This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
The playoffs get started with a somewhat lopsided matchup in terms of pitchers, at least in a fantasy sense. Max Scherzer is a guy who will rack up 10 strikeouts and pitch six innings, but Brandon Woodruff is recently back from injury and may pitch three innings max. That means most lineups will lean heavily toward the favored Nationals, especially in cash games.
The most popular cash route will likely be to roster and possibly captain Max Scherzer ($12,600) despite an iffy finish to the season. But even though he's allowed more runs since returning from a back injury, his K% has remained high and he closed the campaign with 21 strikeouts in his final two starts (12.2 innings). His career numbers against this Brewers team are also dominant, allowing a .235 OBP and that includes Christian Yelich's .387 OBP. The other part is that the Brewers have had a problem striking out in the last month with a 28.1 K% against righty arms.
The GPP move would be to captain Brandon Woodruff ($10,000) and hope he racks up five or six strikeouts in the likely three innings he'll pitch. While he was great last postseason, that's a hard thing to bet on, especially since it's unknown how long he'll pitch as he's gone just two innings in each of his last two starts since a return from an oblique injury. If you captain Woodruff, you also have to hope Scherzer gets shelled early and Milwaukee never gives up the lead. Jordan Lyles is the other pitcher who could see significant time and he's unlikely to go more than three innings against a Nationals team who have been near the top of the charts with a .337 wOBA in the last month.
You could ideally back both Scherzer and Woodruff and hope both teams struggle to get hits out of the gates, but the rest of your roster will be filled with bats near the bottom of the orders.
If you captain Scherzer, there are only so many ways a lineup can look because he's so expensive. It makes the most sense to look at cheap Milwaukee lefties first because Scherzer dominates righty bats with a .220 OBP allowed this season, while allowing a higher .446 SLG to lefty bats. Ben Gamel ($5,600) and Cory Spangenberg ($4,800) are be the cheapest starting lefties for the Brewers, while Orlando Arcia ($4,200) is mostly a throw in with hopes he can get a single or two.
It's best to use Washington lefty bats where possible as that's where Woodruff and Lyles struggle, as well, allowing a .326 wOBA and .382 wOBA, respectively. Matt Adams ($6,200) is the cheapest choice, but for a reason. While he's shown some power this season, he has four hits (all singles), in his last 30 plate appearances against righty arms. The best route may be to put together Asdrubal Cabrera ($8,200) and Adam Eaton ($8,000), and I'm trying to get the former into all of my lineups, as he's sporting a .415 OBP in his last 65 PA against righties. In fact, Cabrera could be a sneaky captain option, especially in GPP.
If you don't captain Scherzer, there's a wider range of bats to work with and Juan Soto ($9,000) could be the most popular bat in the game. The lefty has roped righty hurlers for a .416 OBP and .293 ISO in his last 77 PA. Anthony Rendon ($9,400) and Howie Kendrick ($9,200) have similar numbers, but I'd rather back the lefty, who is also slightly cheaper. There's a viable method to get all three of those guys in the squad, but that also means you likely can't afford Scherzer.
For the Brewers, it's a little trickier because while Yasmani Grandal ($6,600) is their top bat against righty arms, he has a 1-for-13 career mark against Scherzer. That's a hard number to back and may lead to more attention to the more expensive choices such as the trio of lefties in Eric Thames ($7,800), Trent Grisham ($7,400) and Mike Moustakas ($7,200). Grisham has been the best of that group against righties with a .360 OBP in the last month, while Braun is on the best run with nine hits (3 2B, 2 HR) in his last six games.
It'd be surprising if Arcia wasn't one of the more popular players Tuesday due to price. His overall September numbers are poor, but he's hitting above .300 in his last 44 PA with four doubles and a homer. Throw in what he did last postseason with a hit in every game he started to go with three home runs, and he'll draw plenty of attention. Even better is that Arcia went 2-for-3 with a double against Scherzer when they met earlier in the season.
If you're looking for a GPP move, both Gerardo Parra ($7,600) and Yan Gomes ($5,800) closed the season on high notes, though will likely start on the bench. If a bat is needed later in this game, it wouldn't be surprising if either got a chance at the plate and both have showed solid power, as well.