Wednesday’s fantasy baseball slate moves into the latter portions of the League Championship Series, and the Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves are both pushing for sweeps. The Rays won their third straight game on Tuesday to go up 3-0 in their series against the Houston Astros, and they’ll have Tyler Glasnow on the mound on Wednesday as they look to close things out. The Braves are up 2-0 over the Los Angeles Dodgers after holding on to an 8-7 victory yesterday. The DraftKings MLB slate begins today with the NLCS at 6:05 p.m. ET.
Tyler Glasnow ($9,100) - Glasnow was extremely impressive in the Rays’ decisive Game 5 win against the Yankees last round, pitching on just two days rest and giving the team a huge boost with 2 1/3 shutout innings to set up the rest of their bullpen game. Glasnow was one of the Rays’ two best pitchers in the regular season (along with Blake Snell) but the thing that sets him apart for DFS and especially on today’s slate is his ability to generate strikeouts. Glasnow led all MLB starters in 2020 with 14.3 strikeouts per nine innings, and is far and away the best bet for strikeouts of the four starting pitchers going today.
Cristian Javier ($7,100) - Javier isn’t actually expected to start on Wednesday, as the Astros appear to be giving Zack Greinke ($7,500) another chance, but Greinke has been struggling for several weeks now and his chances of going deep into the game, even if he’s moderately effective, seem pretty low. In last week’s Game 4 clincher over the Oakland A’s, Greinke went 4 2/3 innings and allowed 4 runs, throwing what likely is close to his max right now at 76 pitches. Javier entered the game in the 6th inning and pitched 2 1/3 shutout innings with four strikeouts and earned the win, and with Javier not having pitched yet in the ALCS, it seems likely that the same script could play out today. There’s a chance that Javier doesn’t pitch at all, but in the context of a two-game slate where the pitching options after Glasnow are subpar at best, going off the board at one of the pitcher slots could be a viable strategy.
Zack Greinke ($7,500) - Javier may be the better GPP play due to his fractional ownership, but Greinke himself is still someone who’s worth considering, even with his recent issues. The bottom line once again today is that the Rays are the weakest offense of the four teams playing, so even if Greinke is just an average or even slightly-below average pitcher right now, he’s still one of the top options due to his matchup. The ownership on Greinke could be relatively low if too many people are intent on avoiding him based on recent performance, so that puts him in play today even if there’s an increased level of risk.
Los Angeles Dodgers - Warm weather and an open roof are on the table for tonight’s game between the Dodgers and Braves, and that could mean a strong hitting environment for this matchup, which produced an 8-7 final score in last night’s game. The Dodgers figure to be the most popular offense of the day, and rightfully so as they draw by far the strongest matchup of any team against Kyle Wright ($7,000). Wright pitched extremely well in his last start, but that was against the Miami Marlins and the Dodgers are a substantially tougher test. Wright looked dominant in that game, but this is also a pitcher who had a strikeout rate of only 7.1 per nine innings in the regular season and a walk rate all the way up at 5.7 per nine innings. The Dodgers are fairly expensive, but with pitching still being pretty affordable again today it won’t be too much of a struggle to fit a Dodgers stack in your lineup.
Atlanta Braves - On the other side of the game, the Braves get the same hitting conditions as the Dodgers and although they’re facing a tougher pitcher, there’s a lot to like from their lineup. Like Wright, Julio Urias ($7,800) has been very good in the playoffs, but he’s been roughly mediocre across his last two regular seasons and the Braves are simply just a very strong offense. The Braves should be lower owned than the Dodgers across the board and probably make the most sense as a way to differentiate a bit in GPPs.
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