Welcome to the MLB DFS League Championship Series (LCS) rundown & cheat sheet column for Saturday, October 17, 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.
Yet again, we have the Astros and Rays battling it out in a deciding game – this time of the game 7 nature.
With it being a pretty critical day overall for all 4 teams, in addition to a traditional group of SPs on the mound for each team as well, we’re gearing up for a fun one here.
All four arms in this one are of the quality variety, but if we had to evaluate the strength of each relative to the field, I would knock Max Fried down to the bottom of the list for DFS purposes. Not only does he have a lower K% compared to the other names, but he also faces arguably the most dangerous and intimidating lineup in the league, too.
What’s interesting to note here though, is that Fried actually had a dominant outing vs LAD last time out (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 9 K) – so we don’t want to write him off.
For the Rays and Astros, both SPs are candidates to go twice through the order unless it becomes a blowout early (very, very unlikely). In a game 7, every single micro-matchup counts. They’ll be using their respective stud arms in any and every way possible to best position themselves to win what is easily the most difficult game each team has played in 2020.
In what I find to be a bit surprising, the weakest split amongst the 4 SPs is actually Lance McCullers Jr.vs RHBs (.324 wOBA dating back to the start of 2018). He’s elite vs LHBs (.265 wOBA), so it’s not a bad idea to fade lefty Rays here today.
When Walker Buehler struggles vs RHBs, the ball flies out of the yard at a pretty good clip. Similarly for Morton against LHBs. However, each of them own top K% in the respective splits – so when they make mistakes it’s often a big one. That makes ATL powerful RHBs and HOU powerful LHBs a little extra attractive.
Overall, I actually think McCullers nets out as the guy you want to prioritize some exposure to here, with a 26% K% vs RHPs for the Rays (tops on the slate). Max Fried has some sneaky appeal as well given the Dodgers are stronger vs RHP than LHP and his team is the only one here that has some “give” as they’re sitting with a 3-2 series lead. Not to mention a great start against him last time out, assuming he can continue building on that success. Fading Buehler will certainly be contrarian here, which is never a bad idea to take a risk on in GPPs.
Even though I’m pushing McCullers a bit here, RHBs on TB are actually intriguing here. Yandy Diaz (141 wRC+) and Randy Arozarena (126 wRC+) are the top 2 data-centric plays. Manuel Margot with how hot he is (and well priced) as well as Willy Adames (particularly lower own% expectation given Corey Seager’s positive recency bias) are a couple others to have in your rotation. Mike Brosseau could be sneaky as well given his power potential, but there’s a chance they don’t start him and instead save him for a LHP-RHB opportunity in the later innings.
Fading the Dodgers will be a little contrarian here given their brand name nature, but A.J. Pollock (201 wRC+) is an elite hitter vs LHP, and the likes of Max Muncy (122), Corey Seager (121) and Justin Turner (111) are all plus in the weighted runs created department in the split. Just don’t be shocked to see minimal long balls in this one as Fried is an elite ground ball pitcher. Edwin Rios could be an off the board play with ultra low own% especially since he probably won’t start, but could easily come in for a couple at bats once the Braves roll in a RHP.
For Atlanta, even though Freddie Freeman’s 216 wRC+ vs RHP is other-worldly, Buehler is absolutely dominant vs LHBs (even more than RHBs in the wOBA department), so he could have a rougher time today (at least through the first 4-5 innings). Don’t take him out of the player pool though.
Check out the full player pool below as you head into crunching mode for this slate!