clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fantasy Baseball Picks Today: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets for World Series Game 1 Diamondbacks vs. Rangers

Zach Thompson gives his top picks for Game 1 of the World Series between the Diamondbacks and Rangers.

Championship Series - Texas Rangers v. Houston Astros - Game Six Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The World Series gets underway on Friday night in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers host the Diamondbacks in a matchup of unexpected League Champions. Both teams won a Game 7 on the road to advance to this point. This is the first time the Diamondbacks are in the World Series since 2001, when they beat the Yankees. The Rangers have been to the World Series two other times in their history, losing in both 2010 and 2011. They’re searching for their first World Series title.

The Diamondbacks will give the ball to Zac Gallen ($11,400), while the home team trusts Nathan Eovaldi ($11,000). The two starting pitchers are the most expensive options on the showdown slate, but should they be the centerpiece of your strategy? Who else should you consider for your DFS lineups? Let’s take a look.

Set your DraftKings Showdown lineups here: MLB Showdown $200K Game 1 Extravaganza [$50K to 1st] (TEX vs HOU)

For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Network app. You also can follow DK Network on Twitter @dknetwork.


Captain’s Picks

Nathan Eovaldi ($16,500 CP) - My top choice on this slate is to build around Eovaldi, who I think is the much stronger starting pitching option and has the highest ceiling of any player on the slate. Gallen (more on him below) averaged slightly more than Eovaldi on the season, but Eovaldi has been much better recently and is a more proven playoff performer.

In his four playoff starts this year, Eovaldi has gone 4-0 with an average of 25.25 DKFP per outing. He totaled 28 strikeouts to go with just four walks in his 30 playoff innings this year, after 132 strikeouts in 144 innings during the regular season. Three of those four starts have actually come on the road, but his best showing was in his one home start when he held the Orioles to one run in seven innings for 28.8 DKFP. He also had strong outings in the postseason in the past, so it seems he thrives on big moments like the World Series. He also is mostly an unknown to the D’backs, against whom he has never pitched directly. He has only very limited experience against a few of the hitters while most have never faced him at all, which should also play to his advantage early in the game.

Adolis Garcia ($13,800 CP) - Garcia caught fire in the middle of the ALCS and comes into the World Series riding a surge of momentum. He homered five times in the final four games of the series, totaling 104 DKFP in those four games. He hit a grand slam for his second homer of Game 7 and added a stolen base, to put up a massive 47 DKFP. That big game wasn’t just an outlier either, since he has been rolling all postseason. In his 12 playoff games this year, he has a total of seven long balls with a .327 batting average and .457 wOBA. He did most of his damage during the regular season at home, where he hit 25 of his 39 homers and had a .400 wOBA. Facing Gallen at Globe Life Field in his current form makes Garcia my top hitter to build around.

UTIL Plays

Corbin Carroll ($9,400) - Carroll had a quiet NLCS until Game 7, when he came up huge with two stolen bases, three hits and 27 DKFP. He started the playoffs strong, though, with double-digit DKFP in each of his first four games in the postseason. Carroll had 25 homers and 54 stolen bases in the regular season, which helped him average over 10 DKFP per contest. He has the power and speed combo to bring a high ceiling in every contest, and he can put up a big total in any matchup. For the most part, lefties struggle against Eovaldi, but Carroll is the one left-handed hitter I’m making an exception for in Game 1.

Evan Carter ($8,200) - Carter has been one of the biggest breakouts of the postseason after a late-season call-up. The 21-year-old prospect hit .306 with a .435 wOBA and three stolen bases in his 23 regular season games, and in the playoffs, he has hit .308 with a .426 wOBA and three stolen bases in his 12 games. He has recently risen to the third spot in the order and posted 20 DKFP in Game 7 to help the Rangers advance to the World Series.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ($6,400) - I still really like Jonah Heim ($5,400) and Leody Taveras ($5,800) as value plays from the Rangers lineup, along with Gerardo Perdomo ($5,200) from the Diamondbacks. If you have the salary available, though, Gurriel brings a little more upside with two homers and two stolen bases in the playoffs. He has averaged 8.1 DKFP in his 10 most recent contests, including three games with at least 11 DKFP in his last five. Gurriel is also one of the few Dbacks with any history against Eovaldi. In their past meetings in the AL East, Gurriel went 7-for-18 (.389) with two home runs against Eovaldi.


Zac Gallen ($11,400) - Gallen had a great regular season and was often in my picks. However, if you want to go with Eovaldi, you’re going to have to fade Gallen. Here’s why I’m ok with that—Gallen actually lost each of his two starts against the Phillies in the last round, posting just 2.7 DKFP in each of his two starts. He did pitch better in wins against the Dodgers and Brewers earlier in the postseason, but even then his strikeout numbers have dropped to no more than four per outing in the postseason. Prior to this season, Gallen had never thrown more than 184 innings in a season. This year he got all the way to 210 in the regular season and has tacked on 22 13 more in the postseason. It could be that he’s dealing with some fatigue or just a rough stretch, but either way, his recent lack of strikeouts and this tough Texas matchup make me pass on him for Game 1.

Set your DraftKings Showdown lineups here: MLB Showdown $200K Game 1 Extravaganza [$50K to 1st] (TEX vs HOU)

Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is z.thompson) 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.