The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Welcome to the last three-game slate of the year! We have first pitch at 2:07 p.m. ET.
The favorite on the Bales Model is Carlos Rodon. The standout and his counterpart — Lance McCullers Jr. — are probably the likeliest to last longer into their outings than the other starting pitchers on deck.
A main reason as to why Rodon is rating out well is he has the highest K Prediction by quite a margin at 7.7 strikeouts. McCullers is his closest competition there with 5.88 in the same category. He comes in with strong form, as he hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs since July 29. With the Chicago White Sox being the slightest of favorites in this game, it makes sense why Rodon is popping to the top of the ratings.
McCullers is really the next best play. He dominated these White Sox in Game 1, going 6 2/3 innings, on four hits, no runs and four strikeouts. Generally, his issue is walking too many batters, but he had no walks that night.
In DraftKings, these very well may be your starting pitchers, especially in cash games.
McCullers saw the White Sox twice in the regular season, combining for 13 innings pitched, three earned runs and 14 strikeouts. He has been able to use their aggressiveness against them. If McCullers posts anywhere near what he did in Game 1, he’s going to be worth having in your lineup.
After that, I would turn my attention to the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers game. Even though the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers’ series has been extremely low scoring, I would figure both starting pitchers are on pretty short leashes in Atlanta.
Also, outside of Game 2, the Giants/Dodgers series has been low scoring as well.
The Dodgers are the biggest favorite of the day at -157. I think that is leading into the Bales Model projected ownership of Tony Gonsolin in the 31-35% range, which means that Anthony DeSclafani will be much lower owned.
To me, this feels like a classic series that was destined to go to a winner-take-all showdown, meaning the Dodgers win Game 4. The issue with playing Gonsolin is that there is almost no chance that he lasts five innings. His high water mark on the year for pitches was 83. He finished five innings in 4 of 15 starts.
So, even though Gonsolin has strikeout potential, the fact that the Dodgers are favorites doesn’t mean much to his possible success. He will probably be very popular in cash games, but I feel like he is not as adept in a GPP.
DeSclafani is in sort of the same boat. He has not thrown more than 88 pitches since August 3.
He has seen a lot of the Dodgers this season, to very mixed results. Last time facing them, he threw six shutout innings. In his other five starts against them this year, he combined to give up 22 earned runs (10 in one start). With less upside on his strikeouts than the other starters, he is more of a risk-reward play for GPPs. It could be a genius play, if the Dodgers hit like they did in Monday’s showdown.
The top stack of the day’s card belongs to the Dodgers:
- 4. Justin Turner (R – 9-12%)
- 2. Corey Seager (L – 9-12%)
- 1. Mookie Betts (R – 13-16%)
- 3. Trea Turner (R – 41%+)
This group is projected for 45.5 FanDuel points on a salary of $14,300. These Dodgers actually do not have the highest implied team total for the night, but as I just mentioned have hit DeSclafani hard this season. It feels like it will be hard to keep this lineup down for long after the shutout. Both Betts and Seager have taken DeSclafani deep.
The top hitter of the night on DraftKings is Jorge Soler. Soler hasn’t had the best postseason so far, but almost no hitter (outside of Joc Pederson) has in that series. He just comes in too cheap at the top of this Braves’ lineup. Even though he only has one hit, Soler has reached base safely in all three postseason games. We know the pop that he represents and his OPS this season is nearly 150 points higher versus LHP than RHP (.846 vs. .711).
Over on FanDuel, the top hitter is Yoan Moncada. He recorded two hits and two runs in the Game 3 offensive explosion. He has always been a strikeout-prone hitter, so that limits his upside a bit in DFS. I think this is another case where a top of the lineup hitter, is coming in at too cheap a price.
The popular punt play will be Tommy La Stella if he’s in the lineup. I should say if he’s in the lineup and hitting at the top of it. I have written about La Stella a few times down the stretch this season. He has consistently been a cheap, reliable hitter. The main issue is that he doesn’t always finish a game with double switches in the National League. He had two hits and a walk in Game 1 and posted his highest OPS month of the year in September. As I said, he will be popular, but makes for a fine play.