The Colorado Rockies host the Los Angeles Dodgers in the third game of the season for each of these NL West foes in the featured Saturday night single-game Showdown on DraftKings. The Rockies got an 8-5 win on Opening Day over Clayton Kershaw, but the Dodgers bounced back with a big night on Friday, picking up an 11-6 victory behind offseason addition Trevor Bauer.
In this matchup, the Dodgers’ rotation continues to roll out elite starters with Walker Buehler ($10,800) taking the mound for the first time this season against Jon Gray ($9,200), who definitely seemed to have his velocity back this Spring Training after a significant decrease in last season’s limited sample size. DraftKings Sportsbook has the over/under for this matchup at 11.5 runs, which is the highest of any game on the schedule today, and the Dodgers are favored by 1.5 runs. The Coors Field effect is definitely in place already in the early going this season, and the stacked Dodgers lineup should be in a good place to produce. Let’s break it down from a single-game Showdown perspective for DFS purposes this Saturday night.
Corey Seager ($15,000 CP) - Seager is locked into the second spot in the lineup for the Dodgers and has picked up where he left off last season when he claimed MVP honors in the NLCS and World Series. Seager kept right on mashing through Spring Training and has gone 5-for-8 with three walks, a double, three runs scored and two RBI in his first two games of the 2021 campaign. He has a 50% hard-hit percentage in the very early going this season and will look to continue his hot start Saturday night.
Seager is also on the right side of the split against Gray, who struggled last season, especially with left-handed hitters. Gray allowed lefties to post a .362 wOBA against him, and all six of his home runs allowed were against lefties like Seager. Seager has gone 7-for-21 with three extra-base hits, including a home run, in his career against Gray
Chris Owings ($9,300 CP) - If you want to go against the flow and fill in some Rockies or are looking to stack up all the top Dodgers by building around a cheap Captain’s Pick, Owings is a play worth a look from the Rockies’ side of the box score. He started the season 3-for-3 with a triple, two stolen bases and an impressive 34 DKFP on Thursday before being removed as part of a double-switch on Friday night after striking out twice and ending up with zero fantasy points. Owings is expected to be the Rockies’ super-utility option once again this season and can help fill a position either in the OF or at 2B. He went 11-for-41 (.268) last season with two homers and a stolen base. The 29-year-old won the job with a strong Spring training, going 11-for-42 (.262) but finding a much more powerful swing that resulted in four Cactus League home runs. Owings offers an intriguing blend of power and speed and can produce value in multiple ways if he stays aggressive on the basepaths and keeps hitting for power. Owings is a high-risk, high-reward Captain’s Pick, but he’s worth a look under $10K leaving you an average of over $8K per spot to fill in your five utility spots in this showdown format.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Chris Owings is not in the lineup for tonight’s game.
Gavin Lux ($7,400) - Lux has picked up a pair of hits in each of his first two games this season, going 4-for-9 with a triple, two RBI and a run scored. Like Seager, he’s another left-handed hitter who gets the advantage of favorable splits against Gray. Lux was considered one of the top offensive prospects coming to the Majors after a monster 2019 in the minors, but he wasn’t able to show that he could hit Major League-level pitching in limited stints the past two seasons.
In 19 games in the Majors last season, he had a .175 batting average, but much of that was due to a .195 BABIP. In his seven batted-ball events this season, Lux has three hard hits (42.9%) according to Statcast, after managing only 12 hard hits in 44 events (27.3%) last season. Making much better contact and in a good spot at Coors, getting Lux at barely over $7K makes a lot of sense in this contest, assuming he makes his third straight start at 2B to begin the season.
Josh Fuentes ($6,000) - Fuentes has hit second in the Rockies’ lineup in each of their first two games of the season, but he hasn’t produced much, going 1-for-9 with four strikeouts. He has been moved down to the No. 8 spot in the lineup for tonight’s game, but the 28-year-old definitely has a lot of swing-and-miss potential, but he also posted a .343 wOBA in his 30 games last season, so there is some sneaky upside.
Two of his five in-play batted balls have been classified as hard hits, giving him a 40% hard-hit rate in this ridiculously small sample size in the early going. Fuentes went 20-for-59 (.339) with a .920 OPS in his 21 games this Spring Training, so there’s nothing wrong with his swing, and he’s a cheap way to fill in your roster with a premium lineup spot.
Walker Buehler ($10,800) - Given how the first two games of this series have gone, playing any pitcher doesn’t make much sense. Even Buehler, who has elite pedigree and upside, seems to be a stretch at this salary against a Rockies team that has produced 14 runs over their first two games.
In addition, Buehler didn’t look fully sharp this spring, going 1-2 with a 7.94 ERA in five Cactus League starts. While I’m not worried about him in the big picture, counting on him to suddenly turn things around in this matchup at Coors Field seems like a very high-risk proposition. He struggled specifically with fastball location in what we have seen so far and could get knocked around until he gets that issue resolved. Even if he is on point, his outing isn’t likely to be an especially long one since his pitch count has been closely regulated as usual coming into the start of the season.
The Dodgers’ lineup is so stacked that they’ll be the favorite in almost all their games this season. Even if Gray does get some of his velocity back and have a bounce-back season, I have no confidence in the Rockies’ bullpen to hold the Dodgers in check after Gray departs. There should be plenty of runs once again on both sides, given the production from both lineups and the Coors Field factor, but ultimately the Dodgers still have a distinct advantage at every level of their roster. I’d especially look for their lefties like Lux, Seager, Cody Bellinger ($9,800) and Max Muncy ($8,800) to have good games in this contest and ultimately prove too much for Colorado’s pitching staff.
Final Score: Dodgers 10, Rockies 7
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