MLB Playoff Rundown 10.12.2019

Welcome to the MLB Playoff Rundown! Because of the nature of short slates like this (Showdowns especially), this will be written a bit differently. There are so many different ways to go in showdown slates and it’s really difficult to say “This guy is the best play” because you could be 100% right in saying that and still get a zero for your efforts. First, I’m going to lay out some basic understandings of MLB DFS showdown slates so that y’all have a place to start, and then we can get into the picks for the slate and the data being used.


MLB DFS Showdown basics:

  • Understanding that the range of outcomes for hitters are more volatile for pitchers is imperative to success. Hitters have a range of outcomes that is realistically 0-40 points, whereas pitchers (especially in the playoffs) are going to have a range that is skinnier and more like 5-30 points. This being said, Pitchers are almost always the best play on a showdown slate and unless there is a starter that you would stack against 100% of the time it’s always better to start your builds with both pitchers
  • In a showdown, correlation is underrated as people look to roster the best hitters possible and ignore that kind of thing. That’s generally going to be a mistake, as correlation doesn’t just go away when you are playing a single game. If you can afford hitters within a couple of spots in the order of each other, you should actively be trying to do that. It’s significantly harder in a showdown, but it’s still valuable.
  • Taking hitters against your pitcher is something that people are scared to do and that carries over to showdown to a certain extent, but it’s optimal to do it. If your pitcher gives up a home run to one of your hitters, you are gaining the difference in fantasy points from your hitter getting the home run and your pitcher giving one up. It’s still a positive outcome, and one home run isn’t going to hurt you if your pitcher strikes out 8-10 anyway.


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Game 1: Nationals vs. Cardinals

Pitchers — This game should be very lopsided with Scherzer being a considerably better pitcher than Adam Wainwright and the numbers aren’t even close. Wainwright is the worst pitcher on this slate and Scherzer is the best by nearly every metric with the Cardinals being the worst group of bats as well. the only notable advantage that Wainwright has is a lower xHR/9 (Scherzer is at 1.18, Wainwright at 1.09) but playing in a park that isn’t conductive of offense in the first place shouldn’t really inspire worry based on that. You should be taking Scherzer where you can and fading the hell out of Wainwright.


Hitters — Wainwright has some pretty incredible splits and struggles really badly with LHH, so I’m pretty confident that Juan Soto goes yard today. He’s been incredible in the playoffs thus far and has a .625 xSLG (.441 xwOBA) against RHP. Even Adam Eaton is really interesting today as one of the only other LHH in this lineup and notably cheaper than Soto, so stacking those two together is probably the best way to go. Outside of those two, it’s the normal suspects for the Nationals with Howie Kendrick and Anthony Rendon being fantastic plays. The only play on the Cardinals that I have any actual interest in is Matt Carpenter (because Scherzer is weaker to LHH) and outside of that you are really just trying to get lucky with some hits. All about the Nationals in this one.


Captain players — Juan Soto, Adam Eaton, Max Scherzer

Top Hitters — Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon, Adam Eaton

Values — Adam Eaton, Matt Carpenter


Game 2: Yankees vs. Astros

Pitchers — Masahiro Tanaka and Zack Greinke are mostly the same pitcher right now.

  • Tanaka: 4.02 SIERA, 48.85% 2k rate, 8.2 K/9, 1.18 xHR/9
  • Greinke: 3.78 SIERA, 50.70% 2K rate, 8.34 K/9, 1.15 xHR/9


Greinke having a slight advantage is mitigated by the Yankees having the stronger lineup (more power potential with more strikeouts) so I can view these guys equally. Given that information, The lean really goes towards who you think can go farther in this game and possibly pick up the win. I think the Astros end up winning so I would lean with Greinke. Both are usable in showdown but neither is a priority.


Hitters — There’s not really bad split for either one of these guys, so we can be pretty straight forward with who we take at hitter and just go off traditional splits. George Springer, Yordan Alvarez, and Michael Brantley lead the way for the Astros with Edwin Encarnacion, Aaron Judge, and DJ LeMahieu being the top hitters for the Yankees. My top play here is going to be Yordan Alvarez with the advantage that LHH have with home runs in this park.


Captain players — Yordan Alvarez, Zack Greinke, George Springer

Top Hitters — Yordan Alvarez, George Springer, Edwin Encarnacion

Values — Giancarlo Stanton, Michael Brantley, Gary Sanchez


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