Welcome to the MLB DFS League Championship Series (LCS) rundown & cheat sheet column for Thursday, October 15, 2020.
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Let’s take a look at some of the key things and facts to know as you head into lineup construction for this two gamer.
Right now, we know that Clayton Kershaw is pencilled in to start game 4 of this series for the Dodgers, and 22-year-old Bryse Wilson is taking the hill for the Braves on the other side. What we don’t know is who the Rays and Astros will be using in the pitching department today, but it’s expected that both teams will go with more of a bullpen-oriented approach.
Kershaw is the easy chalk play on FanDuel and DraftKings (SP1) today as a result. The win% at 65.5%, opponent total (3.7 runs) and overall tremendous skillset and recent performance metrics all make him an elite option. Even with a potentially finicky back, I’d still get him active across the board. He’s really the only guy capable here of putting together a studly game of 6+ innings and 8+ Ks. Wilson likely goes through the order once or twice (if he’s fortunate) and the Rays/Astros are going to be all over the place with their usage.
There’s a small chance that Blake Snell is tabbed to start on short rest, but I’m expecting it to be a combo of the likes of Ryan Thompson and Peter Fairbanks, both of whom are intriguing at $4,100 on DK. Nick Anderson and Diego Castillo are later-inning candidates as well to close this out, and I have no problem pairing one of these 4 with Kershaw so you can go crazy with basically whatever bat(s) you want. Anderson (14.33 K/9) and Fairbanks (13.13 K/9) have tremendous strikeout rates and elite potential to find a way into 6-10 point games
The Dodgers are definitely going to be popular here given a tasty matchup vs Wilson and a 5.28 run total as a team. We don’t have the Vegas metrics just yet in the Houston/Tampa game, but I expect 8 or 8.5 runs in total and a fairly evenly-split game on the moneyline side (likely HOU as a slight favourite at potentially -110 or -120 given the home game nature).
For the Dodgers, Mookie Betts (181 wRC+), Will Smith (174 wRC+), Corey Seager (166 wRC+), Justin Turner (154 wRC+), Chris Taylor (145 wRC+), and Cody Bellinger (129 wRC+) are the top 6 performers in the split vs RHP to speak of (2020 data). We all know that A.J. Pollock, Max Muncy and Joc Pederson can do plenty of damage in this split as well, so you can essentially stack them deeply based on your SP decision(s). It may not be very contrarian, but I have a hard time seeing optimal lineup(s) not including a handful of Dodgers here.
I’m also a huge believer in the Rays’ bullpen, and as a result don’t recommend going too crazy with HOU exposure. They squeaked out a W yesterday, but will have a tougher time today. George Springer, Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve are really the only 3 that I’d focus on here, with Springer and Altuve being top priority for exposure.
On the TB side, they’ll be facing a RHP-heavy group from Houston in this one, so let’s look at some of the plus-split data for Rays bats vs RHPs. Of the likely starters, Yandy Diaz (141 wRC+), Brandon Lowe (129 wRC+), Nate Lowe (128 wRC+) and the potential postseason MVP Randy Arozarena (126 wRC+) round out the top 4 in that department for 2020 data. Joey Wendle and Mike Brosseau could get some love here as well, with 119 wRC+ metrics of their own and should trail in own%. Austin Meadows and Willy Adames have .200+ ISOs in the split, and Meadows in particular could hit one out at any time even though he’s not clicking like we know he’s capable of right now. I’m also not sleeping on Manuel Margot’s current strong play and speed element that makes him a great value.
Check out the full player pool below as you head into crunching mode for this slate!