The MLB playoffs are here, babyyyyyyyyyyy! Four games will kick off the 2020 playoffs with all the American League teams taking the field starting at 2:00 p.m. ET. Let’s get right into all the information for this DraftKings fantasy baseball slate!
As always, feel free to follow me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Biggest Moneyline Favorite
Note: This section highlights the pitcher whose team is the largest favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Blake Snell, $7,800, TB (-200) vs. TOR (+170) — The biggest favorite on the slate is also one of the cheapest, as Snell has normally been in the $9K range in salary. He takes on the Blue Jays for the third time this season, pitching a combined 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while posting a huge 42.4% K%! Snell is in a particularly good spot to also get a win, as the Blue Jays are starting this series with a bullpen game, opening with Matt Shoemaker ($7,200) serving as the opener and Robbie Ray ($7,800) as the long reliever. With the Rays smashing lefties during the regular season with a team .347 wOBA, a .217 ISO and a 124 wRC+, Snell is not only in a great spot against a Blue Jays team with a 23.2% K% but should have the run support to back him up.
Other notable favorites: Kenta Maeda ($8,000; -170) vs. Astros
Highest Projected Total
TB (-200; 4.5 runs ) vs. TOR (+170; 3.5 runs ) — With all of the top pitchers (or you would think) taking the mound in Game 1, we don’t have any big totals to target. This game has a 7.5 total, as do two of the other four games. The Rays do carry the highest projected team total at 4.5, as no other team exceed 3.5. As I mentioned, the real target people should be considering is against Ray, because his numbers when facing righties were so incredibly bad. He ended the season with a .425 wOBA, a 7.49 FIP and 10 of the 13 home runs he allowed. This is, of course, the cash stack to make but boy, in tournaments, this might be the team to pivot off with the expected high ownership.
No weather concerns!
Splits to Start
UPDATE: With teams mostly caught up on game, these numbers will now reflect the 2020 stats.
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Gerrit Cole, .319, 5.52
Matt Shoemaker, .303, 6.19
Jesus Luzardo, .297, 2.52
Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Shane Bieber .194, 1.39
Kenta Maeda, .231, 3.11
Zack Greinke, .234, 1.61
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Robbie Ray, .425, 7.49
Zack Greinke, .354, 4.14
Jesus Luzardo, .326, 4.68
Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Kenta Maeda, .201, 2.85
Lucas Giolito, .243, 2.96
Shane Bieber, .247, 2.71
Pitcher to Build Around
Kenta Maeda, MIN vs. HOU, $8,000 — Look, you can essentially make a case for anyone (except the Blue Jays pitchers) to start in your lineup. What appeals to me with Maeda is his salary, coupled with the strikeout upside he brings. He boasted one of the highest swing-and-miss rates in the entire league at 17.2% to go with his 32.3% K%. Of course, he didn’t see the Astros since they’re in different divisions but the Astros were a team that struggled against righties, posting just a .315 wOBA, a .166 ISO and a 102 wRC+. While the Astros were a tough team to strikeout, they struggled against the slider, which Maeda threw 40% of the time.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Editor’s Note: Rays 1B/3B Mike Brosseau is not in the lineup vs. the Blue Jays.
Mike Brosseau, TB vs. TOR, $4,500 — No surprise to see a Rays batter as the top option. Brosseau was by far one of their best hitters against lefties, so getting him against Ray is a matchup I really want to take advantage of. On the season, Brosseau posted a ridiculous .467 wOBA, a .405 ISO and a 62.1% hard-hit rate. These are simply obscene numbers to see and now he gets a matchup against an extremely weak lefty.
Save Big by Drafting
Luis Robert, CWS at OAK, $3,300 — Luckily for us, Robert hit a rough patch during the month of September, which suppressed his salary down to one of the lowest we’ve seen throughout the entire season. Now, with that playing to our advantage, we can get him on the cheap against Jesus Luzardo ($8,300). Against lefties, Robert posted a .347 wOBA, a .182 ISO and two of his 11 home runs. As for Luzardo, he allowed eight of his nine home runs to righties to go with a .326 wOBA and a 4.68 FIP.
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