MLB-Showdown

Tuesday’s Showdown contests feature a choice between two games: Red Sox at Twins (8:10 p.m. ET) and Giants at Dodgers (10:10 p.m. ET). This article will focus on the late game. Notable injuries from this game include Corey Seager (hamstring), who is on the injured list and has been out since injuring himself seven days ago.

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


FIVE BETTING TRENDS

— The Giants have won four of their past five games as underdogs.

— Seven of the Dodgers’ past eight games against NL West opponents have gone UNDER the total runs line.

— The Dodgers’ average winning margin is 3.8 runs.

— Games at Dodger Stadium average a total of 8.7 runs.

— The average winning margin at Dodger Stadium is 3.4 runs.

Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Los Angeles Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw ($11,200; $16,800 CP) is on the mound for the Dodgers. Kershaw’s fastball velocity has cratered as his body has been broken down with injuries, sitting at about 90-91 mph in 2019, a significant drop from the 93 mph he averaged in 2017 and about one mph less than he averaged last season. Kershaw’s average fastball velocity is noticeably worse than the league average of about 93.5 mph.

However, Kershaw has increased the backspin on his four-seam fastball, helping to give the pitch some extra life to help overcome the loss in velocity. Kershaw’s average spin rate of 2,484 RPM on his four-seam fastball is significantly better than the league average of 2,285 RPM on four-seam fastballs and is the highest spin rate his fastball has recorded since the league began tracking spin rate in 2015. The added backspin helps Kershaw pitch above the barrel despite having below-average velocity.

Kershaw, while no longer a monster ace pitcher, is still effective, striking out 24% of batters, slightly better than the league average of 23%, while posting a strong 3.63 FIP and generating a swing and a miss on 12.3% of his total pitches, also a plus number. Kershaw’s 3.13 ERA is excellent, and pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium is one of the more forgiving environments for run prevention. He draws an outstanding matchup against an impotent Giants offense. The Giants are the second worst offense by both wOBA and isolated power and have struck out more often than average.

Los Angeles’ offense has been the game’s second best offense by wOBA both overall and against right-handed pitchers, and the Dodgers have the third lowest strikeout rate vs. righties. The Dodgers draw a matchup against a righty that does not miss many bats. Shaun Anderson ($8,200; $12,300 CP) has struck out just 15% of the batters he has faced, significantly worse than the league average of 23%, and has generated a swing and a miss on just 7% of his pitches, also a poor number. The Dodgers will be in excellent position to make contact and put the ball in play.

Anderson’s 3.97 ERA is better than average, but his peripheral statistics are less impressive. Anderson has allowed batters to produce an expected wOBA of .338 based on the exit velocities and angles of his batted balls, worse than the league average of .321 and worse than his actual wOBA allowed of .305. Anderson’s 4.39 FIP is also mediocre. Anderson’s peripheral statistics point toward some regression from his ERA, and the Dodgers will be in excellent position to begin that regression.

Left-handed batters are the preferred option for L.A., and good options from the left side include Joc Pederson ($9,000), Max Muncy ($9,800) and Alex Verdugo ($7,800). Matt Beatty ($6,000) is a cheaper option from the left side. NL MVP candidate Cody Bellinger ($10,600; $15,900 CP) is an elite option from the left-side. Bellinger has explosive numbers this season, ranking second best among all hitters by isolated power, wOBA and dingers. Justin Turner ($8,000) is an option from the right side.

Since Anderson gives up a lot of contact, examining the Dodgers’ on-contact numbers based on exit velocity and batted ball angle could be useful. Bellinger unsurprisingly leads the Dodgers with the best contact quality on batted balls vs. RHPs, with Muncy ranking second, Turner third and Pederson fourth. David Freese ($9,400) also has good contact quality on contact in a small sample vs. RHP, although Freese generally plays vs. LHPs and not RHPs.


San Francisco Giants

The Giants aren’t an appealing fantasy team either on the rubber or in the batter’s box, especially in this matchup against a great offense and strong pitcher. Anderson’s low strikeout rate caps his upside, so even if he prevents runs and baserunners effectively against a dangerous offense, he probably won’t rack up a big strikeout total, especially given the Dodgers’ lack of swing and miss vs. righties. Anderson has missed less bats on a per-pitch basis than average and has induced chasing outside of the strike zone at a below-average rate.

San Francisco’s impotent offense limits run scoring and RBI opportunities even for its best hitters. Pablo Sandoval ($8,400), who has seen a revival in 2019, has been San Francisco’s best hitter this season by wOBA, but has struggled badly vs. lefties and is not a good fantasy option given his matchup vs. the LHP in Kershaw. Brandon Belt ($7,600) has been S.F.’s second best hitter, but he also bats left-handed and has worse numbers vs. LHPs, diminishing his fantasy value in this matchup.

Options from the right side include Tyler Austin ($6,600), Evan Longoria ($6,400) and Buster Posey ($5,200). Austin has strong numbers vs. LHPs in 207 career plate appearances. The most recent time the Giants faced a LHP, Austin hit fifth in the order, and Donovan Solano ($4,600) hit leadoff.


THE OUTCOME

Kershaw ($16,800 CP) is an excellent choice as the Captain’s Pick against one of the weakest offenses in the game. Bellinger ($15,900 CP) is also an option as Captain’s Pick with his power-hitting upside. The Dodgers are the far superior hitting team and have the edge in the pitching matchup, making them heavy favorites to win this game.

Final score: Dodgers 6, Giants 2


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