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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for Cardinals vs. Dodgers Showdown on October 6

Pearce Dietrich gives his top lineup advice for Wednesday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Cardinals and Dodgers, which starts at 8:10 p.m. ET.

The Cardinals won 17 games in a row and what was their reward? A one-game playoff. The Cardinals can’t complain because they dug themselves that hole. The Dodgers have a right to be salty about the broken playoff system. They won 106 games, 11 more than the Brewers and 18 more than the Braves, and they still didn’t make the playoffs — they got stuck in the play-in game. Will an angry Dodgers team throttle the Cardinals or will the miracle season continue for St. Louis?

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Captain’s Picks

Max Scherzer ($17,100 CP) — The magic started to fade during the final weekend of the season for the Cardinals. After their amazing streak ended, they turned back into pumpkins by dropping three of their last five games and two of their last three to the Cubs. The Cardinals remembered that their lineup was below average and that their pitchers were either old or not very good. Even during the Cardinals amazing run in September, this right-handed heavy lineup was just a little above average against right-handed pitching — 103 wRC+, .321 wOBA and a .185 ISO. Before St. Louis caught lightning in a bottle, their offense managed a meager 90 wRC+, .301 wOBA and .148 ISO against RHP.

Scherzer has been a frequent playoff pitcher over the last decade, accumulating a 7-5 record with a 3.38 ERA. Last week, he was the favorite to win the NL Cy Young award before scuffling in his last start. So we have two sides that are struggling heading into this matchup. The Cardinals, who have struggled all season except for a small blip during September, will face the likely Cy Young winner that struggled for a small blip — Scherzer is the obvious play. Even if Scherzer allows a home run, which he has been prone to do over his career, it’s very unlikely that he allows any baserunners (.233 wOBA to right-handed batters) while piling up the fantasy points with strikeouts (37% K rate to RHB).

Corey Seager ($13,500 CP) — Here’s how you beat Adam Wainwright: don’t take strikes (more on this in the fade section). Seager leads the Dodgers with an 8% called strike rate (if he qualified, it would be the best in the league), and Seager is not up there swinging and missing a lot (16% K rate). Wainwright’s magical spell won’t work on Seager, or the Turner’s and Betts (each with even lower strikeout rates). Against right-handed pitching, Seager had a .389 wOBA, .214 ISO, 147 wRC+, 41% hard contact rate and 14% K rate this season. Finally, Seager knows a thing or two about hitting in the playoffs — he was the NLCS MVP and World Series MVP in 2020.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $400K NL Wild Card Clash [$100K to 1st] (STL vs LAD)

Value Plays

Yadier Molina ($4,600) — The problem with chasing the inevitable Scherzer home run —34% hard contact rate, 46% fly ball rate and 1.3 HR/9 to RHB — is that there aren’t any cheap bats on the Cardinals and even the expensive ones cannot be trusted. In lieu of statistics, what are DFS Showdown players to do? “Narrative street enters the chat.” Oh yes, our old friend narrative street. It’s October, so we might as well roll the dice by taking a crafty veteran as a value play and mandatory run-back pick. Molina had a good season against left-handed pitching, but he looked every bit of 39-years-old against right-handed pitching — .275 wOBA, .095 ISO and a 74 wRC+. This is strictly narrative street, a pick that relies on the baseball gods rather than science. If the deus ex machina ending does not occur, the savings that Molina provides will still allow for a lineup that can cash.

Justin Turner ($7,600) — This is not a good matchup for Adam Wainwright. The Dodgers’ top hitters do not strikeout often, so they’re going to have to groundout all night long for Wainwright to win. That doesn’t seem very likely. Turner’s numbers against right-handed pitching have tailed off a bit this season (.363 wOBA, .176 ISO, 129 wRC+, 38% hard contact rate and a 16% K rate), but they’re still outstanding and his 435 plate appearances against RHP were the most in a season for the 36-year-old, so a little bit of wear is expected. In 72 postseason games, Turner is slashing .295/.392/.507.


Adam Wainwright ($15,600 CP; $10,400) — The Cardinals ace walks the fine line between chaos and creation. For the last several seasons, the aging veteran stepped across the line and often sputtered into chaos. This season, his called strike rate in 22% — the highest in MLB — and he magically became a Cy Young contender. This isn’t magic, Waino is doing what all crafty veterans do once they lose their stuff, they rely on control. A lot has to go right for a pitcher to make this approach work. First, Wainwright must hit his spots. Second, the catcher must frame the pitches. Third, the batter must take the pitch. Fourth, the Umpire must call the pitch a strike. It’s a quixotic method and almost never works for veterans, let alone for an entire season, but here we are. It’s possible that the stars continue to align every time that Wainwright takes the mound, but eventually Mercury will shift into retrograde, Wainwright will stop getting calls and the scoreboard will light up like the night’s sky.

The Outcome

Baseball purists don’t count the Dodgers’ 2020 World Series title, but that doesn’t bother the Dodgers or their fans. This is just a stupid complaint lodged in the minds of traditional baseball fans, but that thorn will not be in their paw for long. The Dodgers will make quick work of the Cardinals and then the rest of the league on their way to winning an actual World Series.

Final Score: Dodgers 5, Cardinals 2

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $400K NL Wild Card Clash [$100K to 1st] (STL vs LAD)

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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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