The National League playoffs take center stage Friday with the American League Wild Card round wrapping up Thursday. We only have two games on the schedule, which makes things a little tricky in DFS. With that in mind, here are some options to consider for your entry.
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Down 0-1, the Cubs turn to Yu Darvish ($53) to try and even up their series with the Marlins. Based on his production during the regular season, he could be up for the task. He was downright dominant, posting a 2.01 ERA that was supported by a 2.23 FIP. With his control no longer being a problem, he was able to record a career-best 0.96 WHIP. Add in his career 29.9 percent strikeout rate and he provides significant upside.
The only other pitcher on this slate that who is a somewhat safer option is Jack Flaherty ($41), who will look to help the Cardinals move on to the next round after losing Game 2. His 4.91 ERA during the regular season was a significant step backward compared to the last two years, but his FIP was better at 4.11 and he still missed plenty of bats with his 28.8 percent strikeout rate. Since his salary is significantly cheaper than Darvish’s, he could also help to build a more well-balanced entry.
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If you decide to fade Flaherty, then rolling with Fernando Tatis Jr. ($21) could be a wise move. He launched two home runs in the Padres’ comeback win Thursday and is now 4-for-9 in the series. He’s become one of the most exciting young players in the game after posting a .392 wOBA and a .295 ISO during the regular season. A key to his success this season has been his improved eye at the plate. He finished with a 10.5 percent walk rate and a 23.7 percent walk rate compared to an 8.1 percent walk rate and a 29.6 percent strikeout rate in 2019.
Staying in that same game, Manny Machado ($19) is another Padre to strongly consider. He also went deep in Game 2, which came on the heels of him posting a career-high .277 ISO during the regular season. It helps his cause that this series is being played in San Diego since he had a 210 wRC+ there compared to a 92 wRC+ on the road.
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Another Padre who could provide production at a more budget-friendly salary is Eric Hosmer ($14). Like Machado, he excelled at home with a 160 wRC+ this season compared to a 106 wRC+ on the road. He also mashed right-handed pitching with a 160 wRC+ versus a 63 wRC+ against southpaws.
This is a tough spot for Sixto Sanchez ($41). He comes with very little experience considering he hadn’t pitched above Double-A prior to this season. His big-league career started off strong, but he allowed nine runs across seven innings in his last two starts for the season. That could lead to a successful day at the plate for the Cubs. A poor regular season has brought down Anthony Rizzo’s ($13) salary to the point where he’s at least worth considering in this matchup. He was a bit unlucky given his .218 BABIP.
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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cardinals vs. TBD, Padres: Paul Goldschmidt ($17), Dylan Carlson ($14), Tommy Edman ($12)” data-reactid=”27″>Cardinals vs. TBD, Padres: Paul Goldschmidt ($17), Dylan Carlson ($14), Tommy Edman ($12)
Injuries to the Padres’ starting rotation has resulted in them not naming their starting pitcher as of early Friday morning. Dinelson Lamet (biceps) and Mike Clevinger (elbow) were left off the postseason roster, leaving them extremely thin. As a result, expect this to be a bullpen game. That should make the Cardinals one of the most popular, if not the most popular, teams to stack. Goldschmidt has homered in both game of this series and is arguably one of the most appealing players at any position given this small slate.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Marlins vs. Darvish, Cubs: Brian Anderson ($17), Miguel Rojas ($15), Corey Dickerson ($13)” data-reactid=”29″>Marlins vs. Darvish, Cubs: Brian Anderson ($17), Miguel Rojas ($15), Corey Dickerson ($13)
If you want to be different in tournament play, stacking the Marlins could be the way to go. Facing Darvish is no easy task, so people will probably be avoiding the Marlins like the plague. However, this is the playoffs and anything can happen. Take the Yankees scoring seven runs against Shane Bieber in Game 1 of their series. If you stacked the Yankees in that matchup, you likely did well on the DFS side of things.