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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for Dodgers vs. Braves Showdown on October 16

Garion Thorne gives his top MLB lineup advice for Friday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Dodgers and the Braves, which starts at 9:08 p.m. ET.

League Championship - Los Angeles Dodgers v Atlanta Braves - Game Four Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

If you enjoyed the bullpen strategy deployed in Thursday’s contest between the Astros and the Rays, you’re in luck! Despite some rumblings that Walker Buehler ($10,800) might be available to pitch on short rest, it would appear that we’re going to be seeing a cavalry of relievers for both Los Angeles and Atlanta in this elimination NLCS Game 5 this evening.

Is that a headache for DFS? Yes. Are there still situations that you can take advantage of? Of course. Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Editor’s Note: Braves RP A.J. Minter will start tonight’s game vs. the Dodgers.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $150K Slugfest [$50K to 1st] (LAD vs ATL)

Captain’s Picks

Mookie Betts ($15,000 CP) - With the understanding that you’re probably not going to be spending up for pitching on this slate, you can feel a little more free in spending lavishly on a Captain. In a game that has so much uncertainty when it comes to who will be toeing the rubber for the Braves, Betts is a play at 1.5x value that mitigates risk. Yes, the former Red Sox did have his issues hitting left-handed pitching in 2020, but Betts’ overall numbers indicate that that was likely nothing more than small sample noise. Betts is a career .301 hitter with a .221 ISO and a 136 wRC+. I trust him in any matchup and against any pitcher and he also has the added advantage of plate appearance volume while hitting from the leadoff spot. Betts simply checks all the boxes you could want.

Freddie Freeman ($12,900 CP) - In a script where individual matchups mean less, it’s easy to sell Freeman’s value. Despite being just the sixth-most expensive positional asset on this slate, Freeman posted the second-best wOBA (.456) and wRC+ (187) of any qualified player in baseball during the regular season. In particular, he crushed right-handed pitching, a split in which he possessed an otherworldly 216 wRC+. That’s important information considering Dustin May ($10,200) struggled immensely with LHBs in 2020, surrendering 2.03 home runs per nine to the 114 he faced. Maybe Freeman will only get a single opportunity to hit against May — it’s unclear what the RHP’s pitch count is on Friday — but it’s also crucial to note how the first baseman is protected in the Braves’ lineup. Flanked by RHBs Ronald Acuna ($9,400) and Marcell Ozuna ($7,400), I doubt Dave Roberts feels comfortable using a left-handed reliever against the top of Atlanta’s order.

FLEX Value Plays

Ozzie Albies ($7,800) - Maybe it’s a simplistic strategy, but getting a switch-hitter like Albies in a script where Los Angeles could be using upwards of six or seven pitchers seems like a solid idea. For his career, Albies has clearly preferred batting against LHPs — as indicated by a 148 wRC+ — however, specific to 2020, the infielder managed a .244 ISO and a .363 wOBA versus righties, giving Atlanta another potent lefty bat to throw at May. In any case, Albies will have the platoon advantage all evening long and he’ll be doing so from a high-leverage slot in the Braves batting order. Not bad for an asset you can grab below $8K.

Nick Markakis ($4,000) - Markakis doesn’t possess that highest upside on this slate — the veteran has hit just a single home run in his 171 plate appearances in 2020 — but you could do a whole lot worse than paying the absolute minimum for the outfielder’s services. After sitting against left-handed starters in both Game 3 and Game 4, expect Markakis to be back in the lineup against the right-handed May. Again, it’s possible the 23-year-old is only destined to make one trip through the Braves’ batting order, but it’s worth noting that May had an ugly 6.19 FIP when facing LHBs during the regular season. That should mean at least one advantageous plate appearance for Markakis, which is enough to be viable at this depressed price.


Justin Turner ($8,400) - Generally it’s not productive to base an opinion off of a 40 plate appearance sample size, but Turner looks absolutely lost at the dish right now. Coming into Game 5, the veteran is slashing .206/.300/.235 with just a single extra-base hit to his name so far in these playoffs. Sure, that double did come in Turner’s most recent at-bat — a sign he might be breaking out of his slump — but that fact remains that he’s too expensive juxtaposed to his recent lack of success. Add in that it’ll likely be the right-handed Josh Tomlin ($6,600) pitching the bulk of the innings for Atlanta on Friday, and I just don’t find Turner all that enticing.


To be frank, this is an almost impossible game to handicap. Usually, I’d just give the edge in a duelling bullpen game to the team with the best offensive firepower; but that’s basically a dead heat between the Dodgers and the Braves. Los Angeles led baseball with a 122 wRC+. Atlanta led baseball with a .355 wOBA. The two squads tied for the league lead with a .483 slugging percentage. In the end, I guess I feel like this series won’t end in five games.

Final Score: Los Angeles 7, Atlanta 6

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $150K Slugfest [$50K to 1st] (LAD vs ATL)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.