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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Diamondbacks vs. Phillies DraftKings MLB DFS Showdown Strategy for October 17

Garion Thorne preps you for Tuesday’s NLCS contest between the Diamondbacks and the Phillies with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

Championship Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Philadelphia Phillies - Game One Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Well, the Arizona Diamondbacks finally lost a playoff game on Monday night, falling 5-3 in Game 1 of the NLCS to the Philadelphia Phillies. However, the club will quickly get a chance to rebound on Tuesday, with another pair of aces taking the hill at Citizens Bank Park.

Will the young Diamondbacks tie up the series? Or will the Phillies take a commanding 2-0 lead? Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $125K Relay Throw [$25K to 1st] (ARI vs PHI)


Captain’s Picks

Aaron Nola ($16,800 CP) - After a somewhat underwhelming regular season — at least on the surface — Nola has been dominant in his first two outings of the playoffs, posting a 1.42 ERA and a 2.07 FIP across 12.2 innings. The biggest difference? Nola has yet to allow a long ball in October, despite surrendering a career-worst 1.49 home runs per nine in 2023. Nola’s also benefitted from the opportunity to pitch solely in Citizens Bank Park. The RHP posted a ghastly 5.43 ERA when pitching on the road, as opposed to a 3.29 ERA and a 3.40 FIP when taking the mound in Philadelphia. Nola registered a 28.6% strikeout rate and a 5.7 K/BB within the split, as well. The Diamondbacks have showcased some serious pop so far in the postseason, including four home runs in a single inning against the Dodgers, yet power wasn’t a consistent team trait throughout their entire campaign. In fact, over the final two months of the regular season, Arizona ranked 26th in wRC+ (87) and 27th in ISO (.136). If the Diamondbacks can’t make Nola pay for a mistake with a single swing, it’s going to be a long night.

Bryce Harper ($13,800 CP) - It’s only a sample size of 30 plate appearances, yet Harper’s playoff numbers are jaw-dropping, as the former All-Star is slashing .409/.567/.955 with a 282 wRC+. Harper’s managed to hit four home runs and score nine times in just seven games. Still, I don’t want anyone to assume this hot-streak came out of nowhere. After struggling to find his power stroke for most of the regular season, Harper finished the regular season on absolute fire, posting a 1.067 OPS and a .342 ISO over his final 228 plate appearances. I think it’s safe to say Harper needed some time to adjust after his Tommy John surgery, but now he’s fully back. That’s a scary thought if you’re a pitcher on Arizona’s roster.

FLEX Plays

Trea Turner ($9,400) - Somehow, Turner’s been just as good as Harper in the postseason. Like, literally the exact same 282 wRC+ over 30 plate appearances, only with the added element of four stolen bases. Turner has also seen quite a bit of Merrill Kelly ($11,400) throughout his career, thanks to some time in the NL West with Los Angeles. In 21 at-bats against the RHP, Turner has nine hits and a 1.071 OPS.

Ketel Marte ($8,800) - Marte is the only person in Arizona’s lineup with a home run against Nola in their career. More importantly, Marte had the most success of any player in the Diamondbacks lineup during the regular season at hitting curveballs, posting a .296 expected batting average and a .539 expected slugging percentage against the pitch. Why is that important? With a 31.6% usage across his 32 starts in 2023, a curveball was Nola’s most commonly used offering. Marte’s switch-hitting ability should also come in handy in Game 2, as the Phillies have three high-leverage LHPs in their bullpen: Jose Alvarado ($4,000), Matt Strahm ($4,000) and Gregory Soto ($4,000).

Jose Alvarado ($4,000) - Speaking of Alvarado, it just seems like a given that he’ll be asked to make an appearance in this contest if it’s at all close in the final innings — particularly to face-off with the left-handed Corbin Carroll ($9,600). Alvarado is the exact archetype of reliever who can have an impact in Showdown, as his 37.2% strikeout rate was the fifth-highest mark among all RPs with at least 40.0 innings thrown during the regular season. The RHP’s 1.74 ERA wasn’t too shabby, either.


Merrill Kelly ($11,400) - I’m simply having a difficult time rationalizing Kelly as this slate’s most expensive asset. Not only do I believe Nola to be the better pitcher, but Kelly also has the more difficult matchup, with the Phillies currently posting a .905 OPS as a team in the playoffs. Also, for as good as Nola’s been at Citizens Bank Park, it’s not an easy place for an opponent to pitch. In fact, Kelly’s had his issues pitching in enemy territory all year long. In his final 10 road outings of the regular season, the 35-year-old registered an inflated 5.27 ERA to go along with a 5.01 FIP and a 1.54 WHIP.


Both of these teams have been hitting out of their minds since the beginning of the playoffs, with a combined 30 home runs in 13 games. However, when projecting which of these two lineups can maintain that pace, it’s an incredibly easy call. Long balls win postseason games, and the Phillies are a team to built to keep going deep.

Final Score: Philadelphia 5, Arizona 2

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $125K Relay Throw [$25K to 1st] (ARI vs PHI)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.