MLB GPP Lineup Strategy
More so than any other sport, baseball is a different animal when it comes to GPP lineup strategy versus H2H and 50/50 lineup strategy. Since there is so much variance, there’s a lot of advantages to putting together a different type of lineup for your GPP play.
To me, there are three viable strategies that can be used, and I will discuss them all here. If this topic interests you, I will be running a weekly article on RotoGrinders that dissects the three strategies over the course of a full season. I will be trying all three strategies as three different lineups in a GPP every day of the season. Be sure to check it out “The GPP Scene – What Strategy Works Best for MLB?”
STRATEGY #1 – THE STACK
Stacking in baseball is one of the most hotly debated topics in daily fantasy sports, and it’s gotten to the point where most sites have taken measures to curb it. FanDuel limits you to four hitters from a specific team and DraftKings makes you use hitters from at least three different teams. If you’re not familiar with the concept of stacking, it involves loading up on hitters from one MLB team. It’s justified because when a team scores a bunch of runs, generally most of their hitters had a good day. An RBI for one guy means a run scored as well, and if you have both ends of that, you’re at a huge advantage.
The simple truth is this: the reason stacking is so hotly debated and has been forbidden by certain sites is because it works. I made a ton of profit my first year in DFS by stacking hitters in GPPs every day. Did I like the concept? Not really. But it worked, so I followed the masses. If you can’t beat them, join them.
I actually learned an art to stacking where I felt that I became better than other stackers. Since most sites have outlawed it, I have learned to play my GPPs slightly different. I still think the “mini stack” is the best way to approach GPPs. For example, on FanDuel you can take four hitters from Texas and four hitters from St. Louis. If both teams go off offensively that night, you’ve got a great shot to take down a GPP. This strategy produces a lot of down nights but also some big scores. It’s how I won my seat to the FanDuel Baseball Championship last year. Even if you don’t like stacking, I would suggest giving the mini-stack method a try if you want to be successful in GPP’s. It truly works in the long run.
STRATEGY #2 – THE PITCHER FOCUS
It’s never easy to take stud pitchers every day on your head-to-head and 50/50 lineups. Since the best pitchers take up a big chunk of your salary cap, it’s often not a viable strategy to take the Clayton Kershaws and Adam Wainwrights of the world in your daily contests.
However, it’s an interesting strategy for GPPs. People generally take a few more chances with their GPP pitcher, and if the popular low-end pitcher plays of the day fail, you have a significant advantage if you roster an ace and he pitches well that day. This also allows you to take a shot in the dark at some cheap hitters that have upside. In my opinion, this strategy is the riskiest but has the most upside. It depends on your ace pitching to his ability and at least one of the low-priced hitters paying off.
STRATEGY #3 – THE HITTER FOCUS
This is probably the second-most popular strategy next to stacking. If you go cheap on your pitching, it’s easy to load up on some big-time bats. The easiest way to do this is to look for middle-to-low-end pitchers who are facing weak offenses.
In 2014, this often revolves around targeting teams like Houston and the New York Mets. It’s easy to stomach taking a risky pitcher when you know he has a good matchup. Plus, this will allow you to get a hitter like Mike Trout or Miguel Cabrera into your lineup. In my opinion, it is a very good strategy to use in GPP play, because if you get a stud hitter on the day and he goes nuts, you have a big edge on the field.
Again, as a reminder, I will be doing a weekly column dissecting these three strategies over the course of a full season, so be on the lookout for that on the RotoGrinders home page! Good luck!