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MLB GPP Pivots: Thursday 6/20

by Spencer Limbach
Updated On: June 20, 2019, 4:10 pm ET

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 10-game main slate starting at 7:05 ET.

PITCHER

Nick Pivetta – Philadelphia (at Washington)

Pivetta checks in as a small road underdog, but I believe he has a legitimate chance to pull out the victory with a quality start. Sure, his 5.00 ERA doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence, but Pivetta has looked better with a pair of solid box scores over his past three appearances. That includes allowing just one earned run with 15 strikeouts through 15 innings against the Dodgers and Reds to begin the month. This is a somewhat neutral matchup at Washington, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Pivetta rekindled that upside.

FIRST BASE

Joey Votto – Cincinnati (at Milwaukee)

There’s no sugarcoating it: Votto has been a complete bust this season. The veteran is hitting .256 with six homers and 16 RBIs to go along with an inflated 23.3% strikeout rate. Putting that into perspective, Votto is a career .309 hitter with a 17.8% K-rate. Those alarming numbers have caused numerous fantasy enthusiasts to write-off the 35-year-old. However, this could be a spot where Votto comes around, and we only need one (or two) vintage at-bats for him to pay dividends in DFS. Facing Milwaukee RHP Jimmy Nelson in hitter-friendly Miller Park inspires confidence. Nelson has allowed eight earned runs through seven innings this season, and Votto has looked somewhat better since the calendar flipped to June.

SECOND BASE

Luis Rengifo – LA Angels (at Toronto)

The Angels are one of my favorite stacks of the night while facing Toronto LHP Clayton Richard and his .361 wOBA split to right-handed bats. Richard has allowed 12 earned runs and 14 hits over 7.2 innings over his past two starts, and those struggles could persist this evening. Mike Trout and Justin Upton are the top picks within an LAA stack. Albert Pujols and David Fletcher will get some love as well. However, don’t forget about switch-hitter Luis Rengifo even though he’s hitting down in the order. Rengifo has been warming up with six hits and three doubles over his past four starts, and he could absolutely take advantage of this favorable draw.  

THIRD BASE

Renato Nunez – Baltimore (at Seattle)

Nunez has been underwhelming lately, but his salary has fallen as a result. Let’s not forget that there’s some “pop” in his bat with 16 homers and 39 RBIs on the season. Tonight’s matchup against Seattle LHP Wade LeBlanc represents an encouraging buy-low opportunity for Nunez and his fellow Baltimore right-handed bats. LeBlanc has gotten shelled (6.20 ERA) throughout this season, most recently allowing six earned runs and eight hits through 2.2 innings at Oakland last Saturday. The Orioles could get to him tonight, and Nunez is a sneaky-good lift within that.

SHORTSTOP

J.P. Crawford – Seattle (vs. Baltimore)

Looking to the other dugout of the same game, let’s not sleep on the Mariners’ bats either. Baltimore RHP Dylan Bundy has been pitching better lately, but he still carries an exploitable .378 wOBA split to left-handed bats. Daniel Vogelbach and Kyle Seager are the leading candidates to jump on that vulnerability, and you can definitely look towards them in all DFS formats. Don’t forget about the cheap left-handed bat of Crawford, who makes for a sneaky-good bargain at shortstop. Crawford isn’t a power guy, but he has the ability to pile up multiple hits, hits, and RBIs in this advantageous draw.

OUTFIELD

Michael Conforto – NY Mets (at Chicago Cubs)

There are plenty of quality hitters in strong matchups tonight, and I’m expecting Conforto to slip through the cracks because of that. After all, guys like Bryce Harper, Justin Upton, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, and Nelson Cruz are similarly priced. Conforto is an intriguing GPP Pivot away from that group. He’s heating up with a 10 game hitting streak that includes a pair of homers along with six runs and seven RBIs. His draw looks good against Cubs’ RHP Tyler Chatwood, who holds an inflated .357 wOBA split to left-handed bats over his career.   

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – Toronto (vs. LA Angels)

Most of the attention will go towards the Angels’ hitters in this game, but don’t forget about Gurriel tonight. He’ll likely hold a premium lineup spot in a “plus” draw against LAA rookie southpaw Jose Suarez, who has allowed 14 hits and eight earned runs across 16 innings this season. In other words, this isn’t a matchup to fear by any stretch of the imagination. I’m expecting Gurriel to maintain his hot-hitting ways of 14 knocks with four homers and 11 RBIs over the past 10 starts.

Spencer Limbach

Spencer Limbach is a multi-sport daily fantasy specialist for NBC Sports Edge. He can be found on twitter @Spencer_JL.