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.
For today, we are focusing on the later slate starting at 7:05 ET. There are seven games within this timeframe.
Pivot: Mike Fiers – Houston (FanDuel Price: $7,900)
This is admittedly a risky selection, but we can’t dismiss Fiers upside in this matchup. Minnesota has proven themselves strikeout-prone throughout this young season, which could help lift Fiers to a solid fantasy performance. Of course, there’s a plausible risk of things turning out the other way, as Fiers has been no stranger to hard contact rates, and the Twins have several sluggers who could benefit from hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park. However, in the case that Fiers is missing bats (solid baseline strikeout rate), he could be a solid mid-range pick on a day where there aren’t many clear-cut options in that range.
Pivot: Curt Casali – Tampa Bay (FanDuel Price: $2,100)
I’m also looking towards Jason Castro of Houston as a cheap pick with power, so add that name to your tournament list. However, Casali gets the write-up here, as he has represented some power this season, albeit spotty. First off, you’ll need to double-check he’s in the lineup, as he’s not an everyday catcher. If he is, the upside in a matchup against erratic lefty Alex Wood is good enough to consider when filling out tournament lineups.
Pivot: Ryan Howard – 1B – Philadelphia (FanDuel Price: $2,100)
You don’t need me telling you that Howard is a tournament-only recommendation, as he has been a “boom or bust” fantasy commodity for years now. His salary is just above the minimum, and the matchup isn’t too bad against the hittable likes of Mike Leake, who holds a .330 wOBA against left-handed hitters. Howard is starting to find somewhat of a power-groove, smacking two homers in the past five games. However, we need to realize that as his only substantial production of the past two weeks, which accurately represents his “feast or famine” profile.
Pivot: Jonathan Schoop – 2B – Baltimore (FanDuel Price: $2,400)
Baltimore should be well represented on FanDuel tonight, but I’m guessing Schoop will be the proverbial “odd man out” in many lineups. Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo, Nolan Reimold, and Matt Wieters will likely be more popular if stacking the O’s. However, we can’t forget about Schoop against C.C. Sabathia, who holds a generous .368 wOBA and 15.9% HR/FB rate against righties. I’d rather take him over Wieters when building an Oriole stack, as the price, floor, and upside look promising.
Pivot: Martin Prado – Miami (FanDuel Price: $3,200)
In all honesty, this is probably the position where I’m least likely to pivot away from the popular selections. There is a ton of upside to be had with Machado and Donaldson (preferred in that order), while Evan Longoria serves as a very intriguing mid-range pick if you don’t have enough salary to roster the top studs. However, for the sake of playing devil’s advocate (which is never a bad thing when it comes to daily fantasy baseball, as there is no such thing as a “sure-thing”), consider Martin Prado. I understand that Arizona pitcher Rubby De La Rosa is much more generous to lefties than righties, but Prado is hitting everyone as of late. He has recorded multiple hits in five of the past six games, with four being of the 3-hit variety. Miami is expected to put up some runs tonight, and Prado should have several RBI situations to translate his hotstreak into more fantasy points.
Pivot: Aledmys Diaz – St. Louis (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
I doubt many people will pay this marked-up salary for the relatively unknown rookie, which is exactly what intrigues me in tournaments. Well, that’s not the only reason, as a nice righty/lefty matchup against subpar southpaw Adam Morgan certainly helps the cause. Diaz has flexed some homerun-upside in this young season, recording three homers in the past ten games.
Pivot 1: Mitch Moreland – Texas (FanDuel Price: $3,300)
Toronto pitcher Aaron Sanchez has been surprisingly good this season, outside of one start vs Oakland. However, his track record suggests a major susceptibility against left-handed power, holding splits of .346 wOBA and 24.5% HR/FB rate in that regard. His home ballpark in Toronto only exacerbates that problem. For the most part, Sanchez has been able to work around that concern, but it has reared its ugly head in numerous circumstances. In case it happens again tonight, you may want to get exposure to some left-handed power hitters from Texas like Moreland, Fielder, Mazara, and Odor.
Pivot 2: Oswaldo Arcia – Minnesota (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
First off, we’ll need to double-check that he’s in the lineup. I’m expecting him to start today for Eddie Rosario, as Arica only has one at-bat this series, and they’ll want to keep his bat in-tune. As I mentioned earlier, Mike Fiers has surrendered a hard contact-rate throughout his career, something that could possibly come back to bite him tonight. Arcia is a left-handed pull-hitter who could easily take advantage of the park shift in Houston.