Every Sunday night this year, there will be a Captain’s Mode Showdown contest on DraftKings for the ESPN featured primetime game. Tonight’s game features two teams on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. Both the Giants and Phillies are within striking distance of the second Wild Card spot and can’t afford to give up ground.

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


FIVE BETTING TRENDS

— The Phillies have won seven of their last eight day games against National League opponents

— The ‘Inning 1 UNDER 0.5 runs’ market has hit in each of the Giants’ last four Sunday games against NL East opponents.

— The Giants have trailed after 3 innings in each of their last three Sunday games.

— Eight of the Giants’ last nine games have gone UNDER the total runs line

— Games at Oracle Park average a total of 7.9 runs.

Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Phillies

With a fairly low total in a game being play in a pitcher’s park, the starters could be popular plays. There is some safety to playing Jake Arrieta ($10,800), although the upside is limited. In his past 12 starts, his high fantasy output is 16.1 DKFP. He averages 12.7 DKFP because he no longer strikes out hitters. Now 33, the average fastball velocity for Arrieta has dipped to 92.74 mph. As a result his 7.1% swinging strike rate is the lowest since when he broke into the big leagues with the Orioles. On the positive side, the Giants are near the bottom of the league with an 85 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. I view Arrieta as more of a cash game target than a GPP target.

In his brief MLB career, Conner Menez ($9,000) is giving up a .418 wOBA to right-handed hitters. Against lefties, he’s found success and gives up a .271 wOBA. There isn’t much if a sample size to go off of, however the data we have indicates the Phillies’ righties are the strongest plays in tonight’s game. Even though Oracle is a strong pitcher’s park, it’s tougher on lefties than it is on righties.

For Philly, nobody hits left-handed pitching better than Rhys Hoskins ($8,200; $12,300 CP). He’s been struggling since the All-Star break, but I think he’s close to turning it around. Hoskins has shown a good eye at the plate recently, drawing walks in four consecutive games. All his missing is a big game to completely break out. He has a 170 wRC+ against lefties and faces a hittable southpaw. I am predicting this is the spot he busts out and therefore he makes for a solid captain’s pick.

He doesn’t get a ton of playing time, but if Sean Rodriguez ($5,600) makes his way into the lineup, he makes for a nice value play. At this point in his career, he makes for an effective platoon player. He isn’t much of a fielder and can’t hit righties although he still mashes left-handed pitching. His three homers have all come off southpaws and he has a 140 wRC+ against lefties.

The other three righties who hit left-handed pitching well for the Phillies all hit near the top of the order. Jean Segura ($7,200), Scott Kingery ($9,200) and J.T. Realmuto ($8,800) all make for viable options. Amongst these guys, I think Kingery makes for the strongest play. He should be leading off tonight and he’s scored double-digit DKFP in four of the past seven games.


Giants

I prefer the Phillies side of this game to the Giants. There are some viable plays from San Fran, but the hitters don’t have quite the same upside as the Philly hitters. Arrieta has been tough on righties this season and struggles against lefties. This puts the Giants’ lefties in play, however Oracle Park is a tough park for lefties to homer in because of the high wall in right field.

At a cheap price, Brandon Belt ($6,400) is my favorite bat to target from this side of the game. He doesn’t have much career success off Arrieta, however it has to be considered that Arrieta is a former Cy Young winner and no where near that level of pitcher anymore. It’s hard to take any career BVP numbers against him seriously at this point in his career. He gives up a .386 wOBA to lefties and Belt is one of the only competent lefties on the Giants.

As a punt play, Scooter Gennett ($4,800) is the cheapest projected starter in this game. He’s had a rough season because of injuries and, frankly, he’s been terrible when healthy. Consistent playing time could be the problem and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him close out the season strong if he can stay on on the field. Last season, Gennett had a 125 wRC+ and was one of the top hitting second baseman in the National League. This is a good spot to buy low with hopes he turns his season around.

We don’t have much information on Menez. In two big league starts, he’s been hit hard and has a 5.73 ERA. The underlying numbers don’t show much promise since he has a 7.49 FIP. He’s not considered a legitimate prospect and he had a 4.06 ERA during his time in Triple-A. There isn’t much to indicate he will find success in the MLB, although he’s cheap and figures to be low-owned relative to what we usually see from pitcher in Showdown contests. A build stacking Menez and the Giants is a viable contrarian GPP build.


THE OUTCOME

Oracle Park tends to deliver lower scoring games. I think there will be a bit more scoring here than usual with two weak starting pitcher on the mound although most of the offense is probably going to come via rallies as opposed to homers. I slightly favor the Phillies because they have the better offense.

Final Score: Philadelphia 5, San Francisco 4


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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.