Welcome to the Tuesday night two-game slate! It’s a weird feeling knowing that MLB DFS would come to an end with back-to-back Dodgers victories over the next two nights, but for now let’s put together some picks for tonight’s slate and worry about tomorrow when it arrives. Let’s go!
P – Yu Darvish (LAD) – $9,200 vs. CHC
The NLCS shifts to Wrigley Field in Chicago tonight and while that, on the surface, could provide a boost to the home team, I expect Darvish to make things very difficult on the Cubs tonight. Darvish was excellent in his only start of the postseason so far, tossing five one-run innings with seven strikeouts against a powerful Diamondbacks team in the NLDS. In fact, over his last four starts spanning 24.1 innings, Darvish has yielded just two earned runs and struck out 28. I’m looking for another high-strikeout effort from the right-hander tonight.
P – Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU) – $7,600 vs. NYY
McCullers is a risky play in the sense that he has pitched just three innings since September 30th, but this is a guy that can rack up strikeouts in a hurry. He struck out four Red Sox in those three innings in a relief ALDS role, and A.J. Hinch will give the ball to his curveball specialist tonight. We’ve seen Yankee hitters struggle against off-speed breaking pitches all postseason long which is why we don’t need McCullers to pitch deep in order to reach value tonight.
C – Yasmani Grandal (LAD) – $3,500 vs. CHC
Kyle Hendricks is not a high strikeout pitcher, which means more balls will be put into play against him, which also means that the 13 mph wind blowing out today at Wrigley Field should hurt him more than it does Darvish. Grandal has started just one game this postseason, but he does boast power against righties as evidenced by his .236 ISO against them this season. Hendricks yielded more fly balls and more hard contact and therefore more home runs to lefties, so Grandal is a nice play as a result.
1B – Cody Bellinger (LAD) – $4,900 vs. CHC
Same reasoning here with Bellinger. You don’t need me to tell you that the rookie boasts excellent power against righties as he produced a monstrous .323 ISO, .948 OPS and .383 wOBA against opposite-handed pitching this season. His uppercut stroke should serve him well tonight with a notable wind blowing out and he is the easiest call in this lineup as a result.
2B – Jose Altuve (HOU) – $5,000 vs. NYY
Altuve is also an easy call given the thin second base position and the fact he has mashed in this postseason. He has reached base at least once in every postseason game and has multiple hits in five of the seven playoff games. Against Sonny Gray he faces a pitcher with reverse splits and one that he can take advantage of on the basepaths as well as Gray yielded 11 steals in just over 162 innings this season.
3B – Justin Turner (LAD) – $4,300 vs. CHC
While Turner is a right-handed hitter and I mentioned Hendricks is worse against lefties, this guy is just one of the best all-around hitters in baseball. After all, he still hit righties for an .837 OPS and a .360 wOBA in the regular season and of course his walk off home run in Game 2 was against a righty in John Lackey. He has also homered off of Hendricks in one of his 12 at-bats against the righty.
SS – Marwin Gonzalez (HOU) – $4,200 vs. NYY
While I also mentioned Sonny Gray is reverse splits and therefore worse to righties, the switch-hitting Gonzalez boasts much more power against right-handed pitching. He clobbered righties to the tune of a .322 average, .230 ISO, .946 OPS and a .397 wOBA on the season. The utility player enjoyed easily a career year this season and while he is looking to find his stroke in the postseason he is certainly a power threat given the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium.
OF – Aaron Judge (NYY) – $4,100 vs. HOU
While Judge is facing one of our pitchers, it makes sense to roster a player with power against our pitcher on such a short slate. Judge hit a home run last night, his first since the Wild Card game against the Twins back on October 3rd. As we know, this guy can hit home runs in bunches and McCullers surrendered home runs at a higher clip against righties than he did lefties this season. It would not at all be surprising to see him put the ball in the chairs again tonight.
OF – Josh Reddick (HOU) – $3,800 vs. NYY
Reddick should hit in the two hole today for the Astros, right ahead of Altuve which means we have a nice three-man stack here with Gonzalez at the end. Reddick hit righties for a very solid .190 ISO, .867 OPS and a .363 wOBA during the season, which is why A.J. Hinch uses him near the top of the lineup against righties. Like Gonzalez, Reddick also gets the advantage of the short porch in right field tonight at Yankee Stadium.
OF – Curtis Granderson (LAD) – $3,400 vs. CHC
While the Dodgers’ lineup has not been released at the time of this writing, Granderson could very well hit second tonight in the lineup which certainly increases his value here. Let’s not forget the veteran hit righties for an excellent .255 ISO this season to go along with an .806 OPS and a .343 wOBA. His detractors point to his low batting average, however we are in this play for the home run ball and the wind blowing out at Wrigley should certainly help that cause tonight.