Friday, Oct. 8, brings a rare four-game MLB playoff slate. To be clear, the only way there will be a second four-game slate in the playoffs is if both of the American League series go to Game 4. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and hitters for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.
MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks, Friday, Oct. 8
Friday brings four MLB playoff games. While most DFS sites are looking at the first game to kick off their main-slate tournaments, after that it gets wonky for the second-largest contests based on preferred provider. Across the industry, with Friday being a light sports day where things do not align, there will be value around the various sports and plethora of unique start times. That means there will be a chance to find overlay, which is when a contest does not fill to the point of the DFS sites making money. In simpler terms, if gamers are vigilant, they should be able to find contests that are only 80% filled on those non-traditional start times.
Filing things in the random category, Walker Buehler is squaring off against the Giants for the seventh time this season. While Buehler has held them in check, with only nine earned runs and a pair of home runs over 37 innings, there has to be a certain amount of familiarity developing at this point. This was a career year for Buehler, who was third with a 2.47 ERA, just behind league leader Corbin Burnes (2.43) and teammate Max Scherzer (2.46). Buehler led MLB with a whopping 27 quality starts in his 33 appearances.
While the Giants do not have many superstars on offense, they have a balanced and deep lineup, even with Brandon Belt out of commission. They were second in the league behind Toronto for most home runs. This is the only game today that is being played outside, and it will be on the cooler side of things in San Francisco, with game-time temperatures sliding towards the mid-50s.
Secondary MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Corbin Burnes vs. Atlanta Braves — 3.2 implied runs
Burnes is the favorite to win the National League Cy Young Award. He had a phenomenal year, winning the ERA title while topping all starters with 12.6 strikeouts per nine innings. Only three times did he cede more than three runs this season. Naturally, it was tonight’s opponent who inflicted a season-high five earned runs on Burnes.
After losing Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta was active in retooling their outfield, bringing in Joc Pederson, Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler and Eddie Rosario to mix and match based on the opposing starter. This also gives them several pinch-hitting options for the later innings. Though Burnes should go for five innings today, in the playoffs no pitcher is safe from a quick hook. The Brewers have a full bench of talented and fresh arms heading into Game 1 of this series.
Chicago White Sox at LHP Framber Valdez — 3.8 implied runs
The White Sox will likely be rolling out a fully right-handed lineup against lefty Framber Valdez. Only switch-hitter Yoan Moncada and outfielder Adam Engel have sub-.200 ISOs against southpaws over the last two seasons. Valdez is a solid pitcher, though he has a 10.2% walk rate over the last three seasons, and his strikeouts (23.1%) are not as high as one might think.
While Valdez has an excellent 64% first-strike rate, he is only ahead in the count 43.4% of the time. Eloy Jimenez and Andrew Vaughn are at rock-bottom salaries across the DFS sites, which will allow gamers to work in the top half of the order with ease. Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu, Luis Robert and catcher Yasmani Grandal are core options in all formats today.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. LHP Chris Sale — 4.0 implied runs
It is easy to forget that Chris Sale only made nine starts this year while recovering from an elbow injury suffered in August 2019. While he posted good surface numbers, he is not the same pitcher who finished in the top five of the American Cy Young race for six consecutive seasons.
The Rays are one of the best teams in the league against lefties, and they are loaded with power up and down the lineup. Randy Arozarena got things started off right last night with a home run and also stealing home. This is the first time that feat has been accomplished in the same game during the playoffs. While it seems like Arozarena has been around for a while, that was mainly because of his impact on the postseason last year when he played in 20 games. Playoff at-bats do not count towards rookie status; as such, Arozarena was still considered a rookie this season and likely will be taking home the Rookie of the Year Award for the American League.
Nelson Cruz launched a home run last night, and he has a nice personal history against Chris Sale, and lefties in general. Jordan Luplow and Mike Zunino are cheap power options in the back half of the lineup who can be employed in all formats. Wander Franco and Brandon Lowe round out the top of the order and are key pieces to any Tampa Bay stacks on Friday.
Final Thoughts for Friday, Oct. 8
Today there is wall-to-wall baseball. Be sure to register for contests early, as the main slate locks at 2:07 p.m. ET this afternoon.
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Source: Yahoo Sports