Hey everyone! Hope you had a great weekend! Because we’re coming off the all-star break, we’ve got a bigger-than-usual Monday slate, but I do love its GPP potential! I’m not going to run through all 24 guys, but let me hit the highlights for you!
High-risk, high-reward guys (great GPP plays):
Chad Kuhl ($5,600): The reward: This is an awfully low price for the sort of upside he has. Kuhl has a SwStr% of 10.9%, one of the best on the slate, with a K rate of just 18%. This suggests he should be striking out more guys. Enter the Brewers who strike out 25% of the time against righties. This is a perfect opportunity for him to post a big score. The risk: his ERA is 4.96, and his peripherals back that up. He’s really hittable, especially against lefties, and the Brewers just so happen to have a lot of power. He’s $5,600 for a reason…
Jake Odorizzi ($7,400): The reward: Odorizzi misses even more bats than Kuhl and still has room for improvement in his K rate (11.1% and 20.1% respectively). He gets the Athletics, in Oakland, who strike out even more than the Brewers! The risk: the same as Kuhl—Odorizzi is extremely hittable and allows lots of hard hits and lots of fly balls. That leads to lots of HRs. Oakland, meanwhile has significant power, though because they play late, they are often forgotten. Moreover, Odorizzi has been pretty “lucky” with his .256 BABIP. Given the price, the risk outweighs the reward, but it’s still a logical GPP call.
Jason Vargas ($8,800): The reward: Despite the Tigers winning the last couple games and being generally hard against lefties, they’ve been pretty cold overall and are close to just packing it in. Vargas, meanwhile misses a lot of bats (10.1%) and has just an 18% K rate, giving him room for more Ks. There’s some potential here, though a lot would need to go right at his price. It helps that this is in KC. The risk: The Tigers can hit, and Vargas’s ERA is light years ahead of what his peripheral stats say it should be. There’s significant downside possibility here. The lack of Ks, given his SwStr rate and decent control is a slight cause for concern. When you can’t put guys away with two strikes, bad things happen. See Justin Verlander.
Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,200): The reward: There’s some sneaky upside here and what I will guarantee to be very low ownership. E-Rod has the 2nd highest SwStr% on the slate to go along with the 2nd highest K rate. Though he hasn’t seen too many innings due to injury, those he has seen have been pretty darn good. His peripheral stats suggest his ERA is close to sustainable, and he does a reasonably good job at limiting damage. The Blue Jays aren’t particularly strong against lefties, either, and though his price means he’ll have to have a great game to pay off, it’s possible and at very low ownership. The risk: He’s coming off injury and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 6/1, and the Blue Jays do have one Josh Donaldson and a lineup tonight full of 9 guys batting from the right side. I still like the play, but it’s not without its risk, especially at $8,200.
Less-risk, safer plays (great for cash games):
Lance McCullers ($11,500): I think he’s a great play with nice upside, but his price puts him out of consideration for me for GPPs. He’s still a source of solid points and for a team that is unstoppable. Very likely to land you somewhere in the 20+ point range, but 33+ (GPP territory) seems a stretch tonight.
Jon Lester ($9,800): Honestly, I don’t feel he’s all that safe, but his K upside is significant enough to warrant consideration. He had a rough end to the first half, but as good as the Braves have been against lefties, Lester is still pretty close to elite. I think this is more “trap” than “smart play,” but eventually he’ll have a nice game.
Marcus Stroman ($8,900): I usually wouldn’t recommend a guy against the Red Sox as “safer,” but the way BOS has been (not) hitting lately, he’s safer than he otherwise would be. I dislike the price, but 20 points isn’t out of the question.
Josh Tomlin ($8,000): Here’s a guy whose ERA is way above his peripherals (suggesting a correction coming up), and he gets SF in SF. He’s not a big K guy, but this is a play that could yield you a pile of low-danger innings. That’s nice for cash games!
That’s all I’ve got today! Hope you liked this format! It’s how I saw it breaking down today. There may be other nice plays out there, so if I didn’t cover a guy (perhaps Zack Wheeler), that’s not to say I didn’t like him. Go with your research, and win some money!
About the Author:
Dr. Mike Hass is a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan and a lawyer who lives in Washington DC. He started playing DFS a couple years ago when he no longer had time for season long leagues, and has been hooked ever since. He plays most DFS sports but he focuses most of his time on MLB, especially pitching. He started posting his pitching analyses on Twitter @msonichdrhass last season mostly because it helped him organize his thoughts. Eventually, there were enough people reading, and asking for it daily, so he now does it as regularly as possible (around family and career). He’s primarily a GPP player, but also writes advice for cash games, too.