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FanDuel MLB DFS Strategy Advice: Saturday (10/17)

Oct 17, 2020

Ji-Man Choi has the best hitting matchup of all backstops and first baseman.

The Astros will look to come back from down 3-0 in the series against the Rays while the Dodgers will try to force a Game 7 against the Braves in what should make a great Saturday of MLB action. We know one thing for sure: Saturday will be the final day of the 2020 MLB season in which multiple games will be played.

What a journey it has been! The season appeared to be in doubt during its first week, and now here we are preparing to crown a World Series Champion in the next week or so.

So for the final time in 2020, let’s jump into today’s multiple-game slate over on FanDuel.

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Pitcher

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Charlie Morton (TBR) vs. HOU $8,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU) @ TBR $8,600 ⭐⭐⭐ High
Max Fried (ATL) @ LAD $9,700 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Walker Buehler (LAD) vs. ATL $9,100 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
Unlike the past couple of days, we have much more certainty about the probable starters for the pivotal games in each series on Saturday. Morton and McCullers last pitched in Game 2, while Fried and Buehler both started the opener of the NLCS.

With all pitchers coming off normal rest, we should be targeting the arm with strikeout upside and winning probability. Walker Buehler comes in with his Dodgers as -153 favorites over the Braves, and he has shown the ability to record high-strikeout totals this season. However, he struggled with control in Game 1 of this series, as he surrendered five free passes to go along with his seven strikeouts.

Max Fried is also a strong opponent which could make it more difficult for Buehler to pick up a quality start or a win. The NL Cy Young candidate has been fantastic in the 2020 postseason, and he struck out nine Dodgers on his way to a Quality Start in the series opener.

While Buehler and Fried are both fantastic options, my top arm for this two-game slate is Charlie Morton. He has been lights-out in the postseason, and the Rays will be relying on him to prevent a disastrous blown 3-0 series lead. Morton struck out five Astros on his way to a win in Game 1 over this Houston lineup, and he will look to hand it off to a fantastic Tampa Bay bullpen with the lead in his pocket once again. Morton also offers a large discount compared to Fried and Buehler.

C/1B

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Ji-Man Choi (TBR) vs. HOU $2,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Travis d’Arnaud (ATL) @ LAD $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
The left-handed Choi has the best hitting matchup of all backstops and first baseman as he gets set to face Lance McCullers Jr. of the Astros. While the Houston starter has been excellent in 2020, he is the fourth-best starter on this two-game slate. Choi has been hitting cleanup or in the five-hole, which will present him many RBI opportunities.

The Atlanta catcher hit two home runs in the series win against Miami, but he has yet to go yard against a strong Dodgers pitching staff. However, the cleanup hitter has been reaching base and driving in runs to take advantage of his opportunity. He has picked up four walks and three RBIs in the first five games of the series.

2B

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Brandon Lowe (TBR) vs. HOU $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Chris Taylor (LAD) @ ATL $2,500 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
Another lefty-hitter near the top of the Rays lineup? Check. Lowe has struggled thus far in the ALCS, but he did hit a HR just a couple of games ago. His opportunity at the top of a strong lineup is just too good to pass up at this salary.

If we are going to roster Dodgers hitters, I’m going to prioritize right-handed hitters who will have a better chance at success against elite southpaw Max Fried for Atlanta. Taylor hit in the nine-hole for the Dodgers in the series opener against Fried. While this could limit his at-bat opportunities, he has the ability to turn the lineup over and hit in front of Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner. Monitor Taylor’s health up until game time.

3B

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Justin Turner (LAD) @ ATL $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Joey Wendle (TBR) vs. HOU $2,600 ⭐⭐⭐ Low

 
One of my favorite DFS targets during the regular season, Turner continues to be priced significantly lower than his Dodgers teammates or other top options at the hot corner. The Cal State Fullerton product has averaged double-digit FanDuel points over the past three games of the series, and he is a right-handed bat at the top of a Dodgers lineup that does have the highest implied team total on the slate.

In the first game against McCullers Jr., Wendle slotted in as the sixth hitter for the Rays. The lefty will have many opportunities to produce for the team with the second-highest implied team total on the slate and will have the most favorable pitching matchup as well.

SS

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Carlos Correa (HOU) @ TBR $3,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Dansby Swanson (ATL) @ LAD $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐ Low

 
Our first Astros feature is at the shortstop position. Correa has hit two HRs in the series and has also added a couple of three-hit games thus far against Tampa Bay. Like Justin Turner, he offers a great deal of upside but is consistently priced lower than his elite teammates. If his teammates are producing, Correa figures to be involved in the scoring action as well.

After hitting two HRs in the NLDS against Miami, Swanson’s only extra-base hits in the NLCS have been a couple of doubles. However, he has been able to drive in some runs while hitting in the heart of the Atlanta order. While Buehler has been able to limit the damage, he is allowing a HR every five innings pitched.

OF

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Randy Arozarena (TBR) vs. HOU $3,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Manuel Margot (TBR) vs. HOU $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐ Low
Josh Reddick (HOU) @ TBR $2,300 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Walker Buehler (LAD) vs. ATL $9,100 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
When building Rays stacks, I could not imagine leaving Arozarena off the lineups. Before going hitless in Game Six, the rookie had produced three straight FanDuel totals of 15.2, 22.2, and 18.7 fantasy points. He is facing the weakest pitcher on the slate, and Lowe-Arozarena-Choi is my favorite stack for Saturday.

Sliding down to the fifth hitter in the Rays order, Manuel Margot has been terrific in the NLCS. After hitting two HRs on Friday night, the Tampa Bay outfielder now has three HRs and six RBIs in the series. He offers a lot of salary relief while providing longball opportunities and a piece of the Rays order.

Reddick did not start on Friday night against southpaw Blake Snell, but he has hit four-for-eleven in the ALCS. I expect him to slot back into the Houston batting order against RHP Charlie Morton. Reddick has not produced an extra-base-hit in the series, but he is reaching base, and his extremely cheap salary allows us more roster flexibility.

Two Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Mookie Betts (OF – LAD) $4,500: Even against an excellent pitcher in Max Fried, the Dodgers have the highest implied team total on the slate. The right-handed Betts will have a slightly better hitting matchup and will look to jumpstart the dangerous Los Angeles offense.
  • Freddie Freeman (1B – ATL) $4,200: Simply the clear top option at the C/1B position, Freeman has been excellent in the NLCS. He is averaging over 20 FanDuel fantasy points per game, and he hit a HR off Buehler in the first inning of Game One.

Two Notable Players to Fade

  • Corey Seager (SS – LAD) $4,200: I know, I know. He has been unbelievable. However, he is one-for-six in his career against Fried, with the one hit being an infield single. I prefer the right-handed bats in the Dodgers lineup on Saturday.
  • Alex Bregman (3B – HOU) $3,700: He has been absolutely brutal since Game 1 of the series. He has only recorded one hit and one walk since the series opener. Facing one of the best pitchers on the slate, I would rather pay down for Turner at the hot corner.

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Shane Bryant is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Shane, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @ShaneBryant31.

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