MLB GPP Pivots: Saturday 8/17

Spencer Limbach

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 nine-game main slate beginning at 7:05 ET.

PITCHER

German Marquez - Colorado (vs. Miami) 

Teammate Jon Gray was listed in this spot yesterday, and he came through with eight scoreless innings. There’s always risk associated with a pitcher in Coors Field, but I believe Marquez can handle this Miami offense that ranks last in wRC+ with a top 10 strikeout rate. After all, Marquez is essentially the better version of Gray, looking fantastic in his last home start with 10 strikeouts through six scoreless innings against the mighty Dodgers’ offense. Definitely keep the Colorado righty in mind for tournaments this evening. 

CATCHER / FIRST BASE

Marwin Gonzalez - Minnesota (at Texas) 

First base is loaded tonight, which could leave Gonzalez with a lower-than-deserved ownership rate despite his recent heater of 13 hits, two homers, five runs, and seven RBIs over the last six games. The matchup is certainly favorable while facing Texas RHP Ariel Jurado (.364 wOBA vs LHB) in hitter-friendly Globe Life Park. Don’t be surprised if Marwin continues to rake in the Lone Star State. 

SECOND BASE

Hanser Alberto - Baltimore (at Boston) 

Boston LHP Eduardo Rodriguez steps in as a massive -340 home favorite tonight, but that reflects Baltimore’s terrible pitching staff more than the ability of “E-Rod”. In fact, the Red Sox southpaw has been pretty generous lately, coughing up 29 hits and 14 earned runs across 23.1 innings over his last four games. Alberto will hold a premium lineup spot for the Orioles while owning a .318 average. He could post some quality numbers while holding the platoon advantage over Rodriguez. 

THIRD BASE

Eduardo Escobar - Arizona (vs. San Francisco) 

Escobar’s cumbersome salary rivals superstar third basemen like Nolan Arenado and Rafael Devers on this slate. His numbers are just as good too, as the Arizona switch-hitter is having a career season with 28 homers and 97 RBIs to go along with a .273 average. San Francisco RHP Logan Webb, who is a top pitching prospect for the Giants, will make his MLB debut tonight. He has plenty of talent, but Webb has only made one start above the Double-A level in his career. In other words, Saturday’s appearance could serve as a shock to his system. There’s a chance Escobar could cash in on the Giants’ bullpen as well. 

SHORTSTOP

Brandon Crawford - San Francisco (at Arizona) 

This has been a disappointing year for Crawford, we don’t care about the season-long numbers for daily fantasy purposes. The important takeaway comes from the matchup at hand, as San Francisco will see a park boost (Chase Field) while facing Arizona RHP Taylor Clarke and his .355 wOBA split to left-handed bats (35 IP). In fact, San Francisco makes for a sneaky-good stack with Crawford, Kevin Pillar, Mike Yastrzemski, and Evan Longoria

OUTFIELD

Willie Calhoun - Texas (vs. Minnesota) 

Speaking of sneaky-good stacks, don’t forget about the Rangers. It’s supposed to be hot tonight in Texas, which could have the ball flying around the yard. Minnesota RHP Jose Berrios seems to be fading down the stretch, allowing 15 hits and 12 earned runs across 11.2 innings over his past two starts. It’s worth noting that his velocity has taken a dip as well. Calhoun is an underrated option to take advantage, and he has collected four hits through the first two games of this series. 

Eloy Jimenez - Chicago White Sox (at LA Angels) 

Jimenez is a boom-or-bust option who could conceivably smack two homers or give you a goose egg. Tonight’s matchup moves expectations closer to the former, as Jimenez will settle into a righty/lefty draw against LAA southpaw Jose Suarez, who has been very generous lately (6.57 ERA overall; 17 hits, 10 ER over 8 IP in two most recent starts).