Welcome to playoff baseball! We have a two game Wild Card Series slate that spans Tuesday and Wednesday. It will be tricky to navigate a very thin four team player pool, but let’s jump right in!
Madison Bumgarner – SFG at NYM – $11,200 – With this being an evenly matched contest, it is very hard to infer which team may get the win and the four DraftKings points that come along with it. The Mets have been a top five team this season against southpaws, but the pitcher fondly known as MadBum is having another excellent season with a 2.74 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP with 251 strikeouts in 226 2/3 innings.
Noah Syndergaard – NYM vs SFG – $10,700 – Syndergaard has had a fine season, though there is always the specter of soreness with his elbow and shoulder. He has had seven full days of rest since the Mets were able to clinch their spot on Saturday, and they had the luxury of skipping his Sunday start. Current Giants batters have a .176/.250/.235 slash line, though it is in a very small sample size of just 51 at bats.
Marcus Stroman – TOR vs BAL – $7,800 – Our “value” pitching options will be squaring off against each other in the twentieth meeting between these two teams this season, so there is quite a bit of familiarity. Current Orioles batsmen have had strong results against Stroman with a .309/.347/.496 slash line and fourteen extra base hits in 139 at bats with just a 17.3% strikeout rate. These numbers are not pretty, but in order to have hitters not facing the Wednesday aces, I will look to choose someone from this game. Stroman gets the slight nod for being at home.
Chris Tillman – BAL at TOR – $7,600 – Yikes, nobody wants to take a pitcher in the Rogers Centre against the fearsome Blue Jays offense, but if we want a lineup consisting of some of the Big Boppers, we are going to have to pick someone in this price range. This will be the fifth time Tillman has faced Toronto this season, and he has tallied 22 1/3 innings with nine earned runs, 29 baserunners and 16 strikeouts. While those numbers are decent, the current Blue Jays have a long history of making Tillman pay with a .299/.368/.580 slash line with 20 home runs, 24 doubles and two triples in 314 at bats.
Josh Donaldson (3B) – TOR vs BAL – $4,900 – I think the popular strategy is going to be rolling with hitters from the Tuesday game and pitchers from the Wednesday game, but we will need to find some differentiation plays. I think Donaldson could be one with his price point one of the highest on the slate. This season he was outstanding against right-handed pitching and he posted a .405 wOBA and a .270 ISO in 540 at bats.
Edwin Encarnacion (1B) – TOR vs BAL – $4,100 – Encarnacion is no stranger to RHP Chris Tillman with 58 career at bats culminating in a .293 average with three home runs and two doubles and teammate Jose Bautista (OF) – $4,300 is not too far behind with a .267 average, three home runs and four doubles. While these are small sample sizes and not a true indication of future performance, it is nice to see these numbers from two of the best hitters in the player pool.
Mark Trumbo (OF) – BAL at TOR – $4,200 – Trumbo has two-home run upside anytime he takes the field and on the season he has a .391 wOBA and a wicked .300 ISO against same-handed pitching.
Manny Machado (3B/SS) – BAL at TOR – $4,000 – With his eligibility at two different positions on DraftKings, I expect Machado to be the most popular hitter from this two game set. He has been phenomenal in his career against fellow righties and he is a tremendous play in all formats.
Yoenis Cespedes (OF) – NYM vs SFG – $4,200 – While he is facing a Cy Young contending pitcher, Cespedes can poke one over the fence at any time. We know that Bumgarner is not afraid to challenge hitters, so this will be a fantastic “leverage” spot to work in a likely less popular hitter with game changing upside in tournaments.
Chris Davis (1B) – BAL at TOR – $3,600 – Over the last four seasons, “Crush” has averaged 41 home runs per year. Though RHP Marcus Stroman has done a pretty good job of keeping balls in the yard, Davis can be a difference maker.
Devon Travis (2B) – TOR vs BAL – $3,400 – I think Travis will rival the popularity of Manny Machado tonight if he is at the top of the order for the Blue Jays at this low price point. Travis had a .300 BA this season with .785 OPS.
Hunter Pence (OF) – SFG at NYM – $3,300 – Pence is the forgotten man by the daily fantasy gaming world, but he has proven he can produce in the Postseaon. It is a tough matchup, but there is a good chance that even with a player pool consisting of just four teams that Pence is under owned.
Brandon Belt (1B) – SFG at NYM – $3,700 – With most gamers likely looking to work in Edwin Encarnacion or Chris Davis, I think Belt is going to be out of the loop, and he is the perfect batter to notch a couple of hits or walks and he does have extra base hit upside, even in this tough matchup with Noah Syndergaard.
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.