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Daily Games

MLB GPP Pivots: Saturday 10/17

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: October 18, 2020, 12:49 pm ET

This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB pivots of the day at every position. We take a comprehensive look to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.

Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.

Finding pivots in a two-game contest is an uphill battle. Mostly, I’ll be focusing on the worst players at a given position. These are postseason clubs so “worst” is relative.

PITCHER

Charlie Morton – Rays (at DBacks) – DK: $7500, FD: $8000

While all four starting pitchers have at least a 20 percent chance to lead the position in points, I estimate Morton to be the least popular. On DraftKings, that still means a roster rate of 30 percent or higher. Morton was sitting in the 95-96 mph range in his last start, figures he hasn’t matched since 2018. The energy of the postseason seems to be giving him extra zip. With three of four teams facing elimination, including the Rays, there is elevated risk for fewer than five innings.

CATCHER

Mike Zunino – Rays (vs Lance McCullers) –DK: $3900, FD: $2200

Will Smith and Travis d’Arnaud are the chalky picks at catcher so this comes down to which of Zunino or Martin Maldonado are more likely to homer. That comes out in favor of Zunino. Although he only has a one-in-eight chance to homer, that’s still 50% likelier than Maldonado. Zunino is also the likeliest catcher to completely zero out.

Personally, I’ll be locking in Smith and looking for contrarian plays elsewhere. He showed yesterday how much he likes low pitches. His opponent, Fried, tends to hammer the lower quadrants of the zone.

FIRST BASE

Yuli Gurriel – Astros (vs Charlie Morton) –DK: $2900, FD: $2500

Gurriel is a miserable 4-for-40 this postseason. He’s working counts, avoiding strikeouts, and making typical contact. He’s peppered foul territory in this series. For a low-angle hitter like Gurriel, facing a pitcher like Morton could unlock some pop. The Rays starter tends to work up in the zone.

Freddie Freeman is the ultra-chalk while Max Muncy and Ji-Man Choi should also be fairly unpopular.

SECOND BASE

Jose Altuve – Astros (vs Charlie Morton) –DK: $5000, FD: $4000

This is as much about the price tag as anything else. Altuve is the top-projected second baseman tonight, but only by a thin margin. He costs considerably more than Brandon Lowe and Ozzie Albies. I’m also counting on a number of DFSers remembering his brutal 2020 season.

After a couple strong performances, he is now hitting .364/.500/.750 this postseason – mostly fueled by launching five home runs in only 56 plate appearances. Like Gurriel, a matchup against Morton improves the power projection for Altuve.

THIRD BASE

Justin Turner – Dodgers (vs Max Fried) – DK: $4800, FD: $3200

I could be wrong, but I fully expect Dodgers stacks to focus on other players. Although Turner is typically the third batter, he’s an obvious choice to skip in favor of something less obvious like Chris Taylor or A.J. Pollock. Turner is also ice cold this postseason, hitting a bare .211/.295/.263 with no home runs.

All that said, I have him as the best bet among third basemen for a home run. He generates plenty of lift in his swing, and Fried is a ground ball pitcher. The combination tends to produce favorable launch angles for hitters. He’s disciplined enough to wait for a mistake to punish.

SHORTSTOP

Willy Adames – Rays (vs Lance McCullers) –DK: $3700, FD: $2400

I made this exact recommendation yesterday in the DFS Plays. Adames wound up having a good game, although Corey Seager later blew him out of the water.

Since there are only four possible shortstops - other positions have some eligibility overlap to increase the options – Adames has a roughly 10-15 percent chance to lead the slate even though he is, by far, the worst shortstop available. In a GPP and all else equal, you can consider this a fair play if you expect his rostership to fall in the same range. Toss in a cheap contract, and he looks like a solid dart throw.

Obviously, Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, and even Dansby Swanson are stronger plays. Interestingly, they all project to supply roughly the same points per dollar spent.

OUTFIELD

Kyle Tucker – Astros (vs Charlie Morton) –DK: $3200, FD: $3700

On DraftKings, Tucker is perhaps the best dollar-for-dollar value in the slate. He seems to be blossoming before our eyes this postseason, demonstrating impressive ability to both cheat for contact and sting the ball with authority. His ability to adjust mid-swing is reminiscent of an early career Hunter Pence. Tucker doesn’t appear to have any obvious weaknesses when facing right-handed pitchers, but I’ve also yet to identify any situations in which he’s especially potent.

Cristian Pache – Braves (vs Walker Buehler) –DK: $3300, FD: $2300

Thrust into action by an injury to Adam Duvall, Pache has looked surprisingly comfortable at the plate. Strikeouts have always been an issue in the minors for the toolsy outfielder, but he’s held his own through 19 postseason plate appearances (21.1% K%). He’s even chipped in a home run. Expect Pache to put the ball on the ground more often than not. As the Braves ninth hitter opposite Buehler, I expect a low roster rate.

Nick Markakis might be even less popular despite a similar projection, cheaper cost, and mountains of experience. As a quintessential boring veteran, he’s just a lot less exciting (hence why he could be less popular).

 

Brad Johnson

You can read more from Brad Johnson on Rotoworld, FanGraphs, and RotoFanatic. Find him on Patreon and Twitter @BaseballATeam.