Welcome to the first playoff edition of the MLB Cheat Sheet for the 2017 postseason! This article will give you some quick hits on today’s four-game slate of playoff baseball to get your lineups ready. As always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Clayton Kershaw vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – $11,400 – Kershaw is the second most expensive pitcher on this four-game slate today, but he’s the heavy favorite against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The D-Backs has a total implied total of just three runs on the evening as they face Kershaw for the third time this season. In two prior starts, the D-Backs have scored one run on six hits through 15 1/3 innings with a 19:3 K:BB ratio. Those 19 strikeouts add up to an 11.1 K/9 of Kershaw. At Dodger Stadium, Kershaw owns a .257 wOBA with a .364 SLG and a K/9 of 11.2.
New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians (Progressive Field) – Slight chance of rain all throughout the afternoon in Cleveland. It doesn’t seem like it poses much of a threat, but it’s worth checking again before first pitch.
Park Factors are ranked on a scale of 1.000. Anything above 1.000 is favorable towards the hitters. Anything below that mark favors pitchers.
- Nationals Park – Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals – Nationals Park checks in as our most favorable ballpark for hitters. All offensive categories except triples and walks are favored here.
- Minute Maid Park – Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros – Minute Maid Park is our worst ballpark for hitters on the day. No offensive categories are favored here.
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
|Worst vs. LHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. LHB||OPS||AVG|
|Drew Pomeranz||.778||.283||Dallas Keuchel||.435||.145|
|Clayton Kershaw||.734||.248||Stephen Strasburg||.573||.193|
|Taijuan Walker||.727||.230||Corey Kluber||.575||.200|
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
|Worst vs. RHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. RHB||OPS||AVG|
|Taijuan Walker||.736||.262||Corey Kluber||.539||.186|
|CC Sabathia||.722||.244||Clayton Kershaw||.570||.203|
|Drew Pomeranz||.693||.240||Stephen Strasburg||.589||.215|
Batter vs. Pitcher Splits
|Carlos Santana||CC Sabathia||19||2.68|
|Jason Heyward||Stephen Strasburg||37||2.08|
*(Fantasy Points Per At Bat)
Pitcher to Build Around
Stephen Strasburg – WAS vs. CHC – $10,600 – Strasburg feels like a bit of a bargain on this slate with his $10.6K salary against the Cubs. Compared to the top-priced pitchers, Strasburg saves you $1,400 over Corey Kluber and $800 over Clayton Kershaw on this slate. Strasburg has a favorable matchup against a Cubs team that owned a 23.1 K% on the road during the 2017 regular season. Strasburg also faced this team during the regular season and struck out 13 in seven innings. Saving some salary to pay up for some of the big bats on this slate is a strategy I’m looking to capitalize on in this slate.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Jose Ramirez – CLE vs. NYY – $4,900 – The majority of hitters on this slate are in tough matchups, so Ramirez is one of my anchors for today. He was red hot to end the season and hitting against lefties was one of his strong points. He ended the 2017 season with a .395 wOBA against them with a .953 OPS and a 36% hard-hit rate. For as solid as Sabathia was during the season, he still allowed 19 of his 21 home runs to right-handed batters and nine of those came on the road.
Save Big by Drafting…
Alex Bregman – HOU vs. BOS – $3,900 – Bregman against a left-handed pitcher is essentially a lock for me when constructing my lineups. On the season, Bregman posted a .406 wOBA against left-handed pitching and that number jumped slightly at home to .411. Drew Pomeranz has the park factor on his side for this matchup, but Bregman has shown time and time again that he hits well at Minute Maid Park.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) 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.