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: Ervin Santana – Minnesota (FanDuel Price: $7,600)
I mentioned Santana as a cheap tournament option in the FanDuel MLB Bargains article today. The ownership rate will likely be low enough to qualify as a pivot off the mainstream options as well. The draw against Houston may seem intimidating, especially following a breakout game by the Astros last night. However, the H-Town hitters are mostly of the “boom or bust” variety, as they could just as easily strikeout 10 times as put a 10-spot on the scoreboard … Meanwhile, Santana is pitching his best baseball of the season, giving up two or fewer earned runs in five straight starts. He’s working very efficiently as well, potentially paying dividends if he’s on top of his game against this K-happy offense.
Pivot: Sandy Leon – Boston (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
Sandy Leon always seems to be overlooked. I’m not sure if it’s the fact he hits towards the bottom of Boston’s lineup, or people keep expecting regression. However, the switch-hitting catcher keeps beating expectations by showcasing a solid floor/ceiling fantasy combination. Honestly, the fact that Leon is hitting 8th or 9th in the order isn’t that big of a deal. Boston should be flying up and down the lineup, and he has some fine security with the top of the order backing him up. Leon could flex more upside in a nice matchup against Nathan Eovaldi (.354 wOBA, 14% HR/FB rate vs LHB) in hitter-friendly Fenway Park.
Pivot: Mark Teixeira – NY Yankees (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Drew Pomeranz hasn’t looked sharp in his first several starts with the Red Sox, and one has to wonder if fatigue or mechanical issues are taking a toll. One thing’s for sure, the park shift to Fenway doesn’t do any favors for his pitching prospects. Mark Teixeira could benefit from this combination of a hitter-friendly environment and somewhat struggling pitcher. The switch-hitting veteran has better splits against left-handers through his career, and he’ll try to pull one over the monster this evening.
Pivot: Ryan Schimpf – San Diego (FanDuel Price: $2,900)
If Devon Travis wasn’t so cheap on FanDuel ($3000), Schimpf may be a popular bargain pick at second base. As is, most people will fall back on Travis, which isn’t a bad cash game strategy. However, when trying to diversify in tournaments, Schimpf is the type of player who could provide better numbers for a similar price. The San Diego infielder has noticed a power surge since receiving regular playing time in July, and the matchup against Ryan Voglesong’s astounding .384 wOBA and 17.9% HR/FB split (vs LHB) is one of the better matchups on the board.
Pivot: Yangervis Solarte – San Diego (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
Take everything I outlined in Ryan Schimpf’s write-up, and directly apply it to Solarte. Adrian Beltre will likely be a very popular option among people not “paying up” at third base, leaving Solarte under-represented despite fantastic matchup potential against Ryan Vogelsong. The San Diego third baseman has flexed upside throughout the past week, collecting three RBIs in two separate games, racking up multiple hits in three of the past five.
Pivot: Tyler Saladino – Chicago White Sox (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Like most nights, shortstop is probably the weakest overall position, meaning there’s very low opportunity cost in pivoting away from the popular selections. Saladino has been quietly good as of late, surpassing double-digit fantasy points in five of his past seven starts. You’d be satisfied with that type of production at the current price point, and he has a good opportunity to execute against Ian Kennedy’s .337 wOBA and 17% HR/FB rate against right-handed hitters.
Pivot 1: Alex Dickerson – San Diego (FanDuel Price: $3,300)
If you haven’t picked up on the theme yet, I really like San Diego as a sneaky offensive stack tonight. Most of it revolves around targeting Ryan Vogelsong’s massive .384 wOBA, 17.9% HR/FB split. Dickerson has some of the best homerun potential of any left-hander from San Diego. He was on a tear to end July, sat out a few games with injury, and he’s resuming his hotstreak with four hits, a homer, three RBI and two runs scored over the past three games.
Pivot 2: Andrew Benintendi – Boston (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
Here’s why I believe Benintendi will be under-owned despite posting back-to-back solid games (and being really cheap): 1) He’s a relative unknown. Most DFS players probably aren’t even aware of the rookie’s capabilities, as he was just called up last week. 2) He’ll likely hit towards the bottom of Boston’s lineup, and DFS enthusiasts tend to shy away from players lower in the order … Okay, so I told you why he’ll be low-owned; now I’ll tell you why he warrants a look on FanDuel (that’s how this column works, right?): 1) He’s cheap – as mentioned before. 2) Hitting lower in the lineup shouldn’t be a problem, as the Red Sox will likely fly through the order without a problem. 3) The hitter-friendly atmosphere of Fenway Park. 4) Yankee pitcher Nathan Eovaldi has been struggling as of late, holding a .354 wOBA and 14% HR/FB rate to left-handed hitters. That split ranks second worst among pitchers in this slate, behind Ryan Vogelsong – someone who has appeared frequently through this article.