The most unique World Series is upon us and starts at 8:09 p.m. ET.
Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Dodgers (-170, O/U 7.5)
Playing and analyzing a showdown slate in DFS is incredibly different than normal slates. On FanDuel there isn’t even the option to select a pitcher, while on both sites it becomes extremely vital to determine who to put in your multiplier spots.
The Dodgers come into Game 1 as pretty heavy favorites, as they are for the entire series. We all know that the Dodgers have struggled over the last decade or so in grabbing that elusive World Series ring.
The pitching matchup in this one is Tyler Glasnow for the Rays and Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers.
With the extremely low total set in Vegas, the market views this as a pitcher’s duel. The Rays have an implied run total of 3.3 and the Dodgers have an implied run total of 4.3.
Mike Brosseau is absurdly cheap on both sites and projects to be the Rays’ leadoff hitter. I think he provides great value to allow some of the bigger bats to fit into your lineup. The only reason he is priced so low is that he would be on the bench if the Rays were facing a right-hander. He is the No. 1 UTIL player for FanDuel on the Bales Model. Make sure to confirm the teams’ starting lineups leading up to first pitch here.
I always like looking at batter vs. pitcher career numbers. Not that it is a guarantee that those career numbers will hold up, but sometimes players just enjoy the way a pitcher throws. Cody Bellinger is a lifetime 2-for-2 with two home runs and a walk off of Glasnow. We all know Bellinger sent the Dodgers to the World Series with a moonshot and he and Glasnow will know those numbers tonight.
The Bales Model has Mookie Betts rated highly, especially on FanDuel. Betts will slot into the leadoff role in the Dodgers’ lineup and has started to kick into gear after a slower start to these playoffs. Lifetime he is 3-for-9 with a double off of Glasnow. He is the No. 1 MVP/STAR player for FD on the Bales Model.
Flipping over to DraftKings, the Bales Model highly suggests having Kershaw in your lineup, even at the Captain slot. If you select him for the Captain slot, you are going to be forced into selecting a lot of the cheaper Rays bats, so it’s a bit of a catch-22. Note: Pitchers are not a part of the player pool on FD.
A lot of the top projected lineups on DK have both pitchers in them — again, the thought is this should be a low-scoring game. Glasnow is tougher to trust, and the strikeouts have not really been there in his last two outings (one was Game 5 of the ALDS on short rest) and he has now given up six home runs in 19.1 postseason innings.
Kershaw got some blame for his performance last time out against the Braves, and while it was not vintage Kershaw, the Dodgers offense was the reason they lost that game. I also love that the Rays strikeout at laughably high rates (most per game in the regular season), and that should boost Kershaw’s floor for tonight. Being the heavy favorite and having a low over-under, it makes sense to at least have him as a UTIL on DK.
Looking at the lineup optimizer begins to tell a story for some of the combinations that the Bales Model thinks is necessary for tonight. Yandy Diaz is included in nearly all of the top projected combinations on both sites. Diaz has no doubt had a tough postseason at 3-for-24, but is a cheap bat projected at the 4-hole in the lineup.
I would be pretty remiss to not at least mention Randy Arozarena, who has gone from a relative no-name to the player that the telecasts are featuring for the Rays. He is the hottest hitter on the planet and I get why some will immediately plug him into their lineup. The Bales Model does not rate him as highly in this Showdown slate, and I think it is because the relative price has really skyrocketed for him. However, he does prefer to hit off of lefties.