MLB DFS Strategy

Pitching Breakdown 8/20/17

Hello class! Today we will be talking about percentages. Not the “if Arthur and Bernice have a pie with 12 pieces and Arthur eats 8, what percentage of the pie does Bernice get to eat” type of percentages. We will be talking about the “if Barto Colon is facing the Astros, what percentage of people don’t think he’ll be pulled to get his daily prostate exam in the 4th inning” type of percentages. What I am going to do is try to predict the ownership percentages for the pitchers on the upcoming slate (GPP only). This will help us decide who we want to take in GPPs to differ our lineup from the rest. Having a lower owned player who does well gives us the edge we need to get towards the top of the leaderboard. All players will be listed by salary from most expensive to least expensive.

DISCLAIMER: I tend to make BOLD predictions that usually don’t coincide with projection websites. I like to think of myself as a realist in my belief that not all of the 5k pitchers will hit 20 points on every single slate. I also don’t believe that all pitchers max out around 40 points. In real life anomalies happen and I try to predict them. That being said, let’s get right into it.

The Chalkboard

Jacob deGrom ($10,400) MIA @ NYM – 25%

Why? – The highest priced pitcher on any given slate will garner a ton of ownership. I don’t see why deGrom will be any different.

Like/Dislike? – Like – Listen, I like him, but I will only have deGrom in 10-20% of my lines today. I don’t like taking the highest owned pitcher on the slate in a ton of lineups and last night was a perfect example. Sale was owned at 40% and he only ended up with 36 fanduel points! I think it’s much more appealing to take a guy with less upside and also less ownership. Then you are beating 25% of the field if deGrom has a bad game. On top of that Robo-Stanton didn’t hit a homer yesterday which means he’ll probably hit 8 today.

Danny Salazar ($9,800) CLE @ KAN – 12.5%

Why? – Trevor Bauer pitched a good game against KC last night and gave up 0 runs. With that being fresh in player’s minds, they will play Salazar.

Like/Dislike? – Like-ish – It’s pretty obvious why I want to like Salazar. Massive strikeout upside and Kansas City played terribly against Trevor Bauer. I just feel like this could be a trap.

Justin Verlander ($9,400) LOS @ DET – 6%

Why? – Verlander is the underdog against a hard hitting Dodgers team which will make him go overlooked.

Like/Dislike? – Undecided – We’ve all been waiting for Verlander to go back to normal, but it hasn’t happened yet. I think this could be the game that he gets blown up. The only things making me want to play him is his ownership will be low and Michael Fulmer pitched a gem against the Dodgers yesterday.

Sonny Gray ($8,700) NYY @ BOS – 3.5%

Why? – It’s never a sure thing to play a pitcher against Boston. People would rather pay up or down for more security.

Like/Dislike? – Like – My gut tells me to fade Gray, but the statistics don’t. I think he’s as close to safe as you can get around this price. He has gotten a quality start in all of his past 9 starts and has better splits against lefties. He’s one of my favorite sneaky plays today.

Kenta Maeda ($8,600) LOS @ DET – 11.5%

Why? – Righties versus Detroit always go higher owned than they should.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – I can’t trust that he will pitch at least 6 innings. For that reason he doesn’t have as much upside as some of the other pitchers on the slate. I’d rather have a guy who I know will pitch at least 6 innings, even if his strikeout upside is slightly worse than Maeda.

Brad Peacock ($8,400) OAK @ HOU – 16%

Why? – Peacock is the Vegas’ biggest favorite on the slate. Also, Collin McHugh pitched an incredible game against Oakland last night. The same story as Salazar, last night will still be on everybody’s minds leading them to pick Peacock.

Like/Dislike? – Like – He’s a great GPP play with massive strikeout upside. He has a solid floor.  There’s not a whole lot not to like from Peacock today.

Rick Porcello ($8,400) NYY @ BOS – 3.5%

Why? – The Yankees got after Chris Sale last night and Porcello is a much worse pitcher. Few will take a chance on him today.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – The contrarian in me wants to pick Porcello because nobody else will. I don’t want to take that much of a risk on a mid-priced pitcher who hasn’t had a 50 point game this year.

Kyle Hendricks ($7,700) TOR @ CHC – 6.5%

Why? – Hendricks is another big favorite on today’s slate. Being the favored pitcher in a game with a low over/under will draw people in.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – Not enough upside for me to like. Plus, if I pick him then Josh Donaldson will hit 2 homers. It ALWAYS happens!

Sean Newcomb ($7,600) CIN @ ATL – 2.5%

Why? – The Reds have been on fire in the past couple of weeks. People know not to play a mediocre pitcher against them.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – I like his upside, but too much of a risk against the Reds who have been dominating.

Parker Bridwell ($7,500) LAA @ BAL – 3.5%

Why? – He has been solid his last couple of games and Baltimore just put up 0 runs against J.C. Ramirez. A few people will be chasing.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – I don’t see Baltimore flopping again. I’ll give them a one game pass, but I’m expecting them to put up some runs against Bridwell today.

Luis Castillo ($7,300) CIN @ ATL – 7%

Why? – People know this kid is good and he’s always owned higher than others at his price point.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – I don’t know if I can pick him here. I’d rather go with Marco Estrada for this price. Lower owned with higher upside. He could have a good game, but I don’t trust him against Atlanta who hits righties better than lefties.

Marco Estrada ($7,000) TOR @ CHC – 4%

Why? – Underdog against a Chicago team that can go off in any game.

Like/Dislike? – Like – He has the highest strikeout upside of anybody at this price point. It’s very hard to predict when the Cubs decide to play like playoff caliber team. They could put up a ton of runs and Estrada could get pulled in the 3rd or 4th inning or he could pitch through the 8th. I’m going to take a huge chance on rostering him solely for the strikeout upside and low ownership. Note: I will only be playing him in 1-2 lineups. That isn’t going to stop me from owning a couple low owned Cubs stacks. Don’t be afraid to roster a pitcher in one lineup and a stack against him in another. It’s called lineup diversification and it’s how you win GPPs.

Jason Hammel ($6,700) CLE @ KAN – 1%

Why? – N/A

Like/Dislike? – N/A

Adam Conley ($6,700) MIA @ NYM – 1%

Why? – N/A

Like/Dislike? – N/A

Blake Snell ($6,000) SEA @ TAM – 1%

Why? – N/A

Like/Dislike? – N/A

Bartolo Colon ($6,000) ARI @ MIN – 0.5%

Why? – N/A

Like/Dislike? – N/A 

Jharel Cotton ($5,700) OAK @ HOU – 0.5%

Why? – N/A

Like/Dislike? – N/A 

Yovani Gallardo ($5,600) SEA @ TAM – 1%

Why? – Tampa has been struggling, but not enough to get blanked by Gallardo.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – I see a great game in Tampa’s future. Do you hear that Sean? Your Rays are going to have a good game today!

T.J. McFarland ($5,500) ARI @ MIN – 0.5%

Why? – N/A

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – Bad…just bad

Chris Tillman ($5,500) LAA @ BAL – 0.5%

Why? – N/A

Like/Dislike? – N/A

Favorite pitchers listed in order

1.) Jacob deGrom – best pitcher on the slate and must have in some of your lineups. Limit exposure due to high ownership.

2.) Brad Peacock – Great matchup and great strikeout upside. Hard to beat price too.

3.) Sonny Gray – I just really like his safety and low ownership. Could get blown up, but I think he’ll have a solid game today. He’s also in my favorite price point for pitchers.

4.) Danny Salazar – I can’t get away from his strikeout upside. I love the potential here, but he’s harder to trust than some other options. Especially with his history against the Royals.

5.) Marco Estrada – My favorite punt pitcher today. He will be low owned and has highest strikeout upside at this price point.

6.) Justin Verlander – I will have some exposure because of how well he’s been pitching. That said, the Dodgers are too good for me to feel secure picking him.


Favorite Teams to stack

1.) Houston – This is where I see Houston getting back into their 10 point games. Their matchup is too juicy to pass up. They will be highly owned and you need to make your stack different. My favorite stack would be (Jose Altuve, Marwin Gonzales, Josh Reddick and Derek Fisher). You will gain massive leverage by playing Derek Fisher when most others won’t.

2.) Tampa Bay – My favorite stack would be (Lucas Duda, Steven Souza, Corey Dickerson and Kevin Kiermaier)

3.) Arizona – They are going to take Bartolo-Claus to town. Favorites (Jake Lamb, Brandon Drury, AJ Pollock and Paul Goldscmidt)

4.) Yankees – Lefties are all in play. Brett Gardner is my favorite and is super cheap.

5.) Minnesota – I know I need to stack Minnesota, but I never know who to play. Brian Dozier is always solid and pair him with literally anybody else. They should be very popular today.

6.) Cubs – Lefties/Righties/Switchies. Just find someone to make your lineup different.

That’s it for this breakdown. I hope this article gave you some insight on some lower owned options that could give you an edge on the competition. Follow me on Twitter @JoeJBerg and let me know if this article helped you out. I would like to once again thank Sean Kane for allowing me the opportunity to give some of my advice through these articles. Let’s go win some money and show everybody the Lineup Logic crew means business!

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