FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 10/13/20
We're getting a slightly later start time for today's two-game league championship series slate, with the Braves-Dodgers getting going at 6:05pm ET, followed by Rays-Astros at 8:40pm ET. Scoring has been fairly low so far in this round, as none of the three games between the two series have exceeded six combined runs.
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.
|Pitcher||Salary||L/R||Opp.||SIERA||K%||BB%||Opp. K%||Opp. wRC+|
Let's check out the top spots on today's slate.
UPDATE: Kershaw has been scratched, and Tony Gonsolin ($7,900) will start in his place. Gonsolin posted a 3.68 SIERA, 26.1% strikeout rate, and 4.0% walk rate in the regular season, which puts him on the map as a value, although he may not pitch deep into this game after last making a start 17 days ago. Even with the uncertainty, he and Anderson project as the top arms on the board.
You don't need to look at the above chart very long to deduce that Clayton Kershaw ($10,000) is the clear top option today, boasting the best overall numbers on the board and a potential high-strikeout matchup against the Braves.
Considering Atlanta has strong right-handed batters, they're almost certainly a tougher opponent than the 2020 small-sample numbers would suggest, and if we expand the split to include 2019, they have a slightly better 106 wRC+ and 23.8% strikeout rate versus southpaws. Still, that isn't anything to shy away from -- the Braves have a 3.39 implied team total -- and Kershaw has performed well in this year's two postseason starts, compiling a 2.04 SIERA, 37.3% strikeout rate, and 2.0% walk rate over 14.0 innings.
Ian Anderson ($9,400) is the best alternative to Kershaw, and he's impressed in these playoffs with FanDuel scores of 47 and 55 points. Of course, those starts came against Miami and Cincinnati, and he'll have a much tougher path to points against the mighty Dodgers. He's enjoyed a fantastic 2020 campaign, though, so it's entirely possible we get a tight pitching duel between him and Kershaw.
It's difficult to get excited about either Jose Urquidy ($7,700) or Ryan Yarbrough ($7,000), who both have mediocre regular season marks and aren't likely to pitch deep into the game. If you're going to take a stab here, Urquidy does face Tampa Bay and their strikeout-happy ways, but note that he hasn't completed five innings in either of his starts in these playoffs.
With two weaker hurlers on the mound in the ALCS, the Rays and Astros figure to be our best sources of offense today.
Despite some awful peripheral numbers, Urquidy escaped with a 2.73 ERA over five regular season starts, but regression seems to be coming around in the postseason, where he's allowed 5 earned runs and 4 dingers in just 8.2 innings, with much of the damage coming in his most recent outing against Oakland.
Randy Arozarena ($3,500) has been one of the top hitters in the playoffs, slashing .429/.474/.886 with 4 home runs, and he remains easy to like today. Brandon Lowe ($3,300) has been awfully quiet at the plate, but we should trust his regular season 17.5% barrel rate to come through at some point. Austin Meadows ($3,300) homered twice in the New York series, so we can hope he hits more like 2019 Meadows than the 2020 version.
The rest of the Rays' lineup comes in under $3k apiece, allowing you to mix and match whoever you need at other positions. Ji-Man Choi ($2,400) continues to be a solid value out of the cleanup spot.
Yarbrough isn't a great matchup for home runs, as he's allowed below one per nine innings dating back to 2019, and we know the Rays will gladly dip into the bullpen as soon as they deem it necessary. Even so, Yarbrough is a low-strikeout hurler with fairly even splits, so you can make a case for Astros on both sides of the plate. Of course, the usual group of George Springer ($4,200), Jose Altuve ($3,500), Alex Bregman ($3,800), and Carlos Correa ($3,500) should top the wish list.
The Dodgers will have to get through Anderson, but they still deserve consideration as the top offense left in the playoffs. Anderson only made six regular season starts, so his splits probably shouldn't be taken as gospel, but he was significantly less effective versus righty sticks, posting a 4.52 xFIP, 22.4% strikeout rate, and 9.0% walk rate. Mookie Betts ($4,300) is in play regardless, but perhaps that gives a boost to guys like Justin Turner ($3,000) and Will Smith ($2,900).
UPDATE: The Braves become a slightly more appealing offense to target with Kershaw out. Gonsolin pitched well this year but is coming off a long layoff, so he could be off his game. Gonsolin wasn't as imposing versus left-handed batters (4.42 xFIP), so Freddie Freeman ($4,000) in particular should benefit.
Outside of stacking them for game theory reasons in large-field tournaments, Atlanta is the lone offense that's a tough sell today. But particularly in lineups where you aren't rostering Kershaw, there's no harm in betting on the talents of Ronald Acuna ($4,500) or Marcell Ozuna ($4,000) as one-offs.