FanDuel MLB DFS Strategy Advice: Wednesday (10/14)
The League Championship Series matchups continue, as the Astros look to stave off elimination, and the Dodgers try to come back from a 2-0 deficit to the Braves. The starting pitching prices are…interesting. Kyle Wright is the highest-priced SP on the slate, so there is a natural value by selecting one of the three other starting pitchers, who all have better matchups than Wright. This gives us the opportunity to plug in a few of our favorite bats, and then find value elsewhere. There’s solid value plays at every position except shortstop, which should help build a roster that you feel confident in rolling out.
|Tyler Glasnow (TAM)||@ HOU||$8,800||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Julio Urias (LAD)||@ ATL||$8,600||⭐⭐⭐||High|
Glasnow has been electric this postseason, giving up six runs over 13 and 1/3 innings while striking out 20. The Astros were merely average against righties during the regular season, posting a 102 wRC+ against them with a .727 OPS. While they only strike out 20% of the time against righties, Glasnow still has the ability to strike out over a batter an inning. He figures to get a longer leash than all of the other starters on the slate, including Zack Greinke, who is dealing with arm problems. This makes him the most intriguing target on the slate, at the second-highest price.
Urias has held his own this postseason, striking out 11 hitters over eight innings of work. He figures to go at least four innings, given the Dodgers depleted bullpen. However, the Dodgers won’t let Urias labor through too many more innings after that if the game is close in essentially a “must-win” game. The Braves struggled against lefties during the regular season, ranking 15th in baseball against them with a 27.8% strikeout rate. However, they were without Ozzie Albies for much of the regular season, and he hits for power against lefties. They started to tick up in September, ranking sixth in baseball against lefties, including a second-best 41.5% hard-hit rate. Urias has the ability to go six innings and strikeout a guy per inning, but it comes with more risk than Glasnow.
Catcher/ First Base
|Will Smith (LAD)||@ ATL||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
Smith does most of his damage against righties, posting a 165 wRC+ against them in his brief career. His advanced metrics also check out, including an xwOBA in the 95th percentile. He hits the ball hard, doesn’t strike out a lot, and gets on base. Most players will flock to the red-hot Freddie Freeman here, but playing Will Smith for over $1,000 lower is a good contrarian play. You can always plug Freeman into the UT spot, and the Dodgers figure to come out swinging, now that they are down 2-0 in the NLCS.
|Aledmys Diaz (HOU)||vs. TAM||$2,200||⭐⭐⭐||High|
|Chris Taylor (LAD)||@ ATL||$2,500||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
Diaz has recently been plugged into the Astros’ lineup as the DH, albeit at the bottom of the order. He has done well against Glasnow in a very limited sample, collecting three hits against him (all extra bases) in ten at-bats. If you want to fade Albies, Diaz is an intriguing GPP option.
Taylor has struggled this postseason, but he raked against righties in the regular season and has been 11 percent above league-average against them for his career. He is a decent cash game option since he gets on base at a .366 clip, but batting in the bottom-third of the lineup limits his upside.
|Justin Turner (LAD)||@ ATL||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
If it didn’t favor us so much, I would write a strongly-worded letter to FanDuel to ask why they hate Turner. He again will hit third in a potent Dodgers’ lineup and has a 154 wRC+ against righties this year. This price might mean that Turner is highly rostered, and is easily the second-best third base option after Alex Bregman.
|Willy Adames (TAM)||@ HOU||$2,400||⭐⭐⭐||High|
Shortstop is the one place where it’s hard to find a value play. Dansby Swanson struggles against lefties, so he’s an easy fade on this slate. Adames posted a 107 wRC+ against righties this year and finally had his breakout year at the plate, slashing .259/.332/.481. He will likely bat seventh, meaning his upside is capped.
|Manuel Margot (TAM)||@ HOU||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Hunter Renfroe (TAM)||@ HOU||$2,700||⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
|Michael Brantley (HOU)||vs. TAM||$3,100||⭐⭐⭐||Low|
Margot has been hot this postseason, hitting three bombs in 24 at-bats. He is very much a boom-or-bust play, but he also has hit Greinke well in a limited sample, hitting two homers and slashing .438/.471/.813 in 16 at-bats against him.
Renfroe is even more of a boom or bust play, hitting the grand slam in the Wild Card series against the Blue Jays, along with a two-run bloop single last night against the Astros. Prior to Tuesday, seven of his ten at-bats have ended in him striking out. Fortunately, he also hits Greinke well, hitting three homers against him in 21 at-bats.
Brantley has found his power stroke this postseason, hitting three homers so far. He hasn’t hit Glasnow well historically, but he makes for a great cash game option at a reduced price.
5 Studs Worth Their Salary
Ozzie Albies (2B – ATL), $3,900: Albies has hit homers in back-to-back games, and has five hits in his last six games. He will be facing a lefty, and he’s slugged .573 with a 145 wRC+ against them in his career.
Carlos Correa (SS – HOU), $3,600: Correa has had the best postseason of anyone still standing not named Randy Arozarena, hitting five homers with 13 RBI. He hits righties well and might be lowly rostered if most players flock to Glasnow as their SP.
Corey Seager (SS – LAD), $3,900: Seager does most of his damage against righties, slashing .307/.375/.525 against them for his career. Shortstop is somewhat limited on Wednesday, meaning that paying up for the top option is a logical approach.
Randy Arozarena (OF – TAM), $3,500: Arozarena has been the star of the postseason, slashing .385/.442/.795 through Tuesday’s game. He can hit all types of pitches in all locations, making him a hard out.
Marcell Ozuna (OF – ATL), $4,100: Ozuna posted a 234 wRC+ against lefties this year, and would likely be the MVP if Freddie Freeman didn’t exist.
5 Notable Players to Fade
Zack Greinke (SP – HOU), $8,000: Greinke’s price makes him an attractive option, but he hasn’t even made it five innings in a start so far this postseason. In a game that will be do-or-die, Greinke will have a short leash, and the Astros figure to use Christian Javier if Greinke gets in a jam.
Travis d’Arnaud (C/1B – ATL), $3,100: d’Arnaud’s price is fantastic given how hot he is, but he really struggles against lefties. He had a terrible .506 OPS against them this year. He’s hit them five percent above the league average for his career, but it also comes with a four percent increase in strikeout rate. He’s part of the reason why the Braves were so bad against lefties, so it makes sense to look elsewhere for value.
Dansby Swanson (SS – ATL), $3,300: Like his teammate above, Swanson has struggled against lefties. Swanson is 60% below league average against lefties this year, and 19% worse than the average for his career.
Austin Meadows (OF – TAM), $3,300: Meadows has just one hit (a homer) against Greinke in 11 at-bats. Outside of his two homers in the ALDS, Meadows has looked like a shell of himself. I’m waiting to get value on him in 2021 drafts, rather than roster him in DFS now.
Brandon Lowe (2B – TAM), $3,300: Lowe’s price was finally lowered after a terrible postseason, but he hasn’t shown any signs of breaking out of his slump. He’s struck out 13 times already this postseason and is slashing just .079/.167/.079.
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