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: Luis Cessa – New York Yankees (FanDuel Price: $6,200)
Cessa has risk/reward properties, but there’s a reasonable chance he’ll pay off this cheap salary. He has started two games this season, earning wins over Baltimore and the LA Angels by allowing just three earned runs over 12.1 innings. The Yankees check in as a marginal road underdog, in a ballpark that should help protect Cessa. Despite not striking out too much, the Royals rank 26th overall in wOBA on this season.
Pivot: Tyler Flowers – Atlanta (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
If you want to stray from the beaten path, I believe you can utilize Flowers in cash games as well as a tournaments. In fact, the Braves’ offense checks in as a sneaky stack from top to bottom. Paul Clemens of San Diego holds a .414 wOBA and 25.8% HR/FB split vs RHB in limited innings. A quality right-handed hitter like Flowers could take full advantage this evening.
Pivot: Justin Smoak – Toronto (FanDuel Price: 3,000)
The “Smoak monster” could wreak havoc against Yovani Gallardo’s generous .343 wOBA split vs LHB. The fact that Oriole Park is friendly to left-handed power certainly helps the cause. Smoak has the upside to pull off a gaudy fantasy total in this well-aligned matchup … Also consider C.J. Cron (who blasted two homers last night) against HR-prone Brandon Finnegan.
Pivot: Jason Kipnis – Cleveland (FanDuel Price: $3,800)
Cleveland will undoubtedly be a popular stack tonight, as they check in as one of the highest projected scoring teams. However, I’m guessing most people will load up on Lindor, Davis, Napoli, and maybe Jose Ramirez – calling it good there. Jason Kipnis hits second for this daunting lineup, and he has proven himself against left-handed pitching (particularly bad southpaws like he’ll see tonight) time and time again. Don’t be afraid of the lefty/lefty draw, especially when you can get a high-upside player like Kipnis at a low ownership rate. I don’t expect Minnesota starter Pat Dean to last long in this game, meaning Kipnis will see several at-bats against one of the worst bullpens in the league.
Pivot: Adonis Garcia – Atlanta (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
I feel similar to Garcia as the write-up above with his teammate, Tyler Flowers. That is, you could consider Adonis is cash games and tournaments alike, especially if you need some salary relief. The Atlanta third baseman has proven himself as a serviceable fantasy asset over the second half of the season. This is one of his better matchups in a while, taking on Paul Clemens’ .414 wOBA and 25.8% HR/FB rate vs RHB.
Pivot: Zack Cozart – Cincinnati (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
Admittedly, there are several holes in Cozart’s game log, which will leave him with a lower-than-deserved ownership rate. A bounce-back performance could be in store against the generosity of Angels’ pitcher Ricky Nolasco (.372 wOBA, 15.8% HR/FB rate vs RHB). I like Cozart, Duvall, Schebler, and Suarez as sneaky picks for a Cincinnati offense that may be considered an afterthought in most DFS players’ minds this evening.
Pivot 1: Abraham Almonte – Cleveland (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
Just because a player is hitting towards the bottom of the lineup doesn’t mean we should ignore him; especially when they are cheap with a good matchup. That holds true for Almonte tonight, who will likely bat 8th for the Indians against southpaw Pat Dean and his .409 wOBA, 17.6% HR/FB vs RHB. To make matters even better, Minnesota’s bullpen is one of the worst in baseball. Don’t overlook Almonte, as he should see plenty of RBI chances for a Cleveland offense that could put up a ton of runs.
Pivot 2: Oswaldo Arcia – San Diego (FanDuel Price: $2,200)
I mentioned Arcia in the MLB Bargains column, and I believe he’ll have a low enough ownership rate to qualify as a “Pivot Play” as well. Now a part of his third team of the season, Arcia made an impression by going 2-4 with a double, homer, and three RBI last night. He has a similarly good matchup against Matt Wisler’s .371 wOBA, 13.1% HR/FB rate vs LHB. For someone near minimum salary, Arcia has plenty of upside to target in tournament play.