Saturday, Oct. 17 brings us one last two-game main slate at 4:37 p.m. EST on DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo and SuperDraft. Before you lock in your MLB DFS lineups and MLB DFS picks, make sure to check out check out Awesemo’s DFS baseball MLB rankings and projections.
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Main-Slate MLB DFS Picks
Keep in mind the playoffs are now at neutral sites with the Astros and Rays playing at Petco Park. The Braves and Dodgers are playing in Globe Life Park tonight. There are four excellent pitchers going tonight which is a big change from all of the “bullpen games” we have seen over the last 48 hours. Ideally this limits some of the randomness and allows us to be more thoughtful with our lineup construction.
Atlanta Braves at RHP Walker Buehler – 3.6 implied runs
Last night the Dodgers used six relievers, but they still have lefties Adam Kolarek and Alex Wood who last pitched on Wednesday. RHP Dylan Floro worked for 35 pitches on Thursday and LHP Jake McGee for 18 in the same game. This is important to know as Buehler generally starts to struggle around 75 pitches and there are still enough arms available that manager Dave Roberts can still have a quick hook. In his last 13.0 innings, Buehler has ceded just eight hits, but he also has 11 walks. The 23 strikeouts are phenomenal, but we can see how quickly he burns through his pitch count.
Freddie Freeman of course leads the list with an outstanding 13.7 BB% in his last 1,400 lefty/righty plate appearances. Former Marlin Marcell Ozuna seemingly forgot how to hit in 2018 when he joined the Cardinals. That season he posted career lows with a .133 ISO, 5.8% walk rate with an 18.0% strikeout rate against righties. From 2019 forward he righted the ship with a .226 ISO, 11.9% walks and we can accept the trade off of 21.3% strikeouts.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. LHP Max Fried – 4.4 implied runs
Fried was outstanding on Monday in Game 1 allowing just one run on a round-tripper while striking out nine across four innings. In his last 17.0 innings, the young lefty has 18 punchouts and just two walks. After starting the abbreviated season with no home runs allowed in his first 55.0 innings, he has allowed four in his last 18.0 innings. The Bravos have enough fresh arms that they can have a quick hook if needed this afternoon. AJ Pollock and Chris Taylor are interesting options at the bottom of the order as they will be seeing a likely less-effective version of Fried in their second at bats. Both have a long track record of success against opposite-handed hurlers and they are intriguing differentiation plays today.
Tune in today at 3:45 p.m. ET for the MLB Live Before Lock featuring Terry “TMcB” McBride and Your Ol’ Pal EMac
Houston Astros at RHP Charlie Morton – 3.9 implied runs
Houston is clawing back after winning three straight elimination games. If they win tonight they will join the 2004 Boston Red Sox aka “The Idiots” as the only team to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a Division Championship playoff series.
It should be in the mid-80s at first pitch on another glorious San Diego fall day for this 1:38 p.m. local start.
In a fun twist, it was actually Morton who got the final out in the 2017 World Series Championship run while he was with the Asterisks. In Game 2 of this series he did a solid job holding his former teammates in check sprinkling five hits and a walk across five scoreless innings.
Morton is not an easy pitcher to attack allowing a paltry .101 ISO to same-handed hitters with a 51.8 GB% since the beginning of the 2018 season. Lefties have done better with a still low .166 ISO but they do have a 1.10 HR/9 though it comes with a 34.3 K%.
The usual suspects for Houston are of course the way to go, but it is hard to recommend anyone in particular. If forced, I would look to George Springer and/or Michael Brantley at the top of the order since they are likely to see 2-3 at bats against relievers.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. RHP Lance McCullers – 4.1 implied runs
McCullers has an elite ground ball rate of 59.3% against righties and a 53.0% rate against lefties since the beginning of the 2018 season. Same-handed hitters have still been able to get him for a 0.99 HR/9 when they can get the ball in the air. This is more about getting a timely extra base hit with runners in scoring position.
The DFS pricing algorithms have had trouble keeping up with Tampa Bay’s proclivity for changing batting order and makeup to find any advantage they can. That is giving us a heavily discounted Austin Meadows on DraftKings at $3,600 and his $3,300 price tag on FanDuel is favorable as well. Ji-Man Choi is basically free at $2,600 on FanDuel and his $4,100 salary on DraftKings is palatable. Manny Margot is having a post-season to remember capped by two home runs last night. While I prefer him against southpaws, he is clearly locked in. Over his 111 career righty/righty matchups, Randy Arozarena has a whopping .323 ISO and .417 wOBA which bodes well against McCullers.
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