MLB DFS Plays: Wednesday 10/20

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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.

PITCHER

Top Play: Julio UriasDodgers (vs Braves)

Don’t be surprised if Urias is pushed into a bulk reliever role. Even in such a case, he seems like an obvious top play in this group. He has the best strikeout per inning and run prevention projections of the day, coming in slightly better than Chris Sale. Of course, projection systems don’t understand the current version of Sale isn’t the guy from 2019 or even 2020 so the difference between Urias and Sale isn’t actually close.

Pivot: Framber ValdezAstros (at Red Sox)

I can’t really get behind expecting strong results from Sale or Huascar Ynoa. Valdez at least has the potential to cruise on the strength of frequent ground balls. He may receive enough run support to pitch deep into the game too.

Also Consider: Chris Sale, Huascar Ynoa

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CATCHER

Top Play: Will Smith – Dodgers (vs Ynoa)

Smith is automatically the top play at catcher. None of the other postseason backstops hold a candle to him offensively. This particular initial matchup is probably the most favorable he’ll see through the end of the postseason.

Pivot: Martin Maldonado – Astros (at Sale)

Generally, it’s unnecessary to save money in these playoff slates. Using Maldonado is entirely about leverage. As clearly the worst option available, he’ll have the lightest rostership. He also has non-trivial pop. At roughly one-in-ten, his home run odds are comparable to Travis d’Arnaud and better than the Boston duo.

Also Consider: Travis d’Arnaud, Christian Vazquez, Kevin Plawecki

FIRST BASE

Top Play: Yuli Gurriel – Astros (at Sale)

Freddie Freeman and Kyle Schwarber have stronger projections than Gurriel. I prefer the Astros first baseman since he has an easier matchup and could prove less popular. Both Sale and the Boston bullpen aren’t particularly imposing. Besides Ynoa, they could comprise most of the worst pitchers to work today. Gurriel also fits in a pseudo-contrarian Astros stack that leans on a few players not from the top of the lineup.

Pivot: Cody Bellinger – Dodgers (vs Ynoa)

Bellinger continues to deliver postseason magic while still looking rather broken. Ynoa is easily the worst pitcher in the slate, but even that comes with a caveat. The knock on Ynoa is he’s a reliever being asked to make starts. In this case, the Braves will use him like a reliever. It’s possible (though not likely) Ynoa won’t even pitch to Bellinger. Atlanta carries a deep stable of left-handed relievers to potentially stymie Bellinger.

Also Consider: Freddie Freeman, Kyle Schwarber

SECOND BASE

Top Play: Trea Turner – Dodgers (vs Ynoa)

We’re still waiting for Turner to really turn on the gears in this series. When he does, it’s liable to define the contest. He’s the top-projected player in the slate, narrowly edging out teammate Mookie Betts. Jose Altuve is a perfectly adequate top play alternative, and he costs about the same.

Pivot: Christian Arroyo – Red Sox (vs Valdez)

Arroyo is a strong dollar-for-dollar value, but that’s the end of his positive attributes in this matchup. He fits better against Astros relievers than Valdez. The Boston second baseman’s main advantage is a tiny rostership rate, making him a heavily leveraged play in GPPs.

Also Consider: Jose Altuve, Enrique Hernandez, Ozzie Albies

THIRD BASE

Top Play: Justin Turner – Dodgers (vs Ynoa)

Speaking of players who haven’t shown up yet, the lesser Turner is truly struggling at the plate. I haven’t identified a particular reason for his woes. A recent sore neck was reportedly a one-day issue. Absent an explanation, I’m inclined to bet on him coming to life tonight. The Dodgers are the best-positioned stack to pop.

Pivot: Austin Riley – Braves (at Urias)

Riley continues to sting hard contact against some of the best pitchers in the league. The platoon advantage is irrelevant to this recommendation as neither player has notable splits. Instead, we’re counting on catching a third baseman who is among the most talented available, cheapest priced, and probably the least popular.

Also Consider: Rafael Devers, Alex Bregman, Chris Taylor

SHORTSTOP

Top Play: Carlos Correa – Astros (at Sale)

The top-three shortstops are closely clustered today. I prefer Correa’s hitting profile against Sale, especially with the Green Monster there to boost pulled fly ball values. Sale has scuffled in both of his postseason outings. The Red Sox middling bullpen will probably be called to action well before the fifth inning.

Pivot: Dansby Swanson – Braves (at Urias)

Swanson has fallen into default pivot territory as the obvious fourth-best of the remaining shortstops. This is a tough matchup despite the platoon advantage and will likely bear little or no fruit for those who pick Swanson. There’s also a non-trivial chance – about 10 percent – that he’ll flat out lead the position.

Also Consider: Corey Seager, Xander Bogaerts

OUTFIELD

Top Plays: Mookie Betts – Dodgers (vs Ynoa)
Adam Duvall – Braves (at Urias)

I already teased the Betts recommendation as he’s neck-and-neck with Turner for the top projection of the day. He’s also expected to outperform all other outfielders by about 20 percent. The Duvall pick is a fairly standard use case. He’s facing a southpaw and leads the slate with a tad better than a one-in-four chance to homer. As always, he has an all-or-nothing feel.

Pivots: Chas McCormick – Astros (at Sale)
Eddie Rosario – Braves (at Urias)

In another standard recommendation for this column, whoever plays center field for the Astros – probably Jake Meyers or McCormick – is ludicrously mispriced and projects as an above average player. The lineup role and lack of need for cost savings all but ensures a low rostership.

For his career, Rosario has virtually no platoon split in his batting average or on base percentage. He does hit for markedly less power against fellow left-handers, but that’s only a temporary problem this evening. The Dodgers relief corps is mostly right-handed. An ideal pivot script for Rosario would include a single off Urias and a homer later in the game.

Also Consider: Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, Michael Brantley, Hunter Renfroe, Enrique Hernandez, Kyle Schwarber, Alex Verdugo, J.D. Martinez, Jorge Soler, Chris Taylor, Gavin Lux, A.J. Pollock