Just a five-game main slate on DraftKings This evening. With only 10 teams to select players from, ownership will be key. The Blue Jays are by far the heaviest favorites on the board at -210. There are some other games, however, which are interesting to look at as contrarian stacks. Let’s take a look at a couple of viable GPP pitching options to go along with unique, low-owned stacks.
With such a limited player pool to chose from, it should be easy to determine the ownership trend. Carlos Marinez is the most expensive pitcher on DraftKings and one of the more talented arms in the league. Aaron Sanchez is the biggest favorite, but the White Sox have been putting up a lot of runs to start this season.
Top 5 GPP pitchers (point per dollar):
1.) Jon Gray $8,500 @ SD
2.) Aaron Sanchez $7,800 vs. CWS
3.) Carlos Martinez $10,200 @ MIL
4.) Johnny Cueto $9,600 vs. SEA
5.) Felix Hernandez $8,800 @ SF
Jon Gray (COL): $8,500 @ SD
In his second start of the season, Jon Gray will face a much less intimidating lineup in San Diego. The Diamondbacks gave him issues and he only ended up going four innings. The Padres are striking out at nearly a 24% clip and Gray happens to be a strikeout pitcher. With the strong run support from his Rockies team, Gray should be in line for the win to go along with five or six innings and some strikeouts. Given the reasonable cost, rostering Gray will also allow you to fit in some high-priced bats.
Johnny Cueto (SFG): $9,600 vs. SEA
Early in the season, when it is a little cooler, the ball tends to stay in the park a lot more. In San Francisco, it is extremely hard to hit homeruns. Johnny Cueto is coming off of an injury-riddled season where he saw a decline in production. This year, he looks healthy and back to his dominant self. In his first outing against the Dodgers, Cueto pitched seven innings of one-hit ball to go along with four strikeouts. The Mariners have some heavy bats in their lineup, but can also be very strikeout prone. At a higher price tag, most will look elsewhere when rostering their two pitchers. Cueto should come in fairly low-owned with a high fantasy point floor.
The most optimal strategy to win a smaller slate GPP is to stack as many players from a team as possible. On DraftKings, we are only allowed five players from one team. The Blue Jays are on the obvious stack. They will go over-owned with the lack of options and the great matchup against Carson Fulmer. Here are a few of the top GPP stacks, based on ownership and upside:
Top GPP stacks:
1.) Milwaukee Brewers
Carlos Martinez has the highest upside tonight of any pitcher. What differentiates him from other aces in the MLB, is how often he blows up. He can often struggle with his command which leaves him pitching with runners on base. This was evident on opening day against the Mets. Through 4.1 innings, C-Mart walked six batters, allowed four hits and four earned runs. Additionally, the Cardinals ace has a weakness against left-handed batters. Owning a .337 wOBA, the Brewers have some left-handed hitters who are more than capable of hitting the long ball.
2.) Colorado Rockies
Back on the Rockies train. The top half of this lineup is among the MLB’s best at stringing together runs, regardless of the ballpark they hit in. Tonight, this potent offense will take on Clayton Richard. Historically an extreme ground-ball pitcher (59.2% in 2017 and 65.1% in 2016), Richard relies on just three pitches. A 90 mph fastball (64.8% of pitches), a slider (28.3% of pitches), and a sinker (28.3% of pitches). The experienced Rockie hitters should be able to to get ahead of these pitches the second time through the order giving Richard problems all night long. In 2017, Richard struggled with right-handed hitters a lot more with a .377 wOBA. Again, a later start, in San Diego will lower ownership. This lineup can put runs on the board as good as any team.
3.) Texas Rangers
The ultimate GPP team to stack on any night is often the Texas Rangers. Joey Gallo can hit two homeruns just as easy as going hitless. Expectations need to be tempered when rostering most Ranger hitters because of the boom or bust outcome. Sean Manaea will garner a decent amount of ownership on a quiet night and to leverage your roster with hitters is a great strategy. Manaea is by no means an ace and the A’s bullpen is far from great. The righties for the Rangers get the edge in this matchup as we saw quite a drastic split between handedness. With a 4.51 SIERA and .347 wOBA to righties, lock in players like Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre.