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.
We are focusing on the main slate starting at 7:05 ET.
Pivot: Adam Conley – Miami (FanDuel Price: $8,100)
Conley is somewhat of a boom-or-bust amenity, and I’d rather look towards the similarly priced likes of J.A. Happ in cash games. Having said that, let’s not dismiss Conley in the tournament conversation. His matchup looks great against an uninspiring San Diego lineup in pitcher-friendly Marlins Park. Hopefully the most recent start of 11 strikeouts, three hits, and one earned run over seven innings (@NYM on 8/20) gives him enough confidence to be aggressive in the strike zone yet again.
Pivot: Chris Iannetta – Arizona (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
There’s a chance Iannetta could hold a reasonable lineup spot when facing a mediocre left-handed pitcher this evening. San Francisco southpaw Ty Blach has been protected by the pitcher-friendly likes of his home ballpark, but he has been trending the wrong direction while coughing up 17 hits and 12 earned runs over 11.1 innings combined in his past two starts. Blach carries a .342 wOBA vs right-handed hitters, giving Iannetta and his teammates a comfortable matchup in hitter-friendly Chase Field.
Pivot: Matt Olson – Oakland (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
Olson has cooled off since hitting four homers in five games several weeks ago. However, it’s nice to know he carries that power upside in his back pocket. It could come in handy this evening, facing the generosity of Texas RHP Nick Martinez, who sports an inflated 5.59 ERA this year.
Pivot: Scooter Gennett – Cincinnati (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
Gennett has been riding a precarious wave of production this season, and it appears the tide is rising yet again. The Cincinnati infielder has notched nine hits, three homers, and 10 RBI over his past nine games. Staying in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark to face Pittsburgh RHP Ivan Nova (.361 wOBA, 1.49 HR/9 vs LHB) is a promising situation to keep Gennett going.
Pivot: Matt Chapman – Oakland (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
As mentioned earlier, I’m not too high on Texas RHP Nick Martinez. He’s starting out of necessity more than anything, having yet to prove his worth on the MLB stage this season (15 ER & 21 hits through 13 IP in past three appearances). Similar to his teammate, Matt Olson (listed earlier), Chapman has flexed some power upside over the past month. This matchup provides an excellent opportunity to rekindle that flame, and the Athletics make for a sneaky-good stack within this full slate.
Pivot: Tim Beckham – Baltimore (FanDuel Price: $3,500)
To be completely honest, I struggled to find a GPP Pivot at shortstop. After prolonged digging, I belive Beckham fits the bill nicely. Here’s why: 1) Boston RHP Rick Porcello won the AL Cy Young last season. Therefore, he subconsciously registers as an elite pitcher in most people’s minds, even though his numbers this season suggest otherwise. 2) Speaking of Porcello’s numbers, he’s allowing inflated .351 wOBA 1.31 HR/9 splits vs RHB this year. Those numbers are unsurprisingly worse in his home of Fenway Park. 3) Tim Beckham has been on fire for the Orioles, and he’ll enjoy some excellent lineup security with a nice park boost in Boston … Long story made short: this is an underappreciated matchup to catch some upside at a tricky shortstop position.
Popular Picks: Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Charlie Blackmon, JD Martinez, Marcell Ozuna, Andrew McCutchen, Steve Pearce, Carlos Gonzalez, Jose Bautista, Mookie Betts, Kyle Schwarber, Cameron Maybin
Pivot 1: Scott Schebler – Cincinnati (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
You could look towards Schebler or his teammate, Jesse Winker ($2500) – whoever gets the starting nod tonight. They both carry plausible power upside to take advantage of the hitter-friendly environment that is “Great American Small Park”. As mentioned earlier, Pittsburgh RHP Ivan Nova has a vulnerability to left-handed bats to the tune of .361 wOBA 1.49 HR/9 splits.
Pivot 2: Jorge Bonifacio – Kansas City (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
Bonifacio made a name for himself earlier this season, but he has been a DFS afterthought upon being relegated to a platoon hitter with Melky Cabrera coming to Kansas City. Having said that, he should find himself in the lineup against the contact-oriented ways of Cleveland LHP Ryan Merritt. The Indians’ southpaw is a spot-starter forced into action with Danny Salazar landing on the disabled list. In other words, Bonifacio and the Royals (Whit Merrifield anyone?) could get to him tonight.