Our late DraftKings Showdown matchup on Friday sees a rivalry renewed between the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers out West. Though the Angels sit 10 back in the AL West, the Wild Card is doable with just six games to make up, and they look inspired with a three-game winning streak. The Dodgers just had some success against Arizona, but have been pretty unassuming at the dish.
Patrick Sandoval ($16,200 CP) - This is a rare occasion where I don’t feel silly recommending the highest-priced option on the slate, and where he may be a contrarian play as well. I don’t know if people are ready to believe in Sandoval, or at least pay all this money for him against a team with talent like the Dodgers, particularly coming off of two bad seasons. Sandoval has been great this season, though, with a 3.31 xERA and a solid 27.4% strikeout rate. He has the added bonus here of taking on a Dodgers team that has been below average this season against lefties and has been slumping (relative to its usual level) over the last few weeks.
Max Muncy ($15,000 CP) - If you don’t necessarily believe in Sandoval, or perhaps just want to create a different build, you could look at Muncy, who has unquestionably been the Dodgers’ best hitter. Muncy has not only mashed and reached base all year, he also holds the best OPS at 1.038 against left-handed pitchers with just a 16.3% strikeout rate and a ridiculous 16.3% walk rate this season. You’ve got a winner here in the left-handed slugger, who may not be as chalky with a lackluster run in his last 10 games.
AJ Pollock ($7,200) - Pollock has quietly been one of the hottest hitters in baseball with a 1.027 OPS in the second half, and his 143 wRC+ makes him one of the Dodgers’ best hitters versus left-handed pitching. He’s also been an exceptional fastball hitter, which is one of Sandoval’s favorite pitches. This is a great price to pay on a guy with three 17+ DKFP performances in the last four games and who should hit fifth or sixth.
Jack Mayfield ($4,000) - You’re going to need Mayfield in the lineup here at this price. He’s succeeded against lefties in the short time he’s been in the big leagues with a .971 OPS, and he’s been just about the only guy lately hitting for power with a couple homers over the last three games. He’s surely earned the trust of Joe Maddon by now, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him bumped up from ninth in the order. It seems the season-ending injury to Anthony Rendon has really charged up the 30-year-old, and you’ll want to ride this hot streak until you can’t.
Cody Bellinger ($7,400) - I think it goes without saying to fade Bellinger at this point, but I wanted to put him here just to be sure. The fact is, while he’s picked up four hits in three games, the power just isn’t there for Bellinger, and this price is far too high. There’s no reason he should be priced higher than Pollock. There will come a time to buy low on the former MVP but this isn’t it.
The Dodgers beat up on some bad Diamondbacks pitching, but I think they will be in for a rude awakening here. Behind some great innings from Patrick Sandoval and some quality at-bats (the Angels have been very good at making contact lately), the Angels should squeak out a win over a Dodgers team that is still trying to find itself. Expect a low-scoring affair won by the team with the stronger starter.
Final Score: Angels 4, Dodgers 3
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