This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Wednesday's World Series showdown slate features a pitcher who may be an afterthought in the captain spot thanks to a forgettable postseason to this point, as well as a more popular option whose matchup is not as forgiving. We also take a look at a nice value play who gets the benefit of a start due to being on the weak side of the platoon.
Tony Gonsolin, LAD vs. TB ($10,400) Captain ($15,600): If you've been following my articles in the playoffs, you'll know that the Rays have been a favorite target of mine for starting pitchers. One reason for this is that they finished the 2020 regular season with the second-highest strikeout rate in the league (27 percent). This trend has continued in the postseason, with Tampa Bay striking out 160 times in 477 at-bats. The other thing to note is that the Rays were a bottom-5 team against the fastball according to RAA. Gonsolin has been beaten up in his two games during the postseason, allowing seven runs in 6.1 frames, but the 11.2 RAA he logged with his heater was the fifth-highest mark in the league among pitchers who threw at least 40 innings. We've seen struggling pitchers have strong games against this team in the playoffs (Zack Greinke, for example) which makes Gonsolin a nice captain play at something of a reduced price.
Randy Arozarena, TB at LAD ($9,600) Captain: ($14,400): There's nothing I can say about Arozarena's postseason that hasn't already been screamed by grateful DFS players, so I'll just report that the rookie outfielder has logged an astounding .448 ISO and .422 wOBA in 64 at-bats during the playoffs. Gonsolin wasn't hit hard by anyone during the regular season, but it's worth testing him with some heavy lumber to see if his rocky outings during the postseason are part of a larger trend.
Mookie Betts, LAD vs. TB, ($11,000): Betts is a star by any reasonable understanding of that term, but I'm recommending him here instead of in the captain spot for two reasons. First, the price is a bit too prohibitive to have much flexibility. We also need to recognize that Betts didn't swing the bat well against left-handed pitchers during the regular season. The .327/.424/.510 batting line he has posted in 49 at-bats during the postseason should play well against Blake Snell, though, who has tallied a 13 percent walk rate in the playoffs while allowing four homers in 19.2 frames.
A.J. Pollock, LAD vs. TB ($7,400): Pollock took a seat against the right-hander on Tuesday but should be on everyone's radar for this matchup against Snell due to the .473 ISO and .468 wOBA he logged against southpaws during the regular season. That success hasn't translated to the postseason yet, but those struggles could make Pollock something of a lesser-owned asset who finds himself in a nice spot.
Ji-Man Choi, TB at LAD ($6,800): Choi was quiet during the regular season but has been sneakily productive during the playoffs, notching a .226 ISO and .406 wOBA in 31 at-bats. We should also note that the 29-year-old has struck out less than 18 percent of the time over that span, which should work to allay fears that he will be overmatched by Gonsolin and his big fastball.
Enrique Hernandez, LAD vs. TB ($5,600): A big pinch-hit home run may be the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Hernandez in 2020, but the 29-year-old has hit the ball well overall in the postseason, as evidenced by the .300 ISO and .365 wOBA he has tallied in 20 at-bats. This makes Hernandez a no-brainer play at this price, but the power he has shown to this point also makes him a spend-down option in the captain spot.