Dan Hamilton / USA TODAY Sports

Scouting the MLB DFS Playoffs, Oct 17-18

We break down the two LCS games with DFS implications this Monday and Tuesday evening

Weather Report

    Rain in the Toronto area shouldn’t be a factor with a retractable roof.


Pitchers

Stud

Jake Arrieta: (CHC) @ LAD DK:$10,800/FD:$10,000

As you might expect, the NLCS has been low scoring and centered around pitching and managing, which gives the Cubbies a slight advantage. Even on the road, you have to like Arrieta’s chances to post a Quality Start against a Dodgers lineup that is batting a collective .209 (18-for-86) with 22 Ks over 94 career plate appearances against him. He struggled over the final month of the regular season, but Arrieta was pretty sharp against a feisty Giants lineup in his last outing, as he elicited 10 ground ball outs and struck out 5 while walking just one batter. As long as he has that type of command tonight, we should see another strong outing and potentially a Win if the Cubs are able to get to brittle LHP Rich Hill.

Value Play:

Marcus Stroman: (TOR) vs. CLE DK:$8,000/FD:$7,500

While Indians RHP Trevor Bauer pitched well against a Red Sox team that crumbled under the weight of postseason expectations in the ALDS, it’s very surprising to see him priced above Stroman ahead of Game 3 of the ALCS. The Blue Jays return home in a 2-0 hole and they’ll need one of their talented young pitchers to step up, while the offense looks to come alive against a vulnerable SP in Bauer. Stroman has posted great overall numbers with a 3.30 ERA and .243 BAA over his last 10 appearances and showed no issues with postseason pressure while going six strong innings against the O’s in a Wild Card playoff. Now he’ll face an Indians squad that he held to just 2 ER while striking out 15 over 2 starts (14 IP) this year and he has the talent to replicate those numbers with the pressure on.

Batters

Catcher:

Russell Martin: (TOR) vs. CLE DK: $2,700/FD: $2,700

Once again, cheap is good at a catcher position that is understandably thin with only two games on this playoff slate. Martin isn’t a consistent hitter by any means, but he has plenty of upside and could serve as a valuable addition to the most productive stack of the night. Indians RHP Trevor Bauer posted a 1.32 WHIP on the road this year and doesn’t match up well against the Blue Jays despite his solid numbers against Toronto in 2 appearances (skewed by five innings of scoreless relief during a marathon 16-inning game in July). Bauer was actually worse against RHB this season and the Blue Jays can stack righties with the best of them, while they’re also a much better offensive team at home, where Martin posted a .360 OBP and averaged a solid 7 DK PPG this season.

Value

At this price tag on FanDuel, Willson Contreras ($3800/$2700) is a quality option to consider if he starts behind the plate for the Cubs.

First Base:

Anthony Rizzo: (CHC) @ LAD DK:$3,700/FD:$3,700

You have to love the discounted price tag for Rizzo on DK here if you don’t have faith in Rich Hill’s durability. The Dodgers LHP poses a difficult individual matchup for Rizzo, which is keeping his price tag down, but Hill lasted just 2.2 innings in his last postseason start and he’s been on a pitch count for months now as he battles blister issues. Rizzo is still posting a .362 wOBA with decent power (.205 ISO Mark) against LHP, so he could be productive even if he faces some lefties out of the Dodgers bullpen. Either way, one of the better hitters in the game is bound to snap out of his funk at some point during these playoffs and deliver for the World Series hopefuls.

Value

Edwin Encarnacion ($4000/$3900) won’t break the bank and he could serve as the heart of a Blue Jays stack against Bauer.

Second Base:

Javier Baez: (CHC) @ LAD DK:$4,500/FD:$2,900 as SS

He’s a fantastic tournament play on either site and a great cash game option at that price tag on FanDuel, as Baez continues a stretch of clutch hitting for the Cubs. He’s batting .391 (9-for-23) with 2 doubles, a HR and a SB while scoring a run in 5 of Chicago’s six playoff games thus far and he’ll have the platoon advantage tonight against LHP Rich Hill. Baez hit .311 with a 124 wRC+ against lefties this year and he comes into this matchup hot, while Hill has shown plenty of vulnerability late in the season.

Value

Darwin Barney ($2400/$2100) could provide a ton of salary relief on this short slate if he starts for injured Blue Jays 2B Devon Travis.

Third Base:

Josh Donaldson: (TOR) vs. CLE DK:$4,500/FD:$3,700

He was average throughout most of the regular season, but Donaldson has regained his MVP-caliber form during the playoffs. He’s hitting .462 (12-for-26) with an impressive six doubles over six postseason games and is an elite option with the Blue Jays facing a mediocre SP at home. As mentioned above, Bauer has struggled in RvR matchups and has allowed Donaldson to go 2-for-5 with a double and two walks in a limited sample size. The Blue Jays 3B hit .303 with a 1.033 OPS at home this season and he should take advantage of the heightened Run Factor with the roof likely closed in Toronto on Monday night.

Value

Jose Ramirez ($3500/$3300) remains a quality cash game play on the road against RHP Marcus Stroman.

Shortstop:

Francisco Lindor: (CLE) @ TOR DK:$4,300/FD:$3,200

While Marucs Stroman is a solid value option to fill the 2nd SP spot on DK, he’s by no means a safe play. The Indians smell blood in the water and they could certainly pounce on the young RHP, who had his troubles at home with a 4.59 ERA at Rogers Centre this year. Stroman allowed LHB to post a solid .314 wOBA at home and struggled against certain Indians lefties such as Lindor, who is 2-for-6 off of him in his career. Lindor has been red hot this series and has now logged multiple hits in three consecutive playoff games. He seems to have saved his best baseball for the postseason and he’s a great option at the top of a thin board at SS on this slate.

Value

Troy Tulowitzki ($3800/$2800) could serve as a cheap addition to a Blue Jays stack against Bauer.

Outfielders:

Kris Bryant: (CHC) @ LAD DK:$4,600/FD:$3,700 as 3B

This recommendation comes with the disclaimer “if you can afford him,” because Bryant is otherwise an inferior option to Josh Donaldson on FanDuel and probably too expensive for cash game lineups on DK. Yet he does have tremendous upside with the platoon advantage against Rich Hill, as he managed to hit .314 with a .438 wOBA and a ridiculous .327 ISO Mark against LHP this season. Bryant had hit safely in each postseason appearance before getting shut down by Clayton Kershaw in Game 2 of the NLCS, but we’re not giving Hill the same respect and we don’t know how long the southpaw will last in his Game 3 start.

Lonnie Chisenhall: (CLE) @ TOR DK:$3,100/FD:$2,700

It’s somewhat tough to predict which Indians lefties will get the call tonight against Stroman, but you can expect manager Terry Francona to use the platoon advantage while building his lineup. Chisenhall has produced against Stroman in the past with 3 singles over 7 at-bats and he’s been clutch this postseason, so he could serve as a solid value even if he’s placed at the bottom of Cleveland’s lineup.

Potential Values

Dexter Fowler ($3800/$3400) is worth consideration as a mid-tier option on DK if he’s going to lead off for the Cubs tonight.

Consider Michael Saunders ($2900/$2400) as a boom or bust option and Ezequiel Carrerea ($2800/$2600) as a solid value play depending on their placement in Toronto’s lineup.


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