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: Matt Boyd – Detroit (FanDuel Price: $6,600)
Boyd has surpassed 30+ FanDuel points in three of the past five games, including two 40+ point performances. Despite that viability, his price remains very low at just $6600. One of those 40+ point games came against the same Twins’ team he’ll face tonight. If he can work around Brian Dozier, Boyd could be on his way to another solid performance against a high-strikeout club. He’s someone to consider as a cheap play with upside worth stacking around in tournaments.
Pivot: Sandy Leon – Boston (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Leon tends to be forgotten more often than not, perhaps because he hits low in the Boston order. The Red Sox catcher seems to be regression-proof, still holding a mighty .356 average at this stage in the season (joined in June). He’s swinging a hot bat once again, and the Red Sox check in as a top three scoring offense, which shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point.
Pivot: C.J. Cron – LA Angels (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
Taijuan Walker was blasted by the Angels two weeks ago, as he couldn’t even get out of the first inning. Names like Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun, and Albert Pujols will surely be in the front of DFS enthusiasts’ minds to do some damage once again. However, Cron is a sneaky-pick with just as much upside, but less consistency. Considering Walker’s .334 wOBA and 13.6% HR/FB split against right-handed hitters, this is certainly a nice opportunity for fantasy production.
Pivot: Brandon Phillips – Cincinnati (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
Most people have written off the Cincinnati Reds, but we can still target their hitters (probably best to fade the pitching staff) in certain situations. Brandon Phillips may be one of the streakiest hitters in the league, and he’s on a heater with nine hits, a homer, two doubles, and seven RBI over the past four games. The matchup corresponds well, as Milwaukee pitcher Matt Garza holds a .330 wOBA and 13.8% HR/FB rate against righties … Let it be known that I also like Howie Kendrick against CC Sabathia, especially if he’s hitting high in the Dodgers’ lineup.
Pivot: Jung Ho Kang – Pittsburgh (FanDuel Price: $3,500)
Most people will probably look to spend up for Donaldson or fall back to capable sluggers like Turner, Beltre, or Reyes. In other words, I’m assuming Kang will slip through the cracks at his $3500 price point. That’s good news considering Kang is swinging a confident bat with 14 hits, four homers, and 10 RBI over his past seven games. The matchup looks good against Alec Asher, who carries a .361 wOBA and 14.3% HR/FB against right-handed hitters. Even though Asher dazzled against Washington in his last outing, I’m expecting regression back to his old habits. Kang is one of my favorite “sneaky picks” in this slate.
Pivot: J.J. Hardy – Baltimore (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
Drew Pomeranz’s seasonal splits aren’t exactly put into the appropriate context. He has been much worse since joining Boston, which comes as no surprise considering the hitter-friendly environment of Fenway Park. The Orioles could represent a sneaky-stack tonight, with Mark Trumbo, Adam Jones, Steve Pearce, and company leading the way. J.J. Hardy is a cheap pick within that, carrying capable upside in this righty-lefty matchup.
Pivot 1: Scott Schebler – Cincinnati (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
A repeat pick from last night, Schebler is becoming a favorite of the FanDuel MLB Pivots column. Most people won’t spend up on a guy who lacks name recognition. However, Schebler has been getting better every week since taking the starting job vacated by Jay Bruce. He has a great matchup in his home, hitter-friendly park, facing Matt Garza’s .365 wOBA and 13.5% HR/FB split against lefties.
Pivot 2: Kirk Nieuwenhuis – Milwaukee (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
Cincinnati pitcher Dan Straily hasn’t been bad as of late, but he can still be considering mediocre for all intents and purposes. On top of that, the Cincinnati bullpen ranks among the worst in the league. That adds rationale to Milwaukee hitters, particularly Nieuwenhuis – a left-handed slugger who has an excellent park factor in Cincy. He’s a cheap source of power tonight.