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: Aaron Nola – Philadelphia (FanDuel Price: $8,600)
Even though Nola has impressed this season, I’m thinking he’ll carry lower-than-deserved ownership tonight. Coughing up 12 earned runs through his two most recent starts will scare away some prospective backers. On top of that, most people will be looking towards the high-end likes of Scherzer and Kluber, if not going cheap with Mr. Mike Montgomery. Don’t rule out Nola in a comfortable bounce-back spot against a Braves’ offense that ranks 24th in wOBA and 26th in wRC+ vs right-handed pitchers.
Pivot: Mike Zunino – Seattle (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
Zunino has always profiled as a boom-or-bust tournament target, but there’s several factors helping him tonight. First off, the matchup against Chris Tillman is amazing, as the veteran pitcher owns inflated .399 wOBA 2.60 HR/9 splits vs right-handed bats on the season. His 7.75 ERA over 74.1 innings on the year is equally reflective of his generosity to opposing hitters. The park shift in Baltimore could help Zunino flex his ever-present power upside as well.
Pivot: Albert Pujols – LA Angels (FanDuel Price: $3,200)
Miguel Cabrera is a pretty easy lift in this salary range, but don’t forget about Pujols when assembling multiple tournament entries. The Angels check in with a top three run-scoring projection, actually representing the highest anticipated mark of any offense not playing in Coors Field. Oakland RHP Daniel Gossett holds a 5.49 ERA along with .374 wOBA 3.38 HR/9 splits vs right-handed bats (59 IP), falling beautifully into Pujols’ wheelhouse.
Pivot: Edaurdo Nunez – Boston (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
Just a few weeks ago, Nunez was a highly sought after DFS attraction priced above $4000. He has fallen into somewhat of a slump since then, bringing the salary back into acceptable bargain territory. Tonight makes for a nice buy-low opportunity in Toronto’s hitter-friendly ballpark. Blue Jays’ pitcher Marcus Stroman is a known entity most people avoid targeting against. However, he’s hardly bulletproof, having allowed seven earned runs and 14 hits over his past two starts. That, along with the low salary and inherent upside of Nunez, makes for a decent tournament proposition.
Pivot: Matt Chapman – Oakland (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Chapman carries plenty of power for a bargain commodity, which is why he has been mentioned regularly in this article as of late. The matchup isn’t too shabby against LAA LHP Andrew Heaney, who is still shaking off rust while coming off Tommy John surgery. Heaney has given up seven homers, 15 hits, and nine earned runs through two starts (10 IP), and Chapman will look to pounce if the struggles continue.
Pivot: Andrelton Simmons – LA Angels (FanDuel Price: $3,300)
Simmons has been labeled as more of a defensive shortstop throughout his career. That doesn’t mean we should fully ignore his bat. Simmons has been impressive down the stretch, helping the Halos push for a playoff spot. Over his past eight games, he has collected seven hits with two homers, five RBI, and seven runs. He’ll step into the same, well-aligned matchup outlined in Albert Pujols’ write-up.
Pivot 1: Trey Mancini – Baltimore (FanDuel Price: $3,600)
The Orioles are one of those teams capable of double-digit runs in any given game. The odds of that happening rise while playing at home. Facing a mediocre left-handed pitcher doesn’t hurt either, giving their righty-heavy lineup the platoon advantage. Mancini sometimes takes a backseat to Jones, Schoop, Machado, and the surging likes of Tim Bekcham. However, the rookie has been amazing against southpaws on the year, and he firmly belongs on your tournament radar. I may even consider him in cash games myself.
Pivot 2: Jarrett Parker – San Francisco (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
Parker has been promoted to a premium lineup spot, coming through with solid results this month (.294 avg, 9 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 15 RBI). He could add to that total in a nice situation tonight, facing San Diego RHP Jhoulys Chacin and his .367 wOBA 1.78 HR/9 splits vs LHB on the season.