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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for Dodgers vs. Mets Showdown on August 15

Pearce Dietrich gives his top lineup advice for Sunday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Dodgers and Mets, which starts at 7:08 p.m. ET.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers are chasing the Giants for the best record in baseball and the Mets are stalling out. Both teams have dealt with significant injuries this season, but the Dodgers have been able to patch the holes and win 71 games. The Mets have won 59 games and are 1.5 games back from the Braves and Phillies for the lead in the NL East, but while the Dodgers seem to be charging, the Mets are hanging on. Both teams need this game, but the Mets need this game more as they head west for an even more daunting challenge in San Francisco on Monday night.

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Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets

Captain’s Picks

Max Scherzer ($16,800 CP) — A 35% K rate is too much to pass up on in a Showdown contest. Scherzer struck out 10 Astros — the offense with the lowest K rate in baseball — while allowing two runs over seven innings in his debut for the Dodgers. He followed with six strikeouts over 3 13 scoreless innings against the Phillies (rain shortened outing). This will be his third start for the defending champs, and he’ll put his 15.9% swinging strike rate up against the Mets — 91 wRC+, .301 wOBA and a .149 ISO against right-handed pitching. Surprisingly, this will be the Mets first look at Max Scherzer this season. A couple of the Mets have faired well against Scherzer in the past, but they’ve also been mowed down. In 154 at-bats, the Mets roster has struck out 67 times against Scherzer (43.5% K rate).

Max Muncy ($13,800 CP) — Carlos Carrasco has a major hole in his game and it manifested itself in his last start. Carrasco’s fastball/sinker — 93.2 mph with a -1.93 wFB/C (total runs saved per 100 fastballs) — is a BP fastball. If he lives in the strike zone, like in his last start (88% inside-the-zone swing rate, 100% inside-the-zone contact rate and a 3% swinging strike rate), then he’ll be in for trouble against the Dodgers. So far, the sinker has been successful against left-handed batters and he’s been able to table the four-seamer, but this is purely the product of a small sample size. If right-handed batters have a .532 wOBA against his sinker and an .892 wOBA against his four-seamer, then lefties will join in on the party soon. Muncy has a .467 wOBA against sinkers (RHP) and a .599 wOBA against four-seamers (RHP).

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Sunday Night Showdown [$50K to 1st] (LAD vs NYM)

Value Plays

Michael Conforto ($5,400) — Showdown rules require that DFS players roster at least one player from each team. If DFS players have to select a batter to face Max Scherzer, then they should attack his main weakness — the home run. Conforto faced Scherzer plenty of times in the NL East, and for the most part, the left-handed hitter got the better end of the deal. In 39 plate appearances, Conforto has a .471 wOBA and .371 ISO with four home runs against Scherzer. BvP aside, aiming for a home run from the Mets’ side is how DFS players should approach an elite pitcher that allowed 1.3 HR/9 last season and 1.4 HR/9 this season. Conforto homered on Saturday night and is starting to heat up. Since his return from the IL on June 23, Conforto has been a slightly below-average hitter, but he’s kicked it into gear over his last 10 games —.440 wOBA, .281 ISO and a 181 wRC+.

Editor’s Note: Dodgers OF Zach McKintstry is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Mets.

Zach McKintstry ($5,400) — On Saturday, the Dodgers recalled McKinstry. After a cool July (.167 wOBA vs. RHP), roster additions — Corey Seager ($10,500 CP; $7,000) and Trea Turner ($14,700 CP; $9,800) — meant that McKinstry was the first player to be sent packing. When Seager was injured and McKinstry was seeing regular playing time, initially, McKinstry was hitting — .348 wOBA, .200 ISO and a 121 wRC+ against right-handed pitching in June. The Dodgers are banged up, so the left-handed batter should immediately slide into the lineup with a right-handed pitcher on the mound Sunday night.


Carlos Carrasco ($15,000 CP; $10,000) — He was great in his first two starts after returning from the IL on July 30, but things did not go so well in his last start — four hits and four earned runs in one inning against the Nationals. That start could have been worse but he was bailed out by a rain delay. Actually, his first start wasn’t flawless — his BABIP was .200 and he had a 100% strand rate against the Reds. Carrasco’s off-speed and breaking pitches have been decent, but his fastball/sinker has been terrible in nearly every start. Right-handed batters are already doing damage, and it will only get worse when lefties start to square up and elevate Carrasco’s sinker. If Carrasco can get his slider and changeup going, then batters will likely be off-balance and struggle with his inferior fastball/sinker combo. If his off-speed and breaking pitches are just okay, then it could be a short night for Carrasco.

The Outcome

The Mets may be more desperate to get this win, but their desperation means nothing to Max Scherzer. The Dodgers have the better starting pitcher, relievers (3.96 xFIP) and hitters. The Mets lost in extra innings last night, now they play on Sunday Night Baseball and travel to San Francisco for another game Monday. This team is overwhelmed and it will show when they face an elite strikeout artist on Sunday night.

Final Score: Dodgers 5, Mets 1

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Sunday Night Showdown [$50K to 1st] (LAD vs NYM)

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