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This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We take a comprehensive look to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.
Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.
Greinke hasn’t thrown more than 37 pitches in a game since mid-September. Tabbing him as a “top play” is quite the stretch. When the main comparison points are Chavez and Drew Smyly, it’s clear we don’t have much with which to work. Despite the affordability of all the pitchers involved in this game, GPPers will probably be tempted to use an all-hitter approach. I doubt any of the pitchers involved will be truly contrary plays, but they might be a tad undersubscribed. They don’t project to be much worse than the best hitters, and they’re cheaper than most bats.
As we know, Greinke lives purely on wiles and command. He’s today’s Jamie Moyer. Chavez too is wily in his own way. He’s made a long career of doing whatever his team needs doing. He also didn’t allow a home run this season which is more of an interesting fact than anything relevant to this game. Smyly lost much of the velocity gain that spurred his breakout 2020 campaign. He’s produced indifferent results in a couple postseason appearances. It’s possible Tucker Davidson or Kyle Wright will fill the bulk relief role instead. None of these guys can be expected to deliver more than a strikeout per inning. That’s not to say it’s impossible, just unlikely.
The Astros will almost certainly need at least one of Jake Odorizzi or Cristian Javier – possibly for more innings than Greinke works. Ryan Pressly is their only high leverage reliever who didn’t pitch yesterday, but we’ll only see him if the score is close in the eighth or ninth.
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Top Play: Austin Riley – Braves (vs Greinke)
Riley technically isn’t quite on par with Freddie Freeman or Jose Altuve, but he’s not too far below them. More importantly, he’s considerably cheaper, offering perhaps the best dollar-for-dollar value among the infielding cohort (several outfielders are sharper values). Riley’s overall postseason batting line isn’t all that impressive, but he’s come up big on several occasions. His run production potential is helped by his lineup role, he has impressive power, and he matches well against most of the Astros pitching staff.
Pivot: Alex Bregman – Astros (at Chavez/Smyly)
Despite being the only regular to record a hit for Houston yesterday, Bregman hasn’t exactly thrived this postseason. He’s batting just .250/.339/.333 in 56 plate appearances. His below average power is ill-suited to Truist Park in cold, damp weather. Despite these drawbacks, he’s also among the likeliest to put the ball in play. His role as a high-contact third hitter in a potent offense promises multi-hit and run production potential. Since the narrative points away from Bregman, he could be one of the least-used bats. As a bonus, he’s affordably priced.
Top Play: Yordan Alvarez – Astros (at Chavez/Smyly)
Alvarez is the top bat in the entire slate. He’s the fourth-most expensive hitter, coming in as slightly cheaper than the other premium bats – Freeman, Altuve, and Kyle Tucker. Alvarez is the only slugger with better than a one-in-four chance to homer, though even that assumes a full game of plate appearances. Given the stark defensive penalties with using him in left field – not only his iffy play but the shift of Michael Brantley and Tucker to less-suited roles – there is late-game substitution risk. Alvarez doesn’t have notable platoon splits so don’t worry about him facing Smyly, Davidson, or the Braves better left-handed relievers.
Pivot: Adam Duvall – Braves (vs Garcia)
The best values in this slate are Brantley, Eddie Rosario, and Chas McCormick (if he starts). However, we should anticipate that they’ll be heavily used for their affordable price tags. This slate is a tad different than the others due to the generally poor and cheap state of pitching. That could take some of the pressure off low-cost bats, thus rendering them plausible pivots.
If we assume that usage rates won’t shift much for the vagaries of this particular contest, then a mid-tier outfielder like Duvall might be the best combination of price, ceiling, and modest rostership. As usual, he’s very much an all-or-nothing power play. Only Alvarez is likelier to produce a dinger (and even that’s debatable). While Jorge Soler has a slightly better projection and more rounded offensive toolset, Duvall won’t be substituted for defensive reasons.