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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: Clayton Kershaw, Jimmy Nelson, Vincent Velasquez

 


Pivot: David Price – Boston (FanDuel Price: $9,400)


Price has been far from his dominant-self this season, which has resulted in a lower-than-usual price point. Even though he’s taking on a power-hitting Houston team in a hitter-friendly Fenway Park, I still believe Price holds some plausible upside. The Astros are a free-swinging strikeout-prone team that could help Price exercise his demons and get back on track. Of course, there’s some risk that things could fall the other way, which is why the Boston ace is more of a tournament pick in this situation.

 

 

 

CATCHER

 

Popular Picks: Brian McCann, Victor Martinez

 


Pivot: Blake Swihart – Boston (FanDuel Price: $2,200)


Dallas Keuchel has been very hittable all season, and the Boston bats are in the midst of a hotstreak. Swihart has done a decent job within that, holding a four-game hitting streak with an RBI and two runs through that span. There isn’t much opportunity cost at catcher tonight, and Swihart would help you save some cap space to grab upside elsewhere (Kershaw anyone?).

 

 

 

FIRST BASE

 

Popular Picks: Chris Davis, Brandon Belt, Miguel Cabrera, Chris Carter

 


Pivot: Hanley Ramirez – Boston (FanDuel Price: $3,200)


Most people probably won’t target hitters against last year’s AL Cy Young winner. However, Keuchel has been struggling to begin this season, and that could continue on the road against a red-hot Boston offense. HanRam is one of the main causes for his concern, as he slugs lefties very well. The park factor in Fenway should help him as well.

 

 

 

SECOND BASE

 

Popular Picks: Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler, Jonathan Schoop

 


Pivot: Kolten Wong – St. Louis (FanDuel Price: $2,200)


Wong hasn’t been much of a fantasy commodity this season, providing spotty production to keep his salary near the minimum level. However, this is a satisfying matchup against “the ghost of” Jered Weaver, who doesn’t miss too many bats. There isn’t much opportunity cost with well-priced second basemen tonight, so investing in a well-aligned pick like Wong could pay off.

 

 

 

THIRD BASE

 

Popular Picks: Manny Machado, Matt Carpenter, Matt Duffy, Travis Shaw

 


Pivot: Nick Castellanos – Detroit (FanDuel Price: $3,000)


Castellanos was once known as an uninspiring fantasy commodity with minimal upside. However, he refined his swing this season, and the results have put him back on the fantasy map. He has a solid matchup against Ubaldo Jimenez in Baltimore’s hitter-friendly environment tonight. The lineup security couldn’t be much better hitting behind Miggy, V-Mart, JD, Kinsler, and Upton. Also, Castellanos is riding a hotstreak by hitting a homer in each of the past two games.

 

 

 

SHORTSTOP

 

Popular Picks: Brandon Crawford, Carlos Correa, Jonathan Villar, Xander Bogaerts

 

 

Pivot: Didi Gregorius – New York Yankees (FanDuel Price: $2,000)


Gregorius is one of the few cheap shortstops with plausible upside. Like second base, I’m not seeing many “must plays” at the position, so going cheap (allowing you to spend on Kershaw) may not be such a bad move. Gregorius has been spotty as of late, but he occasionally flexes some fantasy prowess with multiple RBI hitting in the bottom half of the Yankee lineup. He’ll hold the platoon advantage over Ian Kennedy tonight, who holds a susceptible .333 wOBA against left-handed hitters.  

 

 

 

OUTFIELD

 

Popular Picks: J.D. Martinez, Mark Trumbo, Adam Jones, Brett Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Ryan Braun, Randal Grichuk, Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon,

 


Pivot: Jon Jay – San Diego (FanDuel Price: $2,600)


Jay is one of those names that daily fantasy enthusiasts tend to gloss over. He’s a mediocre hitter playing for a subpar offense, and his home ballpark is one of the worst hitting environments in the league. However, the Padres’ bats will enjoy a very nice park shift in Milwaukee tonight. The left-handers look like the better ones to target, given Jimmy Nelson’s .363 wOBA and 18.4% HR/FB split against those with the platoon advantage. Jay falls into that category.

 

 

Pivot 2: Alex Presley – Milwaukee (FanDuel Price: $2,300)


Alex Presley usually floats around the batting order, hitting anywhere from 2nd to 7th. Regardless of where he finds himself, the Milwaukee outfielder is a solid tournament pick for near-minimum salary. San Diego pitcher James Shields has struggled against left-handed hitters, holding a .359 wOBA and whopping 20.0% HR/FB split. Throw in a substantial (hitter-friendly) park shift to Milwaukee, and Shields could be in for a troubling outing. Presley is well aligned to make that a reality.

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