 24.6% strikeout rate VS RHB). This is important to note, because the San Diego Padres are predominately right-handed. The Padres are not just right-handed heavy, they are also one of the weakest offenses in baseball versus right-handed pitching. San Diego is currently ranked 28th in wRC+ and 29th in wOBA against righties. The Friars also lack discipline, as evident by their low walk rate (7%) and high strikeout rate (24.3%, third-most in baseball). Considering his moderate price and the plus matchup, Martinez is my top GPP arm.
Jameson Taillon, Pittsburgh Pirates – Jameson Taillon is one of the best young pitchers in the game, showing flashes of brilliance at times this season. The Pirates’ rookie right-hander has a plus matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers tonight and he is very reasonably priced. The Brewers are a below average offense versus right-handed pitching and they are striking out over 26% of the time, which is by far the most in Major League Baseball. The Pirates could baby Taillon a bit tonight, but even if he is limited to 85-90 pitches, he can still do a lot of damage against the K-happy Brewers. Look for Taillon to fire five-to-six quality innings tonight with at least a strikeout per inning.
Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants – Posey is very quietly having another solid season for the San Francisco Giants and he gets a huge park boost tonight. Rick Porcello is allowing a .342 wOBA to righties this season and Posey has big game upside in this one. Posey carries a high salary across the industry and that should keep his ownership down in large field tournaments.
Brian McCann, New York Yankees – At this point in his career, McCann is more of a boom-or-bust option, as he continues to swing for the fences in Yankee Stadium. As long as he is facing a righty and there is a short porch in right field, McCann is certainly GPP playable.
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox - A low strikeout pitcher who allows a lot of fly balls is not a good mix when facing the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park. Big Papi is once again murdering righties at home (.408 BA, .552 wOBA) and despite him being highly owned, I think you want at least some exposure to him tonight in GPPs.
Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles - Nate Eovaldi has a live arm and he is not just throwing gas anymore, however, his inability to get lefties out (.376 wOBA) continues to keep him from taking the next step forward. Assuming he is back in the lineup tonight, Crush Davis makes a terrific high upside play in tournaments.
Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins - Sanchez has been awful this season, sporting a 6.75 ERA and a .298 BAA. Right-handed batters have had plenty of success against Sanchez in 2016 (.396 wOBA), and he has allowed 17 home runs in just over 80 innings pitched. Dozier has that big game upside that we are looking for and I love his potential in this game. With most fantasy owners only looking to roster Dozier against a lefty, we should see him under-owned this evening despite the prime matchup.
Kolten Wong and Greg Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals - Colin Rea is another very hittable pitcher and the St. Louis Cardinals are one of the best offenses in baseball against right-handed pitching. Both Kolten Wong and Greg Garcia are inexpensive and have multi-hit/run upside. We should see at least one of these value bats in the lineup tonight and they could even be hitting near the top of the order.
Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies – With the Coors bats being very popular tonight and Nolan Arenado being very expensive, I can see why some will fade him tonight. However, I will remind you of just how gross Arenado’s numbers are at home versus southpaws (.375 BA, .470 wOBA). Fade him at your own risk.
Adonis Garcia, Atlanta Braves - Two things I know in this game – we can certainly pick on lefty Cody Reed and also that awful Cincinnati Reds bullpen. Reed is a home run machine (3.6 HR/9) and right-handed batters have done some serious damage to him so far in his young career (.454 wOBA). Garcia has five hits in his last two games and I think we see him stay hot tonight.
Carlos Correa, Houston Astros - If you are looking for a strong pivot off of Trevor Story, Carlos Correa makes a fine choice. Correa’s speed and power combination plays well anywhere, especially against a below average pitcher in Dillon Overton. With a game in Coors Field and the Astros playing on the West Coast, Correa should fly under the radar tonight in tournament play.
Eduardo Nunez, Minnesota Twins – Nunez is another solid pivot away from Coors Field. With Anibal Sanchez struggling mightily (6.75 ERA and a .396 wOBA VS RHB) and a weak Detroit Tigers bullpen behind him, Nunez has multi-hit/run/SB potential hitting atop the Minnesota Twins lineup.
Corey Dickerson, Tampa Bay Rays - Do you believe in revenge? Dickerson returns to Colorado and he should draw the start tonight against right-hander Tyler Chatwood. Dickerson has been a beast versus right-handed pitching in his career and he has multi-homer in this plus matchup.
Cincinnati Reds Outfield - Tyrell Jenkins has been an average pitcher at best in the Minor Leagues and he has also struggled with his command at every level. From what I can see, Jenkins is simply not Major League ready and I doubt he lasts very long in this game, which means the Reds should continue to score runs against that bad Atlanta Braves bullpen. Look for Hamilton to reach base multiples times tonight and run havoc on the base paths. We also have plenty of power potential in the bats of Jay Bruce and Adam Duvall.
New York Yankees Outfield - You know the Baltimore Orioles are in desperate need of pitching when they continue to roll out Vance Worley. The veteran right-hander has been a below average pitcher throughout his career and I think the New York Yankees outfield smacks him around tonight. Carlos Beltran has double-dong potential and both Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury have jack-and-a-bag upside in this game.
Texas Rangers Outfield - Tom Lincecum has looked terrible this season (6.85 ERA, .369 BAA). Both lefties (.371 wOBA) and righties (.510 wOBA) have tattooed Lincecum in 2016 and I think we see more of the same tonight. The entire Texas Rangers outfield is in play this evening.