The Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) – July 6, 2017
July 5, 2017 | Doug Shain
Welcome to the Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) for July 6, 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:
This early slate is something, isn’t it? There are just so few options that look appealing outside of a monster Coors stack. Naturally, we are going to avoid that. I just don’t think there’s any way to win big if you follow the crowd on this one and stack that game. You’re going to see a ton of Anibal/Coors stacks and I think we can do a lot better if we move in another direction. For starters, let’s look at, uh, starters. Like I said, I actually think that Anibal Sanchez is going to be the chalk pitcher on this stack as a -115 home favorite against Johnny Cueto. He’s looked really good over his last three starts and is still priced at a rock bottom level. I totally get why he’s the chalk. On the other hand, he’s Anibal Sanchez and I’m not sure I want to stake my DFS success on him continuing to pitch well. The three guys I’m going to focus on are at the opposite end of the pricing spectrum: Michael Wacha (huge favorite over Miami), Johnny Cueto, and Mike Montgomery. Along with being the biggest favorite on the slate, Wacha has looked the part over his last two starts (12IP/14K/2BB/1ER). I’m actually ok spending up on him. I’m also good to spend up on Johnny Cueto. If people are going to ride Anibal Sanchez, that means we are going to see a lower ownership on Cueto. I know he’s struggled a bit, and I know that the Tigers are a decent offense, but we know what the upside is on Cueto and I’m willing to take that shot with only four games on the slate. Finally, I’m on Montgomery because of his strikeout upside against a Brewers team that has a 28.9% K-rate against LHP. I prefer to spend down a bit on Montgomery on Fanduel where his walks won’t hurt him (and where you can sprinkle in a few Coors bats), while I actually think a Cueto/Wacha tandem can pay off on DK if we find the right bats.
Let’s find those right bats, shall we. Since we are mostly fading Coors, and we are using Wacha, Davies, and Cueto that leaves us with the Giants, Cubs, and Cardinals to stack with. I’m more than happy to use the Giants against Anibal Sanchez; might as well go for that double whammy action. Their bats are priced well enough that we can go bigger with some pitching if we use them. The same can be said for the Cardinals. They’ve got enough bats, guys like Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham, who can take advantage of the generosity of Tom Koehler. Of the three stacks we are working with, STL should have the highest ownership due to the fact that Koehler is awful (15 ER in 4.2 innings over his last two starts). If we want to save some money with Cardinals, guys like Greg Garcia and Luke Voit give you that option. Finally, the Cubs are going to cost you quite a bit to stack but their upside is the highest of all three stacks we are considering. Anthony Rizzo and Ian Happ are guys I definitely want to keep an eye on, and Willson Contreras is finally playing like the guy we thought he’d be all season.
Fanduel (early): Mike Montgomery ($7700), Buster Posey ($3300), Brandon Belt ($3300), Scooter Gennett ($4000), Kris Bryant ($3800), Brandon Brawford ($2700), Ian Happ ($3600), Tommy Pham ($3300), Raimel Tapia ($3200)
DraftKings (early): Michael Wacha ($10700), Johnny Cueto ($10400), Willson Contreras ($4100), Luke Voit ($2900), Ian Happ ($4200), Greg Garcia ($3100), Brandon Crawford ($3000), Keon Brozton ($3100), Brandon Belt ($4200), Raimel Tapia ($4300)
Late Slate Musings:
Here we go! Now this is what a short slate should look like. We’ve got aces and stacks all around. I expect a very fun set of seven games for the late slate. Chris Sale is the clear chalk at pitcher and I’m completely buying. There are enough games on this slate that we can find bats to make this work. As a matter of fact, I’m not opposed to going double chalk on the mound (Sale with McCullers) and going all value with the bats. I think we can definitely find the right combination to make this work. If you want to save some money on pitching, then I’m all aboard the Dinelson Lamet train. I may give him a whirl on FD and go big boy with my bats. His strikeout rate is incredible at 12.2 K/9, and the Indians have been manhandled so far by the Padres pitching (which is WAY better than you realize). Lamet is the best pitcher on this staff (at least if you’re just looking at the quality of his pitches), so I feel confident that he should get those strikeouts to a reasonable enough level that he can give up a few runs and still hit value. One pitcher I won’t go near is Mike Foltynewicz. I love the guy and think he’s going to continue to be a nice value play as the year goes on but he’s coming off a near no-hitter which will inflate his ownership. He’s not good enough yet, nor is the matchup good enough, for him to warrant a high ownership rate. Rich Hill is interesting because he seems to have found his strikeout groove (26 K’s in 19 innings over his last three starts), he’s pitched 7 innings in each of his last two starts, and he’s a favorite in a game with a 7.5 O/U. My concern with Hill is that he’s Rich Hill. I figure him to be pretty highly owned so I’m going to probably stay away but can’t be mad if you chose otherwise.
With all the pitching to speak of on this slate, it would stand to reason that there isn’t too much to like at the dish. Houston should be really widely owned against Francisco Liriano, and those people who aren’t on Folty will probably find a lot of value in the Nationals. It also wouldn’t shock me to see people going back to the well with Cleveland against Lamet, but you know that we aren’t going to touch that situation. I also expect to see a high ownership on the Mariners. So, where does that leave us? We could look to the Dodgers or D’backs, but a game with a 7.5 O/U and two good pitchers doesn’t really do it for me. The teams I’m going to focus on are going to be the Braves, Padres, Twins, and A’s. Those four teams should give us enough value that we can slide by with our Sale/McCullers duo on 2-pitcher sites. Gio Gonzalez has already faced the Braves once this year and he didn’t fare too well. He gave up 4 ER in only 5.2 innings of work. Guys like Matt Kemp and Tyler Flowers are very attractive options in this matchup. I also think that we can look to BvP to help us feel good about using guys like Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson. Josh Tomlin is hot garbage with a 5.66 ERA and 2.3 HR/9 over his last ten starts. He’s given up 3+ ER in eight of those ten starts. I’d start myself and my brother against him at this point, and we’re both pushing forty and out of shape. I’ll definitely have no issue trying to find some value with the Frisky Friars (Pirela and Margot are the two most attractive options, although I won’t shy away from Renfroe either). Dylan Bundy may still be someone people consider to be a quality SP based on his early season success, but they’d be dead wrong. Over his last four starts he has a 7.97 ERA with 7 HR allowed. Miguel Sano, Joe Mauer, and Eddie Rosario are all solid plays (although you might have a hard time fitting Sano into a Sale/McCullers lineup). Finally, I know that the Mariners are pretty big favorites against Oakland, but Sam Gaviglio doesn’t strike anyone out and that’s dangerous against a free swinging team like the A’s. They may not make contact a lot, but when they do they can be pretty powerful. I’d look at guys like Yonder Alonso, Khris Davis, and some of the cheaper kids to fill out my lineup. I may not go full stack on any team on this slate, instead hunting value once the lineups come out so I can load up on the big boy pitching. It’s not my favorite strategy but I think this slate sets up nicely to do that.
Fanduel (late): Dinelson Lamet ($8400), Mike Zunino ($2300), Yonder Alonso ($3300), Jose Altuve ($4000), Miguel Sano ($3600), Dansby Swanson ($2600), Matt Kemp ($2900), George Springer ($4000), Andrew Benintendi ($3400)
DraftKings (late): Chris Sale ($13300), Lance McCullers ($11000), Bruce Maxwell ($2500), Yuli Gurriel ($3600), Jed Lowrie ($3600), Alex Bregman ($3500), Dansby Swanson ($2700), Manuel Margot ($3700), Matt Olson ($2700), Matt Kemp ($3400)
Your feedback is always welcome. You can find me on Twitter @bankster17.