FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 10/1/20

Which matchups stand out on Thursday's five-game MLB playoff slate?

It's day three of the MLB playoffs, and we've already seen three teams sent packing. More will following in their footsteps today, as it's now a winner-take-all matchup between the Chicago White Sox and Oakland Athletics while four National League squads will go for their respective sweeps.

Much like yesterday, today's first game begins at 12:08pm ET while the last is at 10:08pm ET, so be prepared to double-check lineups during the day.

Our daily helper is available every day to analyze FanDuel's main slate and help give you a starting point when you're building lineups. Be sure to also incorporate our great tools into your research process. Whether you're looking for daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, or batting and pitching heat maps to find the best matchups -- we've got you covered!

On that note, let's highlight some of the top options for today's FanDuel main slate. Below are tonight's projected starters with their 2020 stats. Opposing team strikeout rate and wRC+ date now show this year's splits against a given pitcher's handedness using up-to-date active rosters, per FanGraphs.

Note that as of this writing, the White Sox and Athletics haven't officially announced their starters, so no pitchers are listed for them.

PitcherSalaryL/ROpp.SIERAK%BB%Opp. K%Opp. wRC+
Yu Darvish$11,000RMIA3.1431.3%4.7%24.2%92
Luis Castillo$10,200R@ATL3.3530.5%8.2%23.1%125
Clayton Kershaw$9,800LMIL3.2228.1%3.6%25.9%107
Brandon Woodruff$9,400R@LOS3.3031.1%6.1%20.2%126
Ian Anderson$9,200RCIN3.8229.7%10.1%25.5%103
Zach Davies$8,600RSTL4.3222.8%6.9%24.3%92
Adam Wainwright$8,300R@SDP4.3920.6%5.7%20.6%128
Sixto Sanchez$7,600R@CHC4.1820.9%7.0%25.3%97

Let's check out the top spots on today's slate.


Yu Darvish ($11,000) has the slate's best combination of talent and matchup, making him easily the day's top hurler. The high salary may restrict your hitting options, but it doesn't hurt your ceiling, as Trevor Bauer (63 FanDuel points) reminded us at a similar salary on yesterday's slate. Darvish is fully capable of that kind of score and particularly against a below-average Marlins lineup.

Following Darvish, there's a case for using any of the next four guys with salaries above $9k on a small slate, but the opponents are more favorable for Clayton Kershaw ($9,800) and Ian Anderson ($9,200).

We all know the trials and tribulations of postseason Kershaw, and it's just his luck that for all their struggles, the Brewers weren't total pushovers against southpaws this season. Kershaw didn't hit 100 pitches is any of his 10 starts, which isn't the best sign for his upside, but he did have a season-high 61 points. On paper, his credentials should be good enough to at least have a high floor in this spot.

Anderson has the worst walk rate on the board, which is an obvious concern against a patient Reds team that posted the highest walk rate against righties this season (12.3%). Still, he's the cheapest of today's high-strikeout arms, and Cincinnati whiffs quite a bit, so he has tournament appeal.

The value ranks offer less certainty, but you could bet on the talented arm of Sixto Sanchez ($7,600). Sanchez really struggled to find the plate down the stretch, so there's no telling what we get today, but he showed loads of promise when he was on his game. Armed with a fastball that can hit triple-digits and a ground-ball rate that qualifies as elite (58.0%), he could find success versus the Cubs.


We're still waiting on who will take the mound for the Chicago White Sox and Oakland Athletics, but if we get Mike Fiers out there for Oakland, the Pale Hose immediately jump to the top of our hitting list.

Fiers would easily be the worst of today's crop of starters, finishing the regular season with a 5.41 SIERA, 14.4% strikeout rate, and 6.2% walk rate. He performed poorly against both sides of the plate, but curiously only managed a 10.4% strikeout rate in same-sided matchups.

Outside of that scenario, the pitching chart shows that much like Tuesday's opening playoff slate, there isn't much an advantage for most opposing lineups today.

The San Diego Padres are arguably in the best spot against Adam Wainwright, who has the lowest strikeout rate of today's confirmed starters. Wainwright generally hasn't been a huge source for home runs, but he's given up 1.8 per 9.0 innings to lefty sticks dating back to 2019. San Diego is also expected to be extra warm today, which would be another boost for the Padres.

Sixto Sanchez doesn't rate as a great matchup for the Chicago Cubs, but they have to be considered in the event he can't find the plate. Sanchez posted a 12.5% strikeout rate and 14.1% walk rate over his last three outings.

Otherwise, you could take chances on top offenses in tough matchups like the Los Angeles Dodgers or Atlanta Braves and hope they pull what the New York Yankees did the last couple nights.

This definitely looks like one of those slates were thinking outside the box could prove to be your best course of action in large-field GPPs.