The Division Series kicked off on Monday, which saw the Yankees and Astros each take an early 1-0 lead in their respective five games series. Today, all the remaining eight teams will take the field, as the NLDS is set to play their first games today.
As always, feel free to follow me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Editor’s Note: Padres SP Mike Clevinger will start tonight’s game vs. the Dodgers.
Biggest Moneyline Favorite
Note: This section highlights the pitcher whose team is the largest favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Max Fried, $7,700, ATL (-195) vs. MIA (+165) — Fried is one of the cheaper pitchers on this slate but he and the Braves are the biggest favorites over on DraftKings Sportsbook. This is his third start against the Marlins where he pitched a combined 7 1⁄3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out seven and averaging 10.3 DKFP. Fried doesn’t have overpowering stuff but he induces a ton of ground balls (53%) and limits hard contact (23.3%). To that end, the Marlins have been a sneaky team against lefties this season, boasting a .343 wOBA with a .197 ISO and a 118 wRC+. While they didn’t get the best of Fried during the regular season, it’s not as if Fried kept them in check either. I honestly think this could be a spot to back the Marlins, especially if they can knock Fried out early and get into the bullpen.
Other notable favorite: Walker Buehler ($8,500, -155) vs. San Diego Padres (+132)
Highest Projected Total
HOU (-103; 4.5 runs ) vs. OAK (-114; 4.5 runs ) — As usual, these playoff games don’t have huge totals with the idea that they’re being pitched by their best options. The 8.5 total in this game is backed by the biggest line in these over/unders at -120. The A’s are slight favorites in this one at -114 but I’d be looking to side with the Astros here. Sean Manaea ($6,900) had a rough start to the season but straightened it out as the year went on, ending with a 3.71 FIP. The Astros, however, have really picked it up offensively and still have plenty of bats that hit lefties well. While this is also a “home” game for the A’s, Manaea on the road produced a .341 wOBA with a 4.06 FIP.
Other notable team totals: Braves (4.5) vs. Miami Marlins
No weather concerns!
Splits to Start
UPDATE: With teams mostly caught up on game, these numbers will now reflect the 2020 stats.
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Sandy Alcantara, .369, 4.97
Sean Manaea, .318, 4.69
Max Fried, .291, 3.27
Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Walker Buehler, .240, 3.40
Deivi Garcia, .257, 3.38
Tyler Glasnow, .265, 2.41
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Deivi Garcia, .344, 4.80
Tyler Glasnow, .312, 4.86
Sean Manaea, .306, 3.39
Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Sandy Alcantara, .215, 2.77
Max Fried, .272, 3.06
Framber Valdez, .281, 3.33
Pitcher to Build Around
Framber Valdez, HOU at OAK, $8,900 — The Athletics were not a strong team against lefties during the regular season. In fact, their ISO of .150 was one of the lowest in the league, ranking 25th out of 30. They also had just a .303 wOBA and a 94 wRC+, also among the lowest in the league. Valdez already pitched extremely well once against this club, holding them to just two runs (one earned) on seven hits with nine strikeouts through seven innings. Valdez has arguably been one of the Astros’ best pitchers in the rotation and with the way this match sets up, he could easily put the Astros in a position to go up 2-0 in this series.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Freddie Freeman, ATL vs. MIA, $5,400 — Sandy Alcantara ($7,300) has some really solid numbers overall through his eight starts for the Marlins. When you look at his splits, however, you’d see that lefties gave him the most trouble. On the season, they tagged him with a .369 wOBA, a 4.97 FIP and three of the four home runs he allowed. Now he has to deal with someone like Freeman, who completely owned right-handed pitching to the tune of a .499 wOBA, a .360 ISO and 12 of his 13 home runs. Overall, I think Alcantara could be one of the surprising pitchers on this slate but he’s going to struggle against good lefties and Freeman is the poster boy.
Save Big by Drafting
Yuli Gurriel, HOU at OAK, $3,700 — This is such a great salary for someone who hit lefties as well as he did this season. Gurriel is a monster in these matchups, so getting him at under $4K is a steal. His numbers against righties is what really ruined his overall numbers this season because otherwise, he posted a .366 wOBA, a .274 ISO and four of his six home runs against lefties. For comparison, against righties, Gurriel only had a .247 wOBA and a .101 ISO. If you’re stacking the Astros, don’t forget about Gurriel, who you’ll likely get at some really favorable ownership at the first base position as well.
Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of the applicable MLB entity. All rights reserved.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) 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. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO) or 1-800-BETS OFF (IA). 21+ (18+ NH). NJ/PA/WV/IN/NH/IA/CO/IL only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.