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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for Dodgers vs. Padres Showdown on October 8

Garion Thorne gives his top MLB lineup advice for Thursday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Dodgers and the Padres, which starts at 9:08 p.m. ET.

MLB: NLDS-San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the 2020 MLB Playoffs, where apparently no team has more than two starting pitchers they actually trust. Tonight’s matchup between the Dodgers and the Padres is going to be a little bit of a headache from a Showdown perspective, as both squads are essentially going with bullpen games. That means we can throw most of the splits out the window for a contest that San Diego needs to win to stay alive.

Let’s break it all down.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $40K NL West Battle [$10K to 1st] (LAD vs SD)


Captain’s Picks

Manny Machado ($15,300 CP) - While we know that Dustin May ($11,800) is starting for the Dodgers, it would seem that Julio Urias ($10,600) is going to take the mound at some point for Los Angeles, as he hasn’t pitched since Game 1 of the Brewers series. That would be great news for Machado’s value, as the veteran has absolutely crushed left-handed pitching dating back to the beginning of last year. In fact, across 217 regular season plate appearances within the split in that span, Machado is slashing .314/.396/.644 with a .330 ISO and a 170 wRC+. He also took Clayton Kershaw deep in last night’s 6-5 loss. Still, the reason Machado gets consideration in the Captain’s slot is that it doesn’t really matter who ends up pitching for the Dodgers. Since Aug. 1, the 28-year-old’s .394 wOBA when facing RHPs is just as impressive.

Corey Seager ($14,400 CP) - Though the Padres do plan to start the left-handed Adrian Morejon ($8,200), the young arm has never thrown more than 41 pitches in an MLB setting. That means it’s more than likely that Seager will see his fair share of right-handers in Game 3, too. In any event, Seager’s viability lies less in the handedness of the opposing pitcher and more in his own massive ceiling. Among all qualified players, Seager finished the 2020 regular season averaging the second-most barrels per plate appearance (12.1%), while he also registered the fifth-highest expected wOBA (.410) in all of baseball. Hitting atop one of the most dangerous lineups in the league, few assets possess the upside that the shortstop brings to every slate.


Value Plays

AJ Pollock ($6,200) - There’s risk in using a player of Pollock’s archetype — he was pinch-hit for in the middle of Game 2 — but the veteran outfielder also supplies a lot of upside for an asset with a price tag just over $6K. In fact, opponents could barely get Pollock out as recently as September. In 90 plate appearances in the month, the 32-year-old knocked out 10 home runs, all while posting a .981 OPS and a .402 wOBA. Additionally, there’s a chance that Dave Roberts will want to hit Pollock near the top of tonight’s lineup to guarantee a matchup with Morejon, as he owns a 201 wRC+ versus LHPs in 2020.

Tommy Pham ($4,800) - I remain flummoxed by Pham constantly being priced this low on each and every Showdown slate that involves the Padres. Sure, the outfielder struggled through an injury-plagued campaign to produce an ugly 78 wRC+ in the regular season; but we’re still talking about a man who slashed .284/.381/.475 from 2017 to 2019. We’re also talking about someone that is currently 8-for-20 (.400) with two extra-base hits so far in these playoffs, primarily hitting from a high-leverage lineup spot. Pham is basically a free space and someone you could even consider Captaining if you wanted to attempt a more balanced build.

Trevor Rosenthal ($4,000) - Rosenthal is a little script dependant — he’d make a great FLEX addition to a Padres stack — but he’s still worth pointing out based on the price tags that every other back-end reliever in this game sport. Kenley Jansen ($7,600) and Joe Kelly ($6,400) are virtually untouchable with their workloads basically capped at an inning apiece; while Drew Pomeranz ($8,400) is priced as if he were a starter. You do have to live with the knowledge that Rosenthal might never appear in Thursday’s contest, but a 41.8% strikeout rate really plays in a situation where the RHP would probably need at least two strikeouts to reach value.


Fades

Dustin May ($11,800)/Adrian Morejon ($8,200) - I guess you could convince yourself that getting two innings of seemingly guaranteed work from May or Morejon is better than the uncertainty of every other pitcher on this slate, the pair is simply too expensive to consider. Neither really projects for much strikeout upside, either. While May did fan three of the six batters he faced in Game 1, his career swinging strike rate of 8.5% is underwhelming to say the least. As for Morejon, he’s going up against a Dodgers lineup that owned the lowest strikeout rate in the National League (20.3%) and the lowest chase rate in all of baseball (26.5%) in 2020.


THE OUTCOME

Maybe I’m letting my heart override my brain here, but I truly can’t see the Padres going down in a 3-0 sweep. Plus, not all bullpen games are created equal. In the month of September, San Diego’s relievers combined to produce a 3.50 FIP and a 31.2% strikeout rate. They have the surplus of arms to keep this series going to Friday.

Final Score: San Diego 5, Los Angeles 3

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $40K NL West Battle [$10K to 1st] (LAD vs SD)


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.