This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Both League Championship series roll on Wednesday. The Dodgers, on the brink of an 0-3 series deficit, used a four-run eighth inning to finally get on the board and earn a victory in Game 3 of the NLCS. They did so on the strength of Cody Bellinger, who hit a three-run home run in that eighth inning. Over in the American League, the Red Sox and Astros are tied at two games apiece after the Astros exploded for seven runs in the ninth inning of Game 4. Let's break down the two games and highlight some players to consider for your DraftKings entries.
The pitching options for this slate are far from ideal. With that in mind, it might be best to just roll with players with cheap salaries, so you can load up on hitters. One such pitcher to consider is Chris Sale ($7,100), who only lasted 2.2 innings in Game 1. He allowed one run and recorded two strikeouts, so that doesn't exactly instill a lot of confidence in him here. The good news is that he can at least miss a significant amount of bats since he's recorded a strikeout rate of at least 28.4 percent in each of his last four seasons.
As of early Wednesday morning, the Braves had yet to officially name their starting pitcher for Game 4. They could go with Max Fried ($9,200) on short rest or Huascar Ynoa ($6,700), who has only logged a total of one inning in the playoffs. If Ynoa starts, he likely won't be able to pitch much more than five innings, even if he performs well. Still, at his cheap salary and with his 26.9 percent strikeout rate during the regular season, he would at least be worth considering.
The Dodgers will now try to even up the series with Julio Urias ($8,800) on the mound. The problem is that he might not be able to throw his normal allotment of pitches after coming out of the bullpen three days ago in the NLDS. If he's compromised at all, he could get into trouble against Ozzie Albies ($4,100), who has a career 146 wRC+ versus left-handed pitchers.
Framber Valdez ($7,500) was hit hard in Game 1, allowing three runs (two earned) over 2.2 innings. He issued nine base runners in that game and has allowed a total of 17 base runners over seven innings in his two postseason starts. This could be another prime spot to roll with Enrique Hernandez ($5,400), who is 19-for-41 (.463) with five home runs and four doubles in the playoffs.
Bellinger ($3,300) made this section Tuesday and he came through with the big home run for the Dodgers. After a dismal regular season, he's now 7-for-24 (.292) with that home run and a .393 OBP in the playoffs. It would likely be better for him if Ynoa pitches instead of Fried, but either way, Bellinger could provide value.
The Braves received a breakout season from Austin Riley ($3,900), who slugged 33 home runs to go along with his .379 wOBA. His barrel rate checked in at 13.3 percent, which was more than three percentage points higher than last season. The bright lights of the playoffs haven't been too much for him, evident by the fact that he is 9-for-26 (.346) with two home runs and two doubles across seven games.