The National League playoffs begin on Wednesday after the American League kicked things off on Tuesday. Wednesday’s late game features the Milwaukee Brewers visiting the top seeded Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles. The Brewers have opted to go with a bullpen game to open up the series, which is...well...bold. Let’s take a look at building those DraftKings Showdown lineups!
Walker Buehler ($15,900 CP) — The top captain is an obvious one with Buehler taking the hill against the strikeout happy Brewers. They ended the regular season tied with the second-highest K% in the league against righties at 26.4% to go with just a .318 wOBA and a .178 ISO. Buehler only made eight starts during the regular season but still managed a solid 28.6% K%, which is right under his mark of 29.2% through 30 starts in 2019. Normally, starting pitchers make for a strong captain but with the Brewers running a bullpen game, Milwaukee’s pitchers simply can’t be trusted in the captain spot.
Ryan Braun ($9,000 CP) — Ok, now let’s say you want to go totally off the board and have a unique build, especially in big field tournaments. How we can do so? I think Braun perfectly fits the mold in your captain spot. Buehler has been excellent as I mentioned but he did average just under a home run a start with four of his seven coming off the bats of righties. Braun lead the team in ISO against righties at .314 to go with his .336 wOBA and a 108 wRC+. Not only will this save you a ton of salary in the captain spot and leave you with an average of $8,200 in your flex spots but you’re not skimping out on power either.
Kiké Hernández ($7,200) — Hernadez does come with a bit of risk as he could be pulled for a pinch-hitter later in the game. However, he should not only start but be in a good spot in the lineup with Brent Suter ($10,400) taking the hill. Against lefties, Hernandez has only a .284 wOBA but has a .196 ISO with two of his five home runs. He’s some of the cheaper power you can find on this slate.
Daniel Vogelbach ($6,800) — He currently has a day-to-day tag listed on him but Vogelback did make the Brewers’ Wild Card roster, indicating he has a good chance to suit up. Targeting Buehler isn’t something you’ll feel great about but Vogelbach does have good pop against righties to potentially make it worth your while. Between the Mariners and Brewers, he posted a .204 ISO with a .332 wOBA and a 108 wRC+, all of which were among the best on the Brewers.
Joc Pederson ($6,400) — Looking at Pederson’s numbers, it’s a bit ugly overall. That could play into our favor as it’ll keep his ownership low. While the original L/L matchup isn’t great, Suter isn’t expected to go deep. Once he’s out, Pederson will start seeing righties, whom he has a .223 ISO against. Pederson is your perfect boom-or-bust play to consider and grabbing a low-owned home run is critical in these formats.
Max Muncy ($9,200) — With someone with as much pop as Muncy, he doesn’t seem like he would be fade, but I will be off him in this game. With the idea of using Buehler as my captain, taking Muncy right after leaves you with an average of $6,225 for the four remaining spots. You can certainly make it work but you’ll need some big production from lower parts of the order to even think of sniffing the cash line. Right above Muncy in salary is Cody Bellinger ($9,800), who ended the regular season averaging 10.4 DKFP in his last 10 games and was much more productive against righties, who the Dodgers should face after. Bellinger had a .360 wOBA with a .252 ISO against them and feels like the safer play at a similar salary.
The difference in these offenses and pitcher options in this game is massive. It’s a big reason why the Dodgers are huge favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook and rightfully so. It’s hard to build for a Brewers win because of that notion, however, it would be extremely contrarian and a potential tournament strategy. Nonetheless, I think the Dodgers not only win this game but do so easily, as they have the up on nearly every aspect of their game over the Brewers.
Final Score: Dodgers 6, Brewers 3
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is steveazors) 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.