Plays of the Day - 7.19.19

Check out my first post for a description of each category

It is important to note that I am not necessarily recommending each of these picks every day. The goal of this series is to use the same criteria each day to pick players in each category and then see which categories have the most success over time.

Past Picks

The table below shows how each pick has done so far this year. As of now nine of the ten picks have been paying off their price tags often enough to get us in the money. This data set is based on 25 days worth of picks.

The third column represents the % of the time the pick finishes above the cash line for DK GPP’s. GPP cash lines typically only include the top 20% of scores so anything above that is actually a net positive pick.

Play Avg. PT/$ vs. Needed PT/$ Success Rate
Target the Chalk +0.2 39%
BVP -0.1 41%
Dream Matchup -0.7 23%
Pitch Type -0.7 32%
Reverse Splits -0.2 30%
Ride the Heat -0.8 50%
GBHFBP +0.1 60%
FBHGBP -0.9 27%
Too Cheap -0.3 35%
SFPOTD -0.2 29%

Top Peformer: The Ground Ball Hitter Fly Ball Pitcher Play of the Day
After a 1-for-2 showing yesterday, the GBHFBP potd has a 60% success rate on the season. Hard contact at an increased launch angle is a recipe for success baby.

Brand New Pick: The First 5 Innings Bet of the Day
We are saying goodbye to the Dream Matchup Play of the Day and welcoming in a brand new, completely different type of daily pick: The First 5 Innings Bet of the Day. With sports betting becoming legalized in more and more states, I think it is fitting to introduce a betting pick every day. I will look at the first 5 innings of games so that the bets are more heavily influenced by starting pitching which makes them somewhat more predictable. I will specifically be looking at how different lineups match up with their opposing pitchers and using that to predict success. Rather than success rate, I will look at net profit based on betting 1 unit on each game.

Yesterday’s Picks

Thursday’s main slate was very meh. The Braves threw me a curveball by changing pitchers later in the day and I shifted most of my exposure over to the Nationals. That worked out well for me but in the end I wound up too heavy a disappointing Twins team and it wound up being a break even day.

Two massive bright spots yesterday were GPP Legend Niko Goodrum and my fucking guy Harold Castro. They both took Bauer deep and they were nice to have at extremely low ownership. Unfortunately Bauer is managed to salvage a solid fantasy performance despite giving up a couple of cannonballs to my guys.

Roberto Perez really disappointed yesterday by striking out roughly two dozen times in a single game. What a butthead move by a guy with a stunning 58% hard contact rate vs. LHP. We will wait patiently for the next time he sees a fly ball lefty to jump back on ol’ Berto.

Today’s Picks

Apparently the app I have that tracks my sleep also sets off fucking alarms in the middle of the night if your phone battery gets low. It makes sense that they have that feature but it doesn’t make sense that my phone charger fell out of the wall and my battery drained and I got woken up at 3 in the goddamn morning. The moral of the story is I slept like shit once again and my tired-ass brain is ready to give out all the picks you’ll need to win tonight. Let’s go.

The First 5 Innings Bet of the Day

San Diego Padres +150 vs. Chicago Cubs
I will save the behind the scenes calculations to myself but this pick really stems from the fact that Lester has struggled with righties and will face 7 of them in this lineup today. I calculated the average expected wOBA for the first 21 batters in each lineup in this game today as a rough representation of the first 5 innings. I have the Padres with a .401 matchup wOBA and the Cubs with a .307 matchup wOBA. There are some moderately small sample sizes here but there is just no way the Padres should be +150 in this spot. I love Jon Lester but I’m ready to win some money betting against him and his gross beard today.

The Target the Chalk Play of the Day

Danny Santana vs. Justin Verlander
I call this guy Justin GIRLander because he is a big vagina. He gave up more dong bags than anybody in baseball over the first half of the season and he will look to continue that tonight. He is always somewhat popular and nobody is going to want to use bats against him. Santana is borderline matchup-proof lately and he’s already taken Verlander deep once in his life. Gimme my guy Danny tonight at 1% ownership.

The BVP Play of the Day

Josh Donaldson vs. Patrick Corbin
This will come with a small sample size alert but I’m definitely buying into it. Donaldson has seen Corbin 7 times in his career and has 2 walks, 2 singles, a double, and a dinger. He got out one time in those 7 plate appearances and for the sake of the argument we will assume that was a sharp lineout to the left fielder. People might stay off of JD because Corbin has been pitching well, but I think his price is too low and his past success off of Fat Pat making him a great play tonight.

The Pitch Type Play of the Day

Josh Bell vs. Jake Arrieta
I’ll keep it short and sweet: Arrieta sucks against lefties (.392 wOBA, .220 ISO). He throws 50% sinkers to lefties. Bell crushes righty sinkers (.404 wOBA, 45% hard contact). This game has a 10.5 total in a pitchers park. The Pirates are going to score some runs today and Bell will be a big reason why. I think he rings the bell thrice tonight.

The Reverse Splits Play of the Day

Mike Trout vs. Mike Leake
This is obvious. Mike Leake sucks against righties (.360 wOBA, .252 ISO) and Mike Trout is Mike Trout. The BvP here doesn’t hurt either: Trout is 14-for-26 with a 1.754 OPS and 3 duck pistols off Leake in his career. This is a good old fashioned matchup between a guy who isn’t good and a guy who his extremely good. If the Leakey Faucet doesn’t walk Trout every time he gets up, he’ll surely get taken to pound town in this matchup.

The Ride the Heat Play of the Day

Austin Meadows vs. Reynaldo Lopez
Meadows has homered each of the last three days and gets a matchup today with a pitcher who doesn’t know how to get lefties out. He is coming off a pretty big slump and as a result his price is all the way down to $4,600. If this matchup happened back in mid-June we’d be paying $5,500 for Meadows in this spot. The price hasn’t caught up to his recent production and I expect him to have a huge game tonight.

Note: What kind of name is Reynaldo? Were they going for Ronaldo and just wanted to put a weird ass spin on it? I think this is a classic case of parents getting a little too cute with the naming process. What a shame.

The Ground Ball Hitter Fly Ball Pitcher Play of the Day

Tommy Pham vs. Reynaldo Lopez
This is one of the more obvious choices I’ve ever seen. I love to play Pham anytime he’s going up against a fly ball pitcher even if the pitcher is good and tonight he’ll face a pitcher who is actual dogshit in Reynaldo Lopez. This guy has given up a 46% fly ball rate and a 39% hard contact rate to righties this season. Pham has a 49% hard contact rate vs. righties this year but only has a 25% fly ball rate. I don’t mind repeating myself every day for this pick – Pham hits the ball hard but struggles to lift it. Lopez can increase that launch angle and help him send it to dingerville.

The Fly Ball Hitter Ground Ball Pitcher Play of the Day

Jordan Luplow vs. Mike Montgomery
There is a lot to love in this matchup:

  • Luplow is literally Mark McGwire against lefties, with a .453 wOBA and a .368 ISO on the year
  • Montgomery is just really really really bad at baseball
  • Luplow has a 42% fly ball rate and a 42% hard contact rate vs. LHP this season
  • The only thing Montgomery can do well is induce ground balls, with a 57% GB rate vs. RHB this season

Luplow homered last night and his name is incredibly fun to say. He’s also only $4,100 today. Sign me up for another Luplow Longball tonight.

Too Damn Cheap Play of the Day

Yasmani Grandal, $4,400 vs. Taylor Clarke
I think sometimes I get tricked by the catcher position because I’m so used to paying way down at the position. For instance, if Grandal were a $4,400 outfielder would you play him in this matchup against Taylor fucking Clarke? I think that price would jump off the page. But since he’s a catcher I just see him as “expensive” at first glance.

Who knows. Maybe I’m overthinking it. But here are the facts:

  • Clarke sucks. He’s given up a .407 wOBA and a .293 ISO to LHB this season.
  • The Brewers lineup is great and Grandal should bat 3rd tonight.
  • Grandal has a .375 wOBA and a .250 ISO vs. RHP this season.

Grandal should get 5 at bats tonight. He needs 14 points to pay off his salary. I love him tonight at this price.

Sick Fuck Play of the Day

Michael Conforto

Play Player
First 5 Innings Padres
Target the Chalk Danny Santana
BVP Josh Donaldson
Pitch Type Josh Bell
Reverse Splits Mike Trout
Ride the Heat Austin Meadows
GBHFBP Tommy Pham
FBHGBP Jordan Luplow
Too Cheap Yasmani Grandal
SFPOTD Michael Conforto


  • WestCrook1

    Great article. I have a suggestion for a new category. What about Swing and Miss power guys, for example (Gallo, Renfroe, Sano) vs. Pitchers who have terrible K% rates?

  • DannyDongBags

    • Blogger of the Month

    I appreciate the feedback… I actually had that as a category for the first two weeks I was doing this. It had a 13% success rate so I replaced it. I may have to revisit it because I do like the concept. It just didn’t work out as well as I was hoping.

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