MLB DFS – NLCS Game Three: Showdown Slate

Joey Ricotta     | October 14th, 2019

Well, the first two games of the series were very much in favor of the Washington Nationals, as they stymied the St. Louis Cardinals’ offense and held them to only one run and four hits in the first two games combined. Things won’t get any easier for the Redbirds tonight. They’ll have the difficult task of attempting to barrel up Stephen Strasburg. The one thing going for them that they didn’t have in the first two games is Jack Flaherty. Whenever you can send your ace to the mound, you have to feel like you have a shot.

The real-life ballgame is one thing, and what happens on the field affects what happens with our lineups. But DFS is still its own animal and we can’t just pick the best players in the best situations because there are salaries involved. With that said, let’s get to my favorite picks for today.

Disclaimer: Pricing included is for DraftKings.

Captain

Marcell Ozuna ($12,900)

The only hitter in the Cardinals’ lineup who has taken Strasburg deep is Marcell Ozuna. Insanely enough, he’s hit over .300 against him in over 40 at-bats (14-44, .318 avg, 3 HRs, 9 RBIs). Being a right-handed batter, it’s natural to question the platoon split, but Ozuna has actually been better against right-handed pitchers than lefties this season, hitting .249 with 23 HRs vs righties compared to only .217 with six HRs against lefties. Also, Ozuna has been one of the better Cardinals hitters this postseason, hitting .310 with two homers in 29 at-bats.

Kolten Wong ($9,600)

The main reasons behind this pick are pricing and upside. Many will look at Wong’s .192 postseason batting average and scoff at the idea of using him. But he hit .285 and swiped 24 bags during the regular season. He also hit more hard contact, had a higher wOBA, and higher wRC+ against right-handed pitchers. I like his chances of getting on-base and making something happen, sandwiched between the Cardinals’ run producers batting second tonight.

Utility

Kolten Wong ($6,400)/Marcell Ozuna ($8,600)

I think we can mix and match between Ozuna and Wong at our Captain and Utility spots tonight. Depending on your preferred lineup construction, I think it’s a good strategy to play the other one at the utility spot. So, for the reasons mentioned above in the “Captain” section, both Wong and Ozuna are good options.

Yadier Molina ($4,000)

As much as this pains me to say being a Cubs fan, the future Hall of Fame catcher Molina is about as clutch as they come. He hasn’t been the offensive force that a lot of people deem him as automatically due to the popularity of his name, but Molina can still get it done with the wooden stick. Although he’s only hitting .115 so far this postseason, he did hit the game-tying RBI single and a walk-off sac fly RBI in Game Four of the NLDS. He’s struggled for the most part, but this is a DraftKings pricing mistake. Take advantage.

Jack Flaherty ($9,600)

Flaherty has been nothing short of spectacular this season. Hitters are having a hard enough time trying to hit him let alone barrel him up. Flaherty’s amazing season strikeout rate of nearly 30% and 2.75 ERA, prove that he’s been in a class of his own. What’s even more impressive than his full-season numbers? He was virtually untouchable down the stretch and came into the postseason on an incredible roll. In 99.1 innings pitched in the second half of the season, Flaherty allowed only five home runs, had a 0.91 ERA, and opponents hit only .142 against him. The Washington Nationals are running out a lineup filled with right-handed hitters and only two lefties. In basically, the same amount of innings pitched vs righties and lefties, Flaherty has been better vs righties. He’s held them to a .182 avg compared to a still good .202 vs lefties. The fact that Washington has yet to face Flaherty this season, I believe, gives the advantage to Flaherty. It’s one thing to watch tape on a guy, it’s another thing to see how he pitches in person.

Other Options: Anthony Rendon, Jose Martinez, Juan Soto

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