DraftKings MLB: Thursday Showdown Picks
DraftKings MLB: Thursday Showdown Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

Thursday's Showdown slate between the Dodgers and the Nationals can be a bit tricky to navigate, as the game will feature elite talent as far as the eye can see. This should force prospective owners to dig deep in order to find an edge.

Starting Pitchers

Walker Buehler ($11,600) will definitely be a strong captain choice due to the 2.86 ERA and 112 strikeouts he logged at Dodger Stadium in 91.1 innings. In the other dugout, we have Patrick Corbin ($11,000), who finished 2019 with a 3.29 ERA and a 29 percent strikeout rate in 33 starts. Both pitchers would be a fine choice on any given regular-season slate, so where do we find the daylight between them here?

The first thing to note is that Corbin had some trouble with the free pass this season (8.4 percent walk rate), but the biggest vulnerability comes from his performance on the road, where he allowed 16 homers in 97 innings. This contributed to a 4.18 ERA. While these are certainly the most significant data points to look at, we shouldn't completely ignore the fact that Corbin spun a gem in his lone start against the Dodgers this year, throwing seven innings of scoreless baseball with eight strikeouts at Dodger Stadium.

It's a bit tougher to pin down weaknesses for Buehler because he doesn't really have any. He doesn't throw his negative value pitches often enough for us to try and find hitters that excel against said pitches, and his xFIP, while higher, is close enough to his ERA for us to forget about any kind of correction. It's not all great news for the 25-year-old, however, as he holds a hard contact rate over 40 percent against both sides of the platoon. He had mixed results against the Nationals this year, firing seven scoreless frames at Dodger Stadium before allowing seven runs (four earned) in 5.1 innings during a road outing.

Correlations

Based on our analysis in the first section, it seems likely that the most popular (and perhaps, most successful) course of action will be to make Buehler the captain of the ship, while trying to find as many workable, quality bats as we can from the Dodger lineup. L.A. logged a top-10 ISO to go along with a nine percent walk rate against lefty pitching in 2019, which should leave us with plenty of options as we look to exploit Corbin.

One may not think that we would be able to find many cheap righty bats due to the nature of the slate, but it turns out we can choose from several reasonably priced options who have shown big power against lefty hurlers, including Justin Turner ($7,600), David Freese ($6,200), and Chris Taylor ($6,600). These options don't come without some baked in risk, however, as Turner has been dealing with a back issue, and Freese is a candidate to be lifted for a pinch-hitter once a righty enters the game.

Those more interested in big hitters will have noticed that three of the most celebrated power hitters are all left-handed. While Joc Pederson ($8,800) has been abysmal against left-handers, the power numbers of Cody Bellinger ($10,600) and Max Muncy ($9,200) show no significant power decline by platoon, which could give them a bit of scarcity at their respective prices.

Those who wish to take a shot with the Nationals offense against Buehler can hardly be blamed, as the Nats were one of the most powerful teams in the league against righties according to ISO this year. Juan Soto ($8,600) and Adam Eaton ($6,800) would make for a great mini-stack along with Corbin, as the former has shown tremendous power against righties, while the latter could be a bargain thanks to his ability to steal bases at the top of the lineup.

One-Offs

While his price isn't particularly surprising, Matt Adams ($4,200) is the exact kind of feast-or-famine bat we look for at the bottom of the range, as he logged a .238 ISO against right-handed pitching this year.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Christopher Olson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Sommerset, FanDuel: Christop, Yahoo: Martins.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only MLB Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire MLB fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Olson
Christopher Olson writes DFS articles and blogs for a variety of sports including MLB, NFL and MMA. Follow him on Twitter @RealChrisOlson
The Z Files: My Top 20 First Basemen
The Z Files: My Top 20 First Basemen
The Z Files: My Top 20 Catchers
The Z Files: My Top 20 Catchers
The Z Files: My Top 20 Starting Pitchers
The Z Files: My Top 20 Starting Pitchers
DraftKings MLB: World Series Game 7 Picks
DraftKings MLB: World Series Game 7 Picks
FanDuel MLB: Game 7 Breakdown
FanDuel MLB: Game 7 Breakdown
DraftKings MLB: Tuesday World Series Picks
DraftKings MLB: Tuesday World Series Picks