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This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We take a comprehensive look to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.
Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.
Davidson was interesting and relatively effective in very limited action this season. Altogether, he managed only eight starts evenly split between the minors and majors. Injuries wrecked the rest of his season. Even a 40-pitch outing would be surprising. We could also see the club turn to the Jesse Chavez-Drew Smyly tandem we expected to see yesterday before they pivoted to Dylan Lee and Kyle Wright. Those two lesser-lights highlight the potential for surprising outcomes. Ultimately, the Braves will do what they can to limp through this game while paving the way for Max Fried or Ian Anderson to close things out in Houston.
Obviously, Valdez is the much better play among the two probable starters. Not only is he virtually the same price as Davidson, Valdez also has an eight-inning outing in the bag this October. He’s also twice been chased before the third inning. He’s at his best when relying upon a cacophony of ground balls. Atlanta does have some hitters who can lift left-handed sinker ballers.
Among the relievers, Ryan Pressly is probably gassed while Kendall Graveman is all but certain to appear. The Braves have used Will Smith, Tyler Matzek, and Luke Jackson on consecutive days. They had light workloads so they should be available despite the recent usage. The bigger concern is a potential loss of effectiveness. Relievers often struggle on their third day in a row.
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Top Play: Ozzie Albies – Braves (vs Valdez)
As we discussed earlier in the series, Albies has a sweet right-handed swing backed by huge career splits. Against right-handers, he’s a roughly league average hitter. Versus southpaws, he’s swatting .340/.371/.578 in 616 plate appearances. Unlike most platoon splits which tend to be misleading, this one is all about mechanics. He simply has a better swing from the right side. He also has sufficient lift in his hack to deal a blow to Valdez.
Pivot: Alex Bregman – Astros (at Davidson)
All I see anybody say about Bregman is how much he’s struggling at the dish. While the surface-level results seem to bear it out – including a .226/.311/.302 slash line this postseason – a closer investigation reveals it’s as likely to be a statistical fluke as an actual, legitimate funk. With the potential to face unimpressive pitchers like Davidson, Smyly, and Chavez today, Bregman’s role as the Astros third hitter could bear impressive fruit. He’s also in that sweet spot of cost effective but too expensive to squeeze into a lineup with top batters and both pitchers.
Top Play: Yordan Alvarez – Astros (at Davidson)
The top outfielding play remains the same. Alvarez is the likeliest in the slate to homer, and he’s undeterred by facing the Braves many left-handed pitchers. Most importantly, his cleanup role attracts considerable upside for run production. Kyle Tucker is the only outfielder in the same tier (though Altuve, Albies, and Bregman also project similarly). If hunting for values, Michael Brantley is the best dollar-for-dollar bargain in the slate. He should be chalky as a result.
Pivot: Adam Duvall – Braves (vs Valdez)
Duvall might not be a true pivot tonight since he’s facing a southpaw. I still see analysis promoting him exclusively against left-handers even though he has no discernible platoon splits. He’s just a volatile power hitter who’s primed to explode without warning. He thrives most on pitches down in the zone or over the heart of the plate. Valdez will certainly cooperate by pitching low in the zone. Notably, Duvall doesn’t do well with pitches below the strike zone where Valdez tends to operate on his best days. There’s considerable risk and reward in this pick.