This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We take a comprehensive look to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.
Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.
The action kicks off at 6:00pm ET. Remember, a key to small slate GPPs is to find unpopular, down-lineup heroes. I’ll try to highlight a couple while mostly focusing on the top targets at each position. Yahoo! is not running a contest.
Despite his accursed reputation in the postseason, Kershaw is the only pitcher on the docket who can be comfortably expected to finish five or more innings. He also projects for the most strikeouts per inning. Although he’s obviously the chalk in this two-game slate, past October failures might serve to depress his rostership.
Travis d’Arnaud – Dodgers (vs TBD) –DK: $4400, FD: $3100
Will Smith would be the choice, but Austin Barnes started the last time Kershaw was on the bump. D’Arnaud is a fine consolation prize. He bats near the heart of the lineup – probably fifth or sixth. There isn’t anything particular to this matchup that favors the Braves catcher. Neither he nor Kershaw have handedness platoon splits, and they both favor ground balls. Catcher seems like a fine spot to go contrarian.
Gurriel quite obviously isn’t the top-projected first baseman tonight, but there are favorable aspects about his matchup with Yarbrough. While neither player has handedness platoons – at least by high level measures – Gurriel does produce slightly better lift against opposite-handed foes. I suspect this may be even more true against soft-tossers like Yarbrough. Pulled ground balls are Gurriel’s undoing as a DFS asset. Putting a couple balls in the air would really boost his projection.
Urquidy produced a lovely 2.73 ERA in five starts this season, but run estimators expected closer to a 5.00 ERA mark. The issue was a sharp down-tick in strikeout and swinging strike rates. If he’s not inducing whiffs, this Rays offense is going to be tough to crack. Lowe’s biggest weakness at the plate is strikeouts. When he connects, he delivers frequently barreled contact at ideal launch angles for power. Lowe is the likeliest infielder to homer tonight.
For a player supposedly having a down season, Bregman sure is playing well. He has a .290/.389/.419 batting line through 36 postseason plate appearances. As with the regular season, his power has seemingly taken a step back. It’s his only skill showing any signs of decline. Power, or more specifically Isolated Slugging, is notoriously fickle. We need multi-season samples before we can confidently say a player’s home run potential has dropped. Bregman continues to hit plenty of line drives and fly balls so the opportunity for power outcomes remains tangible.
Seager is one of the top five hitters in this tiny slate and perhaps my favorite DFS target of the 2020 campaign. Even so, this isn’t an ideal matchup. Part of Anderson’s success this season was a high ground ball rate. While Seager is among the best in the league at producing hard contact, he doesn’t generate much lift. It helps when opponents work up in the zone. Anderson nibbles low and uses a lethal changeup to neutralize opposite-handed hitters.
Since Kershaw is so clearly the best pitcher in this miniscule contest, it makes all the sense in the world to target against him in GPPs. Kershaw is, after all, not immune to home runs. He coughed up 1.23 HR/9 this season, slightly better than league average. Acuna is neck and neck with Mookie Betts for the top projection, and he’s also the likeliest to deliver a home run. As a right-handed fly ball hitter, he matches up decently with Kershaw.
Cristian Pache – Braves (at Clayton Kershaw) – DK: $2100, FD: $2000
With Adam Duvall waylaid by an oblique strain, Pache will probably get the start while batting ninth for the Braves. He’s an interesting way to form a contrarian Braves stack while loading money into other high-priced players like Acuna, Albies, and Freeman. Pache is a highly touted prospect with above average pop and considerable speed. Where he might prove overmatched is with his contact ability and plate discipline – he’s run high whiff rates throughout his entire career. Scouting reports will be vague due to a lack of data, increasing the chance for a mistake on the part of the Dodgers.