MLB GPP Pivots: Thursday 5/16

Spencer Limbach
Spencer Limbach uncovers some sneaky-good MLB GPP Pivots away from the popular picks for Thursday, May 16. (Getty Images)
Spencer Limbach uncovers some sneaky-good MLB GPP Pivots away from the popular picks for Thursday, May 16. (Getty Images)

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.

With that, let’s dive into tonight’s main slate starting at 6:40 ET.  

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Trevor Williams – SP – Pittsburgh (at San Diego)

Williams is a pretty mediocre pitcher for all intents and purposes. However, he’s a sneaky-good fantasy choice on tonight’s abbreviated five-game slate. Even though the contact-to-strikeout rate could use some improvement, this is a strong matchup at San Diego. Petco Park isn’t the same pitching paradise it once was, but it’s still relatively kind to those taking the bump. On top of that, the Padres rank 21st in wRC+ with the highest strikeout rate (26.9%) of any MLB club. Because of that, Williams carries some fantasy intrigue despite stepping in as a road underdog.

Rowdy Tellez / Justin Smoak – 1B – Toronto (at Chicago White Sox)

Both of these guys find themselves in a nice spot against White Sox RHP Dylan Covey – who carries a .355 wOBA split over the past two years. As a result, Toronto checks in with one of the highest run-scoring projections of the night. Smoak and Tellez have struggled lately, but both of them carry attainable upside to take full advantage of this matchup. I’m looking towards Tellez in large-field tournaments as a cheap source of power.

Ryon Healy – 3B – Seattle (vs. Minnesota)

Speaking of a cheap power source, that’s about all Healy has going for him. In other words, he’s a boom-or-bust player not suitable for cash games. Most people will avoid his inconsistency, but the Seattle infielder has posted several monster games between the usual goose eggs as of late. Minnesota RHP Michael Pineda has been shaky after allowing 21 earned runs through 25 innings over his past five starts. The Minnesota bullpen may be fatigued after playing a doubleheader last weekend and not getting a day off since then. Don’t sleep on Healy and his teammates tonight.

Kevin Newman – SS – Pittsburgh (at San Diego)

Newman is a platoon hitter who often cracks the lineup against a left-handed pitcher. That should be the case tonight while facing Padres’ southpaw Eric Lauer, who owns a .350 wOBA split to right-handed bats. Newman is a dirt-cheap punt who could help you reach the top dollar hitters in this slate, and the Pittsburgh infielder has proved himself serviceable whenever he receives the starting nod. Keep Newman in the back of your mind when configuring different tournament lineups.

Domingo Santana – OF – Seattle (vs. Minnesota)

This goes back to the same rationale used with teammate Ryon Healy. Santana isn’t cheap, but most people will shy away from his expensive salary while looking towards other expensive outfielders like Marcell Ozuna, Nelson Cruz (if playing), Mitch Haniger or going cheaper at the position. Santana is a high-upside bat who could jump on Michael Pineda’s shaky form to begin the season. We should see plenty of runs from both sides in Seattle.

Billy McKinney – OF – Toronto (at Chicago White Sox)

McKinney follows the write-up of Tellez and Smoak earlier in the article. The .232 average while hitting in the bottom third of an uninspiring offense probably won’t excite most DFS enthusiasts. However, the matchup against Dylan Covey’s .355 wOBA split to left-handed bats makes for a breakout opportunity. McKinney is cheap with plausible upside in this draw.

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