Sunday, Oct. 3, is a wild finish to the season, with two playoff slots still up for grabs and one divisional title in play. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.
MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks, Sunday, Oct. 3
Today is a unique setup, with all 30 teams starting their games within a 10-minute window. Because the NFL dominates Sundays, the contests are smaller than normal. Be sure to register early for the 3:05 p.m. ET lock.
There is so much in flux; rookies could have increased roles, bullpen games could form and key batters could be pulled for no reason. Instead of the usual format, let’s look at which teams have things to play for today.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. LHP Bruce Zimmermann — 7.0 implied runs
Toronto has to win, and they need the Yankees or Red Sox to lose, and then there would still be a potential one-game playoff tomorrow. For today, it is rare to see a seven-run implied run total outside of a hot and humid day in Coors Field with the wind blowing out. If Bruce Zimmermann gets rocked, which seems likely, he will give way to the worst bullpen in the league. It is not hyperbolic to say that literally every Blue Jays starter is in play.
Boston Red Sox at RHP Joan Adon— 5.8 implied runs
If Boston wins this afternoon, they are in the Wild Card round. If they lose, then they need help. Fortunately, they have Chris Sale on the mound and will be facing rookie Joan Adon in his debut. Though Adon is being worked out as a starter, he began his minor league career as a reliever. He is stretched out enough to go 60 to 70 pitches. Primary Red Sox bats are Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Kyle Schwarber, Enrique Hernandez, Hunter Renfroe and Alex Verdugo.
New York Yankees vs. RHP Michael Wacha — 5.0 implied runs
Like Boston, if New York wins, they are in as a Wild Card, and if they lose, they need Boston, Toronto or Seattle to lose. They have the trickier matchup because the Rays will go to their bullpen and fresh arms from the back of the rotation. Focusing on the core power options is wise, with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Joey Gallo, D.J. LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo and Gary Sanchez being the order of priority.
Seattle Mariners vs. LHP Reid Detmers — 4.0 implied runs
Mitch Haniger carried the day, with two crucial hits and five RBIs to lead the Mariners to a win and to remain alive for one more day. The Angels will not be afraid to go to the bullpen, though the Mariners will be putting out their best hitters, and with a thin bench the risk of pinch-hits in the mid-innings is unlikely. Target Haniger, Kyle Seager, Ty France and Abraham Toro. Both catchers are solid against southpaws, and they are in the mix in the hope of an early-inning home run.
San Francisco Giants vs. RHP Reiss Knehr — 5.4 implied runs
Yesterday San Francisco missed a chance to clinch the National League West. If they win today, they avoid the Wild Card game. If they lose and the Dodgers win, these two teams will play Game 163 tomorrow. San Diego will likely be rolling with a mix of their bullpen and any fresh arms, none of which are particularly menacing for the Giants. Target Kris Bryant, Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey, Mike Yastrzemski, LaMonte Wade Jr. and Evan Longoria, with Tommy La Stella as a leadoff lottery ticket.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. LHP Brett Anderson — 5.3 implied runs
The Dodgers need to win and the Giants to lose, and then the two teams will square off tomorrow in Game 163 to determine the division winner. Focus on Trea Turner, Mookie Betts, Max Muncy, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Will Smith and then A.J. Pollock/Chris Taylor, who could be pinch-hit or double-switch casualties.
Baltimore Orioles at Hyun-jin Ryu — 3.5 implied runs
The Orioles set up well against lefties, and Hyun-jin Ryu has allowed five home runs in his last 8.2 innings. The Blue Jays will be quick to get him off the mound, but Ryan Mountcastle, Austin Hays, Trey Mancini and Pedro Severino all have power with the platoon advantage.
On the last day of the season, even the aces could see an early hook since there is both nothing and everything to play for, depending on the team.
Logan Webb vs. San Diego Padres – 3.7 implied runs: The Giants can take care of business and get a few days off if they dispatch the Padres.
Walker Buehler vs. Milwaukee Brewers – 3.4 implied runs: Reserves could take the field for the Brewers, who have clinched, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also has a quick hook.
Chris Sale at Washington Nationals – 3.8 implied runs: Good matchup against a weak Washington lineup, unlikely to go more than five innings. With this game in a National League park, he could be pinch-hit for early if the situation is right.
Jake Woodford vs. Chicago Cubs – 3.8 runs: Off the radar, but in a nice matchup against the Cubs.
Aaron Civale at Texas Rangers – 4.1 implied runs: Good matchup; roof should be closed, and he projects well on a per-pitch basis, with 80-ish pitches likely.
Dylan Cease vs. Detroit Tigers – 3.2 implied runs: Probably will get 75 to 80 pitches with the White Sox focused on the playoffs. There is also risk of a rain delay.
Charlie Morton vs. New York Metropolitans – 4.0 implied runs: Likely caps out around five innings; also a chance of rain.
Final Thoughts for the Sunday, Oct. 3 MLB DFS Slate
Keep an eye on the weather in Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Atlanta. While these games are unlikely to be postponed, managers could empty their benches if there is a lengthy delay.
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