The NLCS blasts off on Friday night, giving us the beginning of the end when it comes to the daily fantasy baseball season. Much of the MLB playoffs will consist of these showdown contests for DFS purposes from here on out, so you’ll have to adapt to this unique game style if you want to win cash playing daily fantasy baseball.
I’m fine with it, as it takes the focus off of pitchers and just demands the very best lineup made up of hitters. Tonight is a fun one, as the Milwaukee Brewers host the Los Angeles Dodgers.
L.A. has the clear pitching edge with Clayton Kershaw toeing the rubber. He’s been pretty underwhelming in the playoffs and hasn’t exactly been his elite self for much of 2018, but I don’t know how you bet against him here. On the other side is Gio Gonzalez, who gets the surprise start over Jhoulys Chacin (he’ll start game three).
This is a tough one, so I’m just going to trust the splits and load up on the bats that make sense to me. The good news is Miller Park is a great place for home runs and scoring, so every logical play is a valid one. Let’s dive in:
MVP (x1.5 points): Jesus Aguilar – Milwaukee Brewers ($6.5k)
Everyone will want Christian Yelich, and for good reason. He’s been the best player for the Brewers all year and the tear he’s on right now is a huge reason why Milwaukee is where they’re at. He is not cheap, however, and it’s likely a lot of people will pay for him. He should do well here, but I’ll take my chances in saving some cash and loading up, rather than getting one great bat.
Aguilar gives me that chance. He’s a masher in a great park and while Kershaw is not an ideal arm to go up against, the matchup really isn’t bad by the numbers. Aguilar crushes southpaws (.385 wOBA, .257 ISO) and typically hits the ball very hard.
Kershaw doesn’t give you much to work with, but a 36% hard hit rate allowed to both sides of the plate is something power sticks can exploit – especially at Miller Park.
OF: Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers ($5k)
As I write this the starting lineups aren’t out, but you can probably move things around as needed. For now, I think Kemp could play, seeing as he mashes lefties (.234 ISO). Gio Gonzalez has given up two dongs to the Dodgers in the past – both of which came from Kemp.
IF: Manny Machado – Los Angeles Dodgers ($9k)
I can’t quite make it to Yelich on this slate, but hopefully everyone else does and I can pivot down to Machado. He slays lefties (.390 wOBA, .233 ISO) and Gio has his biggest issues against the right side of the plate.
UTIL: Chris Taylor – Los Angeles Dodgers ($5k)
CT3 is another cheap Dodgers bat to consider. He owns fun splits (.194 ISO) against left-handed pitching as well and he’s just too cheap given his upside. Just make sure he’s starting if you use him Yasmani Grandal or Brian Dozier are strong pivots, should they start.
UTIL: Justin Turner – Los Angeles Dodgers ($8.5k)
I’ll cap things off with JT, who is one of the better players suiting up for this showdown. Turner destroys southpaws (.443 wOBA, .240 ISO) and comes in red hot with a hit in 13 of his last 14 games. I don’t know if he’s a lock for a dong, but the guy is getting on base in this one.
I think the big thing to consider here is that you can’t have everyone. Obviously I’d love to roster Christian Yelich. He’s on fire right now and if the Brewers are going to win, he probably needs to play well.
Initially I was all about balance and using some Brewers righties and Dodgers lefties. However, the move to Gio starting game one shifted me completely to the Dodgers side. You need one Milwaukee bat and based on the park factor and splits, Aguilar is a steal at this price. If he works out, he’s a great MVP play and then my four-man Dodgers stack could take me the rest of the way given the superior matchup in a terrific ballpark.
If you prefer the Brewers or like other Dodgers sticks, make changes as you see fit. Whether you’re with me on these MLB DFS picks or not, I wish you luck tonight. Enjoy the game and if you plan on betting on this game, go with this pick.