Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Scouting the MLB DFS Playoffs, Saturday Oct 8

This Saturday features two NLDS games. We break down how to cash in on DFS contests on this short slate

Weather Report

    Delayed start is possible at Washington with rain in the area.


Pitchers

Stud

Rich Hill: (LAD) @ WAS DK:$9,500/FD:$9,000

Presumably, this start is what Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has been saving Hill for all these weeks. This should be the reason that he pulled his starter from a Perfect Game effort and why Hill has not pitched more than 5.1 innings in any of his three outings since then. But now the Dodgers have a chance to take a 2-0 series lead back to L.A. and they’ll look to put their foot on the throats of the Nats in this matchup. Hill is facing an injury-riddled lineup that is less dangerous against LHP, and he’ll have the advantage of facing most Washington batters for the first time. He has plenty of strikeout potential (10.52 K/9 ratio) and his uncanny control (3.91 K/BB ratio) should help him avoid any of the big innings that tend to plague pitchers in playoff games.

Value Play:

Kyle Hendricks: (CHC) vs. SF DK:$9,200/FD:$9,500

He surprisingly stumbled in his last outing of the regular season, but prior to that, Hendricks had posted 13 consecutive Quality Starts on his way to the ERA crown (2.13) this season. He’s still one of the more reliable starters on a staff that just edged out a 1-0 win over Johnny Cueto and the Giants last night, but he’ll probably get a bit more run support with the Cubs elite offense facing Jeff Samardzija. Hendricks is much more capable of putting together a solid outing at hitter-friendly Wrigley Field with his 9.3% HR/FB ratio and that’s why he’s posted a 1.32 ERA with a .199 BAA at home this season. Samardzija was lit up in his sole start against the Cubs this season and that’s why Chicago (-183) are prohibitive favorites in Game 2.

Batters

Catcher:

Willson Contreras: (CHC) vs. SF DK: $3,800/FD: $2,900

The Cubs rookie found his stride right before the postseason with a .478/.538/.913 slash line and 3 homers over his last 9 appearances of the regular season. Contreras sat out Game 1 against Johnny Cueto, but could crack the Cubs lineup against Samardzija, who coughed up a 33.8% Hard Contact Rate and 13.3% HR/FB ratio when facing RHB this year. Samardzija struggled away from massive AT&T Park with a 1.34 HR/9 ratio on the road this season, so the Cubs sluggers might come alive in this plus matchup.

Value

If Miguel Montero ($2900/$2400) starts at catcher instead of Contreras, he’ll still be a solid cash game play against Samardzija.

First Base:

Anthony Rizzo: (CHC) vs. SF DK:$4,000/FD:$4,000

More than the top option on this 2-game slate, Rizzo seems like the only option at a 1B position that is usually quite deep. Of course that’s what happens when we get to the postseason, as there are no truly weak pitchers to target, but Samardzija has struggled both on the road and against the platoon this season. The Giants RHP is sporting a 4.82 FIP with a 1.34 HR/9 ratio against LHB on the road and Rizzo happens to be 1-for-4 with a homer in a small sample of at-bats against The Shark. He’s been deadly at Wrigley Field all year and is an elite option this evening given the high HR Factor for LHB in that ballpark.

Value

Ryan Zimmerman ($3400/$2900) is a longshot to consider if you believe that the Nationals can get to Rich Hill today.

Second Base:

Daniel Murphy: (WAS) vs. LAD DK:$4,200/FD:$3,700

Beware the Murphy in the playoffs. In case you’d forgotten, Murphy put together arguably the greatest stretch in postseason history to lead the Mets to the World Series last year and he returned from a lengthy absence to reach base twice last night in a brutal matchup against Clayton Kershaw. While Rich Hill is an excellent LHP in his own right, he’s not as tough on lefties as Kershaw, and Murphy hit a solid .329 with a .383 wOBA in LvL matchups this year anyways. We mentioned how Hill is not the most durable SP, so Murphy should get at least one or two at-bats against right-handed relievers in clutch spots. We’ll see if he still has that postseason magic.

Value

Joe Panik ($3500/$2800) has decent splits against Hendricks and seems like a good bet to reach base once or twice this evening.

Third Base:

Justin Turner: (LAD) @ WAS DK:$4,400/FD:$3,600

Turner has posted positive reverse platoon splits throughout his career and this afternoon he faces a RHP that is actually more vulnerable against RHB. Tanner Roark is able to bust lefties inside to elicit weak contact, but he has allowed righties to post a 20.2% LD Rate and 10.1% HR/FB ratio when he makes mistakes out over the plate. Turner is hitting .305 with a .385 wOBA and .258 ISO Mark against RHP this season and he came up with a key HR in a narrow win last night, so clearly he’s not overwhelmed by the postseason stage.

Value

Conor “Freaking” Gillaspie ($3000/$2500) as he’s known to Mets fans, should remain in the Giants lineup with the platoon advantage against Hendricks this evening.

Shortstop:

Corey Seager: (LAD) @ WAS DK:$4,500/FD:$3,700

If you can pay up for a stud at one position other than getting Rizzo at 1B, it makes sense to play Seager at SS. He has such a higher floor and ceiling than the other options on this modest slate, and he draws one of the better matchups of the day against RHP Tanner Roark. While Roark has been stingy all season, he only has 2.2 innings of relief under his belt in terms of postseason experience and could struggle during his second or third time through the Dodgers lineup. Seager showed no wont for playoff experience when he homered in his first at-bat last night and he’s capable of tagging Roark if the Nationals RHP is not on his game.

Value

Brandon Crawford ($4000/$2600) is a solid value on FanDuel and he’s enough of a clutch performer to warrant consideration if you need to pivot off Seager.

Outfielders:

Dexter Fowler: (CHC) vs. SF DK:$4,200/FD:$3,600

If the Cubs appear to be the best stacking option of the four teams playing this Saturday, then Fowler is a quality play as the potential head of that lineup. He’s been revitalized as the Cubbies leadoff man, hitting .345 with 7 walks and 3 stolen bases over his final 9 regular season games to jump start that potent offense. He’ll have the platoon advantage against Samardzija this evening and should remain in the game even if the Giants go to a lefty out of the bullpen because he’s just as solid from either side of the plate.

Angel Pagan: (SF) @ CHC DK:$4,000/FD:$2,800

The public should target the Nationals and Dodgers offenses after they produced last night, while the Cubs and Giants played a 1-0 pitchers’ duel. So, you can be a bit contrarian by using leadoff hitters on both sides of the ball out in Wrigley this evening. Pagan exudes confidence and competitiveness when he’s at the dish in October, and he came into the postseason hot with a .387 batting average and plenty of upside over his final 8 regular season appearances. Hendricks was slightly more vulnerable against LHB throughout the season and he’ll have a hard time retiring a savvy veteran in Pagan.

Potential Values

Chris Coghlan ($3100/$2800) would be an intriguing value play who can fill the 2B slot on DK if he’s in the lineup against Samardzija for the Cubs.

Hunter Pence ($3100/$2700) is going to come up with a big hit at some point this postseason.


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