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: Ivan Nova – Pittsburgh (FanDuel Price: $8,200)
The Brewers are one of those feast-or-famine offenses with a high strikeout rate. For Nova, starting in Pittsburgh’s pitcher-friendly park should help move the proverbial needle towards the “famine” side; at least that’s the thinking. Pirates’ RHP Chad Kuhl was able to have some success against the Brew Crew yesterday, earning a win with seven strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched. A similar line is not out of the question for Nova, who has flexed the occasional 40+ FP upside this season.
Pivot: Welington Castillo – Baltimore (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
This season has been a roller coaster ride for Castillo. He started slow in his new home of Baltimore, caught fire, but has since settled back down. The price has fallen due to that most recent cold-stretch, but “Beef Castillo” could live up to that nickname against the struggles of Texas RHP Tyson Ross. Baltimore checks in with a top five run-scoring projection, and Welington is a sneaky value commodity hitting down in that order.
Pivot: Adam Lind – Washington (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
The Nationals are playing in an American League ballpark tonight, meaning Lind could check in as the designated hitter. He doesn’t usually see regular playing time, falling off most people’s DFS radar because of that. However, Lind needs to be firmly considered for tournament purposes this evening, looking at a juicy matchup against LAA RHP Jesse Chavez (.385 wOBA 2.78 HR/9 vs LHB this season).
Pivot: Brandon Drury – Arizona (FanDuel Price: $2,200)
Drury is a sneaky-good bargain at second base. He’ll likely see his fair share of RBI opportunities while facing an unproven pitcher (Romano of Cincy) in a hitter-friendly park. I’m not really sure how Drury’s salary has fallen to this near-minimum level, but it creates a nice value opportunity in tournaments.
Pivot: Luis Valbuena – LA Angels (FanDuel Price: $2,400)
Valbuena is the definition of a boom-or-bust fantasy pick. He’ll likely hit down in the LAA order with the Angels getting healthier, but I’m still intrigued by this matchup against Washington spot-starter Edwin Jackson. The veteran right-hander holds a 7.20 ERA on the season, and he hasn’t proven himself as an effective major league pitcher since 2015. Valbuena and his teammates could jump all over him tonight, and I’m definitely getting plenty of exposure to the Angels’ offense.
Pivot: Troy Tulowitzki– NY Yankees (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Tulo has been disappointing this season, but he’s an exciting DFS streamer this evening. The Toronto shortstop has always posted solid numbers vs left-handed pitching, and the upgrade to Fenway Park doesn’t hurt either. Boston LHP Brian Johnson is someone I don’t mind targeting against…more on that later.
Pivot 1: Brian Goodwin – Washington (FanDuel Price: $3,200)
Goodwin has been amazing in Washington’s leadoff spot, yet he’ll remain underrated due to a lack of name recognition. It goes without saying that the lineup security is second-to-none with Harper, Murphy, Zimmerman, and Rendon backing him up. I touched on Angels RHP Jesse Chavez’s susceptibilities to left-handed hitters earlier in the article, and Goodwin could easily make the most of this promising situation.
Pivot 2: Steve Pearce – Toronto (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
I mentioned targeting against Boston LHP Brian Johsnon earlier, and Pearce feeds into that rationale as well. He’s a solid platoon hitter vs left-handed pitching who should see several RBI opportunities along with a park upgrade in Fenway. Don’t overlook him in this spot.
Staying in the outfield, I’m also keeping my eye on Zack Granite ($2000) of Minnesota. The Twins have been hitting him second, which enhances some fantasy potential. While the rookie hasn’t done much since getting called up over a week ago, he has shown poise and confidence at the plate. Facing NYY RHP Luis Cessa (.316 wOBA 2.06 HR/9 vs LHB) could mark the spot where Minnesota’s former minor league player of the year finally breaks out.