Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings Playoffs - 10/11/17
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Washington Nationals @ Chicago Cubs
With the Cubs/Nationals getting postponed yesterday, it's opened up a nice 2-game slate for us. Yes, I'm using the word "nice" pretty liberally. We have 4 solid pitchers and 4 good offenses, all in elimination games. Tanner Roark and the Nats are down 2-1 to the Cubbies, so this is win-or-go-home time. That does worry me a lot. First, the leash will be minuscule. The Nationals obviously can't afford to lose this game and you have to think the bullpen/Scherzer/Strasburg will be ready to come in early.The Cubs are also an elite offense and smash righties to a .328 wOBA at home. Roark has been uber consistent for about 2 years now, but he isn't shutdown. He's allowed a .331 combined wOBA and struggled more against lefties. This lineup has plenty and they can do more damage than most. I have no interest in Roark, but I get it if you want to pay up for every bat. He is a good pitcher and he could very well go 5 scoreless innings. I won't have my money on it, though.
For most, I think Corey Kluber is the clear top option. While he is my number 1, even with price included, Arrieta isn't far behind. He's been a very solid pitcher this year, but ran into some bad luck early and let it follow him. He is also probably the best-rested pitcher left in the playoffs. He in on a 6 days rest and should have no problem reaching his velocity potential around 96. THe Nationals are obviously an elite offense and they can hit anyone. Arrieta has struggled against the lefty HR, so Harper and Murphy are a bit scary. However, the Nats strikeout 24% of the time against righties and have a lot of guys that are far better against lefties. I expect Arrieta to have a very solid game and I like him in both cash games and formats. Now with that being said, it's important to realize that this is playoffs and far crazier things have happened (Kluber giving up 7 runs). Arrieta will be a lot less popular than he should be and I'll jump on it.
On any other slate, we move on here. You don't want to target either of these guys. We don't have that luxury here, so let's take a look. On the Cubs side, you can play everyone. With just 4 teams on the slate and Roark being one of the weaker pitchers, you have to consider the stack. Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber are 2 of my favorite plays on the slate and I think one of them sends a ball to the moon. Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist are also very interesting, as they figure to be low-owned and have immense upside. You get plenty of value lower in the order with guys like Javier Baez, Addison Russell, and Wilson Contreras. They may not have the splits in their favor, but 1 swing can put you into a great tournament spot. To sum up the Cubs, they are lethal and face one of the weaker pitchers. That simple. On the Nationals side, the options are still there, but they aren't as attractive. I mentioned Harper and Murphy and they are definitely 2 guys you should play if Arrieta isn't in your lineup. He has allowed 1.65 HR/9 to left-handers at home. Trea Turner is also very intriguing, as Arrieta has huge struggles with holding runners. I don't have much interest in anyone else, but you can look anywhere if you think Arrieta struggles. It's definitely a possibility in this type of game. Personally, I'll have more exposure to Arrieta and the Cubs offense than the other way around.
Cleveland Indians @ New York Yankees
Now for the most popular option. Even though Kluber got demolished by these same Yankees just a few days ago, I love him. This is baseball and one bad game isn't an indication of things to come. I'm willing to trust the other 40 games. Kluber has been the best pitcher in baseball this year and it hasn't been all that close after Chris Sale started to struggle. He's given up just a .211 combined wOBA, and is basically death to righties. The Yankees offense have a whopping load of upside, but they're the most inconsistent and overall worse lineup on this small slate. They K close to 25% of the time against lefties and don't have the type of depth that these other teams do. Now with that being said, they have Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez. The game can be flipped on its head by either 1, very easily. I expect Kluber to come out on fire and strikeout both of these guys 2 or 3 times. This is a game I think the Indians control from the start, so I'm all over the Klubot.
CC Sabathia FD 7500 DK 7000
Opponent - CLE (Kluber) Park - @CLE
FD - 25.08 DK - 12.1
No thanks. I know Sabathia is a good pitcher and I barely targeted him all year, but as I've mentioned a million times, this slate is a different animal. Sabathia is the worst pitcher on the slate and faces an Indians team facing elimination. The game is in Cleveland and I just find it very hard to believe that Sabathia makes it more than 2 or 3 innings without giving up a run. Once a guy is in scoring position, you can expect the bullpen to be warm. The Yanks do have the best bullpen in baseball and they won't go down without swinging them out there. Sabathia can be ignored, unless you expect every other offense to have a huge night.
Let's get the obvious Yankees out of the way. Against Corey Kluber, I will have 0% exposure to the Yankees. With that being said, Sanchez and Judge are obviously some of the best GPP plays on the board. Even against a dominant righty, these guys can square up any pitch and send it deep. There are no two ways around it. The rest of the order isn't nearly as scary and I expect Kluber to get through it without much trouble. I have a lot more interest in the Indians side of the diamond. Against Sabathia, get some exposure to the righties. Santana, Jackson, Encarnacion, and Ramirez are all elite cash game plays. The rest of the order is fine in GPP's as they'll likely see righties out of the pen. Now the problem with this offense is the Yankee 'pen. They will be early and are extremely difficult to hit. The Cubs are still my favorite offense of the day, though the Tribe isn't far behind. This is a pretty ugly slate, so I won't be going crazy in terms of entries. I would encourage the same.