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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for Dodgers vs. Rays World Series Game 3 on October 23

Garion Thorne gives his top lineup advice for Friday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Rays and the Dodgers, which starts at 8:08 p.m. ET.

World Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Two Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Coming out a Game 2 that saw Tampa Bay and Los Angeles combine to use 12 pitchers, it’s refreshing to note the matchup we have on the mound for Friday’s Game 3. On one side, we get the youth and excitement of Walker Buehler ($10,400). On the other, we get the veteran savvy of Charlie Morton ($10,000), a man who’s allowed just two earned runs in his 25.2 postseason innings for the Rays.

It should be a fantastic and pivotal game. Let’s dive into it from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB® Showdown $450K WORLD SERIES® Scuffle [$100K to 1st] (LAD vs TB)


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Walker Buehler ($15,600 CP) - While Buehler’s pitch counts have been a concern for fantasy owners all season long, his two outings in the NLCS did a lot to elevate his perceived floor coming into tonight’s outing. Not only did the right-hander surrender just a single earned run across 11.0 innings of work, but he managed to throw 100 pitches in Game 1 of that series — the first time that had occurred in 2020. Now that that box has been checked, there’s really nothing to fear when it comes to the 26-year-old, especially considering he’s struck out a whopping 30.9% of the 230 batters he’s faced over both the regular season and the playoffs. Add in that the Rays possessed the league’s third-highest team strikeout rate against RHPs (26.3%) and it’s easy to see why Buehler sports unmatched upside on this slate.

Corey Seager ($15,300 CP) - You’d hard-pressed to find a better hitter in 2020 than Seager, who is coming of winning NLCS MVP last week. During the regular season, the shortstop found himself near the top of almost every leaderboard imaginable, sitting in the 99th percentile in expected slugging percentage and expected batting average. Seager was also 98th percentile in expected wOBA and 97th percentile in average exit velocity. Again, it was a really, really impressive campaign. As you would expect, most of his damage took place against right-handed pitchers like Morton, a split where he slashed .322/.376/.622 with a .301 ISO and a 166 wRC+. Honestly, with Seager’s postseason walk rate ballooning to 12.9%, the only concern here is that he doesn’t get enough opportunities to hit.


FLEX Plays

Charlie Morton ($10,000) - I probably don’t need to convince you why a decorated pitcher and a consistent American League Cy Young candidate is viable on this slate, so let’s instead focus on why I wouldn’t make Morton a Captain’s pick. Right off the top, the veteran has yet to throw six full innings in any of his 12 appearances in 2020. It’s unclear if that’s Kevin Cash reacting to a mid-season injury or if that’s a side-effect of Tampa’s dominant bullpen, but Morton being pulled after 66 pitches in Game 7 of the ALCS wasn’t an anomaly. It’s also crucial to note the opponent in this spot. Unlike the Yankees or the Astros — who ranked 28th and 30th, respectively, in left-handed plate appearances against right-handed pitching during the regular season — the Dodgers are flush with great LHBs. That could be an issue, as Morton was a completely different pitcher when facing RHBs this year. Where he held righties to a .269 expected wOBA and just a 6.8 degree average launch angle, lefties combined for a .326 expected wOBA with a 18.9 degree average launch angle. These trends are apparent in 2019 and 2018, too.

Joc Pederson ($5,000) - The logic here is pretty plain to see. Pederson is by far the cheapest left-handed bat in Los Angeles’ lineup. In fact, unless someone like Edwin Rios ($5,400) sneaks their way into Dave Roberts’ batting order for Game 3, the closest LHB to Pederson is Cody Bellinger ($9,000), who is essentially twice the price. We also know the book on the former top prospect. While there’s a lot of swing and miss in Pederson’s bat, he’s someone that’s mustered eight postseason home runs in 161 career plate appearances. His raw power is prolific. Plus, despite being an obvious candidate to be pinch-hit for later in the game, it’s interesting to remember that most of the Rays’ high-leverage relievers are right-handed. Really, aside from a potential matchup with Aaron Loup ($4,000), we might not see Pederson leave this game.


Fades

Justin Turner ($8,800) - This comes down to salary management. You can’t even come close to fitting all of the Dodgers’ top bats into a single build and, with Morton’s track record of success in right-on-right matchups, that leaves Turner as the clear odd man out. It’s not like he’s been tearing the cover off the ball, anyway. The 35-year-old has struck out four times across the first two games of this series and, in 61 total postseason plate appearances in 2020, Turner’s managed an underwhelming .216 average and .137 ISO. Little power and no speed is a hard sell up near $9K, especially with the likes of Pete Fairbanks ($5,600), Nick Anderson ($4,800) and Diego Castillo ($5,400) waiting in the bullpen for when Morton exits.


THE OUTCOME

While it definitely felt like Tampa had the advantage heading into Game 2, I think the pendulum has swung back in Los Angeles’ favor this evening. Buehler looked incredible in the NLCS, specifically in Game 6 where he didn’t walk a single batter in six scoreless innings of work. With the Dodgers presenting split challenges that the Astros and the Yankees weren’t equipped to feature, I’m expecting Morton to struggle a little more than we’ve seen so far in these playoffs. That will be enough for Los Angeles to re-take control of the World Series.

Final Score: Los Angeles 4, Tampa Bay 1

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB® Showdown $450K WORLD SERIES® Scuffle [$100K to 1st] (LAD vs TB)


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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.