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 13-game main slate beginning at 7:05 ET.
Eduardo Rodriguez - Boston (at Texas)
There are so many exciting pitchers on this slate, which leads me to believe that Rodriguez will get lost in the shuffle. “E-Rod” checks in with a shorter price tag than guys like Gerrit Cole, Mike Clevinger, Jack Flaherty, and Max Scherzer while holding his own with 54 strikeouts and five earned runs across 45 innings over his last seven starts. Not too shabby, right? Pitching in hitter-friendly Globe Life Park isn’t ideal, but neither is Rodriguez’s home ballpark in Boston. Fantasy backers can take comfort in the fact that Texas ranks 27th in wRC+ with the second-highest strikeout rate against left-handed pitchers this season.
CATCHER / FIRST BASE
Justin Smoak - Toronto (vs. Baltimore)
Smoak didn’t start yesterday, and it’s a shame he missed out on the 11-10 scorefest. We could have another barnburner (a fancy way of saying bad pitching) in Toronto this evening. Smoak will look to jump on Baltimore RHP Dylan Bundy’s .363 wOBA split to left-handed bats. The Orioles’ bullpen doesn’t provide much resistance either, and Smoak is a powerful switch-hitter who could make some noise against pitchers of either hand.
Asdrubal Cabrera - Washington (vs. Philadelphia)
First off, we’ll need to double-check that Cabrera is in the line tonight. Assuming that’s the case, he’s a sneaky-good lift for DFS tournaments. I already mentioned this in today’s MLB DFS Plays article, but second base doesn’t have much opportunity cost despite the expanded 13-game slate. That means we can cut against the grain with less risk than usual, and Cabrera is a switch-hitter with some capable upside. Most people will avoid this matchup against Philadelphia RHP Aaron Nola, but we need to consider that Nola hasn’t been sharp after allowing four or more earned runs in three of his past four starts.
Evan Longoria - San Francisco (vs. Colorado)
Almost every hitter from this game (both sides) should have a single-digit ownership rate due to a low over/under in a pitcher-friendly park. However, we can’t ignore the encouraging draw for San Francisco’s bats, as they’ll step in against Colorado RHP Jeff Hoffman’s 6.71 ERA through 61.2 innings this season. Hoffman also carries a heavy .439 wOBA split to right-handed bats (excuse the small sample) within that, and Longoria represents one of the best Giants’ righties to take advantage. Kevin Pillar is another interesting option if you are looking to get a mini-stack going.
Trevor Story - Colorado (at San Francisco)
San Francisco LHP Madison Bumgarner is still good, but he’s not nearly as dominant as he was several years ago. That especially holds true after allowing five or more earned runs in two of his past four starts. In other words, there’s a vulnerability with the Giants’ ace, and Story has proven himself as one the best hitters in the league against left-handed pitching. The discouraging park factor could stifle his upside, but there’s still a chance the Colorado shortstop connects on a deep-ball tonight.
Jordan Luplow - Cleveland (at Chicago White Sox)
In the MLB DFS Plays article, I mentioned how all of the Cleveland outfielders were in play against White Sox LHP Hector Santiago. Yasiel Puig, Franmil Reyes, and Oscar Mercado will be the featured attractions within that stack, but don’t forget about platoon-righty Jordan Luplow. He has notched three high-upside performances over his last six starts, and I’m expecting Luplow to carry a lower ownership rate (despite similar upside) than his fellow outfielders.
Khris Davis - Oakland (at LA Angels)
Davis follows the exact same rationale outlined with Luplow above. The A’s are in an excellent spot against Angels’ LHP Dillon Peters (.391 wOBA vs. RHB) tonight, while Ramon Laureano, Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien, and Mark Canha should check-in as popular plays (rightfully so) as a result. However, Davis has been very lackluster over the past two weeks, so he’ll probably see less love from DFS enthusiasts. He’s still capable of GPP-winning performances, so keep “Krush” in mind when assembling your tournament team.