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FanDuel MLB Pivots: Thursday

by Spencer Limbach
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

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. 

 

 

 

STARTING PITCHER

 

Popular Picks: Jacob deGrom, J.A. Happ, Adam Conley

 


Pivot: Robbie Ray – Arizona (FanDuel Price: $6,300)


First off, let’s recognize the bizarre state of pitching tonight. Anytime J.A. Happ is pegged as a semi-popular selection, you know the list of quality options is short. Robbie Ray could be a sneaky cheap pick allowing you to stack in tournaments. There’s obviously some built-in risk you’ll need to absorb, as Miami is a righty-heavy team with sluggers like Stanton and Ozuna riding hotstreaks. However, Ray has been very good away from home this season, pinning down the Dodgers and Giants in pitcher-friendly environments. The park in Miami profiles on that side as well, which could help propel Ray towards a quality start.

 

 

 

CATCHER

 

Popular Picks: Buster Posey, Jonathan Lucroy, J.T. Realmuto

 


Pivot: Evan Gattis – Houston (FanDuel Price: $2,400)


Gattis had a good week towards the end of April, but things have otherwise been quiet for the Houston slugger. I’m guessing most people will avoid his spotty profile tonight, creating a nice low-owned opportunity in tournaments. We all know Gattis has capable power-upside, especially against mediocre lefties (facing Wade Miley’s .334 wOBA vs RHB) in hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park.

 

 

 

FIRST BASE

 

Popular Picks: David Ortiz, Edwin Encarnacion, Joey Votto, Jose Abreu, Chris Carter

 


Pivot: Adam Lind – Seattle (FanDuel Price: $2,300)


The Astros are starting rookie Chris Devenski tonight. He has been solid in several relief appearances and one start (at Oakland), but this will easily be his toughest test against a lefty-heavy Seattle offense. Cano and Seager will be popular, strong targets for the Mariners, but we can’t forget Adam Lind as a cheap addition to that stack. As we noticed in Houston’s last series, the ball carries in Minute Maid Park, particularly to the short right-field porch. That lines up especially well for power pull-hitters like Lind.  

 

 

 

SECOND BASE

 

Popular Picks: Robinson Cano, Jose Altuve, Dustin Pedroia

 


Pivot: Brandon Phillips – Cincinnati (FanDuel Price: $2,200)

 

This actually works out as a nice cash game strategy as well, especially if you are trying to fit deGrom into your lineup. That being said, you’ll likely need to find value somewhere, and Phillips is an excellent spot to make that happen. Don’t get me wrong, the aforementioned expensive picks are very solid tonight, but the savings is difficult to pass up here. Phillips will step in against Chase Anderson, who has reverse-splits of .359 wOBA and 15.2% HR/FB rate to right-handed bats.

 

 

 

THIRD BASE

 

Popular Picks: Josh Donaldson, Kyle Seager, David Wright

 


Pivot: Travis Shaw – Boston (FanDuel Price: $3,200)

 

I’m guessing the emphasis at third base will be on expensive and cheap picks without much attention being paid to the mid-range. That’s exactly where Travis Shaw is sitting, holding a great matchup against one of the worst pitchers of the day: Erik Johnson of the White Sox. Shaw usually hits sixth for the Red Sox, which should put him in a nice RBI spot within this potent Boston stack that rates as one of the highest projected offenses of the night.

 

 

 

SHORTSTOP

 

Popular Picks: Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Correa, Jonathan Villar

 


Pivot: Zack Cozart – Cincinnati (FanDuel Price: $3,300)


Cozart is far from a household name, which will likely keep his ownership rate in-check (especially for a comparable price point to Tulowitzki). However, he has proven himself as a very capable daily fantasy producer, hitting three homers in the past nine games. Cozart is a solid contact hitter with some pop, which is exactly what you are looking for out of the shortstop position. Cincinnati is a top five rated offense this evening, and as I mentioned earlier, Milwaukee pitcher Chase Anderson has reverse-splits that appear favorable to right-handed hitters like Cozart.

 

 

 

OUTFIELD


Popular Picks: Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Bautista, George Springer, Jay Bruce, Marcell Ozuna, Hunter Pence

 


Pivot 1: Mookie Betts – Boston (FanDuel Price: $4,000)


I love the Red Sox offense tonight. The Vegas oddsmakers love the Red Sox offense tonight. Naturally, that leads to high expectations for the do-it-all outfielder Mookie Betts. I’m guessing his ownership percentage will be much lower than deserved, as guys like Jose Bautista, George Springer, Nelson Cruz, Hunter Pence, etc are all at similar projection levels and $300 or so cheaper. However, it’s tough to forget about Betts in this situation, taking on one of the worst pitchers of the night in a hitter-friendly ballpark.

 

 

 

Pivot 2: Kirk Nieuwenhuis – Milwaukee (FanDuel Price: $2,500)


I’m not sure how popular Niewenhuis will be tonight. I’ve seen his name floating around, but the overall low-key profile and irregular starting status may stifle some of the popularity. Either way, I really like him in cash games and tournaments alike. He is a cheap power-hitter in a very good ballpark for that sort of tendency. On top of that, Cincinnati pitcher Alfredo Simon holds a .386 wOBA and 15.2% HR/FB rate against left-handed bats, some of the worst splits among pitchers in action tonight.

 

Spencer Limbach
Spencer Limbach is a multi-sport daily fantasy specialist for Rotoworld. He can be found on twitter @Spencer_JL.