Joey Ricotta | October 22nd, 2019
This is it. This is what we’ve all been waiting for. This is the reason they play the game. This is…..The Fall Classic. If you haven’t yet done so, check out our World Series Preview here.
Before we get to the picks, we need to go over some strategies to gain an idea of how to attack this game. The Showdown slates are always difficult, but this one, at first glance, feels nearly impossible. The pitching matchups for this series have many baseball fans foaming at the mouth with excitement in anticipation. The matchup tonight could be the best one of them all between Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer. I expect, as do many others, this to be a low scoring series. My strategy will be to cram both starting pitchers into my lineups and take a lower-priced hitter with potential for the Captain spot.
Disclaimer: Pricing and references included are for DraftKings.
Michael Brantley ($8,400 Captain, $5,600 Utility)
Let’s face it on a normal slate during the regular season we wouldn’t actively look to attack either Cole or Scherzer. However, this isn’t a normal slate and we can’t just use the two pitchers to fill all six rosters spots and call it a day. I know a lot of DFSers don’t believe in BvP stats (batter vs pitcher) being a real thing. But to me, there is a difference between good BvP and bad BvP.
Much like there is a difference between good chalk and bad chalk. Brantley gets the platoon splits advantage of which Scherzer’s success is significantly different. In fewer innings pitched against lefties, he’s allowed more home runs to them (11 compared to 7 vs righties), and the slash lines and wOBA are much different. Brantley has also faced Scherzer the most and had the most success against him in the past. He’s 15-44 (.341 avg) with one homer, eight doubles, and nine RBIs.
Gerrit Cole ($12,000)
The Washington Nationals have been on a roll, coming up with a lot of clutch hits this postseason, but that doesn’t scare me in the least. Cole is also on a roll and has been all year. Historically, good pitching beats good hitting in the postseason. As good of a season as his teammate, Justin Verlander has had, Cole should be the AL Cy Young Award winner, in my opinion. Cole led the league with a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts. He hasn’t lost a game since May 22nd, and in three postseason starts, he’s 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA. Don’t mess around with this, lock him in.
Max Scherzer ($11,400)
Find a way to get both pitchers in your lineup. You can make it work and we know the type of ace that Scherzer is. While having a sub-par start against the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card game, he has been excellent otherwise this postseason, shutting down the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals. He had another Cy Young caliber season, posting a 2.92 ERA while striking out 243 batters in 172.1 IP. The Astros are right-handed heavy and I expect Scherzer to, at the very least, rack up some strikeouts.
Josh Reddick ($4,400)
Reddick is another one you can make a case for using in the captain spot in tournaments. Going back to the righty/lefty split stats against Scherzer, we mentioned earlier that the slash lines were much different between the two. Lefties this season slashed .255/.317/.446, while righties slashed .193/.220/.307. Lefties had a .321 wOBA and righties had a .223 wOBA. Reddick has had a rather unimpressive postseason, but he managed to pop one out off Luis Severino in game three of the ALCS. The unlikely heroes could surface again in the World Series and I’ll take my shot with someone like Reddick who is affordable with power.
Howie Kendrick ($7,600)
What has gotten into Kendrick? The guy has had a renaissance type of season and continues to produce in the playoffs. He’s 11-38 (.289 avg.) with one homer and a team-leading nine RBIs this postseason. Kendrick is also tied for the team lead with four doubles. Being a believer of trends, looking at Kendrick’s game log it seems that he has a good game following a bad one. He went 0-3 in the last game against the Cardinals. The game before that, he went 3-4 with three doubles and three RBIs. I’d really like to be able to spend up for Anthony Rendon or Juan Soto, but that’s just not realistic if I want the high-priced pitchers. I think Kendrick can continue his clutch ways as early as tonight.
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