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) evening slate beginning at 7:05 ET.
Michael Pineda - Minnesota (at Texas)
This recommendation certainly has some risk tied to it, as Pineda is coming off the injured list to take on the Rangers in Texas. The Twins’ righty held excellent form prior to dealing with a tricep injury, allowing just one earned run in four of his last six starts. Pineda gave up just nine earned runs through 36.1 innings (36 K’s) over that span. That’s the upside associated with this pick. The risk comes from any potential rust caused by sitting out two weeks, and Pineda will be dealing with the heat in hitter-friendly Globe Life Park. On the other hand, the Rangers rank 20th in wRC+ while holding the third-highest strikeout rate this season.
CATCHER / FIRST BASE
Matt Olson - Oakland (vs. Houston)
Olson is swinging a confident bat with six hits (one homer) over his last four starts. He’ll settle into a favorable home draw against Houston RHP Aaron Sanchez, who carries a .361 wOBA split to left-handed bats. Sanchez has looked much better since moving to Houston, but he’s still vulnerable to left-handed sluggers. Olson is one of the few Oakland hitters to jump all over that.
We’ll need to double-check that Bote is in the lineup, as he has been losing playing time to Ian Happ lately. If Bote is starting, he’s an interesting tournament bargain with some “pop” at an underwhelming second base position. He’ll hold the platoon advantage over Philadelphia LHP Drew Smyly, who carries a .376 wOBA split to right-handed bats. The hitter-friendly atmosphere of Citizens Bank Park doesn’t hurt either.
Eduardo Escobar - Arizona (vs. San Francisco)
Don’t sleep on the Diamondbacks tonight, as Arizona will look to inflict some damage on San Francisco RHP Dereck Rodriguez. The Giants’ righty hurler struggled throughout most of this season, jumping back-and-forth from Triple-A to the big league club. He’s making a spot-start tonight despite yielding nine earned runs across 9.2 innings through is last four MLB appearances. Meanwhile, Escobar has proven himself as an upside candidate for DFS purposes while having a career season with 27 homers and 96 RBIs (.273 average).
I’m not sold on Angels’ LHP Andrew Heaney, who currently holds an underwhelming 4.89 ERA while working his way back from a shoulder issue. This could be a sneaky-good spot to take White Sox hitters in tournaments, while Jose Abreu and Tim Anderson are my favorite lifts from that group. Anderson is coming off a sweet 4-5 showing, and his DFS salary is still relaxed. He’ll hold the platoon advantage along with a premium lineup spot to boost his contact, power, and speed profile.
Kevin Pillar - San Francisco (at Arizona)
Don’t look now, but Kevin Pillar has been on fire with 14 hits, two homers, seven runs, and six RBIs over his last eight starts. His salary has risen as a result, and he’ll probably carry a lower-than-deserved ownership rate while getting lost in this otherwise underwhelming Giants’ offense. Pillar will hold the platoon advantage over Arizona LHP Alex Young, who fell back to reality in his last start against the Dodgers.
Nick Senzel - Cincinnati (vs. St. Louis)
Senzel is another sneaky-good outfielder while looking to take advantage of a strong matchup in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark. The Reds’ leadoff man has a chance to jump all over St. Louis RHP Michael Wacha and his .372 wOBA split to right-handed bats. Most DFS enthusiasts will be looking towards his teammates, Aristides Aquino and Eugenio Suarez, but don’t forget about Senzel (and Jose Iglesias) for a fraction of the cost.