We have a full day of playoff baseball, as four games from the Divisional Round will take place starting this afternoon.
This article will outline the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We’ll take a comprehensive look across the DFS industry 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.
We will be looking at the four-game Friday slate beginning at 2:05 ET.
Justin Verlander - Houston (vs. Tampa Bay)
Verlander is a legitimate candidate for the Cy Young Award this season, and he makes for an excellent DFS lift through all formats today. “JV” unsurprisingly checks in with the best odds of this slate, representing a healthy -235 home favorite over Tampa Bay. The last time Verlander took the bump, he dazzled with 12 strikeouts through six innings against the Angels. Expect nothing more than another quality start with punchout upside and plenty of run support this afternoon.
CATCHER / FIRST BASE
Mitch Garver - Minnesota (at New York Yankees)
There’s a good chance Garver will man the leadoff spot for Minnesota, as that has been the Twins’ strategy against left-handed pitching throughout most of the season. Either way, the Minnesota catcher finds himself in a position to thrive while facing New York LHP James Paxton, who has been vulnerable against right-handed bats at times this season. Garver has enjoyed a breakout season while hitting .273 with 31 homers alongside an amazing 198 wRC+ and .468 wOBA while facing left-handed pitching.
Kolten Wong - St. Louis (at Atlanta)
Wong should retain a premium lineup spot for the Cardinals, and he came through with a solid 2-4 outing (2B, 2 RBIs) in yesterday’s victory. Atlanta RHP Mike Foltynewicz has been up-and-down throughout most of this season, and St. Louis checks in with the second-highest scoring projection of this slate (only trailing NYY). The opportunity cost at second base is pretty low, and Wong makes for an easy bargain lift within that.
Miguel Sano - Minnesota (at New York Yankees)
This Twins-Yankees matchup features the two best HR-hitting teams in the history of baseball, so we could have a wildly inflated score tonight. Sano is another Minnesota power bat who feasts on left-handed pitching with a 157 wRC+ and .408 wOBA split in that regard. Sure, the Twins’ third baseman is somewhat expensive, but he’s marginally cheaper than Alex Bregman and Anthony Rendon with just as much (if not more) upside.
Didi Gregorius - New York Yankees (vs. Minnesota)
The Yankees represent the highest run-scoring projection of the night in an offense-heavy meeting with the Twins. Minnesota RHP Jose Berrios is an All-Star pitcher, but he has really struggled through the second half of the season. Those problems could be exposed against the mighty Yankees this evening, and Gregorius is a prime candidate to take advantage of New York’s short porch in right field. The Twins only have one legitimate left-handed relief pitcher as well (Taylor Rogers), so it’s unlikely Gregorius will fall into a lefty-lefty draw multiple times.
Dexter Fowler - St. Louis (at Atlanta)
Fowler is a steady mid-range pick in this slate. He’s also a switch-hitter who won’t give up the platoon advantage to anyone from Atlanta’s bullpen. That’s a nice bonus considering the unpredictability of individual matchups in the playoffs. As mentioned earlier, the Cardinals have the second-highest scoring projection of the day, and Fowler should hold a premium lineup spot while collecting three hits, one homer, and three RBIs over his past two outings.
Brett Gardner - New York Yankees (vs. Minnesota)
Gardner stands to benefit from the same rationale outlined earlier with his teammate, Gregorius. Yes, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are more exciting lifts from the NYY outfield, but they also cost a pretty penny. Gardner is a value candidate who will help you allocate cap space to those top-dollar studs. You could argue that he’s one of the best bargain hitters of this slate while potentially holding a premium lineup spot for a Yankee squad that holds the highest scoring projection of the day. Facing a struggling starting pitcher doesn’t hurt either.