St Louis Cardinals  v Kansas City Royals

The Cardinals came from behind in Game 4 to force a do-or-die scenario Wednesday. The pitching matchup is a good one with Atlanta’s Mike Foltynewicz taking the mound against the Cardinals’ Jack Flaherty. We saw these two duel in Game 2 of the series, and the Braves came out ahead 3-0. With -115 odds, the Cardinals are slightly favored in what amounts to a near pick’ em game. This is likely due to Flaherty’s dominance since the All-Star break. In the second half of the season, he put up a minuscule 0.91 ERA. Similarly, Foltynewicz got stronger as the season wore on. He started slow and dealt with early season injuries before getting back on track after the All-Star break. Folty had a 2.65 ERA in the second half.

Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.


FIVE BETTING TRENDS

— The underdogs have won each of the Braves’ last three games at SunTrust Park.

— The ‘Inning 1 UNDER 0.5 runs’ market has hit in each of the Braves’ last eight Wednesday night games.

— The Braves have led after 3 innings in each of their last 10 games at SunTrust Park against National League opponents.

— Five of the Cardinals’ last six night games against National League opponents have gone OVER the total runs line.

— The Braves have won six of the 10 games this season against the Cardinals.

Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Braves

The start Mike Foltynewicz ($9,800) had earlier in the series was probably his best start of the season. He made it through seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts, ending the game with 32 DKFP. Folty only tossed 82 pitches before Atlanta turned to the bullpen, meaning he should be well rested for tonight’s game. Given his strong outing earlier in the series and his overall dominance since the All-Star break, Foltynewicz is one of the safer plays in this game and comes with plenty of upside.

In my lineup builds for this game, I am doing everything I can to jam in both starting pitchers. For this reason, I am looking more at the cheap hitters than the expensive bats. If you do have the cap space for one of the Braves’ big boppers, Ronald Acuna ($10,800) is the guy to roster. He is coming off of a four-hit game where he scored 19 DKFP, and he’s reached base in every game this series. Across the four games, he is averaging 13.5 DKFP.

The hardest bat to trust for his price is Freddie Freeman ($8,800). He’s been dealing with an elbow injury, and it seems to be having an impact on his production. Freeman has gone hitless in his past three games and scored a grand total of 2.0 DKFP over this cold stretch. Typically I assume a player of his caliber would turn it around and I would dismiss the small sample size, however, the injury is the likely explanation for the recent lack of success.

There isn’t really a good way to attack Jack Flaherty ($10,800) since he’s been so dominant lately. I still am willing to look at the cheaper Braves lefties as a source of value since they have a platoon advantage. The first guy who stands out is Brian McCann ($4,000). He doesn’t have much of an upside, but he’s reached base in three of the four games in this series. McCann figures to be the cheapest starter from this game, and his salary savings are necessary to fit in both starting pitchers. Nick Markakis ($5,600) is also fairly cheap and hits in the middle of the order for Atlanta.


Cardinals

It seems unlikely that Jack Flaherty ($16,200 CP) will fail out of the captain spot. He has the best combination of ceiling and floor of any player in this game by a pretty wide margin. Even though he took the loss in Game 2, Flaherty still put up a respectable 20.4 DKFP. He’s scored more than 19 DKFP in 17 straight starts, and I am not too concerned about the difficult matchup because of how well he’s pitched lately. Flaherty had a 0.91 ERA in the second half of the season as noted in the intro, so he was basically matchup-proof.

The best way to go about rostering hitters against Foltynewicz is selecting righties. Folty was a reverse-splits pitcher this season, allowing a .307 wOBA to lefties compared to a .328 wOBA to righties. Both Marcell Ozuna ($9,800) and Paul Goldschmidt ($9,600) homered last game, although they are a bit too expensive to fit into the builds I am looking to make. If he starts, Harrison Bader ($4,600) is a value play worth looking at. He was out of the lineup for Games 3 and 4, but we saw his upside in the opening game of the series. He stole a base and scored a run on his way to 10 DKFP. Bader also has a bit of power and hit 12 homers in limited regular season at-bats.

My favorite overall value bat from this game is Dexter Fowler ($5,800). He’s much too cheap for his lineup slot. Fowler has served as the Cardinals’ leadoff hitter for most of the second half of the season, a role that’s put him in position to score more runs once he reaches base. He also has shown a bit more power hitting leadoff than other spot in the order. Fowler has six homers as a leadoff hitter, which is more than he has hitting out of any other spot in the order.


THE OUTCOME

This is a tough game to call, and it’s lined at a near pick’ em at the DK Sportsbook for good reason. With that said, I have a slight lean towards the Cardinals. Flaherty has been nearly impossible to hit in the second half of the season, and I think it’s all building towards this moment. In his final 13 regular season starts, Flaherty allowed a total of seven earned runs. In a game where there isn’t much to distance these two teams, I am siding with the stronger starting pitcher.

Final Score: St. Louis 4, Atlanta 3


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.


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