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 (nine game) slate starting at 7:05 ET.
Pivot: John Lackey – Chicago Cubs (FanDuel Price: $8,900)
This pick is admittedly risky, only to be utilized while assembling multiple tournament lineups. The 10 run over/under (with wind blowing out in Wrigley) makes for a volatile situation. However, Lackey checks in as a very strong -195 favorite against a Giants offense that ranks dead last in wOBA and wRC+ this season. You’re obviously worried about Crawford and Posey smacking a round-tripper, but there’s a chance Lackey could limit the damage en route to 40+ fantasy points boosted by robust run support leading to a victory.
Pivot: Chris Herrmann – Arizona (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
Herrmann is a platoon catcher who has made the most of his limited opportunities as of late. In his past two starts, he has racked up four hits, two doubles, two homers, and three RBI. A matchup against Miguel Gonzalez (.334 wOBA, 1.33 HR/9 vs LHB) in hitter-friendly Chase Field could throw more fuel on this hotstreak, assuming Herrmann lands a spot in the order.
Pivot: Josh Bell – Pittsburgh (FanDuel Price: $2,900)
Bell is a fine source of power who has blasted four homers with 10 RBI over the past nine games. While Michael Foltynewicz of Atlanta isn’t a bad pitcher, his .367 wOBA, 1.67 HR/9 split vs left-handed hitters over the past few years makes this a matchup to consider. In addition, SunTrust Park in Atlanta has profiled more towards hitter-friendly this season. It can be considered a decent upgrade for Bell and his teammates (compared to PNC Park in Pittsburgh).
Pivot: Cesar Hernandez – Philadelphia (FanDuel Price: $3,200)
Hernandez has slowed down following a blazing start to the season, but there’s a chance he’ll rekindle the flame tonight. The Phillies make for a sneaky-stack against Colorado RHP Jeff Hoffman, who holds a 4.97 ERA and 6.02 FIP through seven major league starts (past two seasons). Hernandez is a switch-hitter with fantasy upside stemming from multi-hit, multi-run, and stolen base potential.
Pivot: Eugenio Suarez – Cincinnati (FanDuel Price: $3,300)
Despite the promising matchup, I’m thinking Suarez will be overlooked for the name-brand third basemen listed above. Eugenio is swinging a hot bat with eight hits, two homers, and five RBI in his past five games. Stepping in against homerun-prone Josh Tomlin (.363 wOBA, 2.00 HR/9 vs RHB) in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark is an excellent spot to take a chance on the Cincy third baseman.
Pivot: Zack Cozart – Cincinnati (FanDuel Price: $3,500)
Cozart has the same outstanding matchup noted in the previous write-up with his teammate, Suarez. However, he’ll probably hold a lower-than-deserved ownership rate due to the “day-to-day” designation in the player pool. We’ll need to see if the sore wrist keeps him out of the lineup for a second straight day. Take note that he’s an excellent play if rejoining the Cincinnati order, and most people will likely gloss over his name with that injury concern.
Popular Picks: Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez, J.D. Martinez, Ben Zobrist, Seth Smith, Mark Trumbo, Adam Jones, Yasmany Tomas, David Peralta, Adam Duvall, Scott Schebler, Adam Frazier, Gregor Blanco
Pivot 1: Cameron Maybin – LA Angels (FanDuel Price: $3,400)
Maybin has been picking up some offensive slack for the Angels, stepping up with Yunel Escobar and Albert Pujols injured. Maybin is an on-base machine with excellent lineup security hitting in front of Mike Trout. The matchup looks pretty good as well, facing Jake Odorizzi and his .324 wOBA 1.62 HR/9 vs RHB.
Pivot 2: Max Kepler – Minnesota (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
Kepler had a strong showing the second-half of yesterday’s doubleheader vs Kansas City. Now, he’s looking at a park upgrade to accentuate an already promising matchup against the struggling-likes of Ubaldo Jimenez and his .380 wOBA, 1.78 HR/9 split vs left-handed hitters. Kepler, Kennys Vargas, Robbie Grossman (if playing), and Jorge Polanco are all underrated GPP Pivots with potential to jump on this favorable situation.