The MLB playoffs keep rolling along, and we have another four-game slate on Thursday. The action gets underway with the Atlanta Braves facing the Miami Marlins at 2:08 p.m. ET and wraps up with the Los Angeles Dodgers facing the San Diego Padres at 9:08 p.m. ET.
Let’s take a look at some of the top studs and values available on DraftKings.
Editor’s note: Dodgers SP Dustin May will start tonight’s game vs. the Padres.
Julio Urias, LAD @ SD, $9,100 – The best part about the MLB playoffs is that the pitching options are usually robust. That said, today is a clear exception. The four AL teams are all throwing their No. 4 starters, while the NL teams are down to their No. 3 starters.
Urias is tentatively expected to get the ball for the Dodgers, and he’s probably the closest thing to a stud if he is indeed the starter. Still, even he carries plenty of risk. He pitched just three innings out of the bullpen during the Wild Card round, so he hasn’t made an actual start since Sep. 23 vs. the A’s. He will likely be capped at about five or six innings max in this contest.
However, expect Urias to command the lowest opponent implied team total and best moneyline odds vs. the Padres on DraftKings Sportsbook. That alone makes him worth consideration on a difficult pitching slate.
Other Options – Frankie Montas ($8,600), Sixto Sanchez ($8,100)
Kyle Wright, ATL @ MIA, $7,200 – The Marlins looked lost at the plate yesterday vs. Ian Anderson, and they’ll face another talented young right-hander today in Wright. He hasn’t had as much success as Anderson at the big league level yet, but he might be the superior pitcher in the long run. He was selected with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2017 draft and entered the year as a top 100 prospect according to FanGraphs.
He benefits from this matchup vs. the Marlins, who are easily the worst offensive team remaining in the postseason. They finished just 24th in wRC+ vs. right-handers this season, and they also posted the 10th-highest strikeout rate in those matchups.
Other Options – Cristian Javier ($7,700), Jordan Montgomery ($7,400)
Travis d’Arnaud, ATL @ MIA, $4,000 – After struggling with the Mets for years, d’Arnaud has blossomed into arguably the best offensive catcher in baseball over past season and a half. He finished third in wRC+ among catchers with at least 100 at bats this season, and he’s homered in each of the past two games vs. the Marlins. d’Arnaud has also been at his best vs. right-handed pitchers this season, posting a .433 wOBA and .267 ISO in those matchups.
Other Option – Will Smith ($4,600)
Chad Wallach, MIA vs. ATL, $2,400 – Finding a value catcher is extremely difficult today. I would recommend paying up at this position if possible, but if you can’t, at least Wallach is cheap. He doesn’t possess much offensive upside, but he doesn’t need to do much to pay off his current salary.
Other Options – Martin Maldonado ($3,700), Mike Zunino ($3,300)
Freddie Freeman, ATL @ MIA, $4,800 – Freeman has been basically impossible for right-handed pitchers to get out this season. He finished with a ridiculous 216 wRC+ vs. RHP, and he also posted a .360 ISO. He struggled a bit out of the gates after a scary bout with COVID-19 during the offseason, but he played his best baseball during the month of September. Freeman will likely be taking home the NL MVP, so he definitely deserves consideration vs. Sanchez.
Other Options – Luke Voit ($5,200), Mike Brosseau ($5,000)
Jesus Aguilar, $3,100, MIA vs. ATL – I promise I will eventually talk about some players from other games, but first base is another position without a standout value option today. Aguilar is probably your best bet if you’re paying down at the position given his ability to hit for power. Wright also has the potential to be an excellent pitcher at the MLB level, but he hasn’t shown any of that ability up to this point. He’s struggled to a 5.21 ERA and 5.90 FIP through eight regular season starts this season.
Other Options – Garrett Cooper ($3,400), Yuli Gurriel ($3,200)
DJ LeMahieu, NYY vs. TB, $4,900 – LeMahieu put together another monster year for the Yankees, and he’s a legit MVP candidate in the American League. The Yankees were able to bring him to New York on a bargain contract two years ago, but he’s going to cost them a lot more this offseason if they want to retain his services.
LeMahieu has historically been at his best vs. left-handed pitchers, and the Rays are expected to turn to Ryan Yarbrough ($6,800) for the bulk of the innings out of the bullpen. Yarbrough is a solid pitcher, but LeMahieu clearly has the edge in that matchup.
The Yankees’ offense is also expected to be one of the most productive today. They currently own an implied team total of 5.1 runs, which is the highest mark on the slate. We’re still waiting for lines and totals for Astros-A’s and Dodgers-Padres, but the Yankees still figure to command one of the top marks in that department.
Other Options – Brandon Lowe ($5,100), Ozzie Albies ($4,400)
Chad Pinder, OAK @ HOU, $2,200 – It’s hard to ignore what Pinder has done for the A’s over his past two games. He’s hit a homer in both contests, and he finished with a whopping 28.0 DKFP in his last game. Not too shabby for a player priced at basically the minimum.
Targeting Pinder after back-to-back big games does feel a bit like chasing points, but he has batted third for the A’s recently. That’s a prime spot in the order, so he’s simply too cheap at the moment.
Other Option – Jon Berti ($2,500)
Justin Turner, LAD @ SD, $4,500 – The Padres are starting 21-year-old rookie Adrian Morejon ($6,600) in this must-win Game 3. This could be an opener situation, but Padres manager Jayce Tingler did say that Morejon could go five innings “if needed”. They will definitely have other guys on stand-by – Luis Patino ($4,000) seems like an obvious choice out of the pen to eat some innings – but Morejon makes the most sense given that the Dodgers have been worse against left-handers than right-handers this season.
Turner is one of their better hitters vs. southpaws, and he posted a 111 wRC+ in those matchups this season. That number doesn’t exactly jump off the page, but it’s over a pretty small sample size. He was better vs. southpaws in 2019, posting a 142 wRC+ and .294 ISO.
Other Options – Manny Machado ($5,100), Max Muncy ($4,600)
Yandy Diaz, TB @ NYY, $3,400 – The Rays have been the best team in the AL this season, but they still entered this series vs. the Yankees as underdogs. That said, they’ll look to officially send the Yankees home today and move on to the ALCS.
They will be facing Montgomery, so expect to see the Rays’ righty heavy lineup in this contest. That means Diaz will likely be in a premium spot in the lineup, which makes him a value at just $3,400. He’s posted a 130 wRC+ vs. southpaws this season, and Montgomery has allowed an average of nearly two HRs per nine innings against right-handed batters. He’s the clear top choice if you’re looking to save at third base.
Editor’s note: Dodgers SP Dustin May will start tonight’s game vs. the Padres.
Fernando Tatis Jr., SD vs. LAD, $4,900 – Tatis is one of the brightest young stars in baseball, and he has put his talent on full display during the postseason. He’s posted a 188 wRC+ during his first five playoff games, and he’s also hit two HRs and stolen one base. Guys that can do damage with their bats and their legs are always appealing for fantasy purposes.
Tatis hasn’t been quite as good vs. left-handers as he has vs. right-handers, but he’s still definitely capable of producing in those matchups.
Urias is a very good pitcher, but he’s mortal against right-handed batters.
Other Options – Marcus Semien ($4,100), Carlos Correa ($4,000)
Gleyber Torres, NYY vs. TB, $3,900 – 2020 has been a bit of a lost season for Torres, but there’s no denying that this dude is one of the best young batters in baseball. This salary feels like a steal for him, particularly given the Yankees’ strong implied team total.
Other Option – Dansby Swanson ($3,500)
Ronald Acuna Jr., ATL @ MIA, $5,100 – If you don’t like watching Acuna, baseball might not be for you. He is capable of doing everything on the field at a high level, but his bat remains his best attribute. He posted a 159 wRC+ during the regular season and has followed that up with a 145 wRC+ through his first four playoff games. Acuna crushes right-handed pitching in particular, so he has the edge in this matchup vs. Sanchez.
Other Options – Mookie Betts ($5,300), Aaron Judge ($5,000)
Randy Arozarena, TB @ NYY, $3,800 – There are a bunch of strong value options to consider in the outfield today, but Arozarena stands out as one of the best. He was acquired from the Cardinals during the offseason, but no one saw this kind of offensive production in his future. He has hit .600 during his first 22 playoff at bats – resulting in a mind-boggling 405 wRC+ — and some of his teammates have referred to him as “the best hitter in baseball”.
That seems like a stretch, but Arozarena did feast on left-handed pitching during the regular season. He posted a 291 wRC+ and .600 ISO over a modest 23 plate appearances, so he clearly has the potential to succeed vs. Montgomery.
Other Options – Aaron Hicks ($3,500), Corey Dickerson ($3,000)
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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