Welcome to the Friday, October 8, 2021 MLB DFS slate rundown for FanDuel, DraftKings & Yahoo! fantasy baseball contests
The wild card showdowns have come and gone, and we’ve even seen a couple AL teams face off against each other for their first games of their respective series. Some great baseball being played without question, but we get the luxury of a 4-game Friday slate from a DFS standpoint, and we wanted to come to the table with something to help you set your lineups today.
We’ll run through both the pitching and hitting side of things, with the goal of uncovering a key nugget or two along the way that you’ll be able to leverage as you build your cash game and tournament rosters this afternoon.
We have quite a bit of talent on the mound today, as you’d generally expect from playoff teams. I’ve always subscribed to the ‘recent form’ data as being a strong indicator of what we can expect on a given night for a particular player. They may have started the season strong, but the ‘what have you done lately’ angle always brings out a more representative form of how they’re throwing. It’s a long season, and you’re never the exact same guy at inning 1 as you are at inning 150-200 or beyond.
Corbin Burnes enters the slate as the most talented arm on the docket today. And, he’s also going to cost you an arm and a leg (see what i did there?). A 2.43 SIERA, 14.5 K/9 and 47% ground ball rate in his last 5 starts is absolutely elite. Couple that with a 18.5% whiff rate and 41.7% chase rate in that time, and the strikeout numbers won’t surprise you one bit. Atlanta did make him look human when they faced him earlier this year, but i expect he’ll come back and dominate today knowing he’s completely righted the ship over the last month (after a small lapse in performance in the middle of the second half).
Logan Webb is another one that i’m excited about here. He won’t enter with the same kind of strikeout upside as Burnes (9.3 K/9 vs 14.5 K/9 in their last month of action respectively), but e sub-3.00 SIERA and elite 61% ground ball rate in that time tell us what kind of skills we’re working with. He has a tough draw against the Dodgers, but was very productive against them in 3 starts this year and deserves plenty of attention. He’s only allowed 4 ER in 16 IP with better than a strikeout an inning against them in 2021, and the ground ball profile will do wonders for us here.
Lucas Giolito may get overlooked here, partly because of a 3.86 SIERA in the last month compared to 5 other names that have marks lower than him in that time frame. But also because he’s a road underdog against the Astros. Not only has he thrown pretty well in his last few starts and just about all of August and September combined, but let’s not forget the complete game gem he threw against Houston earlier this year. He went the distance with 3 hits, 1 earned run, no walks and 8 strikeouts when they last faced off. He’s a workhorse that the White Sox will absolutely need to ride here in game 2, and with their success against Framber Valdez this year as well (6 ER in 2 starts vs CHW), there could be a GPP gem to consider for a guy that’s only $7,100 on DK.
Lastly, we have to give some credit to Shane Baz where it’s due. He’s been electric of late for the Rays (2.69 SIERA in his last 3 starts), and although that’s amounted to just 13.1 IP, the 12.2 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and 16% whiff% have to excite you. Especially against a Red Sox team that was just shut out by Shane McClanahan and the Rays in the first game of their series. Based on how well he’s thrown and the value he brings to the table here (just $6,300 on DK!), we can expect a productive 2x through the order (~5 innings) as a GPP option here today.
HITTING STACKS/MINI STACKS TO CONSIDER
If we blindly follow the Vegas numbers, we’d look at the Astros and their 4.28 run expectancy and crown them as the “team to stack” on this slate. However, we know that baseball is one of the highest variance sports there is, and from a DFS standpoint we absolutely need to take this into consideration.
Particularly because I just shared the success that Giolito’s had against the Astros this year (albeit in just one start). The only Astro that’s really had major success against Giolito over the last 3 years is Michael Brantley, who really hasn’t been much of a factor for the Astros in 2021. Jose Altuve’s been decent against him as well with 2 H in 9 PA, but everyone else has a .200 wOBA or worse from a BvP perspective. I see the Astros as a smart team to consider minimizing exposure to in GPPs, or fading altogether from a contrarian perspective.
On the other side of things, the White Sox are a great team to attack with some contrarian hitting exposure. Andrew Vaughn has 3 H in 6 PA against Valdez, including a long ball. He hits LHP exceptionally well, and should be a part of your player pool for sure. Yoan Moncada’s been better than the numbers suggest this year, and remains a threat for the White Sox, too. Let’s not forget Luis Robert’s 231 wRC+ against LHP this year (.397 ISO, .794 SLG in 68 PA). He’s been a beast in the split, and needs to be in your player pool, too. The same goes for Yasmani Grandal who has a 184 wRC+ and .1.031 OPS against lefties in 2021.
I think it’s time that we give the Rays the credit they deserve in the playoffs. I’m not saying that they’ve not yet received any accolades for how they perform in the postseason, but we can’t shy away from them even with a big name on the mound against them. Chris Sale is still a talented pitcher, but he’s a shell of his former self. He’s in tough against a TB offense with Nelson Cruz, Randy Arozarena, Mike Zunino, Yandy Diaz and Wander Franco who all hit LHP very well. Zunino has an insane .526 ISO and 242 wRC+ vs LHP this year. Franco’s burst onto the scene in his rookie season and has a 181 wRC+ with a 1.020 ISO in 110 PA in the split. Arozarena, Cruz and Diaz have always been dangerous (especially the first two names), and have OPS marks of over .910 in the split this year, too. I love them for mini stacks at minimum today.
Charlie Morton’s owned the Brewers hitters over the last few seasons on the whole. They have a .215 wOBA against him with a mere .103 ISO in 77 PA. Lorenzo Cain and Luis Urias own the most success against him, but there’s been something in the water for Milwaukee this year and I can’t help but feel their best outings against him have yet to be seen. There’s some value on this roster for sure, and it won’t surprise me if they nickel and dime Morton today while quietly racking up low-end fantasy points in the process. I’m looking mainly at Willy Adames, Kolten Wong, Lorenzo Cain and Luis Urias (assuming he starts) for a bit of exposure. Nothing crazy, but a few pieces here and there given their attractive price points overall.
ONE-OFF HITTING PLAYS
Looking at the recent form across the league, here are a few more names that stand out for us to consider here today:
- Brandon Lowe – although this is a LvL situation, his .680 wOBA and .810 ISO over the last week is the best in baseball. He’s got plenty of power against lefties, and it won’t surprise me if the Rays make short work of Sale, bringing up a primarily RHP-dominant bullpen for the Red Sox. Lowe may have lower ownership today and could be an elite play when all is said and done.
- Corey Seager – he’s right after Lowe in terms of recent form, with a .674 wOBA and .625 ISO in his last week of action. However, I do feel like Logan Webb could completely stop the Dodgers in their tracks, so I’m not prepared to go too heavy with exposure. Especially with the minimal HR tendencies as an elite GB-producer they’re facing in Webb.
- Tim Anderson – no crazy split metrics to jump out at us against LHP, but a .476 AVG in 22 PA in his last 5 games with a 65% hard contact rate makes him an intriguing leadoff option for the White Sox here.
- Justin Turner – let’s not forget the kind of playoff performer he is. He went deep for the Dodgers against Adam Wainwright in their wild card showdown, and he comes into the game today with an elite 26.8 degree launch angle with a 218 wRC+ in his last 6 games (20 PA). LIke with Seager, they have a tough draw vs Logan Webb, but his late inning heroics against the SF bullpen could make him a great target. #playoffturnermode
- Manuel Margot – the value on DK at $2,300 is excellent here, even for a guy who doesn’t have split numbers that jump off the page. He still gives you great AB and with that speed, can certainly do some damage on the basepaths. He should hit 6th or 7th here and makes for a really nice value option at the price point.
OCT 8 MAIN SLATE MLB DFS CHEAT SHEET
$ Tier P C 1B 2B 3B SS OF High Corbin Burnes (9.1k / 25.48) (10.4k / 45.39) (51 / 25.48) Yasmani Grandal (4.4k / 8.58) (2.8k / 11.19) (20 / 7.10) Jose Abreu (4.1k / 9.42) (3.8k / 12.28) (16 / 7.79) Jose Altuve (4.6k / 9.98) (4k / 13.01) (18 / 8.25) Rafael Devers (5.5k / 9.89) (4.1k / 12.89) (18 / 8.18) Xander Bogaerts (5k / 9.27) (4k / 12.09) (15 / 7.66) Mookie Betts (5.2k / 9.41) (3.6k / 12.27) (18 / 7.78) Freddie Freeman (4.4k / 7.84) (3.9k / 10.22) (16 / 6.48) Corey Seager (4.9k / 9.41) (3.9k / 12.27) (24 / 7.78) Randy Arozarena (4.8k / 9.93) (3.7k / 12.95) (20 / 8.21) Wander Franco (4.6k / 9.35) (3.4k / 12.19) (17 / 7.73) Yordan Alvarez (4.4k / 9.05) (3.4k / 11.80) (16 / 7.48) Luis Robert (5.1k / 10.13) (3.4k / 13.21) (23 / 8.38) Medium Logan Webb (8.2k / 19.67) (8.8k / 35.05) (37 / 19.67) Mike Zunino (3.8k / 4.69) (3k / 6.11) (18 / 3.88) Darin Ruf (3.3k / 0.55) (2.3k / 0.72) (7 / 0.46) Brandon Lowe (4.5k / 9.47) (3.6k / 12.34) (22 / 7.83) Justin Turner (4.6k / 8.24) (3.1k / 10.74) (16 / 6.81) Tim Anderson (4.7k / 9.89) (3.6k / 12.90) (20 / 8.18) Michael Brantley (3.4k / 6.73) (2.4k / 8.77) (9 / 5.56) Nelson Cruz (4.1k / 8.65) (3.3k / 11.28) (14 / 7.15) Jorge Soler (3.3k / 6.42) (3.5k / 8.37) (16 / 5.31) Christian Yelich (3.3k / 7.19) (3.2k / 9.38) (11 / 5.95) Kyle Tucker (4k / 5.90) (3.7k / 7.69) (22 / 4.88) Low Lucas Giolito (7.1k / 13.06) (8.4k / 23.28) (39 / 13.06) Rowdy Tellez (2.8k / 5.08) (2.3k / 6.62) (12 / 4.20) Kolten Wong (3.3k / 6.97) (3k / 9.09) (13 / 5.76) Yoan Moncada (3.9k / 6.40) (2.9k / 8.35) (16 / 5.29) Willy Adames (3.5k / 7.64) (3.4k / 9.96) (14 / 6.31) Lorenzo Cain (2.6k / 3.33) (2.5k / 4.34) (14 / 2.75) Shane Baz (6.3k / 15.17) (7.8k / 27.03) (38 / 15.17) Yandy Diaz (3.5k / 6.63) (2.8k / 8.64) (13 / 5.48) Manuel Margot (2.3k / 3.63) (2.4k / 4.73) (9 / 3.00) Luis Urias (3.8k / 0.65) (2.7k / 0.84) (13 / 0.54) LaMonte Wade Jr. (3.2k / 5.44) (2.9k / 7.09) (7 / 4.50)