The MLB playoffs are underway and it’s a great time to get in on some DraftKings fantasy baseball action. Below, we take a look at today’s main slate, which locks at 12:08 p.m. ET.
Trevor Bauer, CIN at ATL, $9,000 - Despite a difficult matchup, it’s tough to look past how well Bauer pitched in the regular season. It’s pretty crazy that he averaged 30 DKFP per game this season and isn’t the most expensive pitcher on the slate. There isn’t even another starter pitching tonight he averaged 20 DKFP. Bauer ended his season with a 1.73 ERA and very well might have won the NL Cy Young. He put up at least 32 DKFP in three of his last four starts of the season.
Masahiro Tanaka, NYY at CLE, $6,700 - The Yankees crushed the Indians in the first game of the series. New York won by a final score of 12-3 and can advance past the Wild Card round with a win today. For right-handed pitchers, going up against Cleveland isn’t all that difficult of a task. They finished with an 87 wRC+ in the regular season against righties and Tanaka is the cheapest pitcher on today’s slate.
Will Smith, LAD vs. MIL, $4,800 - Rostering Smith against a lefty is never a bad move. He had a .400 OBP against southpaws in the regular season and enters the postseason hitting the ball extremely well. Smith homered in two of his last three games and has at least a dozen DKFP in three of his past four contests.
Yadier Molina, STL at SD, $3,600 - It doesn’t look like we will get many cheap starting catchers to choose from tonight. Most of the guys projected to start are shockingly expensive. Molina is one guy with a price tag on the cheap end that we know will be in the lineup. I also think Chris Paddack ($8,800) is an interesting pitcher to roster hitters against. Even though he has all the talent in the world, he was extremely inconsistent this season and is always prone to a blow up. In his last start of the regular season, Paddack scored negative fantasy points and allowed three homers in less than four full innings prior to getting yanked.
Jose Abreu, CWS at OAK, $4,700 - Abreu should be a bit more expensive. After homering in his first playoff game yesterday and having one of the best seasons of his career, there are a handful of more expensive first baseman. This shouldn’t be the case after he scored 19 DKFP yesterday and put up a 167 wRC+ in the regular season.
Miguel Sano, MIN vs. HOU, $3,800 - Sano is a boom or bust option. He has a ton of power although he also struggles to make contact. Sano hit 13 homers in the regular season and had a .274 ISO. The 43.9% strikeout rate will always be a bugaboo, however, we only need him to make contact once to end up on a GPP winning lineup.
DJ LeMahieu, NYY at CLE, $5,300 - Most of the spend up options at second base aren’t very appealing. LeMahieu falls into the category because of a tough matchup against Carlos Carrasco ($9,400). With this said, the Yankees lit up Shane Bieber Tuesday and this offense is potent enough to get to any pitcher. When New York has a big night, LeMahieu is usually involved. He had a career-best 177 wRC+ in the regular season.
Jonathan Villar, TOR at TB, $3,700 - I can’t say I am thrilled at the prospect of playing Villar although I can see a path to upside. Tyler Glasnow ($8,400) often struggles with his control and we only need Villar to get on base once for a big fantasy game. He was among the league leaders with 16 stolen bases and the control issues of Glasnow could open a path for Villar to draw a walk and then steal a bag or two.
Manny Machado, SD vs. STL, $5,500 - After a regular season that will get him some MVP votes, Machado is a player to target in the postseason. The Padres have championship aspirations and Machado averaged 10.2 DKFP in the regular season. Proving he’s worth the hefty contract he signed prior to last season, Machado had a 142 wRC+ and got better as the season went on. He posted a 165 wRC+ in the second half of the season.
Kris Bryant, CHC vs. MIA, $3,700 - This was a lost season for Bryant. Far removed from when he won the NL MVP Award, Bryant struggled with injuries and never got going. In a shortened season, his final numbers look terrible after he got off to a slow start. The good news is that he finished the year on a high note heading into the playoffs. Bryant homered in each of his last two games, giving me optimism that he can regain his past form and help the Cubs make a playoff push.
Fernando Tatis Jr., SD vs STL, $5,300 - For a while, it looked like Tatis was cruising toward winning the NL MVP. Then he got his on the wrist by a fastball, Freddie Freeman got hot and Tatis faded in the eyes of the public. With that said, he started to look healthy again in the closing games of the regular season and started to flash his fantasy upside again. Tatis has double-digit DKFP in five of his past seven games.
Willy Adames, TB vs. TOR, $4,100 - Adames provided some value in the Rays’ first playoff game. He reached base and then stole a base. Given how well he played in the regular season and a relatively easy matchup for Tampa Bay, I think Adames is a bit underpriced. He hit eight homers in the shortened season and had a 124 wRC+. Formerly one of the top prospects in baseball, Adames is finally starting to break out.
Nelson Cruz, MIN vs. HOU, $4,900 - Due to a sore knee, Cruz didn’t play much down the stretch of the season. In the first game of the playoffs, it didn’t seem to matter. He opened the playoff scoring with a ringing RBI double to right field. Cruz has a history of success in the postseason and the Twins will need him to do some damage in order to keep their season alive.
Christian Yelich, MIL at LAD, $4,300 - I know this wasn’t a banner season for Yelich. He came well shy of MVP caliber play from the last couple of years. With this said, I can’t pass up Yelich at this cheap of a price. We almost never see a player of his talent level with this cheap of a salary. If I am looking for positives, he upped his walk rate to 21.9% in the second half of the season, so it looks like he’s been a bit more patient at the plate lately.
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