Prize Picks: Optimal Lineups - April 10
Steve Pimental takes a look at Prize Picks props for the PGA's Masters Tourney
In a lot of ways, PrizePicks is tailor made for The Masters. At the Masters, course history is of the utmost importance, though it also helps to find players who enter with good form. Finally, I feel like we have a pretty firm grasp on what statistics are important at Augusta. Unless a player does well in Birdie or Better Conversion Percentage, Scoring Average and Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green,
I wound up with five Masters picks. I was hoping to put together two four-pick entries, but it turned out I only trusted five golfers. I will play a four-pick entry with the first four players on the list, but if you are looking for an alternative to one of those names, I have you covered. That being said, there are a lot of noteworthy players who I was tempted by and a few more that you may want to avoid. Let’s take a look at some of them before we get to my picks
Paul Casey is basically a lock for a top-15 finish, with four of them in his last four starts. Unfortunately, much like Tiger Woods, Casey tends to start slow and get better as the week goes on. Casey ranks 151 in Round 1 Scoring Average this season, so I’m fading him in Round 1. If he makes the Weekend, I’ll almost certainly go OVER on Saturday and Sunday.
Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy are my favorite plays of the week, along with Justin Rose. They are both projected for 17.5 fantasy points, which is why Rose appears below and they do not. That being said, I am awfully tempted to take the OVER on Rory, and if you wanted to put him in an entry over Rose or Jordan Spieth, I would not argue.
Bubba Watson basically either finished top 5 at Augusta or he is completely off the leaderboard. He has been pretty good this season, with just one missed cut, but I still don’t trust him Thursday.
Phil Mickelson is a two-time Masters champion and he ranks seventh in Round 1 Scoring Average. He also rates well in all of the stats I’m looking at this week. The problem is Phil
Hasn’t finished better than 37th in any of his five tournaments since winning the Pebble Beach Pro-Am back before Valentine’s Day. Phil hasn’t finished better than 22nd in any of his last three Masters starts, and he has two missed cuts in his last four starts at Augusta. If I had to pick, I would go over, but I’m avoiding him this week.
I think if you made me pick the rest of the available golfers for Thursday, I would go Over for all of them, but I wouldn’t feel great about it. All of those players are really, really good, but they all have warts. With that in mind, let’s look at my PrizePicks for the 2019 Masters.
Projected Fantasy Points: 16.5
Rose has finished in the top 15 at the Masters for five straight years, and he is tied for eighth in Round 1 Scoring Average this season. Rose ranks first on the PGA Tour in Birdie or Better Conversion Percentage and 10th in Scoring Average.
Projected Fantasy Points: 16.0
In 21 Masters starts, Tiger Woods has shot an opening round in the 60s just once. Readers of this article are probably sick of me taking the UNDER on Tiger in the opening round, but he almost never gets off to a hot start at this tournament. Tiger also ranks 82nd in Birdie or Better Conversion Percentage, which is not nearly as high as I would like heading into Augusta.
Projected Fantasy Points: 15.5
Kuchar may be a jerk, but he has been consistent of late as well as at Augusta. Kuchar enters The Masters with two straight top-10s, and he still hasn’t missed a cut in 12 starts this season. Kuchar has made the cut in nine straight starts at Augusta, and he leads the PGA Tour in Round 1 Scoring Average this season. Kuchar ranks 11th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and Scoring Average.
Projected Fantasy Points: 15.0
Poulter is one of the few golfers available on PrizePicks who doesn’t have an unassailable track record at Augusta. Poulter has finished outside the top 40 in three of his last five tries at the Masters including each of his last two. He ranks T37 in Round 1 Scoring Average, which is good, but not good enough to make me second guess this pick.
Projected Fantasy Points: 15.0
Spieth is just 25 years old. That is apropos of nothing, but I felt it was worth mentioning just because of how crazy it is. Another crazy stat: Spieth has finished in the top 3 in four of his five trips to Augusta (he was 11th in 2017). Spieth struggled on the weekend in San Antonio but he ranks T16 in Round 1 Scoring Average despite having his worst season as a pro. Don’t get used to his projection being so low. Spieth ranks 11th in Birdie or Better Conversion Percentage this season.