The Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) – April 18, 2017
April 17, 2017 | Doug Shain
Welcome to the Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) for April 18, 2017. For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Doug Shain and I’ve been a part of The Fake Sports team for the last three years (NHL, NFL, MLB). I’ve been playing season long fantasy for over 25 years and DFS for the last 5 years. Besides being blessed with the job to write for this site, I’m pretty much just like the rest of you. I’m a teacher that likes to play DFS as a way to relax and maybe make some money along the way. I don’t really look at cash games and I’m not terribly interested in min-cashing a GPP. I want the big money. Because of this, I tend to have a high level of variance in my play. I know that I have to take some risks with my lineup in order to move up in a field of thousands of players.
Over the course of my time at the Fake Sports I’ve come be known as the HuLo guy. HuLo is a term I invented (fine, my dad came up with it) that means High Upside, Low Ownership. It’s similar in concept to a contrarian play. With the way that I play DFS, and the way that most of the general public plays DFS, we are going to have to find a few HuLo plays along the way to take down a GPP.
For this year’s version of this article I’m going to try to put a strong emphasis on some of the more overlooked plays of the day instead of just firing chalk at you. I want this article to give you a different perspective on your lineups instead of being a blueprint of how to make lineups (we’ve got Cheat Sheets for that). I’ll be sure to reference the chalkier plays each day but the main focus is going to lean heavily towards the HuLo end of the spectrum.
One big thing to keep in mind with this refocused philosophy – HuLo plays are far from a sure thing so we are going to miss more than we hit, but when we do hit we should hit big. To be clear, I’m not advocating that you use a solely HuLo lineup. I’m merely giving you something more to think about; plays that can supplement the chalk that you are going to use in your lineups.
Feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@bankster17) to keep the conversation rolling. On to the picks!
***These plays are NOT ranked in order of preference***
|HuLo Pitchers||HuLo Stacks||Sample Lineups|
|Luis Severino (NYY/RHP) vs Chicago White Sox: $6.5k DK/$7.7k FD||Toronto Blue Jays vs Brian Johnson (BOS/LHP)||Fanduel: Michael Fulmer ($9100), Brian McCann ($3000), Chris Davis ($3300), Jonathan Villar ($3200), Miguel Sano ($3400), JJ Hardy ($2600), Nelson Cruz ($3700), Mitch Haniger ($2800), Nomar Mazara ($3900)|
|Shelby Miller (ARI/RHP) @ San Diego Padres: $7.5k DK/$7.4k FD||Milwaukee Brewers @ Brett Anderson (CHC/LHP)||Draft Kings: Michael Fulmer ($8900), Jimmy Nelson ($7000), Brian McCann ($3300), Joey Votto ($4800), Brian Dozier ($4600), Miguel Sano ($4100), JJ Hardy ($3300), Ryan Braun ($4600), Bryce Harper ($4600), Nelson Cruz ($4300)|
|Jimmy Nelson (MIL/RHP) @ Chicago Cubs: $7.0k DK/$7.8k FD||Minnesota Twins vs Josh Tomlin (CLE/RHP)||Fantasy Draft: Max Scherzer ($24900), Michael Fulmer ($17400), Troy Tulowitzki ($7600), Kendrys Morales ($7500), JJ Hardy ($6600), Max Kepler ($7500), Mitch Haniger ($6800), Nelson Cruz ($8400), Brian McCann ($6400), Nomar Mazara ($6900)|
|Chalk Pitchers: Max Scherzer, Yu Darvish, Michael Fulmer, Mike Leake||Chalk Stacks: Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks|
Luis Severino (NYY/RHP): Oh boy, Luis Severino looks good this year. He has 17K’s this year in only 12 inning pitched (12.75 K/9) while only allowing 2 walks over that same time period. I love when a young power pitcher can show that level of control. I’m not even worried about the subpar 4.50 ERA when it comes with high strikeout totals like that. If Severino isn’t putting people on base with walks then the hits he does allow are going to cause less damage. The White Sox have been terrible against RHP this year with a .214 BA and a 26.4% K-rate. I don’t know if we are going to see double digit K’s out of Severino tonight but a 6IP/7K game is well within reason.
Shelby Miller (ARI/RHP): Don’t tell anyone, but Shelby Miller has looked like a real major league pitcher this year. He’s averaging 5.1IP/6K in his two starts, which isn’t bad at all. His walk rate is a little concerning (5 BB in those 10.2 innings) but the Padres don’t walk a ton so that’s not a huge concern here tonight. This game being in SD rather than Chase Field is a huge plus to Miller as he goes from one of the most hitter friendly parks to a very pitcher friendly field. SD’s .214 BA against RHP on the season further cements Miller as a potential steal as his price point.
Jimmy Nelson (MIL/RHP): There are few pitchers in baseball that have looked as good as Nelson has so far this year. He’s given up only 2ER in 13IP this year (1.39 ERA). Add his 9.0 K/9 and 13:2 K to BB ratio and you’ve got a live arm that’s not putting himself in a position to fail. His matchup against the Cubs would seem to be problematic at first glance but he’s already faced them once this year and he dominated (6IP/8K/1ER). The Cubbies are struggling against RHP this year with only 5 HR, a .220 BA, and a 27.8% K-rate. If the winds are blowing in at Wrigley then it could lead to an even better game from Nelson. I don’t think his early season numbers are a mirage and he could very well be the National League, right-handed version of James Paxton (a former highly touted prospect that’s finally living up to his billing). To get him at $7.0K on Draft Kings is a potential robbery and he pairs great with Michael Fulmer to still give you room to load up on bats.
Toronto Blue Jays: We are taking a huge leap of faith here that the numbers are going to work in favor of the Blue Jays. I know that they’ve struggled a lot this year, and I know that Josh Donaldson is not going to be a part of this lineup but I still think they can put together a good game against the Boston lefty Brian Johnson. For the season, Toronto is actually one of the better teams against LHP with a .263 BA. This is a perfect situation for guys like Russell Martin, Troy Tulowitzki, and Jose Bautista to break out of their season long funks. Add in Kendrys Morales and you’ve got a stack that would take down any GPP in 2013. While none of those players are who they once were, they can still put it together for one game to reclaim the glory days. I won’t be heavily stacking Toronto but I will look to use them in some spots for ownership relief and a little bit of HuLo magic.
Milwaukee Brewers: Is it cheating to say the Brewers are a HuLo stack right now? I mean, I know that Eric Thames has been scorching hot but he is facing a lefty today so that should slow him down a little, right? Either way, I’m all over Milwaukee today against Brett Anderson (despite his relatively strong start to the season). I don’t believe in the 0.84 ERA that Anderson has put; the 6:5 K to BB ratio and 5.06 K/9 are a lot more telling to me. What they tell me is that he’s putting guys on bases that he should be, leaving plenty of room for those mistakes to bit him in the butt. Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton, and the aforementioned Thames will definitely make him pay for those mistakes with the way they are currently hitting. If Manny Pina is in the lineup, you know I love him for some salary relief.
Minnesota Twins: Stacking against Danny Salazar didn’t work so well yesterday but something tells me that today’s game against Josh Tomlin (18.47 ERA in 6.1 IP) won’t be nearly as challenging. The better of Tomlin’s two starts saw him give up 6 earned runs in 4.2 innings of work, so you could say he’s struggling. On top of that, the BvP is back in the Twins favor again tonight (at least for Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, and Joe Mauer who combine for a .400 BA with 2 HR in 40 career AB). I’m not sure I’ll have Rosario or Mauer in my stack but I will surely have the likes of Max Kepler and Brian Dozier in there with Sano. I’m also intrigued by Jorge Polanco at SS who comes in very cheap and playing well this year. He’d be a nice pivot off of Mauer to complete this stack. As usual, if something interesting shows up in the lineup then I’ll be more than happy to try to take advantage of that.
Other names to consider:
JJ Hardy (BAL/SS): If you’re a BvP guy then Hardy is going to be one of your top plays tonight. In 30 career AB against Bronson Arroyo, Hardy has a .300 BA and 5 HR. He’s near min-price and a great punt play to get you to some of those bigger bats and arms tonight.
Brian McCann (HOU/C): The other BvP play du jour is Brian McCann. His numbers against Ricky Nolasco are incredible. He’s Nolasco 68 times and has compiled a .338 BA with 8 HR and 26 RBI. That’s stunning production from a catcher that’s not going to break the bank. Make sure McCann is in the lineup today (Houston has been wonky with this position all year) but if he is, fire away!
Nomar Mazara (TEX/OF): I don’t think enough is being said about how great Mazara has been this year. He’s hitting .310 with 4 HR and is priced way down on DK and Fantasy Draft. With a matchup against right-handed Andrew Triggs, I expect another solid outing. He’s a great guy to pay down for if you want to go big with pitching (as I did with the Fantasy Draft sample lineup).
Zach Wheeler (NYM/RHP): Wheeler hasn’t done too much to get excited about this year in his 9.2 innings pitched but what impresses me most is his 17:6 ground ball to fly ball ratio and only 2 walks. Those are the kinds of numbers that can hold down a Philadelphia offense like likes to rely on the home run ball.
Kyle Freeland (COL/LHP): Freeland, like Wheeler, has been great at keeping the ball on the ground this year. His ground ball to fly ball ratio is a stellar 19:4. He’s already faced the Dodgers once this year and held them to 1ER in 6IP; he added in 6K as a bonus. LA is only hitting .225 with 3 HR against lefties all year so it’s not out the realm of possibility that Freeland puts up another gem. The best part about this start is that it’s taking place in LA and not at Coors Field (where that first start occurred).
Come play me in a free game over at Fantasy Draft for bragging rights.
Your feedback is always welcome. You can find me on Twitter @bankster17.