Perhaps there is a little Dodger magic this season as they honor legendary broadcaster Vin Scully for his 67 years with the team. It is a tall order taking on Jon Lester, but this is what makes even a two game slate a lot of fun!
Jon Lester – CHC vs LAD – $11,700 – Lester is the clear cut top play because he is by far the best pitcher going on Saturday. Of course this means he will be the most popular as well. The current Dodgers have had very little success against Lester, mustering a .174/.234/.235 slash line with just seven doubles allowed and a 25.2% strikeout rate in 115 at bats. As a team this season, Los Angeles posted a 72 wRC+ against southpaws which was the worst in baseball. Weighted runs created plus (wRC+) is an advanced metric that neutralizes ball park factors and creates a league-wide scoring efficiency baseline of 100, which means that the Dodgers are scoring 28% less efficiently against lefties than the average team.
J.A. Happ – TOR at CLE – $8,100 – While this is not the easiest of matchups and quite frankly at this stage in the playoffs, very few will be, Cleveland has struggled a bit against Happ with a .232/.277/.286 slash line and just 6 doubles in 112 at bats with a 21.5% strikeout rate against a pitcher not really known for strikeouts. On the season Happy as been excellent with a 20-4 record and a 3.18 ERA with a 1.17 WHIP. While Cleveland has been excellent at home, Happ is the second most likeliest hurler to go at least six innings today.
Josh Donaldson (3B) – TOR at CLE – $5,300 – Donaldson has been excellent this season against right-handed pitching with a .405 wOBA and a .270 ISO. Most gamers will not have the funding to easily work him into their lineups, so he is a fine differentiation option.
Kris Bryant (3B/OF) – CHC vs LAD – $5,100 – Bryant gives us some flexibility qualifying both at the hot corner and in the outfield. This season he posted a .382 wOBA and a .240 ISO against same-handed pitchers.
Anthony Rizzo (1B) – CHC vs LAD – $4,800 – While none of the Cubs have ever faced RHP Kenta Maeda, we should not shy away from them as they are hitting in their wonderful home ballpark. Over his last 471 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers, Rizzo has accumulated a .404 wOBA and a wicked 154 wRC+. Enjoy!
Jason Kipnis (2B) – CLE vs TOR – $4,200– Kipnis is solid in lefty/lefty matchups and he actually has fared well against LHP J.A. Happ with three hits in nine at bats.
Jose Ramirez (3B/OF) – CLE vs TOR – $3,700 – Ramirez is another player with multi-position eligibility who can help us via his flexibility. Like many of his teammates, he has been tremendous at home this season with 50% more of his counting stats coming in the friendly environment of Progressive Field in just five more at bats.
Michael Saunders (OF) – TOR at CLE – $3,200 – If Saunders is in the lineup, he is a nice source of salary relief and we have seen him produce regardless of his spot in the batting order this season.
Russell Martin (CATCH) – TOR at CLE – $3,200 – Because it is the playoffs, it is unlikely that Martin will get Saturday off, so we can lock him into our lineups as the clear cut top catching option from a price/production perspective.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is emac) 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.