Thursday’s MLB schedule is full of elimination games, with all four of today’s matchups potentially ending the World Series hopes for the trailing teams. Both National League series are 2-0 and both American League series are 2-1, and this could be the last four-game MLB slate of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 2:08 p.m. ET, once again starting with the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins.
Jordan Montgomery ($7,400) - Masahiro Tanaka started strong in yesterday’s Game 3 against the Rays, but it fell apart quickly for him in the 4th and 5th innings and he ended up barely holding onto positive fantasy points. Going back to the Yankees’ pitching would be unappealing, especially with Montgomery being a worse caliber pitcher than Tanaka and also more expensive, but the overall pitching on this slate is substantially weaker than it was yesterday.
The two most popular pitching choices on this strange slate figure to be Montgomery and Kyle Wright ($7,200), so this is basically an argument as to why Montgomery is a better choice. Braves pitchers have been much more successful than Yankees pitchers this postseason, and Wright has the easier matchup with the Braves looking to close out a sweep against the Marlins. The problem with Wright is just that he’s not a good pitcher, with an ERA above 5.00 this season that was semi-fortunate if anything, considering he walked almost as many batters as he struck out. Wright was a good minor league pitcher but his rookie season in 2019 wasn’t a success either, so choosing him today is almost entirely a product of his matchup and not his talent.
Montgomery, on the other hand, is facing an above average Rays offense, but the talent gap between him and Wright is sufficient for him to still be the better option. Montgomery had a tough regular season in terms of run prevention with a 5.11 ERA, but his 3.87 FIP, 3.65 xFIP, and 9.6 Ks per nine and 1.8 BBs per nine indicate that he was deserving of much better results. To be clear, Montgomery is still the least bad of a bunch of bad options, but he’s a strong play in the context of this slate.
There’s a lot of uncertainty today with which starting pitchers will go and how long they’ll pitch for, so it’s not totally clear which offenses are in the best spots. The Dodgers and Yankees are set up well due to the overall quality of their offenses, regardless of who they’re facing, but they’ll also likely be atop the list of popular teams on this slate. The Astros could be a little more under the radar and the A’s and Padres are likely to be as well, but the team that almost no one is probably playing today is the Miami Marlins. The Marlins draw a strong matchup against the aforementioned Kyle Wright, and even with a bad offense they still have plenty of opportunity for success due to their opponent. The Marlins should be among the lowest owned teams today and would provide a big boost to GPP lineups if they can put some offense together against a very popular pitcher.
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