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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for Dodgers vs. Braves Showdown on October 17

Pearce Dietrich gives his top lineup advice for Sunday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Dodgers and Braves, which starts at 7:38 p.m. ET.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers will send their ace to the mound on Sunday night with the hope of returning to the west coast with the series tied. The Braves will roll with a quality pitcher in Ian Anderson. Scherzer is clearly the better of the two and the sportsbook odds reflect that, but Scherzer is not a monster favorite because this game is in Atlanta and the Dodgers are not hitting.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves

Captain’s Picks

Max Scherzer ($16,200 CP) — Too much was made of one below-average start and another poor start at Coors Field heading into the postseason. Scherzer got the job done in the Wild Card game and was elite in Game 3 of the NLDS (three hits and one run over seven innings with 10 strikeouts). He even recorded the series clinching save in Game 5 (two strikeouts). The Braves are a good team, but they’re not a great team. In Game 1, the Braves were given a gift when the Dodgers chose to go with a bullpen game, but in that preferred matchup, Atlanta only scored three runs. Manager Dave Roberts is known for his quick hook, but after burning through his bullpen on Saturday, he’ll be forced to leave Scherzer on the mound deep into the game and the result should once again be a double-digit strikeout performance.

Austin Riley ($12,000 CP) — The Saturday MLB targets article predicted that Riley was the dark horse candidate to win the NLCS MVP. After a home run and walk-off single in Game 1, Riley is now the favorite. He’s hit in every game in the postseason and hit the ball hard in every game (exit velocities of 108.4, 105.7, 101.7, 95.4, 96.1 and 110.7 mph). Scherzer was electric in his last start, but he was not perfect. The Dodgers ace throws hard, and when contact is made, the ball often travels over the fence (Longoria solo home run in Game 3 of the NLDS). One of the Braves should run into a Scherzer fastball, so why not Riley and his .396 wOBA, .248 ISO, 146 wRC+ and 37% hard contact rate vs. right-handed pitching.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $60K NL Pennant Push [$20K to 1st] (LAD vs ATL)

Value Plays

Eddie Rosario ($4,000) — He hit leadoff in Game 1, and collected a hit and scored a run. Rosario was close to being more productive. Two of his batted ball events registered as hard hits (exit velocities of 96.3 and 97.5 mph) and two BBEs were nearly hard hits (90.6 and 94.6 mph EV). In this postseason, Rosario has earned a hit in every game and those hits were against elite pitchers (Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta). A matchup with Scherzer is not a great spot, but no one is in a great spot today, tomorrow or for the rest of the postseason. At least Rosario has proven that he can hit in less than ideal matchups.

A.J. Pollack ($7,800) — A trick to finding value is looking at batted ball events. Hits show up on the stat sheet, and the stat sheet influences DraftKings pricing and ownership. Batted ball events can show up as outs, but that doesn’t mean that the hitter has done something wrong. Hitters square balls up and where they land is beyond their control. Pollack has been hitting the ball hard this postseason, but he only has four hits to show for it. However, the hits are starting to come (four hits in the last five games), and based on his BBE this postseason — 96.6, 100.8, 94.2, 99.0, 97.9, 83.5 and 103.8 mph EV — more hits should be coming.


Justin Turner ($12,300 CP; $8,200) — The good news is that Turner earned a hit last night and it was a hard hit (96.3 mph EV), but the bad news is that he is now 3 for 28 in this postseason. Ian Anderson ($14,400 CP; $9,600) is not a household name, but he’s been solid since returning from the IL on Aug. 29 (four wins and a 3.26 ERA in six starts). Anderson’s advanced metrics suggest that he has been a little lucky, but it’s baseball. Luck appears to be on Anderson’s side and not Turner’s.

The Outcome

The Dodgers only managed to scrape two runs across the board on Saturday night. It’s hard for a team to produce runs when they strikeout 14 times and only manage six hits. Ian Anderson is not an ace, but he doesn’t have to be when the Dodgers aren’t hitting.

Final Score: Braves 3, Dodgers 2

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $60K NL Pennant Push [$20K to 1st] (LAD vs ATL)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Greenflagradio2) 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. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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