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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for Padres vs. Cardinals Showdown on October 2

Garion Thorne gives his top MLB lineup advice for Friday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Padres and the Cardinals, which starts at 7:08 p.m. ET.

St Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers - Game One Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Surprisingly, we haven’t be blessed with too many Game 3’s in the opening round of the MLB Playoffs, but we’ll get one on Friday between the Padres and the Cardinals. Honestly, it’s sort of insane that we’ve even reached this point considering how different these two team’s journeys have been. While San Diego was riding high with youth and huge trades at the deadline, St. Louis was playing a crazy amount of doubleheaders and making up for lost time after an early-season COVID outbreak.

How will this one play out? Which squad is headed to the NLDS? Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $80K Elimination Game [$20K to 1st] (STL vs SD)

Captain’s Picks

Jack Flaherty ($17,100 CP) - 2020 has not been an easy season for Flaherty, but there’s a level of certainty that you’re getting from the right-hander that no other pitcher on this slate will provide. The 24-year-old isn’t that far removed from his amazing post All-Star run in 2019, a stretch that saw Flaherty maintain a 0.91 ERA and .189 opponent wOBA across 99.1 innings. You don’t have to squint too hard to see the upside that he brings to the table. I think it’s also crucial to point out the RHP’s splits. Despite some overall struggles, Flaherty has still been shutting down right-handed batters this season, limiting RHBs to a .209/.303/.269 slash line. San Diego’s most threatening offensive pieces are righties and with the Mitch Moreland ($7,800) trade looking worse by the day — he managed just a 59 wRC+ with the Padres — this is a lineup that sets up well from a handedness perspective for Flaherty.

Eric Hosmer ($12,900 CP) - Hosmer’s month of September wasn’t as explosive as his hot start to 2020 — his strikeout rate and infield fly ball rate both went up considerably — but he remains the most dangerous left-handed bat in the Padres’ lineup. To wit, in 103 plate appearances versus right-handed pitching this season, Hosmer slashed .330/.379/.596 with .266 ISO and a .409 wOBA. Factor in a premium batting order slot and the fact that Flaherty has surrendered 2.61 home runs per nine to LHB since Sept. 4, and you’ve got yourself a decent play at 1.5x value with a price that doesn’t hurt your wallet too significantly.

Value Plays

Tommy Edman ($7,400) - Though Edman doesn’t exactly profile like a high-upside offensive weapon, I can’t think of a more perfect mid-tier asset on this very unique slate. Not only has the sophomore infielder batted second in each of the first two games of this series, but he’s a switch-hitter, which could come in handy in what will likely be a bullpen-style contest for San Diego. Edman’s value would increase if we find out a left-hander like Adrian Morejon ($9,400) will be starting for the Padres — Edman posted a .220 ISO and a 127 wRC+ as a RHB in 2020 — but, either way, he’ll always have the platoon split advantage.

Dylan Carlson ($5,200) - Speaking of switch-hitters with high-leverage batting order positioning on the Cardinals, let us not forget the presence of Carlson. The 21-year-old is one of the youngest remaining players in the playoffs; however, that hasn’t stopped St. Louis from placing Carlson in the clean-up spot in both Game 1 and Game 2. Considering he’s reached base in seven of his 10 plate appearances in this series, I think it’s likely we see Carlson there again this evening. The former first-round pick mustered a paltry 65 wRC+ in his 119 PAs during the regular season, but Carlson also showcased elite power in both Double-A and Triple-A in 2019. He’s certainly got some upside and he’s undeniably cheap.


Wil Myers ($9,400) - Obviously Myers is red-hot at the dish right now, but we’re also talking about an asset that hit seventh against a right-handed starter on Thursday. Plate appearance volume might not matter when you’re able to smack a pair of home runs, but I wouldn’t be expecting a similar level of success against a pitcher that handles RHBs as well as Flaherty. Plus, if we’re taking a step back and looking at the larger picture, Myers was pretty pedestrian when facing RHPs in both 2018 and 2019. In fact, across that whole span, the veteran had just a .160 ISO and a 91 wRC+ within the split.


Call me basic, but I think I have to side with the team that actually has a starting pitcher ready to go for Game 3. San Diego obviously caught a tough break with both Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet going down the week before the playoffs began, but that doesn’t change the fact that Jack Flaherty is only on the roster of one of these squads. Give me the guy who almost took home the National League Cy Young last season.

Final Score: St. Louis 6, San Diego 3

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $80K Elimination Game [$20K to 1st] (STL vs SD)

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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 I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.