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MLB GPP Pivots: Tuesday 7/16

Spencer Limbach

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


Alex Young - Arizona (at Texas) 

Young has impressed this season while allowing just one earned run and three hits (nine strikeouts) through 13.1 innings. Regression will eventually come knocking for the Arizona southpaw, but he’s still dirt-cheap with respectable upside. Despite a problematic park shift in Texas, there’s still plenty to like about Young tonight. He doesn’t walk anyone, and the Rangers rank 26th in wRC+ against left-handed pitching with a 28% strikeout split that represents the highest in major league baseball. In other words, there’s an opportunity for Young to keep thriving in this draw. 


Brandon Dixon - Detroit (at Cleveland) 

Dixon was featured in this column over the weekend, and I’m willing to revisit his upside tonight. The Detroit slugger is starting to turn some heads with four hits, two doubles, one homer, three runs, and five RBIs over his past four starts. He’ll hold a premium lineup spot against the mediocrity of Cleveland RHP Zach Plesac, who has allowed 10 earned runs with six walks through 6.1 innings over his past two appearances. Plesac also carries a .349 wOBA split to right-handed bats, creating an opening for Dixon and company to make some fantasy noise. 


Robel Garcia - Chicago Cubs (vs. Cincinnati) 

If Garcia finds himself in the starting lineup, he makes for an intriguing tournament pick. The rookie has collected six hits, two doubles, one triple, and two homers over his past four games, and it’s clear that he’s not intimidated by the major league stage. As a switch-hitter, Garcia will step into a confident matchup against Cincinnati RHP Anthony DeSclafani and his .398 wOBA split to left-handed bats. Food for thought when assembling multiple tournament lineups. 


Todd Frazier - NY Mets (at Minnesota) 

Minnesota RHP Michael Pineda has been effectively wild lately, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he imploded tonight against the Mets. The Twins’ righty is constantly finding himself in trouble, and there’s a chance that could catch up to him in this start. Pineda owns a vulnerable .349 wOBA split to right-handed bats, which has me looking towards Todd Frazier and Pete Alonso as GPP pivots who are borderline acceptable in cash games. 


Jonathan Villar - Baltimore (vs. Washington) 

Washington RHP Austin Voth is nothing more than a rotational filler who hasn’t even impressed at the Triple-A (4.40 ERA) and Double-A (5.13 ERA) levels over the past two seasons. He has allowed 15 hits and nine earned runs across 14.2 innings over the past three major league starts, and I believe the Oriole hitters have sneaky-good upside against him. Villar and Stevie Wilkerson are two of my favorite tournament options within that, as Villar has ever-present upside due to a strong combination of power, speed, and contact.  


Alex Verdugo - LA Dodgers (at Philadelphia) 

Verdugo is usually overshadowed by his popular teammates, causing a lower-than-deserved ownership rate. He was a featured pick in yesterday’s MLB DFS Plays article, coming through with three hits, three runs, one homer, and two RBIs. I like him for all the same reasons tonight, as Verdugo will see a park upgrade in Philadelphia while facing RHP Vince Velasquez’s .369 wOBA split to left-handed bats. 

Jason Heyward - Chicago Cubs (vs. Cincinnati) 

I mentioned earlier how Cincinnati RHP DeSclafani owns an exploitable .398 wOBA split to left-handed bats. The wind factor is neutral (blowing across the field) in Chicago tonight, but the hitter-friendly dimensions of Wrigley Field could be helpful. Heyward has picked-up eight hits, two doubles, and one homer over his last four starts, and I’m expecting the heater to continue in this favorable draw.