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 (nine-game) slate starting at 7:05 ET.
Pivot: Robbie Ray – Arizona (FanDuel Price: $8,000)
This isn’t the first time Ray has been mentioned as a sneaky pivot play, and it probably won’t be the last. The situation aligns well tonight, as Ray will enjoy a better park factor outside his home in Arizona. The Dodgers were one of the worst teams against left-handed pitching last season; despite their new additions designed to address that problem, the woes have seemingly carried into this 2017 campaign. LAD is bottom ten in wOBA, ISO, and wRC+ against lefties so far. Ray has the ability to get through this lineup, holding an impressive strikeout rate that is fantasy friendly. The key revolves around his control with limited free bases.
Pivot: Yan Gomes – Cleveland (FanDuel Price: $2,200)
Gomes has been pretty bad to begin the season, but his price has nearly bottomed-out as a result. Now may be the time to buy low, looking at a solid matchup against shaky Minnesota pitcher Kyle Gibson. The right-handed hurler had a season to forget in 2016, and this year hasn’t been any kinder. Gibson has allowed eight earned runs and three homers in nine innings, constantly elevating pitches in the zone. Cleveland makes for a nice stack this evening, and Gomes is an underrated piece within that.
Pivot: Yonder Alonso – Oakland (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
Alonso is an under-the-radar way to take advantage of A.J. Griffin’s horrendous splits against left-handed hitting (.411 wOBA, 2.90 HR/9). The park in Oakland tends to favor those who take the bump, but Alonso maintains the necessary power to come through in this situation. Per usual, the first base position is competitive tonight, but Alonso should be on your tournament radar as a cheap source of upside with elite matchup potential.
Pivot: Starlin Castro – NY Yankees (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
I’m hoping Castro slips through the cracks tonight. He’s underpriced at this current salary, looking at a solid righty/lefty matchup in New York’s hitter-friendly park. White Sox southpaw Derek Holland carries a .336 wOBA, 1.30 HR/9 split against right-handed bats: something that feeds well into Starlin’s wheelhouse.
Pivot: Kyle Seager – Seattle (FanDuel Price: $3,800)
There’s a logjam of upper-salary third basemen tonight, where Bryant, Ramirez, and Frazier (if playing) will all merit heavy consideration. Seager could get lost in the shuffle despite an appealing home matchup against middling right-hander Tom Koehler, who owns a .341 wOBA 1.39 HR/9 vs LHB.
Pivot: Adam Frazier – Pittsburgh (FanDuel Price: $2,100)
Gregory Polanco is day-to-day with a groin injury. If he’s out, Frazier will jump into the starting lineup, a role that has yielded five hits, a double, a triple, a homer, four RBI, and three runs over the past two. The matchup coincides favorably as well, given Lance Lynn’s .333 wOBA vs LHB.
Pivot 1: Hunter Renfroe – San Diego (FanDuel Price: $3,200)
I’m not a believer in Jaime Garcia, as he doesn’t have the stuff to miss many bats. We can expect the San Diego right-handed hitters to put plenty of balls in play against Garcia’s .348 wOBA 1.56 HR/9 split. Renfroe is a boom-or-bust commodity with the potential for a round-tripper.
Pivot 2: Lonnie Chisenhall – Cleveland (FanDuel Price: $3,200)
The Indians will likely be a popular stack this evening, but Chisenhall may have a lower-than-deserved ownership rate within that. He usually hits in the bottom half of Cleveland’s order, possibly pushing him out of favor with DFS players looking towards guys like Schwarber, Inciarte, Holliday, Ozuna, and Stanton for a similar price point. As I mentioned earlier in the write-up of Yan Gomes, Minnesota pitcher Kyle Gibson hasn’t looked sharp at all to begin the season. That’s bad news considering Cleveland may be his toughest matchup to date.