Welcome to the MLB GPP Pivots article, where we’ll be looking to uncover some sneaky-good DFS plays away from the popular lifts. These recommendations are usually risk/reward commodities meant to be used in large-field tournaments. Typically, blending these low-owned hidden gems with well-aligned staples contributes to a viable GPP strategy.
Keep in mind that the following player write-ups were constructed earlier in the day, and sometimes injury/rest situations can alter the fantasy landscape. Monitoring our MLB News & Headlines Feed throughout the day will keep you in the loop while giving you the subsequent DFS consequences of each information piece.
We will be looking at the eight-game main slate starting at 7:05 ET.
Ariel Jurado - Texas (at Toronto)
To be completely honest, every pitching option carries significant risk tonight. Zack Greinke is the headline pick, but rainfall could play a factor in his start. Eduardo Rodriguez and Zach Plesac have difficult matchups against each other. That has me looking towards Ariel Jurado as a sneaky-good tournament choice. The Texas righty has shown glimpses of upside this season, and this is a favorable spot while facing a Toronto offense that ranks 22nd in wRC+ this season with a top-ten strikeout rate to boot. Jurado has a vulnerable .353 wOBA to left-handed bats throughout his career, but Toronto doesn’t have many legitimate hitters from that side of the plate (Justin Smoak, Cavan Biggio). I’m keeping the Texas hurler in tournament consideration tonight.
CATCHER / FIRST BASE
Joey Votto - Cincinnati (at Washington)
Votto looked good in the weekend series against the Cubs, collecting three hits with two doubles and a homer over the past three games. I’m expecting that momentum to carry into an encouraging draw against the high-contact tendencies of Washington RHP Erick Fedde, who currently holds a .374 wOBA split to left-handed bats.
Rougned Odor - Texas (at Toronto)
Power upside? Check. Mild salary? Check. Strong matchup? Check. Park factor? Check. Odor holds an uninspiring .205 average on the season, but his 20 homers suggest he’s worth a look through tournaments. Tonight’s matchup against Jays’ bulk pitcher Brock Stewart is a good one, and Toronto’s hitter-friendly environment could help as well.
Jose Osuna - Pittsburgh (at LA Angels)
There’s a part of me that believes in the Pirates as a DFS stack tonight. The park shift to Angel Stadium isn’t huge, but it represents a better hitting environment than Pittsburgh’s home of PNC Park. LAA left-handed pitcher Jose Suarez has been generous while allowing 14 hits and 10 earned runs through 9.1 innings over his past two starts. Meanwhile, Osuna has been heating up since late July, and this is an excellent spot for him to flex some upside.
Jonathan Villar - Baltimore (at NY Yankees)
Villar has been on fire lately with 11 hits over his last six starts. The Baltimore shortstop will likely be underrated while playing for an otherwise uninspiring offense. We’ll need to monitor the lineup card for the second half of this doubleheader, but Villar carries significant upside by way of a rare contact, power, and speed combination.
Bryan Reynolds - Pittsburgh (at LA Angels)
Reynolds piggybacks on the write-up of his teammate Osuna, which was outlined above. The Angels’ left-handed rookie pitcher, Suarez, has had a tough time adjusting to the major league level, and Reynolds will look to cash-in with the platoon advantage. The Pittsburgh switch-hitter has been seeing the ball well while collecting 19 hits, four homers, 16 runs, and seven RBIs over his last 13 starts (two weeks of games).
Josh VanMeter - Cincinnati (at Washington)
As mentioned earlier, Washington RHP Erick Fedde allows a ton of contact while holding an inflated .374 wOBA split to left-handed bats. VanMeter is a sneaky-good lift against that, as he carries a cheap salary with a likely premium lineup spot for the Reds. VanMeter established himself as someone to watch for fantasy purposes while racking up 10 hits and three homers through a five-game stretch in late July. He could revisit that level of production tonight.