The Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) – April 21, 2017
April 20, 2017 | Doug Shain
Welcome to the Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) for April 21, 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|
|CC Sabathia (NYY/LHP) @ Pittsburgh Pirates: $7.4k DK/$7.6k FD||Chicago White Sox vs Corey Kluber (CLE/RHP)||Fanduel: Drew Pomeranz ($7700), Brian McCann ($2900), Matt Carpenter ($2900), Jonathan Villar ($2900), Travis Shaw ($3400), Aledmys Diaz ($2800), Bryce Harper ($4800), Stephen Piscotty ($3200), Charlie Blackmon ($4300)|
|Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA/RHP) @ Oakland Athletics: $7.5k DK/$7.5k FD||St Louis Cardinals @ Wily Peralta (MIL/RHP)||Draft Kings: CC Sabathia ($7400), Drew Pomeranz ($6700), Brian McCann ($3100), Paul Goldschmidt ($5100), Cesar Hernandez ($3400), Kris Bryant ($5200), Aledmys Diaz ($4500), Yasmany Tomas ($3900), Bryce Harper ($5200), Mike Trout ($5300)|
|Drew Pomeranz (BOS/LHP) @ Baltimore Orioles: $6.7k DK/$7.7k FD||Arizona Diamondbacks vs Alex Wood (LAD/LHP)||Fantasy Draft: Jon Lester ($20400), Drew Pomeranz ($13200), Paul Goldschmidt ($10000), Matt Carpenter ($9200), Jose Abreu ($7600), Bryce Harper ($10200), Yasmany Tomas ($7800), Avisail Garcia ($6000), Mitch Haniger ($6600), Freddie Freeman ($9000)|
|Chalk Pitchers: Jon Lester, Taijuan Walker, Corey Kluber, Justin Verlander, Cole Hamels||Chalk Stacks: New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants|
CC Sabathia (NYY/LHP): As if the Pirates weren’t bad enough against LHP this year (.171 BA with 3 HR and a 27.9% K-rate), they now have to try to improve upon those numbers without Starling Marte. Good luck with that. I’m going to be using every lefty I can against PIT until they prove that they can hit them (which they won’t). I like it even better that Sabathia is very reasonably priced tonight; allowing me to use a strong SP1 on 2-pitcher sites or to load up on bats. For his part, Sabathia has looked outstanding this year with a 1.47 ERA and a 25:11 ground ball to fly ball ratio; leading to him only giving up 1 HR so far this year. His strikeouts are down (5.40 K/9) but that’s forcing him to “pitch” a lot better. I don’t mind that from a guy whose salary is in the mid-7’s, facing such a bat hitting lineup, and is very likely to get a win.
Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA/RHP): There is literally nothing about the numbers produced by Iwakuma this year that would lead someone to think that he’s a good pitcher to use tonight. So why do I have him on this list, then? Good questions, friends, I’m glad you asked. The reason I’m not totally opposed to using Iwakuma tonight (admittedly more on a Turbo/Late slate) is that the current A’s roster has a .241 BA and 29.3% K-rate against him. I love me a K-rate that’s approaching 30%. I can’t see anyone taking the leap and using Iwakuma tonight, even on a short slate they are going to gravitate towards Manaea in this game, so you’ve got the ownership game working in your favor. If he’s able to replicate the success he’s had in the past against Oakland, then you’re going to jump up the leaderboard. On a short slate, think four games or less, winning the ownership game is huge.
Drew Pomeranz (BOS/LHP): Remember when I was writing about Iwakuma and I said that I loved me a high K-rate? Pomeranz has a 34.8% K-rate (in 46 AB) against the current Baltimore roster. Unlike Iwakuma, there is a lot that Pomeranz has done this year that would lead you to believe that he’s going to have a solid game tonight. The main number that gets me excited about Pomeranz is that more than half the outs he’s recorded this season have come via the strikeout (16 K’s in 10.1 innings pitched; 13.94 K/9). I know that Baltimore can put up some runs but, wow, those strikeouts look mighty yummy right now. Even if we only get 5 innings out of Pomeranz he can very realistically challenge for double digit K’s.
Chicago White Sox: The last time Corey Kluber took the hill was against a team (the Tigers) that had a very good BvP against him. He gave up 6 ER in that game. The Sox don’t have quite as good of a history against Kluber as the Tigers do, but there are some spots in this lineup where you can take advantage of a very good BvP. Jose Abreu, Melky Cabrera, and Avisail Garcia have combined for a .359 BA with 9 XBH in 78 AB against Kluber. They also have only struck out 23.1% of the time against him, which is a really low number considering Kluber is a K per inning type of guy. I’m not saying that the KluBot is going to give up 6 ER again but if this trio (or even a duo if you want to sit the struggling Melk-Man) can do a little damage against him then you’re going to turn out just fine. That’s not a totally unreasonable expectation.
St Louis Cardinals: Wily Peralta’s numbers this year make him look like a reasonably competent major league pitcher (2.65 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 3-0 record). Don’t be fooled, he’s not good at all. One indicator that he could be in trouble tonight against STL is that he walked a total of 7 batters over his last two starts. STL is the type of workmanlike offense that will make you pay for mistakes like that. On top of that, STL hits Peralta very well. Matt Carpenter, for example, has a .463 BA with 8 XBH in 41 AB against him. Jedd Gyorko and Randal Grichuk are both over .300 and each have gone yard off of Perlata. I’m not sure if I’m comfortable using Gyorko (depends where in the lineup he’s hitting) but I have no issue using Aledmys Diaz, Yadier Molina, Dexter Fowler, and/or Stephen Piscotty along with Carpenter and Grichuk. See how the lineup shakes out and act accordingly. I’m going to guess that you’ll end up with Folwer and Diaz with an outside shot at Piscotty. I think tonight is going to be their breakout game.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Give me the D’backs against just about any LHP in baseball. I honestly am not at all concerned about their currently bad stats against LHP this year because this team is young, yet they still have a very strong pedigree against LHP. Obviously I’m all over Goldy in this stack but I also want Yasmany Tomas, AJ Pollock, and probably Brandon Drury. If Chris Iannetta is behind the plate again, which is iffy since he’s caught a few games in a row now, then I have no issue with you spending down at catcher and using him. He’s got just enough pop to be a fine HuLo catcher (Jeff Mathis is fine as well if he’s in there, although I’ll guess that he’s going to be hitting in an unideal 8th). Nick Ahmed and Chris Owings are sneaky plays if they are batting high enough in the order. Always pay attention to the official lineups to make sure you’ve got guys in the best possible positions.
Other names to consider:
Bryce Harper (WSH/OF): I know it’s Bryce Harper but he’s facing Jacob DeGrom, one of the better pitchers on this slate. I think that name value, and 29 other team’s worth of options, is going to keep Harper’s ownership on the reasonable side. Harper is a big BvP player and he just always crushes the guys he’s supposed to crush. DeGrom is one of those players that Harper has a great BvP against. In 18 career AB against DeGrom, Harper has 3 XBH and a .389 BA. That’s pretty good and well worth paying up for.
Brian McCann (HOU/C): McCann didn’t come through for us the other night when he was a BvP warrior but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give him another shot tonight. In 12 career AB against Alex Cobb he has a .500 BA with 2 home runs. He also provides you with a nice source of salary relief.
Alex Meyer (LAA/RHP): I’d use my mother against the Blue Jays at this point. They are having all sorts of struggles at the plate, especially against RHP. For the season they have a .202 BA with only 6 HR and a 25.8% K-rate. Those are all really bad numbers that even a guy like Meyer can take advantage of. I wouldn’t expect a complete game shutout or anything but the guy is sitting at $4.7k on DK and only $6.0k on FD. He doesn’t need to do much of anything to hit value and using him gives you a lot of flexibility with the rest of your roster.
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.