“The Asterisk*” – MLB Playoff Edition – 10/13/20

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Just as was the case yesterday, we are graced with a two game slate, with the Braves vs Dodgers game at 5:05 PM CST and the Rays and Astros a couple of hours later at 7:40 PM CST.

Most of us expected the ALCS game to produce a ton of offense, but Lance McCullers was straight dealing, even though Charlie Morton and the Rays picks up the win to take a 2-0 series lead. Let’s take a look at the viable cash plays for the day, and then we’ll examine what stacks might help us takedown a GPP.

First, let’s discuss pitching. In the opener, the Braves send upstart rookie Ian Anderson to the hill to take on Dodgers veteran ace Clayton Kershaw. Although Anderson has only thrown 32 innings this season, he has been spectacular:  11.41 K/9, 1.95 ERA, and a 1.08 WHIP.

There are only two justifications for using Dodger bats:  (a) Anderson’s inexperience and (b) the Dodgers being at or near the top of the MLB in most important offensive statistics vs RHP.

As far Kershaw, his numbers are not as impressive as they have been in seasons past. Although he sports a solid 2.16 ERA, his FIP is over a run higher at 3.31. Oddly enough, lefties have better HR/9 and HC% against him than RHH.

In the second game, Ryan Yarborough will start for Tampa Bay and Jose Urquidy will toe the rubber for the Astros. Yarborough is a slick lefty who doesn’t carry gaudy strikeout numbers (7.11 K/9) but he does a good job of keeping the ball on the ground (42% GB rate).

My concern with Yarborough is that he has been getting hit hard this season, as evidenced by his 28.7% LD rate, the highest in his MLB career. The Astros have their backs against the wall, and with the short porch in left field, the Astros power righties could find success today.

For Houston, Urquidy takes Houston’s hopes to the mound with him, and if his numbers are any indication, the ‘stros could be in trouble. Urquidy’s 2.73 ERA masks his inflated 4.72 FIP, which is more indicative of his true talent level. He’s been reverse splits too, allowing a .368 wOBA, huge 31% LD rate and 2.19 HR/9 to RHH. Rays bats should be our focus tomorrow.


C:   d’Arnaud (ATL), Zunino (TB), Smith (LAD)

1B:  Freeman (ATL), Brosseau (TB), Muncy (LAD)

2B:  Lowe (TB), Albies (ATL), Altuve (HOU)

3B:  Bregman (HOU), Wendle (TB), Riley (ATL)

SS:  Seager (LAD), Correa (HOU), Adames (TB)

OF:  Acuna (ATL), Arozarena (TB), Ozuna (ATL), Springer (HOU), Margot (TB), Betts (LAD), Meadows (TB), Bellinger (LAD), Kiermaier (TB), Brantley (HOU), Duvall (ATL), Pollock (LAD), Renfroe (TB)


TB:  Meadows, B. Lowe, Arozarena, Margot, Brosseau/Zunino

ATL:  Acuna, Albies, Freeman, Ozuna, Swanson

HOU:  Springer, Altuve, Bregman, Correa, Gurriel

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