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 11-game main slate beginning at 7:05 ET.
Mike Montgomery - Kansas City (at Baltimore)
This is admittedly a risky pick. You shouldn’t expect much strikeout upside from Montgomery, but he has been pitching very well lately, allowing just two earned runs across 18 innings over his last three starts. He seems to be finally settling into the starting rotation for Kansas City, and facing a Baltimore team that ranks 25th in wRC+ with a top ten strikeout rate (23.9%) could be enough to keep him rolling. Montgomery has strange splits throughout his career, allowing a higher wOBA split to lefties (.322) than righties (.302) even though he’s a left-handed pitcher. He shouldn’t see too many lefty bats in tonight’s draw, which adds a little more encouragement.
CATCHER / FIRST BASE
After bouncing between the majors and minors for Minnesota and Atlanta, Santana has been a revelation for the Rangers this season. He’s hitting .308 with 21 homers through 360 at-bats, helping his cause with 12 hits, three homers, and nine RBIs over his last eight starts. The ball is flying through the warm temperatures at Globe Life Park, and Santana could take advantage with an inviting draw against Angels’ LHP Patrick Sandoval - who carries a .397 wOBA split to right-handed bats through limited MLB innings.
Cesar Hernandez - Philadelphia (at Boston)
he Red Sox check in with the highest run-scoring projection of tonight’s slate, but don’t forget about the other side of this matchup. Boston RHP Rick Porcello has been very generous this season, holding a 5.49 ERA with a .346 wOBA split to left-handed bats. Hernandez is a switch-hitter with the matchup and park factor on his side, and the economical price tag serves as a proverbial cherry on top of his DFS prospects.
Josh Donaldson - Atlanta (vs. Miami)
Miami LHP Caleb Smith has rounded into form this season, but he got shelled in his last meeting against the Braves (Aug. 9) with 10 hits and six earned runs allowed through 4.2 innings. Atlanta checks in with a top-five run-scoring projection on tonight’s slate while hosting Smith at SunTrust Park. Josh Donaldson has been known for destroying left-handed pitching throughout his illustrious career, and he’s a sneaky-good candidate for fantasy upside while holding the platoon advantage over Smith.
Elvis Andrus - Texas (vs. LA Angels)
The recent game log won’t impress you, and I’m expecting Andrus to hold a lower-than-deserved ownership rate because of that. However, the Texas shortstop finds himself with a breakout opportunity against the aforementioned vulnerability of LAA southpaw Sandoval’s .391 wOBA split to right-handed bats. Definitely keep Andrus on your tournament shortlist tonight.
Jorge Soler - Kansas City (at Baltimore)
Similar to the previous write-up of Andrus, Soler’s recent game log doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence. However, we can’t ignore the Kansas City slugger in the midst of this breakout season, and the park upgrade in Baltimore could help. An encouraging matchup against Orioles’ RHP Aaron Brooks (.374 wOBA to RHB) doesn’t hurt either, making Soler a sneaky-good tournament option with a likely underrated ownership rate.
Conforto is one of my favorite GPP Pivots of this slate. He could get lost in the outfield shuffle while DFS enthusiasts turn towards hitters from Boston, Houston, or other offenses with higher run-scoring projections. Conforto has launched homers in back-to-back games, and he’s stepping into an interesting draw against Cleveland RHP Adam Plutko’s .401 wOBA split to left-handed bats. Let that serve as food for thought in large-field tournaments.