Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings Playoffs - 10/6/17
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Boston Red Sox @ Houston Astros
We finally have a good sized DFS slate for the playoffs, so it'll be interesting to see how ownership turns out. This game between the Red Sox and Astros should be a great one. The Red Sox are healthy +163 underdogs in what Vegas expects to be the highest scoring game of the day at 8.5. The Astros are expected to put up well over 4 runs and I can't in good conscious recommend Pomeranz here. He's, of course, a good pitcher, and he can have a solid game. He's struck out over a batter per inning and has posted a season-long .321 wOBA, struggling against righties. I just don't want anything to do with the Astros offense and a guy that will get pulled quickly. Remember to keep in mind that some teams will or have to go to the bullpen before others. Pomeranz likely has a 1 or 2 run leash here, which I don't think makes it into the 6th inning. The Astros lineup gave Chris Sale a taste last night and I wouldn't be surprised to wake up here either. Pomeranz is an interesting flier for some K's at very low-owned, but I won't be on that train.
I really don't like either of these guys very much in any format, but Keuchel is preferred to Pomeranz. The Astros are solid favorites and the 'Stros should let Keuchel go if they have a lead (likely). Keuchel has been dominant all season long, tossing 145 innings with a .255 wOBA against. He's striking out just 7.22 batters per 9 innings, but it comes with just 2 walks. He's also been far better at home in Minute Maid, which is a lot better for pitchers than people like to admit. The Red Sox offense is obviously lethal, but this is the playoffs, so all offenses are going to have upside. They are an average playoff offense, though the numbers against lefties aren't nearly as good (.309 wOBA). This game still has an 8.5 over/under and I won't be reaching for any of these guys. I definitely like Keuchel a lot more than Pomeranz, but only have interest where an SP2 is necessary.
With this game holding the highest over/under on the slate, you have to have interest in some of these sticks. On the Red Sox side, we're looking at the righties. Keuchel has shut left-handers down and I don't see a point in targeting any of them. The problem here is we don't really know who the Sox are going to have in there. They have some lefty specialists in Chris Young, Rajai Davis, and Sam Travis. Hanley Ramirez and Xander Boagerts are very good against lefties as well. Now with that being said, Keuchel is a dominant ace and I won't be tossing playing many of these guys. They are more guys that you plug in at the end when you need a guy at a certain $ points. On the Astros side, you have to like the righties. They hold the slates highest implied team total at 4.87 and have been unstoppable all year long against lefties. Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa are 2 of the top options on the slate and have both posted .391+ wOBA's against L's. Springer, Gattis, and Bregman are all excellent secondary plays and guys that will likely be popular. The 'Stros did just go off yesterday, so I suspect recency bias will play a big part with all the talented pitchers. You may be able to get an edge on a fade if one of the other offenses go off and the Sox find a way to slow these guys down. All in all, this is probably one of your safest offenses, but the ownership will be high. In cash games, it doesn't matter.
New York Yankees @ Cleveland Indians
No thanks. I know C.C. Sabathia has been great this year and may end up the most improved player in the A.L., but let's take a look back and realize that he isn't very good. He's also facing what many think is the most lethal lineup in baseball. The Indians have posted an elite .341 wOBA against lefties that jumps up to .351 in Progressive Field. The Yankees are huge underdogs on the road and are already down in the series 0-1. Oh ya, they also face Corey Kluber. If the Yankees get down just 1 or 2 runs, Sabathia will be out QUICKLY. The Yankees simply need to win this game and won't do it with Sabathia on the mound. No Thanks.
Corey Kluber FD 11100 DK 12000
Opponent - NYY (Sabathia) Park - @CLE
FD - 40.46 DK - 26.76
Here we go. A lot of people were questioning Terry Francona and his decision to start Trevor Bauer in game 1. The reality of the matter is that Kluber now has the ability to start game 5 or 1 of the next series on full rest, as well as this one. Kluber is now in a spot where he can be stretched to his normal 100-110 pitches, which I expect if the game is close. We saw what the Yankees lineup can do just yesterday and Kluber is probably the best pitcher in baseball right now. Looking at the numbers, Kluber has struck out 11.59 K/9 and walked just 1.5. He's also sported a combined .341 wOBA against lefties and righties. The Yankees have a ton of upside with names like Sanchez and Judge, but they also strikeout 24% of the time on the road. Kluber is expensive, but you have to pay for his production. In cash games, it will come down to Kluber and Kershaw for me. Let's keep in mind that this is the playoffs, so anything can happen. We're working with 8 good pitchers and 8 good offenses.
I'll start off by saying I'll pass on the Yankees. Sure, it'll be contrarian. So will the Cubs. Kluber is not a pitcher you want to target and certainly not a guy you want to put your money against. While this is baseball and Aaron Judge can lineup any pitch, the chances that this Yankees offense is a top 3 producer is VERY SMALL. Even if Kluber does struggle in the 5th or 6th, a quality bullpen will follow. If you do need to go somewhere, you look for a random home run in Aaron Judge or Gary Sanchez. After those guys, you're just reaching for who knows what. The Indians are a completely different story. C.C. Sabathia is a good pitcher, but he doesn't belong on the same level as a lot of these guys. He does have a 4.39 xFIP on the road and is only striking out 7 guys per 9 innings. I have a hard time believing it's going to work too well against this lineup. The Indians are a very easy offense to target and are probably my favorite on this slate. The best part of it is they have about 6 guys who are the same. You can target Lindor, Santana, Encarnacion, Ramirez, Bruce, and Kipnis in cash games. You also get a lefty-specialist in Austin Jackson that will likely see a friendly spot in the order. You can get exposure to the rest of the guys in tournaments. The Indians should put some runs on the board tonight and my cash games will depend on it.
Chicago Cubs @ Washington Nationals
Kyle Hendricks FD 8600 DK 8000
Opponent - WSH (Strasburg) Park - @WSH
FD - 28.42 DK - 18.75
The Cubs are going to toss Kyle Hendricks out there in game 1 to give Lester and Arrieta full rest. Hendricks is a very, very solid pitcher, but he's probably the 5th best on this slate and is facing an elite offense in the Nationals. The Cubs are +163 underdogs and will go H2H with Strasburg. Hendricks has allowed a .309 wOBA to lefties and a .274 to righties. The Nationals, on the other hand, have hit righties to a .330 team wOBA, with Bryce Harper missing a lot of the year. I also expect the Cubs bullpen to get up early with Arrieta and Lester pitching next. While Hendricks has the ability to get you a solid game at a cheap price, I suspect the Nats get to him a bit. He's a stay away for me.
Stephen Strasburg FD 10600 DK 10600
Opponent - CHC (Hendricks) Park - @WSH
FD - 41.2 DK - 27.05
The Cubs are an elite offense, even in the playoffs, but we've seen them get shut down plenty of times. With the power, comes strikeouts and inconsistency. While it's tough to expect a clean slate out of Strasburg, the price drop from Kluber and Kershaw is interesting. Strasburg has been one of the best pitchers in the league over the last 2 months, allowing 0 runs in 6 of his last 7 outing. Oh ya, he's also striking out 11.12 per 9 during the stretch. His upside is similar to the likes of Kluber and Kershaw and he'll let you afford an extra hitter. With that being said, he is a bit riskier. If he's not on, the Cubs will hurt him and the Nets won't hesitate to go to the pen. Like all guys during the playoffs, there's far less of a guarantee.
This is one of those spots where no hitter is really in a great spot, but there's a ton of different guys who have a chance to produce. We're talking about the Nationals and Cubs. I do like the Nats a bit more, but I don't see the Cubs allowing Hendricks to give up more than 2 or 3 runs without putting in C.J. Edwards. On the Cubs side, Strasburg has been insane. With that being said, his 1 issue has been the HR ball. There are a few guys who can connect in this order and I wouldn't be surprised to see 2 or 3 solo homers throughout the game. On the Nats side, Trea Turner, Harper, and Murphy are the cream of the crop. They are all top-tier elite hitters against righties and Turner brings speed against a guy in Hendricks that isn't great at holding runners. The rest of the order is as solid as can be and are fine in any format. They are the guys you plug in towards the end. On the Cubs side, I will have a few shares of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Kyle Schwarber. I think 1 of them hits one out here and the ownership should be minuscule. There are some other spark plugs in the order like Javier Baez and Willson Contreras, but I expect them to struggle against Strasburg and his dominant arsenal.
Arizona Diamondbacks @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw FD 10200 DK 11400
Opponent - ARI (Walker) Park - @LAD
FD - 44.61 DK - 29.41
As someone who likes stats and common sense, I really hope this is the year that Clayton Kershaw shuts people up (until they play the Cubs). I still think he's the best pitcher in baseball and the one guy you would pick to not face, given the choice. Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks, there are no alternatives. Kershaw will be the guy stepping out there and he'll be the guy delivery 97 down the pipe and a 72 curve that knocks the socks off. Let's look at the good stuff first. Even on a "down year", Kershaw remains in the run for Cy Young. He's allowed a .278 combined wOBA and has struck out 10.39 per 9 innings. Now to where it could go wrong. Paul Goldschmidt and J.D. Martinez are some of the best hitters in the league against lefties. However, they do a lot of damage in Chase Field and as we know, Dodger Stadium is a tough place to hit. I like Kershaw a ton here and have him lineup up nearly identical with Kluber.
Taijuan Walker FD 7700 DK 6700
Opponent - LAD (Kershaw) Park - @LAD
FD - 26.42 DK - 17.69
Taijuan is pretty similar to a lot of the other underdogs on this slate. The Dodgers are expected to score just as many runs as the Astros (4.87), so it's tough to get on Walker in the slightest. While the Dodgers have definitely slowed down against righties, they are by all means elite. On the season, they've hit righties to a .327 wOBA and .764 OPS. They hit better at home in Dodger Stadium and simply rarely lose there. Walker has held both sides of the plate to a .312 wOBA and strikes out about 8.5 per 9 innings. By all lengths of the word, Walker is solid. The Dodgers are just elite and I don't expect any run support. Walker comes in as a flier just like most of the other underdogs on this slate. In tournaments on DraftKings, however, one of these guys will likely hit and it will determine who takes down the tourneys.
Let's get the Diamondbacks and Clayton Kershaw out of the way. I'm sure there will be some morons who truly think Kershaw is a bad pitcher in the playoffs and will roster the D-Backs. It's not smart. If you need exposure against Kershaw for whatever reason, go with Goldy, Martinez, or Iannetta. For Martinez and Goldy, they are always HR threats against lefties. Iannetta is at a weak position and will swing for the fences every chance he gets. Personally, I'll be doing my best to stay away, considering a lot of my exposure at pitcher is to Kershaw. The Dodgers side is a bit like the Astros. Taijuan Walker is a very good pitcher, but the Dodgers are better. They are expected to put up some runs at home and we usually know where the production will come from. Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger are the teams 2 best hitters against righties and are elite plays in any format. Justin Turner is another guy you can play anywhere, but he's expensive and there are some guys I like more. The rest of the order is rather up in the air and it just depends on who finds their way into the order. You can't be afraid of a guy like Taijuan Walker if you want to play in the postseason. Good luck to all!
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- NLDS Mets Dodgers Baseball: (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)