The purpose of this article is to outline potential popular selections at every position, then give some sneaky pivot plays with lower ownership rates for tournament consideration. Essentially, it’s your traditional “Tournament Picks” segment with an emphasis on getting away from those groupthink selections of the day.
In other words, I’m playing devil’s advocate in going against the grain. Hopefully, this will help find some lower-owned pivot plays to accompany the popular, well-aligned picks in your FanDuel lineups.
Pivot: Chris Tillman – Baltimore (FanDuel Price: $7,000)
This selection is not for the faint of heart, as Tillman is the epitome of a “boom or bust” pitcher. He was rolling against the Twins (2 IP, 5 K’s) before a rain delay prematurely ended his awesome start. Perhaps he could carry some of that momentum into a date against the “swing-happy” Rays. Camden Yards is considered a hitter-friendly environment, so that’s where the risk lies. Still, Tillman is cheap for his relative upside, worth a look if assembling multiple tournament lineups.
Pivot: Chris Iannetta – Seattle (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
I mentioned Iannetta as a sneaky pick on Tuesday’s MLB Pivot article, and the same holds true this evening. He hits lefties very well, and Oakland southpaw Eric Surkamp got knocked around by right-handed bats (.377 wOBA) in limited innings last season. I understand Surkamp’s sample size isn’t enough to draw concrete conclusions from, but it’s safe to say that he’s a subpar lefty with a tough road draw. There aren’t many well-priced catchers jumping off the page today, so going with Iannetta may not be a bad move in tournaments or cash games.
Pivot: Chris Carter – Milwaukee (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
I believe the Milwaukee Brewers represent a sneaky stack tonight. Carter is a firm part of that, carrying extreme power upside in nearly every matchup. That was evident last game when he smacked a pitch “inside out” off the inner-half of the bat for an opposite field homerun. Now, he has a pleasing matchup against Houston’s Scott Feldman, who doesn’t strike many batters out, holding a .320 wOBA against right-handed hitters. Milwaukee’s hitting-friendly ballpark doesn’t hurt Carter’s cause.
Pivot: Logan Forsythe – Tampa Bay (FanDuel Price: $3,300)
Forsythe is a power-hitter who could benefit from a nice park shift in Baltimore. As mentioned earlier, Chris Tillman is a “boom or bust” pitcher who usually pitches very well or gets shelled. By association, that makes the Tampa bats “boom or bust” plays as well. Tillman allowed a .353 wOBA and 1.48 HR/9 against right-handed hitters last season. If those trouble rear their ugly head again tonight, Forsythe and Longoria could be in for promising fantasy performances.
Pivot: Luis Valbuena – Houston (FanDuel Price: $2,300)
Assuredly, Kris Bryant and Matt Carpenter will eat up majority of the ownership percentage at third base. I’m looking towards them in cash games, but Valbuena represents a cheaper high-upside pick for cash games. He has decent power upside, stepping in against Milwaukee pitcher Chase Anderson, who holds a .340 wOBA against left-handed hitters. The Houston offense has been on fire to begin the season, and that could continue (with the help of Valbuena) in hitter-friendly Miller Park.
Pivot: Jonathan Villar – Milwaukee (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
Let’s jump back to that sneaky Milwaukee stack, shall we? If you don’t have the funds to select a premium option like the ones listed above, Villar is a cheap, sneaky pick who could provide some nice bang for the buck. He’s batting in the bottom half of Milwaukee’s lineup, which will assuredly keep his ownership rate extremely low. Don’t worry about that though, as Villar still holds multiple hit, run, and stolen base potential against subpar pitcher Scott Feldman.
Pivot 1: Colby Rasmus – Houston (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
Take everything I said about Luis Valbuena earlier, and directly apply it to Colby Rasmus. However, Rasmus is easily the more talented player of the two, and he’s underpriced while considering that. This is a nice matchup and hitter-friendly environment for Rasmus to inflict some damage, and he’ll be overlooked for other mid-range picks listed above. I like him in cash games and tournaments alike.
Pivot 2: Franklin Gutierrez – Seattle (FanDuel Price: $2,300)
Gutierrez was another recommendation highlighted in Tuesday’s MLB Pivot edition, and the same principles hold true for him as his teammate Chris Iannetta (mentioned earlier). The Seattle right-handed hitters are well-aligned against subpar southpaw Eric Surkamp. Gutierrez holds a .400+ wOBA against left-handed pitching, and he’ll likely go overlooked for a lack of name recognition. I’m liking Cruz, Cano, Iannetta, and Gutierrez as high-upside stack tonight.