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FanDuel MLB DFS Strategy: Friday (10/16)

Oct 16, 2020

The rise of Randy Arozarena has been a highlight of the playoffs. Could the magic continue tonight?

Well, thanks to Carlos Correa’s ninth-inning heroics, we’ve got at least one more day this year in which there are multiple games. The situation for today is a bit unusual, as the only confirmed starter at the time of this writing has thrown no more than 27 pitches in a single outing this postseason and with uncertainty across the board, hitting is the name of tonight’s game.

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Pitchers

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Blake Snell (TAM) vs HOU Unknown ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Framber Valdez (HOU) @ TAM Unknown ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

 
Snell: While Dustin May is the only official starter for tonight at the time of this writing, and he would absolutely be the way to go in the event of bullpen games across the board, Snell should get the nod here on normal rest. The former Cy-Young winner had a bit of a strange season that saw him fail to reach six innings pitched in each of his 11 starts. That has continued through his first three postseason starts, though he remains the best probable pitcher on the slate despite this.

Valdez: Also expected but not confirmed is Valdez, who has reached six innings pitched this season, doing so twice this postseason alone. The 26-year old was somewhat blowup prone down the stretch in the regular season, sporting a 5.01 ERA through his final five starts of the season, largely due to 12 earned runs across two of those contests. He’s bounced back extremely well, sitting on a postseason ERA of 2 through 18 innings, but remains a hair below Snell for me due to inexperience and the rough finish to the regular season.

Catcher/First Base

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Max Muncy (LAD) @ ATL $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Mike Zunino (TAM) vs HOU $2,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

 
Muncy: While Muncy is the clear second fiddle to the Braves’ Freddie Freeman for the best remaining first baseman, Muncy’s ceiling is right there with Freeman, and has hit it more often than the Braves’ star this postseason, already collecting two homers, six RBI, three runs and six walks through the first four games of the NLCS.

Zunino: Despite Zunino being the weakest player I will mention in this article, he remains a player perfectly capable of a long ball in each at-bat, something he’s done three times already this postseason. Don’t forget he had back-to-back 20+ home run seasons with the Mariners before his offensive decline. Despite the power, Zunino is a pure GPP play who is more likely to post a golden sombrero than a multi-homer outing.

Second Base

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Ozzie Albies (ATL) vs LOS $3,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
Albies: While Albies has had a great postseason, he’s really turned it up in the NLCS, where he’s gone for multiple hits in three of the first four games with two home runs, a double, and four RBI. The Braves should have the toughest pitching task of the night, starting with Dustin May starting before their star-studded bullpen, but don’t let you deter you from the young star. He trails only Altuve in terms of priority for me tonight, and I’ll have a few lineups including both.

Third Base

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Justin Turner (LAD) @ ATL $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

 
Turner: Turner has recorded a hit in each of his last five outings, a streak that comes with five runs and an RBI. He’s been far from flashy, and probably won’t be the reason you take down a contest. He will likely remain in the 3 hole for the Dodgers, however, which might be the most valuable position in tonight slate. He’s also outperformed Alex Bregman thus far in the Championship Series, which makes it hard to spend an extra $600 on the more appealing 26-year old star.

Shortstop

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Carlos Correa (HOU) @ TAM $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

 
Correa: Correa’s second homer of the ALCS came in the form of a Game 5 walk-off which saved the Astros from elimination. He isn’t the best shortstop on this slate, despite having the talent to be. Coming in a whole $1,000 cheaper than Corey Seager, though, it’s hard to not look at Correa, who has been on an even playing field with the Dodgers’ star to this point through their careers. Correa has been hit or miss in the playoffs, owning as many series’ hitting under .225 as he does over .300, which keeps him from a five-star matchup for me. Despite this, he absolutely has the talent to not only carry the Astros to a deciding Game 7 but your FanDuel lineup as well.

Outfield

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Randy Arozarena (TAM) vs HOU $3,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Michael Brantley (HOU) @ TAM $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
Arozarena: Arozarena has quickly risen to stardom, as the 25-year old had played just 42 before the playoffs. That didn’t stop him from helping propel the Rays to within one game from the World Series, hitting an impressive .417 with six homers, 13 runs, and eight RBI through 12 postseason games this year. The Rays could use a little more of his magic right now, and one more big moment from the youngster could be what locks Tampa Bay into the World Series.

Brantley: If there is one remaining constant in Houston, it’s Brantley’s ability to hit. The veteran outfielder managed to just barely secure his third consecutive season a batting average of at least .300, doing so despite his worst K% since 2011. Brantley has maintained this success into the postseason, hitting .304 through 29 games with the Astros in addition to a .310/.408/.381 triple-slash in the ALCS. Think of him as a slightly more reliable Justin Turner with a little more pop.

Five Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Cody Bellinger (OF – LAD) $4,400: Bellinger finally got it rolling again in Game 3, scoring 34.4 FanDuel points off of two hits, a homer, two RBI, two runs & two walks. While he fell back down in Game 4, he should get a prime chance to immediately bounce back in what seems to be a bullpen game for the Braves. The only thing holding him back for me is the fact he’s been hitting lower in the lineup.
  • Mookie Betts (OF – LAD) $4,500: Mookie hasn’t put up slate breaking numbers like some of his Dodger teammates have, but he has posted 12+ FanDuel points in two of the first four games of the NLCS. Unlike Bellinger, Betts should stick at the very top of the Dodgers’ lineup, making him a prime target in the apparent Braves bullpen game.
  • Jose Altuve (2B – HOU) $3,900: While Altuve was unable to hit his sixth home run of the postseason last night, he remains arguably the hottest hitter remaining, owning five 21+ FanDuel point performances over his last seven games. He might be the highest owned player in just about every contest.
  • Corey Seager (SS – LAD) $4,200: Seager was unable to get a hit in Game 4 following his back-to-back 41 point slate breakers. Luckily for him, however, is the fact that Kyle Wright could end up being a factor in this apparent bullpen game, the same pitcher that gave up one of Seagers’ two first-inning hits just two days ago.
  • Freddie Freeman (1B – ATL) $4,100: Undoubtedly the best first baseman remaining and possibly the best in the game right now, Freeman lines up against the Dodgers’ Dustin May, who surrendered a .444 slugging percentage and .336 wOBA to left-handed hitters in the regular season.

Five Notable Players To Fade

  • Joc Pederson (OF – LOS) $2,700: Pederson has performed well this postseason, but is far from a guarantee to play a full game.
  • Yuli Gurriel (1B – HOU) $2,700: Mostly known for his hitting abilities nowadays, Gurriel hasn’t been able to do much of it lately, recording a hit in just two of his last 10 games. Plus, First Base/Catcher might be the deepest position there is tonight. There’s just no need.
  • Kike Hernandez (2B – LOS) $2,300: Like Pederson, Hernandez is perfectly capable of a big night. He is even less likely to play a full game, however.
  • Austin Meadows (OF – TAM) $3,400: Meadows hasn’t been himself, going just 2-for-18 thus far in the ALCS. With expensive hitting being a necessity tonight, Meadows simply isn’t worth the risk at $3,400.
  • A.J. Pollock (OF – LOS) $3,000: While Pollock enjoyed a nice bounce-back season, he doesn’t have a great postseason track record, owning just nine hits, one home run & five RBI with 18 strikeouts through 52 at-bats.

All Advanced Statistics Sourced From FanGraphs

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Caleb Baggette is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Caleb, check out his archive and follow him @CalebBg9

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