Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings Playoffs - 10/4/17
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Colorado Rockies @ Arizona Diamondbacks
We covered this game yesterday, but that was with the Yankees/Twins Wild Card game in thoughts. We now have 2 very different games on the slate, so we have to look at this game with a different scope. Greinke is definitely interesting, but I like a couple guys more. This game is still in Chase Field and the over/under is probably going to hit 9 before it's said and done. The D-Backs are decent favorites at -165 and have only gone up, which is a good sign. Greinke is still an elite guy with a 9.5 K/9 and a .282 combined wOBA. This Rockies order is pretty good, but this is playoff time. Every offense is capable. They are probably the weakest offense on the slate and I understand attacking them. I just think Chris Sale is in a spot that I'm not willing to pass up in cash games. All in all, Greinke could easily walk away as the highest-scoring arm on the slate, but he could also get shelled and have this turn into a classic Chase Field game.
Gray is talented and all, but the Diamondbacks are insane at home and I don't think Gray has a leash longer than a run or two. Especially if Greinke is cruising. He has been impressive in Coors Field with a .311 wOBA, but I'm not sure how much that matters in this spot. He's inexperienced, young, and in a spot that will surely give him butterflies. While it's tough to quantify that, we saw it last night with Severino. This is also a 1-game series, so these guys will have a shorter leash than the next 4. Gray is a guy I have absolutely no interest in. Both of these guys drew a lot more interest in yesterday's 2-game slate.
Though we don't have a total in the Yankees game, it's looking like this one is expected to be the highest scoring. Sitting at 8.5 right now, the D-Backs are expected to put up close to 5 runs. In the playoffs, you won't see that too often. Jon Gray is a good pitcher, but he was worse on the road and faces a Diamondbacks team that held a team .339 wOBA against righties in Chase Field. The top 5 of this order is absolutely insane and you have to consider all of them for cash games. David Peralta and Jake Lamb are the 2 big boppers against righties and you have to think they will be very highly owned, and rightfully so. Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, David Peralta, and J.D. Martinez have all held a .368 wOBA or higher against righties. You then get to A.J.Pollock, who has a rare combo of speed and power. The bottom of the order (Drury, Ianneta) isn't very reliable, but the upside is surefire in this ballpark. The Diamondbacks are one of the top offenses and you almost have to have exposure in any format.
We're willing to target Greinke, but the Rockies have a similar team total to the rest of the guys on this slate, so we do have to take a look. They are in Chase Field and the upside is always going to be there. Charlie Blackmon, who's obviously expensive, has held a .438 wOBA against righties and makes for an elite cash game play. The rest of the order only makes it in tournaments, but they have a lot of appeal. Nolan Arenado is a fantastic pivot off of Jake Lamb, who figures to be about 4x more popular. We can't really sit here and say who is going to get to playoff Greinke. If anyone does, it will be on a mistake pitch or a spot where there are guys on base. Feel free to target any of these guys in a GPP in hopes that we get some Chase Field action for only 10-15%.
Boston Red Sox @ Houston Astros
Talk about a great start to the Divisional Round. This game figures to be phenomenal from the start. Chris Sale and Justin Verlander will face off in a game where the Astros are surprisingly favored at -115. This is more so because of their advantage on offense, but I don't think Vegas is looking at Sale as much of an upgrade from Verlander. He's definitely a better pitcher, but in the playoffs, I'm not sure I would want Sale. If he's off, things will go south. Fast. If Verlander is off, we're talking 6 innings and 2 runs. If they're both on, we're looking at 8 innings, with 12 K's for Sale and 9 for Verlander. Focusing on Sale a bit, he has been the 2nd best pitcher in baseball this season. He has held a stupid 12.93 K/9 while walking just over 2. He's posted a .246 wOBA against and doesn't really struggle against any 1 type of hitter. We know this Astros lineup is going to punch you in the mouth from the start, but if you hit them first, they will fall. They can strikeout as much as anyone in baseball at 22.5% and you can't be surprised if Sale comes out hot. I like Sale a lot and I think he starts the series off right for the Sox. The Astros can easily get something early, but if they don't, it's probably lights out.
I said a lot about Verlander there, but let's look in-depth. He has been a decent pitcher for the last couple years, but has undoubtedly picked it up recently. I'm not one to often consider narratives, but it's quite obvious that Verlander was losing interest in Detroit. He's been ridiculous since coming to Houston and has only given up more than 1 run once. He faces a Red Sox team that has a lot of potential, but definitely underperformed compared to expectations on the season. They held the 9th best wOBA against righties on the road and struck out close to 22% of the time. I think Verlander is pretty safe for 6-7 innings of quality work, but he doesn't have the K upside that Sale does. Both are fine, but it comes down to what you're looking for.
Even with just 3 games on the slate, I don't think I'll have much exposure here. I could see a decent amount of people looking at Chris Sale' game log and going out on a limb with the Astros. I hate it. I think they end up just as highly owned as the Rockies and have an implied total far lower. If anything, I like targeting just 1 or 2 Astros that could send 1 into the Crawford Boxes. Altuve and Correa are of course the leading candidates, slugging for a .417 and .386 respective wOBAs on the year against lefties. George Springer and Evan Gattis have a ton of upside and I like them in GPP's as a filler. On the Red Sox side, I'll have some exposure to the stars. Benintendi and Betts have both sported over .386 wOBA's and 38% hard contact rates. They are a duo that will go under the radar and could easily have success in Minute Maid against a righty with a strong fastball presence. I know I said Verlander is great in the playoffs, but I'd still rather target him than Sale. Don't be afraid of any Red Sox in GPP's that find the top of the order and can hit righties well. To sum it up, this game is expected to have the least scoring. There's no reason to go overboard.
New York Yankees @ Cleveland Indians
The Yankees haven't released who'll be taking the mound just yet, but you have to assume it'll be one of these guys. I have the same amount of interest in both. None. I know we don't have many guys to look at for pitcher, but I don't feel like targeting the Indians with any pitcher that isn't upper-echelon elite. Of course, you can do it in tournaments, but that goes unsaid on a 3-game baseball slate. You can literally play ANYONE in a GPP and not be called crazy. The Indians were elite against righties on the year with a .335 wOBA and .785 OPS. Whether it's Tanaka or Gray who gets the start, I expect the Indians to be favored and to end up winning. They have a lineup that just never stops and never gives up any easy at-bats. You also can't expect either of these guys to have a long leash with the Yankees showing a willingness to get to the bullpen fast.
If you're wondering why Corey Kluber isn't starting this game, it's because Francona is a very smart manager. With Kluber starting game 2, he can get normal rest on not only this game, but also game 5 (if needed). It's far smart than rushing your ace back in 4 days, only to make hit wait 8 or 9 to pitch again. That's not a successful recipe and Francona is smart enough to realize it. Instead, Trevor Bauer will start. He's a good pitcher, but he's not on the level of the guys we've been talking about. He's allowed a .356 wOBA to lefties and a .310 to righties. He, like Gray/Tanaka, is cool in tournaments. The Yankees strikeout more than any team in the playoffs and Bauer does have upside. I just don't think he'll have any leash with Kluber pitching in game 2 and the bullpen being so dominant. I will have exactly 0% exposure to pitchers in this game.
The Indians lineup is one I'm willing to target against most pitchers. Tanaka or Gray are not good enough to make me avoid the Indians and put me on any of the other teams. This lineup seems to never stop, but there are a few guys who are a tad bit better against righties. Carlos Santana, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Ramirez, and Francisco Lindor have all sported wOBA's over .360 against righties. The rest of the order was injured for a lot of the year and nearly as good. With all that being said, most of the fun will stop once the bullpen comes in. Especially if working with a lead. The Indians side is fine, but there's nothing to get overly excited for. There are about 5 or 6 guys who I'm willing to play in all formats, but won't be going out of my way to get them. They will just fall in with such limited options.
I do have some interest in the Yankees side. With a guaranteed 9 innings of swinging against Trevor Bauer and a good bullpen, I like my chances with a few of these guys. Didi Gregorius and Brett Gardner are very good against righties and as we just saw, Bauer has allowed a .356 wOBA to them. Greg Bird is another lefty who could easily hit one out. You then have the obvious monsters in Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge. The prices are high, but if you can afford them, go for it. They have as good of a shott o hit an HR as anyone on the slate outside of Jake Lamb. The bottom of the order is meh, but I like Starlin Castro and Ellsbury in cash games. Aaron Hicks also finds a way to get himself involved on most big nights. All in all, this is playoff baseball and you never know what to expect. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I'll make sure to get to them.
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- Chris Sale: (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)