October 3, 2023, 4:03 am
After 162 games, the wild card matchups have been set. There are no standout mismatches between teams although some of the pitching matchups could be considered lopsided. The biggest discrepancy between pitchers comes in the Diamondbacks-Brewers game, where 24-year-old rookie, Brandon Pfaadt, will be facing off against 3-time all star and former Cy Young award winner Corbin Burnes. The totals are way down from where they sat in the regular season with eight being the highest run total on the board, which comes from that game in Milwaukee.
This is for the 10/3 12:05 PM PST classic slate on Draftkings.
Tampa Bay Rays -1.5 (+145) vs. Texas Rangers
The pitching matchup heavily favors the Rays in this game as Tyler Glasnow is a bona fide ace and Jordan Montgomery is a product of circumstance. At the start of the year, Rangers fans thought they’d be going into the postseason with Jacob deGrom, then they thought they’d have Max Scherzer, but now they’ll have to take their chances with Jordan Montgomery, the midseason acquisition from the Cardinals. The Rays have been quietly cruising all season and somehow missed out on the AL East crown despite having a run differential 66 better than the Orioles.
DFS Pillar Plays
The Blue Jays and the Twins kick off a three game set in Minnesota with Kevin Gausman on the mound, who finished second in the league in strikeouts, taking on Pablo Lopez who finished third. Gausman is the chalk play at pitcher, but that’s because the Twins struck out more than any other team in MLB history this season. The Twins also led the league in strikeouts against right-handed pitchers with a 31% strikeout rate against righties this year, compared to their 28% strikeout rate against lefties. Gausman’s 11.53 K/9 was good for third among starters, behind only Spencer Strider and Blake Snell.
Christian Yelich/Carlos Santana
The target will be squarely on young Brandon Pfaadt in game one of this series in Milwaukee. The Diamondbacks were unsure of their postseason fate heading into the final series of the year, which caused Dbacks manager, Torey Luvullo, to throw Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly in two games they ended up losing. That is really the only reason that Brandon Pfaadt will be on the mound and that means the Brewers have a great opportunity to take a 1-0 lead in this series. The Brewers extinguished any hopes that Cubs fans had for a postseason run in their final series of the year and have amassed the fifth most amount of hits over the past 30 days. In the last three series the Brewers played in 2023, Christian Yelich hit .400 with 19 TB and Carlos Santana hit .387 with 23 TB. Both Santana and Yelich will be facing the rookie right-hander as lefties.
Jazz Chisholm Jr.
The series between the Marlins and Phillies could go multiple ways. Which Zack Wheeler are we going to get? Will Bryce Harper recapture the magic we saw from last year? Can the Marlins rotation manage without their Cy Young winner? Given that these two teams are division rivals and have faced off 13 times this season, one thing is certain and that is that any intimidation factor will not be present for the Marlins. Zack Wheeler’s ERA is considerably worse at home at 4.13 compared to his road ERA , which is at 3.16. Chisholm’s left-handed bat has mostly been effective against righties this year with a .275 average compared to a meager .182 against left-handed pitching. In an earlier matchup this year, Jazz Chisholm homered off Zack Wheeler.
DFS Value Plays (<$3500 Salary)
The Rays are built for the postseason and have one of the easier matchups in terms of opposing pitchers. Junior Caminero was just called up in the last week of September and he has registered a hit in six out of the seven games he’s played at the major league level. He finished the year with five hits in his final three games and went out hitting his first career home run in the Rays’ season finale.
Brandon Marsh is a sneaky important member of this Phillies lineup. He is pretty much the cheapest Phillie worth playing for DFS purposes and as the Phillies go, he goes. If the Phillies have a big night against the unproven Jesus Luzardo, Brandon Marsh will most likely play a part. Of the Phillies with 100 games or more played, Marsh ranks second in OBP and OPS, behind Bryce Harper on both accounts. Marsh had a big end to the year and enters the postseason on a four game hit streak with two home runs over that stretch.
The switch-hitting Willi Castro had an impressive September, hitting .312 with a .945 OPS. Castro also stole 33 bases this season and that was in only 124 games. He hit four of his nine home runs in September, so you can’t ignore his power either. He has become a reliable option for the Twins and for DFS players this year. Over his last 10 games, Castro has a .452 OBP and as a stolen base threat, that bodes well for his fantasy total.
Position Player Name Salary P Kevin Gausman $9,800 P C 1B Carlos Santana $4,100 2B 3B Junior Caminero $3,200 SS OF Christian Yelich $4,900 OF Jazz Chisholm Jr. $5,200 OF REMAINING BUDGET $22,800 for 5 players. Avg Rem/Player $4,560