Identifying top tournament and cash game plays for the Travelers Championship
What a week at Shinnecock Hills. We expected this course to be difficult, but never thought the winning score would be over par. The 17.5% owned, Brooks Koepka’s 68 on Sunday was just enough to come out on top. Going back-to-back at any major is a huge accomplishment, but doing it at the U.S Open is a whole different story. With the leaderboard so cluttered at the top heading into Sunday with four players tied for the lead, a close finish was a lock. The course played so tough on Saturday and it was tough to figure out how it was going to play in the final round.
This week we move onto the Travelers Championship, where Jordan Spieth looks to defend his title. Last year, this was one of the more memorable tournaments with Spieth’s walk-off like hole out from the bunker to beat Daniel Berger. The Travelers brings a very strong field this year with 12 of the Top 25 players in the world. TPC River Highlands is another Par 70 that is much shorter than what we witnessed last week as it is just over 6,800 yards.
- SG: Tee-to-green
- Ball Striking
- Par 4 Birdie or Better
McIlroy, Spieth Look to Bounce Back After Missed Cuts at U.S. Open
Above $10k this week is Justin Thomas ($11,500 on DraftKings), Brooks Koepka ($11,300), Rory McIlroy ($10,900), Jordan Spieth ($10,600), and Patrick Reed ($10,000). DailyRoto gives Thomas the best odds of winning this week at 6.43%.. Thomas does rate out very well in the key stats listed above, currently second in SG: Tee-to-green, 24th in Ball Striking, and fifth in Par 4 Birdie or Better. Rostering Thomas still leaves you with a lot of wiggle room with your salary cap with an average of $7,700 for your last five spots. Though he has shown some inconsistency at TPC River Highlands with a two missed cuts and a T3, Thomas is a solid play in this upper tier. However, he does project to be the highest owned player from the $10k+ range.
The back-to-back U.S. Open Champ falls just $200 below Thomas at the top of the board. Koepka can be completely faded in this spot as he just grinded out a very tough 72 holes at Shinnecock. Do not be surprised if Koepka withdraws from this tournament. Remember, each field for the next week is released on Friday. After a big win, it is typical of players to drop out of the field the next week. Reed is also another player up in this range that can be faded. Though he does not cost you too much at just $10,000, he is another player who was getting after it for all 72 holes at Shinnecock and was right in the mix on Sunday. Reed has been playing very well and making lots of cuts, but a U.S. Open can take a lot out of a golfer.
This leaves us with McIlroy and Spieth, both separated by just $300. McIlroy comes in on DailyRoto with the second best odds to win (5.62%), and Spieth is given the third best odds to win (5.53%). These two both missed the cut last week at Shinnecock Hills and will be looking to get back on track at the Travelers Championship. The missed cut will be fresh in everyone’s mind, limiting their exposure. For tournament purposes, both McIlroy and Spieth make for sneaky good plays as they will be easily overlooked in this upper tier. However, Spieth does have a higher floor coming off a win at TPC River Highlands last season.
Cash Game Locks in Casey and Cantlay
Does Paul Casey ($9,600) ever let our DK lineups down? Aside from the RBC Heritage in April, Casey has not missed a cut this season. It seems so easy to just lock him into our lineups no matter what the price is and just let him do his thing. DailyRoto has Casey as the top value on the board when filtering strictly by course history. He has made the cut at the Travelers in each of the last three years, two of which resulted in Top Five finishes (T5, T17, 2nd). DailyRoto also gives him the fifth best odds to win, which is better than both Koepka, and Reed. At $9,600, just make it easy on yourself and staple Casey into your cash game lineups. He is a discount off the top tier, has the course history, and comes with a higher floor than just about anyone on tour.
Guess who is underpriced and rates out great again on DailyRoto? Yup, Patrick Cantlay ($8,400). Though he has only made one cut in three tries at the Travelers, his game was not near where it is right now. Cantlay’s last appearance at TPC River Highlands was his missed cut in 2014 when he didn’t even have his PGA Tour card. The 2018 version of Cantlay has proven to be fairly reliable. DailyRoto gives him almost a 4% chance to win, which is higher than everyone priced below $9,600. Cantlay did pick up his first win on tour in the swing season, but Brendan Steele ($7,600) also has a nice track record at TPC River Highlands. Steele has made the cut in each of his last five appearances at the Travelers with each finish being T25 or better. He also rates out very well in the key stats, as he is 24th is SG: Tee-to-green, 16th in Ball Striking, and 14th in Par 4 Birdie or Better. Steele has been very reliable all season with his only missed cut being at The Masters. Expect him to be a very popular cash game play this week at just $7,600 on DraftKings.
It might be too early to tell how Chris Stroud ($7,200) is going to fare coming off injury. He makes his return this week at a course he is very familiar with. So if we are willing to gamble on Stroud coming back from an injury, TPC River Highlands is the perfect place to target him at. Stroud has played in the event nine times since 2008 and has never missed a cut. That’s right, 9/9 cuts made with four finishes inside the Top 20. When filtering DailyRoto’s PGA Projection model by course history only, Stroud’s $7,200 price tag is the fourth best value on the board. Before withdrawing at Fort Worth, Stroud had made two straight cuts before his injury. He doesn’t expect to be too highly owned as DailyRoto has him projected at just 1.62%.
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