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MLB Playoff Rundown – League Championship Series – Saturday, October 17, 2020

Welcome to the MLB DFS League Championship Series (LCS) rundown & cheat sheet column for Saturday, October 17, 2020.

Looking for help with building line-ups on DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo! for the 2020 MLB DFS Playoffs? We’ll be here each day covering our thoughts on the Main Slate (2+ games) on the best plays and picks for the day’s MLB Playoff DFS contests!

Let’s take a look at some of the key things and facts to know as you head into lineup construction for this two gamer.

Yet again, we have the Astros and Rays battling it out in a deciding game – this time of the game 7 nature.

We also have the Dodgers pushing the Braves further one more time with a little Will Smith on Will Smith action (and a fairly boneheaded play by Marcell Ozuna).

With it being a pretty critical day overall for all 4 teams, in addition to a traditional group of SPs on the mound for each team as well, we’re gearing up for a fun one here.

PITCHING

All four arms in this one are of the quality variety, but if we had to evaluate the strength of each relative to the field, I would knock Max Fried down to the bottom of the list for DFS purposes. Not only does he have a lower K% compared to the other names, but he also faces arguably the most dangerous and intimidating lineup in the league, too.

What’s interesting to note here though, is that Fried actually had a dominant outing vs LAD last time out (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 9 K) – so we don’t want to write him off.

For the Rays and Astros, both SPs are candidates to go twice through the order unless it becomes a blowout early (very, very unlikely). In a game 7, every single micro-matchup counts. They’ll be using their respective stud arms in any and every way possible to best position themselves to win what is easily the most difficult game each team has played in 2020.

In what I find to be a bit surprising, the weakest split amongst the 4 SPs is actually Lance McCullers Jr.vs RHBs (.324 wOBA dating back to the start of 2018). He’s elite vs LHBs (.265 wOBA), so it’s not a bad idea to fade lefty Rays here today.

The next weakest splits are Max Fried vs RHBs (.309 wOBA) and LHBs vs Charlie Morton (.303 wOBA).

When Walker Buehler struggles vs RHBs, the ball flies out of the yard at a pretty good clip. Similarly for Morton against LHBs. However, each of them own top K% in the respective splits – so when they make mistakes it’s often a big one. That makes ATL powerful RHBs and HOU powerful LHBs a little extra attractive.

Overall, I actually think McCullers nets out as the guy you want to prioritize some exposure to here, with a 26% K% vs RHPs for the Rays (tops on the slate). Max Fried has some sneaky appeal as well given the Dodgers are stronger vs RHP than LHP and his team is the only one here that has some “give” as they’re sitting with a 3-2 series lead. Not to mention a great start against him last time out, assuming he can continue building on that success. Fading Buehler will certainly be contrarian here, which is never a bad idea to take a risk on in GPPs.

HITTING

Even though I’m pushing McCullers a bit here, RHBs on TB are actually intriguing here. Yandy Diaz (141 wRC+) and Randy Arozarena (126 wRC+) are the top 2 data-centric plays. Manuel Margot with how hot he is (and well priced) as well as Willy Adames (particularly lower own% expectation given Corey Seager’s positive recency bias) are a couple others to have in your rotation. Mike Brosseau could be sneaky as well given his power potential, but there’s a chance they don’t start him and instead save him for a LHP-RHB opportunity in the later innings.

Fading the Dodgers will be a little contrarian here given their brand name nature, but A.J. Pollock (201 wRC+) is an elite hitter vs LHP, and the likes of Max Muncy (122), Corey Seager (121) and Justin Turner (111) are all plus in the weighted runs created department in the split. Just don’t be shocked to see minimal long balls in this one as Fried is an elite ground ball pitcher. Edwin Rios could be an off the board play with ultra low own% especially since he probably won’t start, but could easily come in for a couple at bats once the Braves roll in a RHP.

For Atlanta, even though Freddie Freeman’s 216 wRC+ vs RHP is other-worldly, Buehler is absolutely dominant vs LHBs (even more than RHBs in the wOBA department), so he could have a rougher time today (at least through the first 4-5 innings). Don’t take him out of the player pool though.

Travis d’Arnaud (172 wRC+), Ronald Acuna Jr.(166 wRC+) and Marcell Ozuna (165 wRC+) are all plus hitters vs RHP, and would keep them rolling with 20-30% exposure at minimum.

Check out the full player pool below as you head into crunching mode for this slate!

Cheat Sheet

$ TierPC1B2B3BSSOF
High
Lance McCullers
(8.3k / 14.50)
(8.6k / 25.83)
( / 14.50)
Will Smith
(4.5k / 9.18)
(3.3k / 11.97)
( / 7.59)
Max Muncy
(4.9k / 11.24)
(3.7k / 14.66)
( / 9.30)
Justin Turner
(4.8k / 10.46)
(3.2k / 13.64)
( / 8.65)
Corey Seager
(5.2k / 12.29)
(4.2k / 16.02)
( / 10.16)
George Springer
(4.5k / 9.71)
(4.4k / 12.66)
( / 8.03)
Travis d'Arnaud
(4.3k / 8.64)
(3.1k / 11.27)
( / 7.14)
Freddie Freeman
(5.2k / 10.97)
(4.2k / 14.31)
( / 9.07)
Alex Bregman
(4.6k / 7.95)
(3.5k / 10.37)
( / 6.58)
Ronald Acuna
(5.1k / 10.86)
(4.2k / 14.16)
( / 8.98)
Randy Arozarena
(5k / 9.59)
(3.6k / 12.50)
( / 7.93)
Marcell Ozuna
(4.7k / 10.27)
(4.1k / 13.40)
( / 8.50)
Medium
Max Fried
(7.8k / 11.73)
(9.7k / 20.89)
( / 11.73)
Carlos Correa
(4.6k / 8.73)
(3.4k / 11.38)
( / 7.22)
Michael Brantley
(3.8k / 7.64)
(3.2k / 9.96)
( / 6.32)
A.J. Pollock
(4.2k / 6.30)
(3.1k / 8.21)
( / 5.21)
Low
Yulieski Gurriel
(2.9k / 3.89)
(2.5k / 5.07)
( / 3.22)
Yandy Diaz
(3.4k / 0.66)
(2.5k / 0.86)
( / 0.54)
Willy Adames
(3.7k / 5.37)
(2.4k / 7.01)
( / 4.44)
Kyle Tucker
(3.2k / 5.95)
(3.7k / 7.76)
( / 4.92)
Edwin Rios
(3.6k / 0.52)
(2.4k / 0.68)
( / 0.43)
Manuel Margot
(3.5k / 7.25)
(3k / 9.45)
( / 5.99)
Nick Markakis
(2.9k / 3.51)
(2.2k / 4.58)
( / 2.90)

About Jared

Jared is an expert fantasy sports player for both DFS and season-long formats. Specializing in DFS Baseball, Football & Basketball, with tens of thousands of dollars in career DFS earnings. Active player on FanDuel, DraftKings & FantasyDraft. Annual NFBC high stakes league participant.

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