Bombs & Values Genesis Invitational

2021 Genesis Invitational Bombs & Values: The 5 Best Value Plays For Your DFS Lineups and Betting Cards

In last week’s Bomb’s & Values article, I gave you the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am solo second place finisher, Maverick McNealy, and teased out the inevitability of Daniel Berger’s win. That’s bonus content! Berger’s win got the monkey off my back as the first outright win in thepgatout.com’s one month existence. As it turns out, winning and making money off of winners is fun. And I learned that picking winners is good for the site’s #credibility, as we reached rare air in the 1-comma pantheon of Twitter followers as a result. Welcome, welcome! Now that we’ve gotten our first official taste of success, I’d like to take a crack at going back-to-back.

So if you’re new to the program, Bombs & Values is my favorite, most in-depth look at the field each week. All players with odds 40/1 or better are inherently good. Their odds tell you that, you don’t need my #hardhittinganalysis to belabor the point. Instead, this article will find those diamonds in the rough, the unheralded, overlooked leverage plays whose stats line up well for Riviera, and will allow you some DFS salary relief, or the confidence to take some big swings on some longshots. So without further ado, let’s get into!

DFS Values

Pricing from Draft Kings

Scottie Scheffler ($8,500)

Scottie Scheffler making an appearance in a Bombs & Values article truly is a testament to how deep this Field is. I rarely write up guys in the $8K range as “values”, but relative to the pricing around him, I think Scottie is a steal for this price. And as we think more about DFS lineup construction, I think he’s a player that will go over-looked in this range, as people will naturally gravitate towards jamming in multiple $10K+ players instead. If it were up to me, I would’ve priced Scottie equal with Spieth, Matsuyama, Bubba, Niemann, and Hovland, but yet, here he sits as the cheapest option from that list.

We last saw Scottie in contention to win the WMPO before fizzling out on the back 9 and fading to a still respectable T7 finish. As a young player, he’s already shown early improvements year over year, so I like his chances to build off of his WMPO success, and last year’s T30 finish at this event.

So here’s what I like about Scottie this week. Distance is crucial at Riviera and he ranks 30th in Driving Distance and 11th in SG: OTT over the last 24 rounds. One of the most crucial stats that I’m looking at this week, aside from Driving Distance, is Par 4 scoring. Longer Par 4 scoring is especially important, as Riviera features 11 Par 4s, 7 of them being 450+ yards. Scheffler ranks 6th in Total Par 4 Scoring, skewed by his strongest results on longer holes where he is #5 in P4: 450-500 Scoring and #3 in P4: 500+ Scoring.

Amongst the other top names in Scheffler’s price range this week, he comes up a bit short in SG: APP, ranking #53. But if there’s ever a course to deprioritize the weight of Approach play, it’s at Riviera where much fewer Approaches will be played from the fairway than usual, and more greens will be missed in regulation. Scheffler has the short game (#25 SG: ARG) to make up for the occasional miscue with his irons, and although the putting is about field-average (#69 SG: P), that hasn’t stopped Bubba, JB Holmes, or Adam Scott from hoisting the trophy here, so long as the putter can catch fire.

Talor Gooch ($7,200)

I can’t remember if I’ve formally declared thepgatout.com as the official fan site for Talor Gooch, but if I haven’t before, I’m staking that claim now. #TalorGang, #GoochSweaters, you’re all safe here.

In many ways, Talor Gooch is Sam Burns-lite. They are both above average across the board whether it’s OTT, APP, ARG, or Putting. Sam Burns hits it farther, but he doesn’t have the guts to stay in contention with a Field of this caliber. Gooch on the other hand, is a certified gamer. He finished T20 in his first career start at The Genesis and then followed that up in his very next start last year with a T10. If I’m doing my math correctly, that guarantees him a T5 finish this year, which is not so bad at $7,200. We’ve seen Gooch get streaky with course history most recently at the Houston Open, where he fired two straight T4s in 2019 and 2020.

The fastest way for a player to make their way into a Bombs & Values article is to rank better-than-field-average across all key categories, and carry a cheap price tag. Gooch is one of only 4 players this week to fit the criteria, the others being Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, and the soon to be mentioned Carlos Ortiz. Here’s a list of those key categories with Gooch’s rank in each: T2G (53), Short Game (19), ARG (54), Driving Distance (42), Scrambling (4), Bogey Avoidance (54), SG: P – Poa (45), Par 4 Scoring 450-500 (32), SG: TOT – Genesis (17).

Recent form, key stats, course history. All trending Gooch’s way this week!

Wyndham Clark ($7,100)

If “Bombers who can putt” were personified, you’d be staring in the face of Wyndham Clark. He’s a decent iron game away from being a real problem on the Tour, but as I mentioned with Scottie Scheffler, this is one track I’m willing to overlook Approach play, as long as you can back it up with elite play in the other key areas.

With Wyndham Clark, we get the #4 Driving Distance player in the field, coupled with the #7 Putter on Poa. It’s also nice to see him rank #10 in Bogeys Avoided, and #14 in Scrambling. In his debut at the Genesis Invitational last year, he delivered a strong T17 finish. He also rides into this week on a bit of a hot streak, making 7 of his last 9 cuts, including a T2 at Bermuda and a T13 at The Shriners in that span.

It’s no surprise to see his game translate to a successful first trip to Riviera, and at $7,100, he’s carrying in some very strong momentum for a repeat performance in 2021.

Doug Ghim ($6,900)

Last week was my introduction to the #GhimReaper hype train, and let me tell you, I get it now. In his first professional trip to Pebble Beach last week, he paid off in full as a salary-saver with his T21 finish. As the young stud continues on to The Genesis to make another course debut, I have no reservations going back to Ghim again for more salary relief.

He’s got the driving distance (39th), he’s good around the green (35th), and he putts well on Poa (51st). That’s all I’m asking for from players this week, and for a $6K-range player, Ghim profiles as a relatively safe, high floor value play.

Patrick Rodgers ($6,700)

I usually roll my eyes when I hear someone talk up Patrick Rodgers. He’s become a fantasy darling over the years because the stats suggest he’s due for a breakout with his elite putting and distance off the tee, it just hasn’t materialized itself into many notable placement results. I like Rodgers for all the reasons I’m high on Wyndham Clark this week, just replace Clark’s recent form with Rodgers’ proven course history and knock off $400 in salary.

Distance, Short Game, Course History. Check, check, check. It’s rare to find a player with consistent Course History and elite measurables in the event’s key stats in the $6K range, but when the good people at Draft Kings hand us a gift like this, I don’t like to ask too many questions. Rodgers ranks 15th in Driving Distance, 12th in SG: P – Poa, and 33rd in SG: TOT at The Genesis. In his last 4 trips to Riviera, he’s finished 30, 15, 26, 22. The recent results have not looked very good, but he’s gained strokes T2G and Putting in 4 of his last 5 events, so you know he’s close to breaking through. I’m quicker to overlook recent results for Poa putting specialists like Rodgers, knowing we only get a handful of Poa events each season.

I can tell you right now that Patrick Rodgers will be in all of my DFS lineups this week, along with Carlos Ortiz, and I’ll figure out who from the top of the board to mix and match later.

Betting Bombs

Matthew Wolff (+8000)

I’m betting Matthew Wolff this week for two reasons. Most importantly, I want to clear the air around any rumors that I might be a Wolff hater after I so boisterously smeared his name fading him and betting him to miss the cut at The Farmers. Make no mistake, I love Matthew Wolff, I just think his ARG game has a lot of room to improve. The second reason I’m betting Matthew Wolff is because I haven’t bet him since he was +8000 to win The US Open, and I did not believe that after his stellar Runner Up showing in a Major, we’d ever see him at this number again.

Wolff is a good putter, but he’s decidedly best when putting on Poa greens, and in this little drought he’s gone through since his Runner Up finish at the Shriners last October, he hasn’t seen Poa grass at all. Similar to Winged Foot, players that can carry it far off the tee are going to have an advantage at Riviera, even if they miss the fairways. With a Matthew Wolff bet at +8000, I know his distance is going to allow him to contend, as he ranks #16 in the Field in Driving Distance. I’m really just asking that his #11 SG: APP rank means more GIRs and less Scrambling from Around the Green. You won’t find more talent and upside north of 80/1 on this board than what you’re getting with Matthew Wolff.

Carlos Ortiz (+9000)

The last two times I bet Carlos Ortiz were both live Sunday bets after my pre-tournament Outrights all played themselves out of contention at The Farmers and WMPO. Ortiz doubled-bogeyed the first hole after I invested in him at the Farmers, and immediately after I backed him as the clubhouse leader of the WMPO, Brooks holed out his Eagle to seal the deal. When I see a trend emerging, I jump on it, and this one is clear: stop betting Carlos Ortiz live, start betting him pre-tournament. I’m sick of being Carlos Or-Teased, and after we nail this 90/1 outright, I’ll get to printing some Carlos Or-Tees.

Everything this week ladders back to the simple strategy that in order to succeed at The Genesis, you need distance off the tee, a great short game to scramble for Bogey Avoidance, and proven history of success on these uniquely tricky Poa greens to take advantage of birdie opportunities when they present themselves. Carlos Ortiz is excellent in all three phases.

Ortiz has sneaky driving distance, ranking #33 in the Field there and ranks out as the #1 Putter in the Field historically at Riviera through his 4 career trips to the Genesis. His #11 rank in Putting on Poa reinforces that these results are no fluke, he just has an eye for Poa greens. He’s also shown to be one of the most reliable Short Game players as of late, ranking #21 SG: ARG.

Despite some ups and downs in Ortiz’s career, his history at The Genesis is unblemished, never finishing worse than T26 in his 4 career trips here, highlighted by a T9 in 2019. There’s no question Carlos Ortiz comes into the 2021 Genesis Invitational in the best form of his career. After breaking the seal for his first career win 6 starts ago at the Houston Open, he’s followed that up with a T8 at Mayakoba, T14 at the Sony, and T4 in his last start at the WMPO. Although his T28 at The Farmers doesn’t look like much, he was only a couple strokes off the lead on Sunday before my live bet torpedoed him to a final round 78. It won’t happen again Carlos, I promise!

Cameron Smith (+10000)

Cameron Smith is priced $100 cheaper than Scottie Scheffler on Draft Kings, which I think is appropriate, and yet here he is in the triple digits, 2x the odds of Scottie Scheffler who opened at 50/1. I checked the numbers and it is the biggest variance in DK Salary rank (#21) to Odds rank (#37). I think it would be enough for me to pull the trigger on him for the sheer value alone, but there’s actually a lot more that I like about Cam Smith for Riviera.

When we get to the 100/1+ range in this Field, you need to have some serious win equity versus a formidable field to be worth the gamble. At last year’s Sony Open, he proved he has what it takes to win on Tour, and he followed that up in the end of 2020 with a T11 finish in a loaded CJ Cup field, and T4 finish the next week in an equally as strong Zozo field. Then, as we remember at the 2020 Masters, he played well enough to wear the Green Jacket, if not for a scorching Dustin Johnson, so nonetheless he finished Runner Up.

Smith’s strength is in his Short Game (#39 SG: ARG), and he especially thrives on Poa, on which he ranks #10 in this field in putting. Combine that with his above-field-average Driving Distance, and you’ve got a recipe for success. His best finish was T6 three years ago, but with 3 T11-or-better finishes in his last 6 events, the best may be yet to come for my favorite Australian this week, Cameron Smith.

Si Woo Kim (+10000)

Speaking of win equity, Si Woo slides in here only 4 weeks removed from his victory at The AmEx, and yet here he is back again in the triple digits. I understand the field for The AmEx didn’t exactly compare to what we’re going to see this week, but let’s not forget the caliber of players Si Woo Kim overcame to win the The Players back in 2017.

Over the last 24 rounds, Kim has quietly rose up the ranks and sits #6 in field SG: T2G, and #1 SG: ARG. With GIRs expected to be lower than your Tour event average this week, it’s a huge plus to also be getting the #1 Scrambling player on Tour in Kim.

He’s had a mixed bag of results here over the years, but has finished T37 and 3rd in his last two trips, so there’s plenty of upside between the Recent Form and Recent event results for Si Woo.

Dylan Frittelli (+20000)

Everyone welcome to the stage Dylan Frittelli for his first appearance on thepgatout.com! Frittelli is not a great Approach player (#103 SG: APP), nor is he a good putter (#108 SG: P, TOT), so I typically don’t think too hard about playing him. But luckily for Dylan, neither of those stats are a priority to contend here, and the stats that are most important are where he excels the most.

Dylan Frittelli ranks #17 in Driving Distance over the last 24 rounds, thanks to some revamped and optimized new workout routines that went less publicized than Bryson’s coming out of the COVID restart. In addition to his driving strengths, he’s also one of the most sure-handed players around the green on Tour, ranking 16th SG: ARG. That combination of Power OTT + Precision ARG is rare, and lethal for Riviera.

Since Riviera features some of the tightest fairways on Tour, I took a look at how this Field’s Approach splits compare on courses where hitting fairways are difficult, in order to approximate Approach from the rough. Interestingly enough, Frittelli’s Approach numbers saw the biggest boost on these tighter courses, jumping from #103 overall to #40 in these conditions. Beyond the Approach lift, I also love that Fritelli ranks #3 in Par 4 Scoring: 450-500 yards, as we’ll see 7 holes within this range at Riviera.

Also encouraging, in Frittelli’s two starts at the Genesis, he’s gained 2+ Strokes Putting each time, which is good enough for 20th in this field in SG: Putting at Riviera. To put that into perspective, Frittelli has only gained 2+ strokes putting at 8 events in his entire career, and his only two trips to Riviera both fall in that Top 8.

If Frittelli can combine his newfound distance with historical Riviera Putting success and consistent prowess around the greens, he is going build off of his T5 at The Masters 4 rounds ago and shoot up the leaderboard this week.