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Daily Games

MLB GPP Pivots: Saturday 9/26

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: September 26, 2020, 11:42 am ET

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.

PITCHER

German Marquez – Rockies (at DBacks) – Yahoo: $35, DK: $7700, FD: $8900

In these waning moments of the 2020 regular season, finding starting pitchers who will toss a full workload can be a challenge. While we can’t be sure Marquez will get 90-100 pitches, it’s a better proposition than somebody we know is limited like Aaron Civale.

More importantly, Marquez has a desirable matchup against a below average Diamondbacks offense. They’re 13 percent below league average with the bat. While we’re dealing with small samples, the Rockies ace is on fire when pitching away from Coors Field. He has a 2.45 ERA on the road compared to a 5.68 ERA at home. These aren’t too far off his career rates of 3.58 ERA away and 5.10 ERA home. One drawback is his strikeout rate which is at a meager 7.96 K/9. Compared to past seasons, there aren’t any changes in his stuff, repertoire, or pitch usage, leading me to project a strikeout per inning today.

Not only is he a solid value on Yahoo and DraftKings, our Rotoworld Player Projections consider him the best pitcher in the slate. Despite this, I expect him to be unpopular in GPPs.

CATCHER

Sam Huff – Rangers (vs Chase De Jong) – Yahoo: $8, DK: $2600, FD: $2000

When it comes to deep-bargain catchers, a chance for a home run is just about all we need. Huff brings exactly that to the table. Only Salvador Perez is likelier to deliver a deep fly tonight. Coming off a two-homer game yesterday, there’s a chance his rostership will creep beyond what one might consider a true pivot. However, I’m reasonably confident his place on a league-worst Rangers offense will obscure him from most DFSers. Huff’s batting profile is not unlike a poor man’s Gary Sanchez. Expect volatility and the occasional big performance.

FIRST BASE

Edwin Encarnacion –White Sox (vs Jon Lester) – Yahoo: $16, DK: $3800, FD: $2800

One of the best pivot tricks is to find a team with two sluggers at one position and then select the less popular of the pair. There’s no question White Sox stacks will lean on Jose Abreu and eschew Encarnacion - and with good reason! Encarnacion is hitting a miserable .167/.259/.400. The power is present (10 home runs in 171 plate appearances), but he’s whiffing at career-worst rates and struggling with a not entirely unlucky .167 BABIP. His batted ball profile has devolved to homer, fly out, or weakly pulled ground out. Lester, a soft-tosser, isn’t inducing whiffs and has an elevated 1.57 HR/9. Despite an apparent decline, it’s a strong matchup for Encarnacion.

SECOND BASE

Keston Hiura – Brewers (at Adam Wainwright) – Yahoo: $13, DK: $4200, FD: $3600

Few second basemen have Hiura’s ability to fill up a boxscore. The ill-disciplined slugger hasn’t quite replicated his incredible 2019 debut, but he is still hitting for power with 13 home runs in 238 plate appearances. Unfortunately, visiting Wainwright at Busch Stadium isn’t ideal for power outcomes. Wainwright is a savvy pitcher who figures to make strategic use of Hiura’s overaggression. Still, there is plausible potential for position-leading output. In my opinion, only Ozzie Albies, Ketel Marte, and Mike Moustakas are definitively better plays. Hiura should carry half the rostership of those veterans.

It’s possible I’m misreading this and he will be popular because of his affordable price. However, since he hasn’t posted an impressive point total in quite some time, I expect the focus to be on either pricier or cheaper plays.

THIRD BASE

Eugenio Suarez – Reds (at Michael Pineda) – Yahoo: $21, DK: $3500, FD: $3600

At a position stuffed to the gills with elite, expensive hitters, Suarez leads them all in home run potential. That’s different than having the best projection – a handful of others are expected to outperform him on average. Suarez is one of the best bets in the slate for a multi-homer game. Pineda, while a solid pitcher, has a history of home run issues. He allows an inordinate amount of contact at ideal launch angles for power. Suarez is known for generating lift with his swing. Look at this as an all-or-nothing pivot.

SHORTSTOP

Xander Bogaerts – Red Sox (at Logan Davidson) – Yahoo: $18, DK: $5200, FD: $3700

I’ve made this same recommendation a couple dozen times this season. Bogaerts is your best opportunity to roster a top of the line projection at shortstop without sharing him with too many others. He has power, an ability to hit for average, and a valuable lineup role. In short, it’s the total package. His matchup against Davidson is a bit of a mystery. The pop-up prospect had a spectacular 2019 campaign but only recently caught his stride at the Braves alternate camp. The Braves are one of only a few teams with a tough bullpen.

OUTFIELD

Christian Yelich – Brewers (at Adam Wainwright) – Yahoo: $18, DK: $4300, FD: $4000

Were this a full season, I’m convinced there is a lot of money to be made using a deeply discounted Yelich. His elevated career-worst strikeout rate and BABIP are mysterious. I remain convinced these would naturally regress if given time. Meanwhile, Yelich is hitting the ball harder than ever. Wainwright is a neutral matchup for Yelich although Busch Stadium does detract from his power potential. DFSers have slowly drifted towards alternative targets in his price range.

Luis Robert – White Sox (vs Jon Lester) – Yahoo: $12, DK: $3600, FD: $3100

Robert has almost perfectly replicated the beginning of Javy Baez’s career. After an initial hot start, he’s now mired in a deep slump. DFSers are staying away. He hasn’t homered (or even doubled!) since September 3, batting .098/.211/.098 in his last 72 plate appearances. He recently blamed a shift in approach against him – pitchers are attacking him with more fastballs. It’s a curious “issue” since as a free swinger, he should be better against fastballs.

It also shouldn’t matter today. Lester basically doesn’t have a fastball. His 89-mph heater is softer than many pitcher’s sliders.

Brad Johnson

You can read more from Brad Johnson on NBC Sports Edge, FanGraphs, and RotoFanatic. Find him on Patreon and Twitter @BaseballATeam.