We have four games of MLB playoff action on Wednesday, starting with the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves at 2:08 p.m. ET and ending with the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers at 9:08 p.m. ET.
Masahiro Tanaka ($6,800) and Charlie Morton ($6,600) - With all of the run scoring of the past two games, especially via the home run, many people will probably want to find their starting pitchers from any game other than this one. The Yankees and Rays have combined for 24 runs and 12 homers through just the first two games of the ALDS, so focusing on starting pitchers for Game 3 may seem like a crazy strategy. Nonetheless, the two starting pitchers in this game look like the two best values of the whole slate.
Tanaka and Morton are both priced way down, presumably due to the results of this week, but there’s good reason to expect more success from both of them than the pitchers in the prior games. For one, they simply don’t cost very much, so the baseline for a useful game is much lower given that they both cost below $7K on DraftKings. Another important element is the weather, as game-time temperatures have been reasonably high so far this series but it’s expected to be cooler in San Diego tonight, meaning that the ball likely won’t be flying as easily as it did in Games 1 and 2.
Tanaka is essentially a decent pitcher in an average matchup, and Morton is a good pitcher in a below-average matchup, but given that this isn’t actually Yankee Stadium (though it’s played like it for two games) and also that the matchups for most of the other pitchers on the slate are difficult, it actually could make sense to take one or even two pitchers from this game to start your lineup.
Oakland Athletics - The Astros have been the pick here for two straight days, and they make a strong case for today as well, but for the sake of changing things we’ll talk about the A’s today instead. Oakland draws a strong matchup against Astros starter Jose Urquidy ($6,700), who had about as fortunate of an ERA as any pitcher in baseball this season. Urquidy was a solid strikeout pitcher in the minor leagues and also in his rookie season in 2019, but for whatever reason he was unable to miss bats in 2020. Urquidy struck out roughly five batters per nine innings, and his swinging strike percentage fell from 12.0% to 9.1%. His 2.73 ERA came as a result of his fortunate .209 BABIP and 86.6% left on base percentage, and all of this adds up to make him one of the weaker starting pitchers in anyone’s playoff rotation. The A’s have roughly average offensive talent, but they have the strongest matchup of any team on today’s slate.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.