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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.

Top GPP Pitcher

Jimmy Nelson (R), Brewers

FanDuel DraftKings Opp FIP K% GB% Opp Run Total Moneyline
$8,900 $7,900 @White Sox 3.04 24.3% 47.3% 3.75 -137

While I'm still not completely sold on Nelson as a reliable pitcher, it is impossible to ignore what he has done over the last 30 days: 11.02 K/9, 1.65 BB/9, 2.28 xFIP, 2.72 SIERA, 0.55 HR/9, all while sporting an unsustainable .349 BABIP. He still serves up too much hard contact (36.5% over that span), but his sudden ability to command his pitches has vaulted him into tournament consideration for me, Over his last two starts (one of them against the 4th-best team in MLB against RHP), Nelson has gone 15 innings, allowing 12 hits and zero runs, all while striking out 21 batters without a single walk. Tonight he draws a matchup against the worst team in baseball against RHP in the Giants, who own a .283 wOBA, 77 wRC+, and .127 ISO in this split. Sure, they only strike out 19.7% of the time, but if Nelson can continue to locate his pitches, the sky is the limit. He should see some ownership with his recent success, but on a 12-game slate, I'm not concerned with it being particularly high.

Top GPP Hitters

Andrew McCutchen (R), Pirates

FanDuel DraftKings Opp Pitcher
& Handedness
wOBA vs LHP

ISO vs LHP

wRC+ vs LHP

Batting
Order
Team
Run Total
$3,600 $4,500 Wade Miley - L .487 .426 209 6 4

The red-hot McCutchen finds himself in a great spot tonight against Wade Miley, who owns the 3rd-lowest SwStr on the board tonight at 7.7%, and is serving up a 35.4% HardHit on the season. Cutch has finally broken out of his slump, and has been destroying the baseball of late, blasting three homers and posting three multi-hit games over his last 9 contests. Miley is among the worst on the slate with a 12.2% BB rate on the season, and the Pirates should come at very low ownership in this matchup at hitter-friendly Camden Yards. McCutchen has monster numbers against southpaws this season, and has mashed them throughout his career also. Did I mention he has a 53.6% HardHit over the last 14 days? Keep an eye on his lineup spot too, as a bump up from the 6-hole would only increase his value tonight.

Joey Votto (L), Reds

FanDuel DraftKings Opp Pitcher
& Handedness
wOBA vs RHP ISO vs RHP wRC+ vs RHP Batting
Order
Team
Run Total
$4,100 $4,900 Lance Lynn - R .394 .241 144 3 4

While Lance Lynn has been a serviceable pitcher this season, he has been absolutely destroyed by LHB to the tune of a .360 wOBA, 2.54 HR/9 and a 24/18 K/BB ...all with a BABIP of just .241. Votto should be sub-five percent owned on this big slate, but owns a solid floor and upside at home at Great American Ball Park. Votto and the Reds have quietly crushed RHP this season (Scooter Gennett says hello from last night), and Votto owns Lynn in their past meetings with an 11/25 mark, including a pair of doubles and seven walks. The Reds have a team total of four runs in this one, and ownership should be even more supressed due to Lynn's success in his first matchup against them (6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 5 K).

Steven Souza Jr. (R), Rays

FanDuel

DraftKings

Opp Pitcher

& Handedness

wOBA vs RHP

ISO vs RHP

wRC+ vs RHP

Batting

Order

Team

Run Total

$3,800

$4,200

Mike Pelfrey - R

.389

.267

150

1


Souza has been tremendous at home this season, batting over .300 with a 24/22 K/BB and 5 HR in 107 PA, 5 2B, and 1 3B, and he has embraced the leadoff spot as well, hitting .346 with 5 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, and 7 BB in just 60 PA. Opposing pitcher Mike Pelfrey is one of the poorest starting pitchers on the slate tonight, as he owns a 4.88 xFIP and low 13.9% K rate on the season, and may have been lucky as well, with a BABIP of just .241. Souza has mashed RHP this season, and being locked into the leadoff spot should see him come to the plate upward of 5 times if the Rays can hang a big number on Pelfrey, which I expect them to do. The Rays that could see more ownership include Corey Dickerson and Logan Morrison, leaving Souza as the low-owned, high-upside option in this matchup.

Stephen Piscotty (R), Cardinals

FanDuel DraftKings Opp Pitcher
& Handedness
wOBA vs RHP



ISO vs RHP



wRC+ vs RHP



Batting
Order
Team
Run Total
$3,400 $4,300 Bronson Arroyo - R .384 .176 140 3 5.5

The aging Bronson Arroyo owns a ridiculous 2.97 HR/9 this season and 3.95 HR/9 over the last 30 days. Piscotty has been slotted into the 3-hole for the Cardinals since his return from a "personal matter", and he has been on fire ever since, sporting a .400/.556/.750 slash line. He has a tremendous 16.7% BB rate on the season, and he has immense upside in this ballpark against a pitcher who seems incapable of keeping the ball in the park. Piscotty has found the seats twice in his last three games, but I'm still expecting fairly low ownership for him, despite the solid matchup. He has a career .170 ISO against RHP, and while those numbers are far from elite, seeing his plate discipline improving this season only furthers his potential in a matchup against Arroyo, who owns a paltry 7.9% SwStr on the season.



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