Game 2 of the NLDS will begin with the Los Angeles Dodgers holding a 1-0 series lead over the San Diego Padres and threatening to put a stranglehold on the series with Clayton Kershaw taking the mound. Let’s dive into this DraftKings Showdown slate to help you build your lineups.
Clayton Kershaw ($15,900 CP) — The biggest question is which version Kershaw will show up tonight. Will it be the playoff Kershaw we’ve come accustomed to seeing or will it be the one that shut out the Brewers through eight innings while striking out 13 in the Wild Card Series? Kershaw only faced the Padres once during the regular season and came back with a mixed result, allowing three runs on five hits but did strike out nine, giving him 23.3 DKFP in the process.
The Padres have been a good hitting club against lefties with a .323 wOBA and a .183 ISO but they’re facing arguably the best version of Kershaw we’ve seen in years. With that in mind, the two pitches Kershaw has thrown the most are his fastball and a slider, which have accounted for 80% of his pitches this season. The Padres ranked fifth in the league against the fastball and first against the slider. With pitcher being the most popular captain option, Kershaw brings the much better upside than Zach Davies ($14,700 CP), but it doesn’t come without risk.
Wil Myers ($11,700 CP) — So let’s say you didn’t want to go with the likely chalky captain of Kershaw and instead, you want to go against him. Myers is someone I would look toward in this game. He was by far one of the best hitters against lefties on the Padres, boasting a .433 wOBA, a .328 ISO and a 176 wRC+. Kerhsaw hasn’t been invincible either, giving up five of his eight home runs allowed to righties with a 30.4% hard-hit rate. Myers would save you quite a bit of salary in the captain position while you aren’t skimping out on either the batting order or his numbers against lefties.
Other to consider: Max Muncy ($13,800 CP)
Tommy Pham ($4,600) — Pham is by far my favorite value play on this slate, as he’s only $600 over the minimum for hitters and should be batting fifth in this game. Granted, his overall numbers aren’t all that appealing, but Pham had a .410 wOBA with a .267 ISO along with two of his three home runs against lefties this season. With so many good bats in front of him, Pham could not only be in line for some good RBI opportunities but he owns some really solid pop of his own. Pham is also a base stealing threat that has nine stolen bags on the season and three over his last 10 games played. The amount of upside he brings is a complete steal at $4,600.
Will Smith ($7,400) — If it’s some cheap power from the Dodgers’ side you seek, look no further than Smith. With so many big bats on the Dodgers to choose from, Smith isn’t someone that would come quickly to mind, but his stats say otherwise. His .350 ISO against righties is the second-best on the team, trailing only Mookie Betts ($11,000) at .354! Raise your hand if you saw that one coming?
Thank you for not raising your hand.
As for his matchup, Davies has been one of the Padres’ better pitchers but he also has had trouble with home runs, as seven of his nine allowed came off righties. In fact, since the beginning of September, he’s given up five over 28 innings. For reference, Davies allowed only four in 41 1/3 innings prior. Smith is another bat you should be very interested in and I wouldn’t even hate if you used him in the captain spot.
Joc Pederson ($4,400) — I’ll admit, I’m not crazy about Pederson, but he’s your classic boom-or-bust candidate on this slate. Davies was much tougher against lefties than he was righties, with a .222 wOBA, a 3.34 FIP and only two home runs allowed. However, when it comes to Pederson, his .223 ISO against righties will get your attention near the bottom of the barrel in pricing. He’s a candidate to be lifted for a pinch-hitter later in the game with a lefty on the mound but if he can get a hold of one before that, you would get from him all that you need.
Zach Davies ($9,800) — I mentioned earlier that Davies was one of the Padres’ better pitchers this season and it’s totally true. He’s faced the Dodgers twice already and combined for 13 innings allowing five runs on 12 hits with 10 strikeouts and 15.1 DKFP. Those numbers come out to a .276 wOBA, a 3.35 FIP and a 19.6 K%. Not bad numbers by any stretch except for the strikeouts. Davies is not a big strikeout pitcher and the Dodgers aren’t exactly a team you target against for strikeouts as a righty, as their 20.2% K% was the second-lowest in the league. At his price point, you’d need one hell of a game to reach value where as someone like Max Muncy ($9,200), who is $600 cheaper, can reach the same level you can potentially get from Davies with one swing of the bat. It simply doesn’t make a lot of sense to use the Padres’ starter here.
On paper, the pitching matchup is so incredibly lopsided. This is certainly not how the Padres envisioned Game 2 of the NLDS to be with Davies matching up against Kershaw. The toughest part is also figuring out which Kershaw shows up, which history shows can be ugly. Nonetheless, I think the Dodgers take this game and building toward that sentiment is likely the way to go. In tournaments, a Padres winning build and stack brings an immense amount of upside and we’ve seen this team score and score fast. I think this will end up being a close one but the Dodgers’ lineup against Davies is too much to ask for.
Final Score: Padres 4, Dodgers 6
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