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Thursday features a single-game showdown slate starting at 8:08 pm ET. We will be using Bales Model to highlight some of the top options to consider.
The Atlanta Braves are in a great position to knock the reigning World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers out of the playoffs as they hold a commanding 3-1 lead in the NLCS. The Braves will send Max Fried to the mound tonight. Fried pitched Game 1 of the series and put his team in a great position to win the game. In six innings, Fried allowed only two earned runs and struck out five.
Fried is projected for the highest fantasy point total on Bales Model and highest points/salary. Wind blowing out to right-center field will favor batters, but only if they are able to make contact on the baseball. This was a problem for Fried last start as he allowed eight hits in Game 1. The Dodgers are projected for an implied runs total of 4.4 runs today.
On the opposite side of the diamond, the Dodgers haven’t announced a starting pitcher but will likely be using Corey Knebel as an opener. After being very effective in the Giants series, Knebel has struggled against the Atlanta Braves. In 1 1/3 innings, Knebel has allowed two earned runs on two hits while striking out two batters. Knebel is priced at the minimum on DraftKings ($4,000) as if he starts he won’t go long, and will likely see low ownership. Tonight, the Braves are projected for an implied runs total of 3.7.
After being outscored 22-14 through the first four games of the NLCS, the Dodgers will need to come up clutch with their backs against the wall on the brink of elimination.
A player who has been rather inconsistent this series who the Dodgers would like to heat up is Mookie Betts. Betts has collected only three hits in 14 at bats, while going 0-for-4 twice. In Game 1 against Fried, Betts flied out to right twice and grounded into a double play. Historically, Betts has been known to shine when the spotlight is on him. Look for the Dodgers outfield to get back on track tonight.
Another player who has seemed off this series is Trea Turner. Like Betts, Turner has collected only three hits against the Atlanta Braves while striking out six times.
The highest priced batter for the Atlanta Braves tonight is Freddie Freeman. After going 0-for-8 to start the series, Freeman has collected five hits in his last eight at bats including three runs and two extra-base hits. Freeman is an essential part to Braves offense as they look to finish off the series tonight.
Let’s discuss a player who has been extremely consistent this postseason: Ozzie Albies. Albies has reached base via hit in his last seven starts including two multi-hit games. Although he only has two RBI and two extra-base hits, Albies consistently getting on base has allowed the batters in the lineup behind him to drive him in. Albies has scored a run in each of his last five games as he will be looking to continue the impressive streak tonight.
Value and Punts
Albert Pujols is expected to be batting in the heart of the order at the minimum price on DraftKings ($4,000). It is extremely hard to pass up on a player with those two things going for him, but in addition to a player with years and years of postseason experience, I am locking Pujols into all of my lineups today. In Wednesday’s game, Pujols made a pinch-hit appearance in which he singled to left field. Expect Pujols to be an asset to the Dodgers’ offense tonight.
It would be criminal of me to not mention Eddie Rosario, who is the highest-rated batter on Bales Model tonight. Rosario has collected a hit in all eight Braves postseason games this year and is coming off a game yesterday in which he hit two home runs. Rosario is projected to bat leadoff for the Braves. He has been extremely effective in the opportunities he has been given and we are all expecting him to shine again tonight as he is priced $5,000 on DraftKings.
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Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images
Pictured: Eddie Rosario