This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB pivots of the day at every position. We take a comprehensive look to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.
Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.
Justus Sheffield – Mariners (at Indians) – Yahoo: $36, DK: $7700, FD: $8600
This season more than ever, it’s important to pay attention to pitch counts. Sheffield typically tosses between 85 and 90 pitches. That’s enough to produce comfortable mid-tier point totals, but he’ll need to be very efficient to post a big score. In this particular slate, that might be fine. Aside from Zac Gallen and Zach Plesac, the pitchers either have limited ceiling, bad matchups, or both.
Sheffield has transformed from back when he was a prospect. He’s now a soft-tossing southpaw who leans on a sinker, slider, and changeup. The Diamondbacks have the worst offense against left-handed pitchers (61 wRC+ or 39 percent below average). They also hit too many ground balls which feeds into Sheffield’s strengths as a sinkerballer.
With Mike Moustakas and Jesse Winker both day-to-day, there’s a decent chance Stephenson will slip into the starting lineup either as a catcher or designated hitter. The offensive-minded backstop has all of the traits you look for in a slugger – plate discipline, above average contact, a balanced batted ball profile, and plenty of raw pop. The only thing missing is speed. Any time you can get an above average hitter for a minimum price, it’s worth pursuing. Especially at catcher where the opportunity cost of a poor performance is low. Dakota Hudson is a neutral matchup.
Since the Angels start as many as three first basemen, most non-Coors Field targets should be seldom-rostered. Walker is an appropriately priced mid-tier play with a mid-lineup role. He brings enough power, contact skills, and lift to the table to match up decently against Sheffield. And once the Diamondbacks crack into the Mariners bullpen, the matchups will only get juicier.
The second base pool is thin tonight. Frazier offers multi-hit potential at spacious Kauffman Stadium. The park boosts the singles rate for left-handed hitters by five percent. Hernandez is an interesting pitching prospect, but he’s currently being used for roughly one time through the order. This will probably become a bullpen game.
Frazier comes with serious red flags. Among qualified hitters, he has the fifth-worst exit velocity. He tries to make up for it with line drive and spray contact profile.
Pivots aren’t just about finding low-rostered players. Sometimes it pays to target chalky pitchers – especially when they aren’t quite in the Shane Bieber/Yu Darvish tier of elite. We know Gallen will be the most popular pitcher. Seager matches up decently against him. The veteran third baseman has regressed since his hot start, but he’s kept a career-best 13.3 percent swinging strike rate. He’s a decent play for power with a coveted mid-lineup role. If the Mariners can chase Gallen early enough, they’ll get multiple cracks at a laughable DBacks bullpen.
Between Coors Field and a hot, cheap Adalberto Mondesi, Baez should go virtually unrostered. His aggression has caught up to him this season. He recently complained about not having access to in-game video review which might also explain some of his struggles. Anderson typically nibbles around the zone. His stuff isn’t the sort to give Baez fits. A visit to power friendly Miller Park doesn’t hurt either.
There is one notable drawback – both Anderson and Baez are ground ball guys. That typically means Baez will burn worms.
This is another case of shiny Coors Field players obscuring an excellent alternative. Yelich is a darling of our Rotoworld Player Projections – he’s the third-rated outfielder. As with the Baez pick, this pits two ground ball guys against one another. Yelich, however, has a more robust skill set. Although he’s struggled with strikeouts this season, it shouldn’t be a problem versus Hendricks (6.83 K/9).
Locastro is not entirely dissimilar to a right-handed version of Adam Frazier. They're both are slap hitters with low exit velocities and top-of-the-lineup roles. Locastro projects to be a slightly better hitter – both tonight and overall. The matchup against Sheffield is neutral, but any time spent batting against the Mariners bullpen is a big bonus.