James McCool | Paydirt_DFS
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 is 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.
I do not think that you should play this game, there are no assumptions to be made and it’s all guesswork. Just enjoy the game 7 instead!
Astros vs. Nationals
Pitchers — There is literally no certainty in the pitching in this game. We don’t know how long Scherzer will be able to pitch for after just missing a start and you have to think that both teams will resort to their bullpen as quick as possible and everyone has a short leash. We can’t make a single assumption here.
Hitters — With no certainty on pitching, there’s no splits to take advantage of for the hitters. Scherzer has had issues with LHH in the past so you can like Michael Brantley, but Brantley has been brutal against LHP so as soon as the bullpen is out there he’s not a great play. George Springer and Juan Soto have been the best hitters for their respective teams in the playoffs and should be your priority, and the value is obviously coming from the Nationals side of things. With no pitching to make assumptions off of though, I don’t feel comfortable making any value plays based on Splits. I will say that you should focus on hitters, not pitching, and don’t spend a cent on the starters for either team.
Captain players — George Springer, Juan Soto
Top Hitters — George Springer, Juan Soto, Alex Bregman