The Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) – July 4, 2017
July 3, 2017 | Doug Shain
Welcome to the Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) for July 4, 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.
I’m a big proponent of playing short slates (Turbo/Late, etc.) and a lot of my HuLo picks are going to play really well on those types of slates. Make sure to keep that in mind when considering full slates and shorter ones.
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!
Early Slate Musings:
First of all, Happy Fourth of July! May you all have a fun and safe holiday.
So, who the heck is the chalk pitcher for this early slate? I think it has to be Michael Fulmer against the Giants. San Francisco can’t really hit and Comerica is known for being pitcher friendly. I don’t fully trust Fulmer because he hasn’t been a huge strikeout guy this year but he’s whiffed 15 guys in his last two games (15.2 total innings) so maybe that’s starting to come around. He does have an elite ground ball to fly ball ratio, so yeah, I think he’s going to be the most widely owned pitcher. I’m not totally opposed to using him but, as you know, I rarely will pound the chalk if I’m not completely confident in them. I guess the best advice I can give with Flumer is that you can use him if you can afford him, but I wouldn’t build my lineups around him. I think the same can be said for Jimmy Nelson, except I’m actually a little more comfortable with moving some pieces to get him in the lineup. He should be the other chalk guy on this slate but I like the matchup against the Orioles and Nelson has just been totally light’s out over his last ten starts. Over that stretch, Nelson has struck out 8 or more batters in 70% of his games. That’s a big number and one I’m excited to take advantage of. Of all the higher priced guys (Nelson, Fulmer, Archer, Taillon, and King Felix), he’s probably my second choice. My top choice, due to a lower price/ownership combination is Jameson Taillon. He’s looked really good since his return to the Pirates (2.42 ERA, 1 HR allowed, 20 K’, and a 34:13 ground ball to fly ball ratio in 22.1 innings over four starts) and he has a very friendly matchup against the Phillies today. Archer is interesting against the struggling Cubs but be warned that he’s not great on the road and he will cost you a ton. On the lower end of the spectrum I’m looking at JC Ramirez, Daniel Gossett, and Jose Urena (in that order). Ramirez is really up and down but his ups are worth the risk on a pitching deprived slate. His price makes it so he doesn’t have to do much to pay off. Gossett is just like Ramirez in that he’s really inconsistent but we’ve actually seen what he can do against the White Sox. Last week he didn’t give up a run to them while striking out 5 over 6 innings. For his price, that’s an incredible value. We know Chicago struggles against RHP so this is a shot worth taking. Urena is a little pricier than I’d like for him to be but the Cardinals aren’t a powerful offense (ignore last night, that was against Jeff Locke) and he’s actually been quite good over his last four starts (giving up 3 ER or less and pitching at least 5 innings in all of them). He’s not a huge strikeout pitcher but he can get you a 6IP/5K start if things break right. I’m not at all in love with him today but the ownership will be so small that he’s worth a shot in a secondary lineup if you’re not feeling Ramirez or Gossett.
The Tigers, Brewers, Yankees, and Mariners are probably going to be your chalk stacks for this slate and I’m pretty good with using players from any of those teams if the mood hits you and the price is right. Outside of the more obvious teams, I’m pretty focused on three offenses on this slate: Tampa Bay, Oakland, and Miami. By now you should know how I feel about the Rays against RHP. They just pound the heck out of the ball and I expect much of the same against John Lackey. Over his last ten starts, Lackey has given up 16 HR (2.5 HR/9). That’s not a good thing for a guy facing a team that specializes in the longball. I’ll probably be very heavy on Tampa bats this afternoon. Oakland is attractive to me because they are loaded from the left hand side of the plate, and their right-handers are pretty powerful as well (I’m thinking Khris Davis and Ryon Healy). This is important in their matchup against the gas can that is known as James Shields. He may have looked okay so far this year but his underlying numbers say that a blowout is coming (11:17 ground ball to fly ball ratio over his last two starts and a 4.8 BB/9 on the season are not good). The last time Shields faced Oakland he gave up 6 ER and 3 HR in only 3 innings of work. Miami is always in play because the middle of their order (Bour, Ozuna, Stanton, and Yelich) are dangerous against any pitcher, let alone a guy like Lance Lynn who gives up a ton of fly balls that turn into HR (7 HR on 18 fly balls over his last three starts). If Tyler Moore is in the lineup I like him as well as a value play.
Fanduel (early): Jameson Taillon ($8600), Stephen Vogt ($2300), Logan Morrison ($3300), Jed Lowrie ($2700), Travis Shaw ($3800), Orlando Arcia ($2800), Aaron Judge ($4800), Corey Dickerson ($3400), Steven Souza ($3200)
DraftKings (early): Jameson Taillon ($8500), Jimmy Nelson ($9200), Bruce Maxwell ($3100), Logan Morrison ($4700), Jonathan Villar ($4600), Evan Longoria ($3900), Orlando Arcia ($3400), Khris Davis ($4700), Matt Joyce ($3500), Corey Dickerson ($4300)
Late Slate Musings:
As is always the case when he’s on the slate, the big question today is to fade Kershaw or not fade Kershaw. I could make a very strong argument that the right play tonight is to stack Diamondbacks and go double whammy fade on Kershaw. I’m not going to make that argument though. I actually think a lot of people are going to think that way and that Arizona might end up being a pretty widely owned stack. Also, with Corey Kluber and Yu Darvish on the mound tonight, I actually think that we are going to see Kershaw with a much lower than usual ownership. With that said, I think I’m going full on Kershaw in GPP’s tonight. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kluber’s matchup but Kershaw isn’t all the much more expensive and I foresee us getting him at half the ownership (and it’s not like Kershaw doesn’t have Kluber-levels of upside). It feels really weird to push you to start Kershaw. Let’s move on to some other pitchers that you might want to pair with him on 2-pitcher sites. I would say that Patrick Corbin would be my other pitcher of choice, and I’m not totally opposed to using him since I don’t need a win out of him to hit value, but I’m probably going to roll out Sean Newcomb or Trevor Cahill as my SP2 to try to hit on some double whammy potential if I don’t bite the bullet and pitcher stack the LAD/ARI game. Newcomb has looked great this year in his limited starts, while Cahill was on pace to be an All Star prior to his injury. Neither is safe by any means but both have the strikeout potential to be guys who will crush their values.
Much like the question we ask when Kershaw is on the mound, we have the same question to ask when there’s a game at Coors Field. Do we load up or do we fade? The one thing I know that we can’t do it both load up on Coors and use Kershaw, it’s just not economically feasible. I think we have the potential to compromise a little bit with Coors since there are a few bats that will fit in with a Kershaw lineup (although you will have to deal with a potentially high ownership on these bats). The guy I’m most specifically looking at is Ramiel Tapia for Colorado. He’s hitting like a monster right now and is priced like a guy not hitting like a monster. Other bats to consider here are *insert Cincinnati catcher*, Carlos Gonzalez, and Eugenio Suarez. The Atlanta Braves bats are a little interesting since we know Brad Peacock won’t go more than 6 innings, although the Houston bullpen is filthy so you have to factor that in. Cleveland and Texas should be pretty popular, and I don’t know if I want to use too many Red Sox bats against Yu Darvish. I suppose you could get a little wild and use San Diego bats, but that’s really pushing it. This is a hard slate for stacking, especially if you’re going to use a top pitcher, so I think you’re best of picking and choosing value bats as lineups start to come out. Some bats to keep an eye on are Matt Adams, Yuli Gurriel, Mitch Moreland, Adrian Beltre, Manguel Margot, and Carlos Gomez. Fanduel got really dumb with their pricing (SD and ARI guys priced at $1776 and $2107), so you can play around there a little bit for some value.
Fanduel (late): Clayton Kershaw ($12400), Robinson Chirinos ($2700), Wil Myers ($2017), Dustin Pedroia ($3100), Eugenio Suarez ($3400), Erick Aybar ($1776), Raimel Tapia ($3200), Manuel Margot ($2017), Adam Duvall ($4300).
DraftKings (late): Clayton Kershaw ($12900), Patrick Corbin ($6600), Devin Mesoraco ($3800), Yuli Gurriel ($3500), Jose Pirela ($2900), Eugenio Suarez ($3900), Carlos Correa ($5200), Raimel Tapia ($3900), Carlos Gomez ($3700), Manuel Margot ($3600)
Your feedback is always welcome. You can find me on Twitter @bankster17.