The MLB postseason rolls on today with a two game slate featuring the Cubs and Cardinals, and the Mets and Dodgers. Given we only have four teams to choose from with no obvious pitcher to pick on, we are likely going to have to settle on some less than ideal plays. Choosing the correct pitcher will be imperative, and I’ll do my best to focus on the hitters that I think you need to force into your lineups tonight on FanDuel. Before lineups lock, make sure your favorite plays are in the confirmed lineups using our starting lineups page.
Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets, $10,400 – Over the past month, Syndergaard has been the clear best pitcher of today’s four starters. He’s sporting a swinging strike rate of 15.8%, a strikeout rate of 36.3%, a walk rate of only 2%. The Dodgers were helpless against Jacob deGrom last night, and I’m expecting more of the same against Syndergaard. As a team, the Dodgers have struggled against righties lately, setting Syndergaard up for a big game and a win that you need to have exposure to in your MLB lineups.
Jamie Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals, $8900 – If you’re fading Syndergaard, Garcia is likely the second best option. We want wins on FanDuel, and I think the Cardinals are likely to take a two-game lead over the Cubs and Kyle Hendricks. Garcia has done a good job of missing bats lately, posting a 12% swinging strike rate that’s helped him to a 21.3% strikeout rate. While that number doesn’t jump out at you, remember that the Cubs have a propensity to strike out a lot, and most of their best hitters are left-handed. Garcia has been dominant against left-handed hitters all season, and while he doesn’t have the upside of Syndergaard, he’s a safe play that frees up some extra cap space for hitters.
Additional Plays: Zack Greinke
Travis d’Arnaud, New York Mets, $2900 - Catcher is brutal today, and there simply isn’t an option you can feel comfortable rostering. I feel d’Arnaud at least has some home run upside despite facing an elite pitcher like Zack Greinke. Greinke’s allowing the second-highest rate of hard contact of today’s starters, and this Mets lineup is simply too good for Greinke to come out and not give up a couple of runs.
Additional Plays: Yadier Molina
Lucas Duda, New York Mets, $3600 – I’m not trying to target Zack Greinke, but I keep ending on Mets because the other options are so bad I can’t possibly recommend them. All of today’s pitchers are good, so I’m having to simply look at recent hitter performance and ignore the quality of the opposing pitcher. Duda has crushed righties to the tune of a .433 wOBA with four home runs over the past month. Greinke has been dominant, but Duda is the only first baseman I can see myself rostering today.
Additional Plays: Anthony Rizzo
Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs, $3400 – Castro has been an integral part of Chicago’s recent success, and although the results haven’t been there against left-handed pitching, Jaime Garcia’s 34.2% hard hit rate allowed over the past month puts most Chicago hitters in play on tonight’s two-game slate.
Additional Plays: Daniel Murphy
Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals, $4300 – Kyle Hendricks isn’t terrible against lefties, but he’s allowed a .347 wOBA and three home runs to left-handed hitters over the past month. Over that same time frame, Carpenter has posted a .521 wOBA with four home runs against right-handed pitchers. He’s locked in and crushing the ball right now, and given he can be considered an elite option today, third base is definitely a position where you want to be spending.
Additional Plays: Kris Bryant
Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers, $3400 – Sometimes you just have to take a hitter against your own pitcher, especially on a two-game slate with almost no good options. Seager is the only shortstop with any upside, and he’s been crushing righties to the tune of a .466 wOBA and two home runs over the past month. Noah Syndergaard is very good, but this four home runs he’s allowed over his last 15 innings pitched against lefties suggest that he’s vulnerable. Overall, the Dodgers have been bad at the plate, but Seager has still managed to produce. If Syndergaard struggles, it’s likely Seager will have something to do with it.
Additional Plays: Addison Russell
Dexter Fowler, Chicago Cubs, $2800 – Fowler is simply too cheap down at $2800, and given he’s hitting lefties very well with both home run and stolen base upside, I think you just have to plug him at this bargain price. Jaime Garcia is allowing more hard contact (34.2%) than any pitcher on today’s slate, and he’s had some struggles with right-handed hitters as well. Fowler is capable of a big game in a variety of ways, and I don’t think fading him is a good option tonight.
Jason Heyward, St. Louis Cardinals, $3400 – If you’re paying up for one outfielder, I think it should be Heyward. As I discussed before, Kyle Hendricks can struggle with left-handed hitters, and Cardinals lefties are likely to be the group of batters with the highest likelihood of success today. Over the past month, Heyward has hit righties to the tune of a .421 wOBA with a home run. He has some power to go along with stolen base upside, and today’s two-game slate, he’s one of the top options available.