The purpose of this column is to highlight some players with upside and well-suited for tournaments. While the majority of the hitter picks will likely have power upside, that's not necessarily the case for all the listed options. Other contextual factors such as batting order, ballpark, opposing pitcher, price, speed, etc also come into play, and you'll see these items sprinkled into the write-ups below. Along with that, we'll be gauging the ownership levels, giving you some plausible pivots from the popular choices in a given game slate. We also include an area to find the top stacks of the night for upside but also some lower owned that give you an edge.
Aaron Sanchez - Houston Astros
DK: $7,700 - FD: $8,400
Aaron Sanchez has had two starts in Houston, tallying six strikeouts and allowing one earned run in 11 innings. A change in pitch mix has boosted up Sanchez, and Houston continues to work magic, and by magic I mean just making guys throw their best pitch more. Sanchez gets an A's team that struggles at home in terms of power, but also this projected lineup has a 23.5% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching. Houston are road favorites, and while Oakland's run total is nearing five, there are not a lot of low totals tonight.
Eugenio Suarez - Cincinnati Reds - 3B
DK: $4,600 - FD: $3,900
Eugenio Suarez has a .275 ISO and .361 wOBA off right-handed pitching this season, and is in a good spot against the Cardinals. Michael Wacha has really struggled this season, with a 5.00 xFIP and .415 wOBA allowed to right-handers. Wacha is also allowing a .260 ISO as well. Hard-contact is up and the strikeout stuff isn't there either. Suarez is a solid right-handed bat and the Reds are a team to target in a favorable ballpark with a good implied total.
Javier Baez - Chicago Cubs - SS
DK: $5,100 - FD: $4,000
Javier Baez is one of the few bats that mash left-handed pitching this season. Kris Bryant and Nicholas Castellanos are the others who are just crushing lefties. Drew Smyly has allowed a .376 wOBA and .245 ISO against right-handers this season. He has an xFIP near 5.70, and hitters have a near 45% hard-contact rate and flyball rate off him. The Cubs have over a five implied total, and Citizens Bank is a good home run park.
Kevin Pillar - San Francisco Giants - OF
DK: $4,300 - FD: $3,500
Weirdly, I have never thought about Kevin Pillar being a tournament guy, but here we are. The juiced ball season has helped out Pillar's power numbers, but overall he has been good against lefties. Alex Young has over a 5.00 xFIP and has been out-performing his ERA estimators. Pillar has a .354 wOBA and .261 ISO against southpaws this season.
Chicago Cubs - Drew Smyly has been a big flyball arm and his blowup potential is huge. He has a been struggling and also struggles with walks. I like the big bats here, and even Anthony Rizzo is a worthy piece. Castellanos, Baez, and Bryant all have over a .300 ISO against southpaws. Smyly is allowing a .472 wOBA and .439 ISO to lefites, and a .376 wOBA and .245 ISO to right-handers.