Friday features two juicy games with the main slate tipping off at 2:08 p.m. ET.
I will just break down the pitchers by game, as there are only four total starters.
Miami Marlins (Sixto Sanchez, $7,600 FanDuel, $7,800 DraftKings, +177) at Chicago Cubs (Yu Darvish, $11,000 FD, $9,000 DK, -193)
This is Game 2 of this series with the Marlins holding the 1-0 advantage, as Thursday’s game was postponed due to weather.
I think it makes a lot of sense to roster a pitcher from this game. The reason for that is, as we saw with yesterday’s game between the Chicago White Sox and Oakland Athletics, in a winner-take-all managers are not going to go down with their starting pitcher.
Darvish is the safe play and will be heavily-owned in cash games. He’s the only ace pitching and is the most consistent pitcher on the slate. I would also believe that David Ross has a little more faith in Darvish than the other mangers will have in their pitchers. To me, he has the best chance at completing five or six innings and earning the win or quality start bonus.
Darvish hits for seven ProTrends. The Marlins have an implied run total of 2.9, which is awfully low.
Sanchez is not that far behind Darvish on the Bales Model. The rookie is well-known for his impressive heater, but his performance dipped in his final two starts of the season. In those two starts, he went a combined seven innings, on six walks, four strikeouts, and nine earned runs.
With the aforementioned fastball, one would think that Sanchez would be creating a bounty of strikeouts. In reality, he has only struck out a batter per inning in two-of-seven starts. Darvish has an 11.0 K/9, while Sanchez has a 7.5 K/9.
I do not see how you can pick Sanchez over Darvish in cash – maybe you do in a GPP so you can target all of the top-priced hitters.
Another reason to like using a pitcher from this game: the wind at Wrigley Field is forecasted to be blowing in from left field at 10 MPH.
St. Louis Cardinals (Jack Flaherty, $9,700 FD, $8,400 DK) at San Diego Padres (Adrian Morejon, unlisted on FD, $6,400 DK)
This game is off the board at every sportsbook, as the Padres have not announced a starter just yet.
Flaherty regressed this year, after finishing 4th in Cy Young voting last season. His biggest knock this season is that his walks crept up to pre-2019 levels. His 2020 BB/9 was 3.6 and last year’s was 2.5.
This is not Flaherty’s first start in a winner-take-all game. In 2019, he started Game of the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves. The thing is, I am not sure how much credit to give him for that game, as he had a 10-0 lead before stepping on the mound that day. Granted, he still pitched very well, with six innings of one-run baseball.
I’m pretty sure that the Cardinals will be favored in this game and that’s because they actually have a starter to use while the Padres will have to go full on bullpen game. When its listed though, I’d predict the total is going to be higher in this game than the one at Wrigley.
The Padres’ offense is too stout to keep down for long, as evidenced in their explosion Thursday night. If you think 2019 Flaherty shows up, I am fine using him in a GPP. I think you have to pay up for Darvish in cash games.
I won’t say too much on the Padres situation other than I wouldn’t pick their starter. Whoever it is will probably go three innings in the absolute best-case scenario. Morejon threw 23 pitches last night and did not go on back-to-back days all season. They are a near guarantee to not be in the game long enough to make a difference.
The Bales Model does not have players from the Cardinals/Padres game incorporated without the Padres starter listed. I will break down some hitters that I think make sense for tonight. As things currently stand, the best stack belongs to the Cubs.
Trent Grisham has not had a great start to his playoffs, but is 4-for-6 lifetime off of Flaherty with a double. Unless you select Flaherty as your starter, you will want exposure to the Padres’ lineup. Batting lead-off means that he could get a third at-bat against Flaherty, too.
There are two guys that have had success off of Darvish in the Marlins’ lineup. Corey Dickerson is 5-for-13 lifetime with a homer and two doubles, while Starling Marte is 4-for-11 lifetime with a homer and a double. Marte is a true game-time decision with his broken pinky finger. On such a short slate, you may have to play a Marlin in your lineup even if you select Darvish. The Marlins are priced low as Dickerson is $2,800 and Marte is only $2,500.
For two-time World Series winner Yadier Molina I think you can do a lot worse for $2,300 on FanDuel. He did not have a great 2019 postseason, but is 5-for-10 in two games this year. He’s been through it all and has played in higher octane games than this one. The price is too low for him today.
As was discussed in yesterday’s preview, Ian Happ is one of the few Cubs hitters to trust right now. He averaged the most FanDuel points of any Cubs regular throughout the season. He will continue to see good pitches with the threat of Anthony Rizzo behind him, even with Rizzo struggling. Rizzo is the current highest-rated hitter on the Bales Model.