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: Jharel Cotton – Oakland (FanDuel Price: $6,700)
Cotton is an up-and-coming pitcher who got his feet wet in five starts last season. He performed pretty well, holding a 2.15 ERA over 29.1 innings. The strikeout rate over that span wasn’t anything to get excited about; however, Cotton has shown strikeout tendencies throughout his minor league career … He’s a fly-ball pitcher who will benefit from the spacious field in Oakland. The Angels’ lineup is very top-heavy with Trout and Pujols; if Cotton can work through them, he could find himself with a solid line.
Pivot: Cameron Rupp – Philadelphia (FanDuel Price: $2,400)
Rupp will likely be underrated tonight, as he doesn’t have the name recognition while hitting down in Philadelphia’s lineup. However, his numbers against left-handed pitching (.380 wOBA, .255 ISO) are worth taking notice. The matchup aligns very well, as southpaw Brandon Finnegan has displayed homerun tendencies with a 1.66 HR/9 rate against righties. The hitter-friendly atmosphere of Great American Ball Park should help … Now we just need the weather to cooperate.
Pivot: Mark Reynolds – Colorado (FanDuel Price: $3,200)
Reynolds is filling in for the injured Ian Desmond, and he’s doing it very well. The veteran has gone 4-7 with a homer, two doubles, four RBI, and two runs through the first two games. Despite that, he’ll probably still get overlooked, hitting down in the Colorado lineup. Most people will look towards the big-name options at a similar salary. There’s a chance Reynolds keeps the heater alive against Milwaukee pitcher Wily Peralta, who was exposed to the tune of a .357 wOBA, 1.38 HR/9 split vs RHB last season.
Pivot: Brad Miller – Tampa Bay (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
Miller is one of those pesky hitters with surprise power. That fits well into our GPP Pivots profile, and he’ll likely have a miniscule ownership rate compared to similarly priced options like Cano, Murphy, etc … Michael Pineda isn’t a bad pitcher, but he’s sometimes erratic in serving up the deep-ball. Miller has solid career numbers against the Yankee hurler, and he’ll likely hit cleanup for the Rays tonight.
Pivot: Kyle Seager – Seattle (FanDuel Price: $3,500)
The Seattle lefties have an intriguing matchup against Charlie Morton, who holds a .350 wOBA against left-handed hitters. While Robinson Cano will likely garner attention from DFS players, Seager may fall to the backburner. Third base is really deep tonight, and the other (big name) options could take precedence over “the other” Seager. That leaves us with a nice pivot strategy and a likely lower-than-deserved ownership rate despite strong matchup potential with a nice park factor.
Pivot: Chris Owings – Arizona (FanDuel Price: $2,400)
Owings doesn’t have a ton of upside, but he’s really cheap while hitting up in the Arizona order. Matt Moore isn’t a bad pitcher, but the platoon advantage to go along with a satisfying park factor (and excellent lineup security) firmly puts Owings on the board as a cheap GPP Pivot.
Pivot 1: Yasmany Tomas – Arizona (FanDuel Price: $2,900)
I just got done saying Matt Moore isn’t a bad pitcher, and now I recommend another D-Back against him. This pick speaks more to Yasmany Tomas’ strengths than Moore’s weaknesses. Tomas holds an elite .406 wOBA .267 ISO against left-handed pitching, and hitter-friendly Chase Field could help him come through tonight.
Pivot 2: Gerardo Parra – Colorado (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Parra was straight up bad last season, something that is uncommon for hitters making the transition to Colorado. However, it appears that he’s making a fresh start in 2017 by going 5-9 with a double and four RBI in the first two games. This is a great matchup to keep things going, facing Wily Peralta’s .374 wOBA and 1.29 HR/9 splits against left-handed hitting.