The Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) – July 8, 2017
July 7, 2017 | Doug Shain
Welcome to the Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) for July 8, 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:
The most important thing that I noticed when researching for this slate was how huge of a favorite Luis Severino is (-210). I know he’s been good this year, and I know that he’s an All Star, but this game is at the always dangerous Yankee Stadium against a very strong Brewers team. Let’s also not forget that Severino hasn’t looked like an All Star in three of his last four starts (15 ER in 17.1 IP over those three starts). I think Vegas has this one wrong and I’m going to use that to my advantage when building a team for this slate. There is a ton of double whammy potential here as Severino could be a widely owned pitcher. I’m going to stack some Brewers against him (Shaw, Thames, and Vogt are easy options to target) to try to move up a GPP quickly. More so than anything else this is play that I’m going to build around for this entire slate.
Since I’m not using Severino, and because I’m using a potentially low-owned stack, I’m not going to worry too much about getting chalky with my pitchers. Stephen Strasburg is definitely my top play with a solid matchup in Atlanta. He’s given up some runs this year (3.28 ERA) but his strikeout upside can help offset that a bit. He’s been particularly good with that over his last ten starts, registering an 11.9 K/9 over that time frame. He’s been roughed up a bit by ATL this year (4.58 ERA) but he’s been able to strike them out like few other pitchers (14.2 K/9), nor has he let walks be an issue for him with only 4 in those 19.2 innings over three starts. Another pitcher that I’m strongly considering is Aaron Nola. He’s been outstanding recently (3-0 with a 1.25 ERA and 9.7 K/9 over his last three starts). He’s matched up with the San Diego Padres, a team that really struggles against RHP (.233 BA with a 28.7% K-rate). I don’t care that they got to Nick Pivetta a little yesterday, Aaron Nola is a far superior pitcher. It wouldn’t shock me at all if he was the top scoring pitcher on this slate when all is said and done. Two other guys I’m considering are Mike Fiers and Adam Wainwright. Fiers has been pretty good over his last ten starts (2.83 ERA with about a strikeout per inning), only getting roughed up one time during that stretched (for these purposes we will consider being roughed up a start where he provides no value). Toronto is back to hitting poorly so I have very little concern rolling out Fiers. His price is up a little bit but not so high the he needs a monster start to pay off. As for Waino, he’s been spotty this year but his brightest moments have been at home. The Mets can hit a little bit from the left-hand side of the plate but they also strike out enough to balance out any runs they do put up. If you use Wainwright, you’re essentially betting that he’s the guy who can strike out eight guys over six innings rather than the guy who is going to give up eight runs over those six innings. On a short slate, that’s a gamble I’m willing to take at his price point. If you want to go with a super double whammy play then Marcus Stroman, pitching at home against the chalky Astros, is a guy you can look to.
The Yankees and Astros are probably going to be your chalk stacks on this slate. I’m not totally opposed to using them but they are pricey and I’m going to need to find some value the high priced pitching that I’m looking at. The three main stacks that I’m going to look at for a little bit of that value are the Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins, and Philadelphia Phillies. Tampa and Minnesota might not be huge values as it pertains to ownership but they should be at least a little less widely owned, and cheaper, than New York or Houston. I really like the matchup for Tampa Bay against Rick Porcello, who is further proving that he’s possibly the least deserving Cy Young award winner ever. He has given up 3+ ER in nine of his last ten starts, giving up 10 HR in the process. He’s started twice against the Rays this year and has a 9.58 ERA with 5 HR allowed in 10.1 innings of work. I expect a similarly poor start today, which is an awesome situation for stacking Rays. Similarly, I love Minnesota against Wade Miley. After his solid start to the season, he’s been the hottest of garbage recently (7.38 with 9 HR in only 46.1 innings over his last ten starts). The Twins have some power from the right side of the plate (Sano and Dozier are at the forefront of that) and they need to be looked at. I’m not going to shy away from a guy like Eddie Rosario either because we are getting to pen quickly in this one. Chris Gimenez is a must at catcher as he’s had 4 HR over his last ten games (29 AB) and specializes against LHP). Finally, give me all your Phillies tonight. Jhoulys Chacin has been a favorite of mine recently when he pitches at home (1.68 ERA) but he’s a disaster on the road. When he’s away from Petco he has a 1.99 ERA…oh wait, that’s his road WHIP; the ERA is 9.08 on the road. He’s also given up three more HR on the road than at home but he’s done so in nearly 23 less innings. I’m more than happy to save a bit of coin and grab a couple of Phillies for their power potential (Tommy Joseph and Maikel Franco are at the top of my list, while Daniel Nava and Nick Williams can gave you a bit of cap space).
As usual, Fanduel has split the early slate into two, less appealing, slates. Well done Fanduel. For your viewing pleasure, I have hooked you up with a lineup for both slates.
Fanduel (very early): Mike Fiers ($7900), Stephen Vogt ($2500), Eric Thames ($3600), Brian Dozier ($3200), Miguel Sano ($3600), Orlando Arcia ($2800), Mark Trumbo ($3500), Robbie Grossman ($2900), Aaron Judge ($5000)
Fanduel (early): Aaron Nola ($8900), Yadier Molina ($2500), Logan Morrison ($3800), Brad Miller ($2900), Maikel Franco ($3100), Jose Reyes ($2400), Bryce Harper ($4800), Corey Dickerson ($3600), Dexter Fowler ($3000)
DraftKings (early): Stephen Strasburg ($12500), Aaron Nola ($9900), Chris Gimenez ($3100), Tommy Joseph ($3400), Brad Miller ($3600), Maikel Franco ($3800), Jose Reyes ($3200), Daniel Nava ($3500), Ji-Man Choi ($3000), Corey Dickerson ($3900)
Late Slate Musings:
Can we just go with the run and shoot offense here and skip pitcher altogether? There’s just a huge pile of nothing on the mound this slate. I’m going to take a wild stab that our chalk pitchers are going to be Jeff Samardzija, Jake Arrieta, and Brandon McCarthy. It won’t be hard at all to get a ton of bats if you pair McCarthy with one of those other two, which is why he should be a popular play against the Royals. I’m honestly not at all opposed to going this route. Yes, there’s some risk with using Samardzija or Arrieta but you’re not really paying up for them so it’s not like they have to do anything too crazy to hit value. Samardzija, in particular, has such a high upside that he’s worth the gamble that Miami goes a little homer crazy. They are a better stack against LHP so we’ve got the platoon splits working in our favor if we use the Shark. Arrieta has had a couple of bad outings recently but for the most part has settled down into a 7IP/2ER/5K kind of guy. That’s not mind blowing but it’s also a nice floor to have on such an uncertain slate. McCarthy is similar to Arrieta in that respect, just at a lower price point and much lower ceiling. Once we get past our chalk pitchers, there are few names that are worth considering a little bit. The two names that stand out most to me are Taijuan Walker and Jeff Hoffman. Neither of those guys scream safe, nor do their matchups; Walker in the desert against Cincy and Hoffman at Coors against the White Sox. Walker has actually been pretty good over his last ten starts with a 3.13 ERA, only 4 HR allowed, and striking out nearly a batter per inning. That’s a decent level of production for a guy that’s pretty low on the price scale. Jeff Hoffman has had a similar bit of success….on the road. He’s been awful at home this year but the White Sox are not a good team against RHP and we’ve seen Hoffman be a high strikeout guy. His last home start wasn’t great but it also wasn’t a disaster (7IP/3ER/4K). If we can get that out of him today, maybe with a couple extra strikeouts, I think we are going to be really happy considering how low his ownership is going to be.
As for our bats, geez, take your pick. I’m looking at no less than nine stacks that I’d be more than happy to use (CLE, LAD, TEX, LAA, COL, OAK, SEA, ARI, SF). I’m going to pontificate that our chalk will be on Colorado, Cleveland, the Dodgers, Seattle, and probably Arizona. I’m not opposed to using those bats but I’m going to focus myself more on Texas, Oakland, and San Francisco if I want to get a little sneaky with my ownership. I’ll especially be on these teams if I run safe with my pitching and use Samadrzija and Arrieta. Texas faces Jesse Chavez and they’ve already roughed him up quite a bit this year (9 ER in 10.1 innings pitched). The Rangers are hot right now and I’m all over their lineup (Lucroy, Beltre, Napoli, Mazara, Choo, and Carlos Gomez are all in play; Andrus probably won’t play since he’s on the paternity list). The one player on that team who is a must play for me is Rougned Odor. He’s on fire at the moment and there’s no reason not to put him in any Texas stack you run. The rest of the stack will depend on how they configure their lineup. Anyone who reads me regularly knows that I love my Baby A’s. Oakland has brought up some of their youngsters (Maxwell, Olson, Brugman, and Barreto) and they’ve made this a really fun team to stack. I’m not suggesting that you stack all the rookies, it’s just that since their arrival guys like Matt Joyce, Yonder Alonso, Khris Davis, and Jed Lowire have all of the sudden started to hit. It’s amazing what a little bit of pressure will do to a guy. Today they are facing Andrew Moore, a young guy that’s looked really impressive over his first two starts (3.60 ERA with 0 BB allowed). Looking behind those numbers, he’s got a 16:21 ground ball to fly ball ratio, has given up 3 HR, and has only struck out 8 batters in 15 innings of work. This Oakland team is the kind of squad that will take full advantage of being pitched to contact by a guy who gets the ball in the air. See how the lineup looks and stack accordingly (like, if Joyce is leading off then you want all of that). Jeff Locke is really, really, really bad. Buster Posey and Hunter Pence are really, really good. He’s a lefty, they are righties. This is a no-brainer stack. Heck, I’m not opposed to some lefty on lefty violence with Belt as part of that stack. Gorkys Hernandez is a really sneaky guy you can throw in there to capitalize on the platoon advantage as well.
Fanduel (late): Jeff Samardzija ($9000), Buster Posey ($3100), Danny Valencia ($3300), Robinson Cano ($3500), Kyle Seager ($2600), Chris Owings ($2900), Hunter Pence ($3600), Gorkys Hernandez ($2900), Nelson Cruz ($4100)
DraftKings (late): Jeff Samardzija ($9400), Jake Arrieta ($8400), Buster Posey ($4300), Yonder Alonso ($4300), Rougned Odor ($4200), Ryon Healy ($3200), Jean Segura ($5000), Hunter Pence ($3900), Gorkys Hernandez ($3300), Matt Joyce ($3800)
Your feedback is always welcome. You can find me on Twitter @bankster17.