McCullers and the Astros take on the RedSox in the first official post season game of 2021
Featured image source: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After two exciting Wild Card games to start the MLB playoffs, we get to enjoy a two-game DFS slate for the ALDS Thursday. SuperDraft has a unique way to play with the “multiplier” mode where there is no salary cap, so enjoy picking everyone you want. Instead, the safer/chalkier players have lower multipliers, while the players that appear to have more risk have higher multipliers, allowing for more upside.


Lance McCullers Jr., Houston Astros (1.55x score multiplier)

Nothing is easy in the postseason, and that includes building our rosters. McCullers has already pitched against the White Sox twice, winning both games with a 2.08 ERA while recording 14 strikeouts in 13 innings. McCullers has the second-lowest hard contact rate (32%) on the slate. All of the offenses in the postseason are talented but the White Sox have the second-highest strikeout rate on the slate at 22.4% against right-handed pitchers. They also had the third-highest ground ball rate (46.5%) against right-handed pitching in MLB. The strikeout upside combined with McCullers multiplier raises his floor and ceiling.

Eduardo Rodriguez, Boston Red Sox (1.35x)

Just like McCullers, Rodriguez has already pitched against his opponent, facing the Rays four times this year. In those starts, he has one win, a 4.71 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 21 innings. The strikeouts are the main reason I have an interest in Rodriguez. The rays 25.6% strikeout rate against left-handed pitching during the regular season was the sixth-highest in MLB. That is the highest rate on the slate by a significant margin. Rodriguez also generates the second highest (behind McCullers) amount of ground balls on the slate.


Alex Bregman, Houston Astros (1.35x)

The Astros have history against Lance Lynn this season, as well as when he pitched for the Rangers. Bregman has done very well against him, going 6-15 with a double, triple, and two home runs. Bregman is known for being a great hitter against lefties, but he is fantastic against right-handed pitching as well (.364 wOBA, .215 ISO, 39.6% hard contact rate since 2019). Lynn only throws three pitches — a four-seam fastball, cutter, and sinker. Bregman is hitting each one with a career wRC+ of at least 103.

Michael Brantley, Houston Astros (1.5x)

Brantley is another Astros hitter with a good history against Lynn, going 10-26, with two doubles and a home run. Against right-handed pitching since 2019, Brantley has been great with a .392 wOBA, .192 ISO and 38.7% hard contact rate. He also is crushing Lynn’s pitches with a career wRC+ of at least 137 on all three. I’m surprised his multiplier is so high, I’ll take advantage of it all day.

Bobby Dalbec, Boston Red Sox (1.75x)

The youngster got his first taste of the postseason in the Wild Card game but went hitless with two strikeouts. Dalbec has been outstanding against left-handed pitching in his short career with a .375 wOBA, .296 ISO, and 38.4% hard contact rate. It won’t be an easy task against Shane McClanahan, but he did throw the highest percentage of pitches over the heart of the plate (28.5%) among the pitchers on the slate. Dalbec has done well in a very small sample against McClanahan with two hits in six at-bats and a walk. He is also hitting all of McClanahan’s pitches well with a wRC+ of at least 111 this season.

Slate overview

The Astros are my favorite stack as arguably the most talented offense on the slate but I also think it’s a bad matchup for Lynn. The Astros are very familiar with him and Lynn gave up six earned runs in four innings pitched against them earlier this season. Lynn also has been worse on the road this season where his WHIP, xFIP, and walk rate all jump while his strikeout rate decreases. Minute Maid Park is also a great hitters park.

I feel confident in McCullers pitching well as the White Sox have been a league-average offense on the road this season with a .317 wOBA, .151 ISO, and 101 wRC+. Rodriguez is riskier in my opinion but the upside is there as discussed above. I have no issue rolling out McClanahan, especially given his 1.95x multiplier, the Red Sox just haven’t stuck out much against left-handed pitching this season.

This article expresses the personal views of the writer and does not reflect the view(s) of SuperDraft in any way.

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