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: Brock Stewart – LA Dodgers (FanDuel Price: $6,000)
I mentioned Stewart in the FanDuel MLB Bargains article, and I think he applies to this column as well. Rookie pitchers are often met with resistance in the daily fantasy community, and that may hold true even more this season, as young starters have had a tough-go in general. However, Stewart is known as a strikeout pitcher, racking up 247 K’s in 221 minor league innings, also holding a 1.47 ERA this year. It just so happens that he’ll face a Milwaukee team that holds one of the highest strikeout rates in baseball, opening some upside despite the relative unknown risk revolving around this start.
Pivot: Alex Avila – Chicago White Sox (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
The White Sox project as the highest scoring team within the evening slate. Opposing pitcher Ricky Nolasco holds a .334 wOBA split against left-handed hitters, so Avila only makes sense for this economical salary. If Dioner Navarro (switch-hitter) happens to be starting, he's a fine plug-n-play option in this matchup as well.
Pivot: Adam Lind – Seattle (FanDuel Price: $2.800)
Lind is in a similar price range to Abreu, Teixiera, and Mauer this evening. I’m guessing those picks will hold more popularity in their respective matchups. However, we can’t forget about Lind, stepping in against Pittsburgh pitcher Jameson Taillon. The young tosser has been hittable this season, allowing 11 earned runs through four starts in June. Even though the sample size is limited, Taillon has displayed a susceptibility against left-handed hitters (.358 wOBA), which bodes well for Seattle sluggers like Lind, Cano, and Seager.
Pivot: Ramiro Pena – San Francisco (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
As you can see, there are several expensive and mid-range second baseman worth considering this evening. However, if you can’t quite afford any of them, Pena may be a decent fallback option without sacrificing too much fantasy potential. Of course, we’ll need to double-check that he’s in the lineup, as incumbent starter Joe Panik is listed as day-to-day after missing a series of games. Pena has been very good while filling in, racking up multiple hits in six of his past seven starts.
Pivot: Juan Uribe – Cleveland (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Cleveland is rolling right now, and they aren’t a team to overlook tonight. They’ll take on Joel De La Cruz of Atlanta, who has posted a 4.68 ERA in the minor leagues this season. Needless to say, we can infer that he’s hittable on the major league level as well. Uribe is a somewhat underrated pick within this Clevleand offense, as Santana, Kipnis, Lindor, and Chisenhall are the primary targets. Still, the journeyman veteran has smacked five homers over his past eight games, yet I’m still guessing he’ll be somewhat low-owned tonight.
Pivot: Danny Espinosa – Washington (FanDuel Price: $3,300)
Throughout the season, Espinosa has been listed a number of times in this MLB Pivots article. He carries some weight yet again vs Mets’ spot-starter Logan Verrett. We’ll need to confirm that Espinosa is in the lineup, as he doesn’t necessarily play every day. However, after taking a game off yesterday, I’m willing to bet that he’s starting this evening. Espinosa has been underrated this season, ranking towards the top in homers by shortstops. He has achieved multiple hits in three of his past four starts, smacking two round-trippers over that span.
Pivot 1: Starling Marte – Pittsburgh (FanDuel Price: $3,500)
I’m guessing Marte will get lost in the shuffle tonight, holding a lower-than-deserved ownership rate. Between, Harper, the Yankee outfielders, Holliday, the red-hot Chisenhall, and others, Marte may slip through the cracks. He’s taking on a mediocre lefty in Wade Miley, which he happens to have solid career numbers against. On top of that, Marte is heating up with a five-game hitting streak, collecting three RBI and four runs over that span. He’s an all-around threat for multiple hits, a homer, a stolen base, RBIs and runs.
Pivot 2: Max Kepler – Minnesota (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
Most people probably aren’t familiar with the Kepler, the Minnesota rookie filling in for injured Miguel Sano. He’s a highly-rated prospect who is starting to develop confidence with regular at-bats. He has flexed upside in recent games, and a matchup against James Shields (.384 wOBA, 21.2% HR/FB rate vs LHB) rates as one of the best draws of anyone in this slate.