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DraftKings’ MLB Showdown provides a different type of DFS competition where you create a team from one game while staying under the $50,000 salary cap.
Lineups consist of six players (1 CPT, 5 UTIL) and must include players from both teams. The player you select as Captain will score 1.5x the standard fantasy point value for each statistic, but drafting a player as Captain will cost more salary than drafting him in a utility slot.
Let’s look at my lineup for tonight’s game between the Red Sox and Mariners, which starts at 7:10 p.m. ET.
CPT(1.5x): Chris Sale, BOS ($20,400)
I dubbed this “The Condor Game” because it’s going to be all about Chris Sale. The World Series champion looks like he’s ready to go, and with the scoring in this format, he seems like a no-brainer for the Captain slot. Not only will Sale see four lefties in the lineup, but current Mariners are just 12-67 (.179) against him with only two XBH. If that’s not enough to sell you, the consensus top-tier ace has a career 1.84 ERA in 29 IP at T-Mobile Park (formerly Safeco Field).
UTIL: Mookie Betts, BOS ($10,200)
Because how could we not get Mookie Betts or J.D. Martinez in our lineup? To be honest, either guy is a great play here, as both crush LHP and are at basically the same price. The reason I prefer Betts is due to the fact that he may get that five points for a stolen base, which would be the icing on the cake. Not only did Betts hit .368 versus lefties last year (yes, you read that correctly), but he also had a ridiculous 1.207 OPS. After our Sale selection, it may seem like a lot of money to tie up in one batter, but I can only think of one other player in baseball I would be willing to put this much stock into.
*This is where we have to be creative. Having so much money invested in Sale and Betts, we are forced to fill out our roster with some cheap players.
UTIL: Dee Gordon, SEA ($5,200)
Surprisingly, Dee Gordon is a career .280 hitter vs LHP, and that was good enough for me here. Always a stolen base threat, that +5 (maybe even +10) would come up huge in a game like this. Hopefully, Gordon finds his way on base, whether it be an H or SAC and returns the value by swiping a couple of bags.
UTIL: Mallex Smith, SEA ($5,000)
Smith flourished from the left side last year, hitting .337 in 104 at-bats vs. LHP. Also like Gordon, he’s a stolen base threat and that +5 (or +10) will be very valuable in tonight’s game. It seems more realistic to me that guys like Gordon and Smith will get on base and run than Ryon Healy or Jay Bruce (who cost more) getting an XBH.
UTIL: Tim Beckham, SEA ($4,800)
Here’s a player I basically had to choose, as he was the cheapest position player on the board besides the two catchers. I’m actually not mad at it either. The former number one pick got off to a hot start in Japan, going 5-7 with two XBH. Let’s hope the layoff hasn’t cooled his bat down. In Beckham’s favor, he does have a higher career OPS against LHP than RHP. On the contrary, he is a career 0-15 against Sale. Like I said, my hands were tied.
UTIL: Christian Vazquez, BOS ($4,200)
For the last selection, I went with Vazquez over Omar Narvaez. While Vazquez is $200 cheaper, I believe he’s the better play of the two. Narvaez has always struggled against lefties while Vazquez hit 30 points higher last season vs LHP than RHP. Oh yeah, he also isn’t facing Sale.
Remaining Salary: $200
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is MikeTheRotoCop) 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.
(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)