We have made it after the full 162 game season and we are back with a normal 5 team playoff format in both leagues with a singular wild card game. The Wild Card format to me is a little gimmicky but it has produced ridiculously good baseball games in the history and so I can’t complain about it too much.
I would have loved to have multiple play in games, but the damn Yankees and Red Sox did their thing and are controlling the playoffs with their focus that they are the entire Baseball world and no other teams exist. Neither team to me has any shot to make it past the Tampa Rays in the second round, let alone the winner of the White Sox-Astros series either, so this is essentially a one and done spot for whoever wins but it should be a very competitive game tonight.
The National League Wild Card game tomorrow night is the real banger if you ask me. The Cardinals were so hot heading into the playoffs but quietly it was the Dodgers hitters who went insane starting last week. It kind of took all season for the L.A. offense to just go bananas because Corey Seager was out a better part of the season, Cody Bellinger just sucks now and it never seemed like they could get Mookie Betts, Max Muncy, Justin Turner and Will Smith all clicking at the same time. Well here we go because Seager, Trea Turner, Mookie, Muncy and basically anyone in Dodger blue not named Cody Bellinger are WHITE hot heading into the playoffs. We’re going to get Waino vs Max for a winner take all game out in LA? Ho-boy, sign me up for that one and whichever team advances is most definitely going to give the Giants a tough run in the second round in just a 5 game series.
Lets dive into each of these games from a DFS and betting perspective. Both sites have a nice multi-day two game slate which I would advise that you focus on that over the Showdowns first and then build out your showdown lineup accordingly.
The one annoying factor in terms of doing analysis on playoff games is the use of RP in Showdown formats on DraftKings. Each team is unique in that situation but specifically the Tampa Rays are going to wind up being the main team who we’re going to be considering their RP in showdown formats when applicable. But at the end of the day, if you choose good contests (not a million entries!) you can get by without having to take gambles on the RP’s and for the two Wild Card games, I am avoiding bullpens outside of a 6th punt play.
YANKEES at RED SOX
This is the game I would shy away from hitting out of the two Wild Card games and that is a contrarian take most likely. It’s not that warm in Fenway Park tonight and while Eovaldi was rough in his last Yankee start, his overall history against them has been very strong. With the crowd and environment of playoff baseball in Fenway behind him he should be in a good spot to achieve over 5 strikeouts but likely no more than 7 at most. The third time through the order is where Eovaldi is going to get pinched as opponents average jumped from .240 to .280 the third time through and the Rizzo-Judge-Stanton trio is not going to go 0-9 against Eovaldi tonight, so I would expect him to get a hook after two times through the order but he’s got a clear advantage over the bottom half of this lineup and will get 15+ outs.
For Boston, its gonna be more about which Cole shows up for the Yankees tonight. Great one start, iffy the next. My gut feeling is that Boston will get the key hits they need off Cole to give them a lead and their bullpen can pitch well enough to hold on in a 4-3 type win, but there are plenty of guys in this lineup which Cole should navigate through fine. His problem spots? Alex Verdugo, Kike Hernandez and Rafael Devers.
Pick: Red Sox & Under
CARDINALS at DODGERS
It will be around 70 degrees in LA but I do not envision shadows with the 8pm start as it will be partly cloudy and if anything the shadows are in the first two innings here at most. If this was a 3 or 4pm local start then we would have a much bigger impact with that.
There’s a ton of juice in this game offensively. We cannot ignore how hot both teams have been offensively and the whole world is going to be looking at the Dodger side, which considering how ridiculous Seager/Turner have been I cannot complain.
But allow me to remind you that Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado (hometown narrative) are more than comfortable hitting in Dodger stadium — which is note worthy considering it has a slight tunnel out to right field for dead pull lefties, which neither of these guys are. You know how good they are in Miller Park obviously, but prior to shifting to the NL Central these former NL West sluggers were historically at their best in Chavez Ravine, which is the park where both have hit their most road home runs in their career (bet you didn’t know that!). Their history and match-up against Max is not ideal, but if this game is going to go off I would more than look at these two to do damage off the Dodger pen when Dave Roberts does something stupid.
This is the game I will be stacking offensively on the two game slate.
Pick: Dodgers & Over
SHORT SLATE PLAYOFF DFS RULES/NOTES/TIPS
- Identify your pitcher first: You can sacrifice a hitter spot to ensure you get the right pitcher and you should first ask if there is a pitcher you are confident is going to get the win. Since at most only 50% of a short field has any shot at a win, it’s rare that we find a scenario where the winning pitcher is a starter in the playoffs but when you have a feeling one of them WILL get that bonus then that is a HUGE component. With limited hitters to pick from and teams using pinch hitters/runners as well we’re okay with taking a 0 (or hoping for a PH appearance) to ensure that we got the pitcher we want.
- BVP does matter: If a pitcher has seen a hitter a ton and hasn’t done well vs them, they’re going to avoid them with walks in the playoffs. Walks are points, we need everything we can get, but I wouldn’t let BVP factor in on the stud hitters as much as the cheaper guys.
- Multi Entry Showdown: This is all about fun as there really isnt any more gambling scenario than a single game showdown in Baseball playoffs. Do yourself a favor and build 3-5 lineups if you aren’t doing an opto MME type build and spread out your captain exposure.
Tue-Wed Slate Picks
- Nathan Eovaldi – This is my FD pitcher. Boston gets the lead early and the bullpen holds on for the win. There will be lead changes in the LAD/STL game in my mind and so I want to avoid those guys as the SP1.
- Max Scherzer – His strikeout upside is hard to ignore here on DraftKings. All four pitchers should go 5+ innings too so bullpen is going to be very dicey to try and use but if you want to stack this game up and go Eovaldi + Boston pen I wouldn’t fault you for it as a second or third lineup.
- Trea Turner
- Dylan Carlson
- Mookie Betts
- Nolan Arenado
- Alex Verdugo
AL WILD CARD CHAIRMAN
Alex Verdugo – Boston Red Sox
NL WILD CARD CHAIRMAN
Dylan Carlson – St. Louis Cardinals