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FanDuel MLB DFS Strategy: Friday (10/2)

Oct 2, 2020

Can Jack Flaherty power through consistency issues to lead the Cardinals through the toughest matchup on the slate?

Thanks to some impressive late-game home runs by the San Diego Padres, the second game of the Cubs vs. Marlins series gets some company on this small two-game slate. We’ve got pitching that falls all over the place, from Cy Young hopefuls all the way down to massive question marks as well as enough hit-or-miss hitting to make you feel like you’re playing darts with pencils as we begin to wrap up the 2020 Wild Card.

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Pitchers

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Jack Flaherty (STL) @ SDP $9,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Sixto Sanchez (MIA) @ CHC $7,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

 
Flaherty: You gotta feel for Flaherty, who has simply been unable to get a decent chance to get going after breaking into ace status last season thanks to the pandemic. While he’s been inconsistent, he has occasionally shown flashes of his 2019 self, even as recently as September 20th where he struck out 11 Pirates over six innings of one-run ball. He’ll need to be that version tonight, as he gets the toughest matchup on the slate against the Padres and their murderers row of power.

Sanchez: While Sanchez has had a successful first year in the majors, he’s faltered down the stretch, surrendering nine earned runs over seven innings while striking out four over his last two starts of the regular season. He’ll look to bounce back in his first career playoff start. Luckily for him, there is little-to-no added pressure for him and the Marlins, as they were never really supposed to make it here, right? While I really only see this ending one of two ways for Sanchez, whether it be an outing similar to his last two or six innings of dominance, I like the 22-year old in a nothing to lose and everything to win situation.

Catcher/First Base

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Yadier Molina (STL) @ SDP $2,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Willson Contreras (CHC) vs MIA $2,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

 
Molina: Yadi has started to show up right when the Cardinals needed him most, collecting five hits with two runs and two RBI over the first two games of the Wild Card series. At the time of this writing, it is unclear who will take the mound for Game 3 for San Diego, though there are rumblings of rookie Luis Patino drawing his second-ever start. Should Patino go, it’s time to fire up the right-handed Cardinals as Patino gave up a .412 wOBA to RHH this season to go with a 7.11 FIP through 48 batters.

Contreras: Like Molina, Contereas started to get going at just the right time, finishing the last month of the regular season with a .305/.420/.463 triple-slash with three homers, 14 RBI, and 17 runs. He draws Sixto Sanchez, who despite finding success in his first year in the bigs, owns a 5.09 FIP to right-handed hitters with a K/BB ratio of just 2.14. That’s not all, either, as Contreras hit offspeed pitches for a .357 average and .582 xSLG this year while Sanchez threw his changeup 26.7% of the time, the most of his five-pitch arsenal.

Second Base

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Jake Cronenworth (SDP) vs STL $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
Cronenworth: I’m not a fan of the options at second base, so Cronenworth will be a guy I roll with a good amount. After bursting onto the scene as one of the biggest breakout stars of the season, Cronenworth faltered down the stretch, hitting just .183/.275/.268 with no homers with three RBI over his final 71 at-bats of the regular season. He looked better in game 1 of this Wild Card series, where he went 1-for-2 with two walks, an RBI, and a run. He’ll be tasked with Jack Flaherty, who surrendered a .451 slugging percentage to left-handed hitters this season, which helped fuel a 5.15 FIP in the same splits.

Third Base

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
David Bote (CHC) vs MIA $2,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
Bote: I wouldn’t be surprised here if David Ross slips Bote into the lineup here as Sixto Sanchez has been significantly softer against RHH this season and Bote owns a .343 wOBA in righty/righty matchups this season despite a less than desirable .238 average in those matchups.

Shortstop

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Paul DeJong (STL) @ SDP $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Javier Baez (CHC) vs MIA $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐ High

 

DeJong: While DeJong posted a wRC+ of just 31 against left-handers this season, he was able to perform decently in righty/righty matchups, producing a .273/.331/.391 triple-slash with all nine of his extra-base hits and 24 of his 25 RBI. More importantly, however, is the possible matchup against Luis Patino, who on top of the 7.11 FIP to RHH this season, threw a four-seam fastball 64.8% of the time this year. This bodes well for DeJong, who hit fastballs for a .298 average and .346 wOBA this year through 100 plate appearances.

Baez: Baez is likely a homer or bust option here, as he’s struggled greatly against right-handed pitching this year with a 48 wRC+ against them while striking out 33.7% of the time. He gets a decent matchup, however, as Sixto Sanchez is weaker by a good bit in righty/righty matchups as mentioned. Plus, with potential first playoff start nerves, you can’t be surprised if the 22-year old makes a costly mistake in a jam.

Outfield

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Corey Dickerson (MIA) @ CHC $2,800 ⭐⭐⭐ High
Dexter Fowler (STL) @ SDP $2,600 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Kyle Schwarber (CHC) vs MIA $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐ High

 
Dickerson: Thankfully for Dickerson, he doesn’t have to try and hit Yu Darvish from the right side. While he doesn’t hit the ball hard, Dickerson has a solid track record against Darvish(5-for-13, HR, 2 2B) and should lead the way for those stacking the Marlins in hopes of another Darvish playoff blunder.

Fowler: While Fowler won’t benefit from the potential of Patino’s right-handed struggles like the other Cubs, he managed to hit RHP well this season, hitting his way to a .348 wOBA with a decent ISO of .192 against them.

Schwarber: Who could forget Schwarber’s postseason heroics that helped propel the Cubs to the 2016 World Series? He’s yet another homer or bust option as he, like Baez, is hitting right-handers under the Mendoza line(.188) but he also has some of the best power at the position and is a great option for those that believe in the playoff clutch gene.

Five Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Yu Darvish (SP – CHC) $11,000: Darvish, fresh off a likely Cy Young finalist regular season, draws one of the weakest of the postseason teams in the Miami Marlins and is undoubtedly the best pitcher on the slate.
  • Paul Goldschmidt (1B – STL) $3,800: As mentioned, Luis Patino is one name floating around for the possible starter for the Padres. Should he go, Goldschmidt is one of the main beneficiaries, as he hit a solid .307 and 15 of his 19 extra-base hits against right-handers this season. The drop off in power compared to left-handers defiantly isn’t optimal, but it helps that Patino surrendered a .474 slugging percentage to RHH this season.
  • Manny Machado (3B – SDP) $4,000: The only premium third baseman we have available, Machado will try and help overcome the Padres’ pitching pickle and is helped by favorable splits against the Cardinals’ Jack Flaherty.
  • Trent Grisham (OF – SDP) $3,300: Grisham was unable to accomplish much in the first two games of his series, failing to collect a hit across six at-bats while walking three times. He’ll try to turn that around against Jack Flaherty, who owns a 5.15 FIP against left-handed hitters.
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS – SDP) $4,300: Fresh off a monstrous multi-homer 50.9 FanDuel point outing in game two, Tatis is the best bat on this slate and will look to get an early start on a hopeful legendary playoff career.

Three Notable Players To Fade

  • Brian Anderson (3B – MIA) $2,800: While Anderson has drawn significantly more power against right-handed pitchers this season, he has struck out in right/righty matchups 30.9% of the time this season and faces Yu Darvish, who dominated RHH this season with a 0.82 FIP against them on the year.
  • Wil Myers (OF – SDP) $3,100: While Myers helped propel the Padres above the Cardinals and force a Game 3 last night, he’s also struck out four times already this series and draws Jack Flaherty in the decider, who he’s 0-for-5 against with three punchouts.
  • Jesus Aguilar (1B – MIA) $2,800: Like Anderson, Aguilar figures to struggle to get a hit off of the dominant Yu Darvish, who gave up a wOBA of just .230 against RHH this season.

All Advanced Statistics Sourced From FanGraphs & BaseballSavant

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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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