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 games starting at 7:05 ET and later.
Pivot: Drew Pomeranz – San Diego (FanDuel Price: $9,000)
Pomeranz will likely be overlooked tonight. He’s listed as a small underdog vs San Francisco, and most people will focus on the other pitcher in this matchup (Cueto). The salary has risen for Pomeranz, but deservingly so, as he has produced quality outings against the Pirates, Dodgers, Mets, and Cubs recently. Even though Pomeranz was mediocre in his first meeting with the Giants, he has been outstanding at home. The strikeout upside doesn’t hurt his cause for GPPs as well.
Pivot: Yadier Molina – St. Louis (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
I’m assuming the three names listed above will take ownership away from Molina at a similar price. Truth be told, I believe he deserves to be mentioned in the same category as the popular selections, as he’s swinging a hot bat with four multi-hit games in the past seven. Molina doesn’t have much power-upside, so we are hoping for a few hits in RBI situations. The matchup certainly agrees, as Colorado southpaw Chris Rusin holds a .364 wOBA split against right-handed bats.
Pivot: Mike Napoli – Cleveland (FanDuel Price: $3,300)
The Cleveland offense is kicking into gear, which is good news for Napoli in the cleanup spot. As you’re probably aware, Napoli has great numbers against left-handed pitching throughout his career. Cincinnati southpaw Brandon Finnegan has been erratic this season, allowing 17 earned runs in his past 25 innings. The shift to Great American Ball Park will likely help Napoli and his teammates keep the offensive surge alive.
Pivot: Johnny Giavotella – LA Angels (FanDuel Price: $2,900)
Some people may have a difficult time justifying the cost for Giavotella, making him an under-owned tournament selection. However, we have to consider the hotstreak of four multi-hit games in the past five (plus a homer), earning a promotion to the more RBI-friendly 6-hole. Mike Bolsinger of the Dodgers will be making his first start of the season tonight, and he’s a mediocre pitcher to begin with.
Pivot: Eugenio Suarez – Cincinnati (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
I mentioned Suarez in the FanDuel MLB Bargains column, and he fits the bill as a low-owned pivot as well. Selecting him admittedly requires a leap of faith, as he’s facing a pitcher we aren’t familiar with (rookie Mike Clevinger). However, if this season has been any indication, rookies making their MLB debut have been shaky (to put it nicely). Suarez is heating up with homers in two of the past three games, and the friendly-park in Cincinnati helps.
Pivot: Aledmys Diaz – St. Louis (FanDuel Price: $3,300)
I’ve mentioned this before in the Pivot Play column, the fact that most people will choose household-names like Tulowitzki, Lindor, etc for a similar price point to Diaz (even though he has proven himself as a quality hitter). Diaz sometimes hits higher in the order against left-handed pitching (was 5th last time) which helps his DFS prospects. Of course, the matchup against Chris Rusin (.364 wOBA vs RHB) is the real reason we’re intrigued with Diaz’s capable upside.
Pivot 1: George Springer – Houston (FanDuel Price: $4,200)
I’m guessing Springer will be underrated tonight, as most people are looking towards Bryce Harper or cheaper selections in the outfield. Springer is one of those picks who could flex upside on any given night. He’s a streaky hitter who’s in the midst of a heater, riding a six-game hitting streak with three homers and nine RBI over that span. The park factor in Chicago accentuates Springer’s power, and White Sox pitcher Mat Latos is regressing to the mean with 13 earned runs in his past three starts (15 innings).
Pivot 2: Matt Joyce – Pittsburgh (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Joyce doesn’t necessarily play every day, so we’ll need to double-check the lineup before giving consideration. He’s a veteran platoon-hitter with very good splits against right-handed pitching. That cross-references extremely well with Julio Teheran’s susceptibility vs left-handed bats, holding a whopping .382 wOBA and 16.8% HR/FB split.