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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for Dodgers vs. Rays World Series Game 1

Greg Ehrenberg gives his top lineup advice for Tuesday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Rays and the Dodgers, which starts at 8:09 p.m. ET.

The World Series starts tonight, and we have plenty of DraftKings Showdown contests for the opener of the series between the Rays and Dodgers, which takes place at 8:09 p.m. ET.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB® Showdown $500K WORLD SERIES® Scuffle [$100K to 1st] (TB vs LAD)

Place your MLB bets at DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DK Sportsbook app.

Showdown Strategy

Los Angeles Dodgers

For Game 1, the Dodgers are sending Clayton Kershaw ($17,100 CP/$11,400) to the mound. There is a narrative around Kershaw that he can’t pitch well in the playoffs, but it’s something I don’t really buy into. For his career, Kershaw has a 3.09 SIERA in the regular season and a 3.03 SIERA in the postseason. He has nearly identical strikeout to walk rates in the regular season compared to the playoffs, as well. So what has gone wrong that makes his postseason ERA higher than his regular season ERA? The main issue is strand rate. It’s hard to believe the kind of bad luck that Kershaw has seen in the playoffs. If he comes out of the game in the sixth or seventh inning with runners on base, the Dodgers’ bullpen is almost always allowing those runs to score in the playoffs. This leads to Kershaw having a 67.2% LOB% in the playoffs compared to 79.4% in the regular season. He’s still one of the best starting pitchers in baseball and my favorite choice for the Captain’s spot tonight.

Since I like both of the pitchers in this game, I am forgoing rostering the expensive bats. The upside in the pitchers is too great for me to pass up. This also means finding value is massively important. This is the type of game where I am willing to roster relief pitchers. Kenley Jansen ($4,400) is a reliever from the Dodgers that makes sense. Since Julio Urias closed out the Dodgers’ Game 7 win, Jansen hasn’t pitched in a few days. This means he’s rested enough to pitch multiple innings if needed.

The cheap bat that stands out the most from the Dodgers is Joc Pederson ($5,000). He will almost certainly get lifted for a pinch-hitter at some point, but he has the upside to win a GPP when he is in the game. Pederson has scored as many as 27.0 DKFP in the playoffs and he hit 36 homers last season.

If looking for an elite bat that isn’t priced like one, Will Smith ($7,800) is a bit too cheap. After putting up a 163 wRC+ in the regular season, he seemingly picked up a big hit whenever he was needed in the series against the Braves. Smith has a hit in each of his last five starts.

Tampa Bay Rays

Not many pitchers can score fantasy points as quickly as Tyler Glasnow ($10,600). He’s a true three outcome pitcher. Nearly all of the batters he faces come out with either a strikeout, a walk or a homer. This is ideal for DFS and Glasnow strikes out 14.28 hitters per nine innings. When he’s on, he looks like the best pitcher in baseball. His stuff is impossible to hit at times and he generally has good fantasy outings even when giving up runs because of his strikeout upside.

The Rays have better value bats than the Dodgers. Since the Dodgers’ lineup is mostly expensive, I am forced to turn to mostly Rays’ bats in lineups with both starting pitchers. The first player that stands out is Hunter Renfroe ($6,400). A lefty masher throughout his career, Renfroe has big power and is one of the more likely Tampa Bay hitters to go yard tonight. He has a 137 wRC+ for his career against southpaws.

Due to strong hitting in the playoffs, Manuel Margot ($5,400) is another hitter that stands out. Not only is he playing well, the Rays recently moved him up in the order which helps his chances to rack up counting stats. Margot reached base in all seven games of the series against the Astros and hit three homers.

Yandy Diaz ($5,200) is one other player with too cheap of a price tag. He put up a career-best 138 wRC+ in the shortened regular season, which included a .444 OBP against left-handed pitching. Even if the sample size is small, Diaz has a 113 wRC+ for his career, so he’s always been an above-average hitter.

The Outcome

It’s hard for me to pick against Kershaw. Even if you are of the belief that he struggles in the playoffs, he’s been pretty effective in the postseason this year and put up a 45.6 DKFP gem against the Brewers in the first round. The only real concern I have with Kershaw is the health of his back after he was scratched from a start against the Braves. As long he’s healthy, I expect him to win the first game of this series.

Final Score: Los Angeles 4, Tampa Bay 2

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB® Showdown $500K WORLD SERIES® Scuffle [$100K to 1st] (TB vs LAD)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) 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. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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