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MLB GPP Pivots: Monday 5/20

Spencer Limbach
Spencer Limbach finds some sneaky-good MLB GPP Pivots away from the popular picks for Monday, May 20. (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 7:05 ET.  

PITCHER

Luke Weaver – Arizona (at San Diego)

Weaver has been very sharp this season while racking up three straight quality starts and 19 strikeouts over his last 20 innings pitched. Having said that, I’m assuming his ownership rate will be lower than deserved while facing San Diego RHP Chris Paddack as a road underdog. There’s still room for upside, as the Padres currently hold the highest strikeout rate (27.3%) while ranking bottom ten in wRC+ at 85. Starting in pitcher-friendly Petco Park doesn’t hurt either. It could be somewhat difficult for Weaver to earn the win bonus in this low-scoring game, but that doesn’t mean we should rule him out for DFS tournaments.

FIRST BASE

Yonder AlonsoChicago White Sox (at Houston)

Alonso is a boom-or-bust player, but there’s a clear path to upside tonight. Minute Maid Park in Houston is notoriously kind to left-handed power. On top of that, Astros’ RHP Brad Peacock owns a .371 wOBA vulnerability to left-handed bats. Alonso hasn’t made much fantasy noise over the past few weeks, but this could be his breakout party.

SECOND BASE

Cesar Hernandez – Philadelphia (at Chicago Cubs)

Cubs’ RHP Yu Darvish has been better recently, but I’m not 100% sold that he’s turned things around. That especially holds true when considering 11 walks through over 13.1 innings over his past three starts. Darvish carries a .359 wOBA split to left-handed hitters over the past two seasons, which opens the door for Bryce Harper and the underrated-likes of Hernandez to take advantage.

THIRD BASE

Renato Nunez – Baltimore (vs. NY Yankees)

New York LHP J.A. Happ has been up-and-down all season, and the Orioles have gotten the best of him by piling up nine earned runs and 15 hits through 13.2 innings over three starts. First off, it’s pretty crazy that this is Happ’s fourth start against Baltimore already. After having success in their first three meetings, I’m guessing the Orioles won’t complain. Nunez is a sneaky-good pick with the platoon advantage to go along with a cheap salary and likely premium lineup spot.

SHORTSTOP

Tim Beckham – Seattle (at Texas)

This is probably the shakiest recommendation of the article, just so you know. Beckham is a boom-or-bust candidate who is starting to lose playing time after falling into a slump. However, he was a fantasy beast to begin the season, so he does have capable upside when things are going his way. He’ll hold the platoon advantage over Texas LHP Mike Minor, which has me believe that he’ll crack the starting lineup. Beckham is cheap on all DFS sites while seeing a respectable park boost.

OUTFIELD

Trey Mancini – Baltimore (vs. NY Yankees)

As mentioned earlier, most people will be looking to the other offense in this game. That creates an interesting GPP Pivot opportunity with the Orioles. Mancini is arguably the most reliable hitter within that, looking at the platoon advantage over mediocre LHP J.A. Happ. Mancini is in the midst of an impressive stretch at the plate with three homers, four runs, and five RBIs over his past six starts.

Byron Buxton – Minnesota (at LA Angels)  

Go ahead and pick whoever you want from this Minnesota team, and they’ll likely produce. The Twins are tearing the cover off the ball right now, leading the league in runs scored while ranking in the top two for almost every hitting category. I still believe Buxton will be an underrated DFS asset despite smacking three homers with 10 RBIs over his past five games. He hits at the bottom of Minnesota’s order, and it’s an unwritten DFS rule to shy away from players in those spots. However, I don’t think it really matters with this Minnesota offense, as Buxton will see plenty of opportunities to keep his hot streak. It doesn’t hurt that he’s protected by the top of the order behind him. Facing primary pitcher Felix Pena is a winnable matchup for Buxton and the Twins.