Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings DFS Playoff Strategy for October 9

Curtis Calhoun@@CalhounCurtisFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2015

Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings DFS Playoff Strategy for October 9

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    LM Otero/Associated Press

    The MLB postseason is here, and there have already been plenty of exciting moments. While only a few teams have played up until today, Friday presents four different playoff games to watch.

    The benefit of playoff baseball is that each individual game is important with the best teams squaring off in search of a World Series championship. When it comes to daily fantasy baseball leagues, this can be a blessing as well as a curse, and it can be difficult to decide which players stand out the most during the postseason.

    For Friday's games, it's best to take low-value offensive options in order to make room for proven pitching aces. Clayton Kershaw, Jacob deGrom, Jon Lester and Cole Hamels are just a few of the pitching options to choose from.

    Here are five of the top picks for Friday's MLB postseason matchups.

Jacob deGrom, SP, New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($11,400)

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    Jacob deGrom has been a force this season and has solidified himself as the ace of the Mets pitching staff. As his team gets ready to play in its first postseason since 2006, the 27-year-old has an opportunity to get the Mets off to a great series start against the Dodgers.

    DeGrom was lethal against the Dodgers in his one start against the team during the regular season. On July 26, the former ninth-round MLB draft pick recorded eight strikeouts and allowed just two hits and no earned runs in a dominant effort.

    DeGrom will make his postseason debut on Friday against a Dodgers team he's had great success against in the past. While he has a high asking price, he is worth every penny due to his favorable matchup.

Jon Lester, SP, Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($10,500)

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    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    Jon Lester always seems to have his best performances when they're needed most. The former All-Star pitcher has recorded one of the best postseason records for any pitcher in MLB history, allowing hitters to bat just .213 over his career in the postseason.

    Lester has been dominant against the high-powered Cardinals this season. Through five starts against St. Louis during the regular season, the 31-year-old allowed the Cardinals to hit just .216 against him while recording a 2.59 ERA.

    Lester faces a tough test against the Cardinals on Friday, despite his past success against the team. However, he’s a low-risk, high-reward pick based on his proven ability to flourish in the postseason.

Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Texas Rangers ($3,500)

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Troy Tulowitzki has struggled with a .197 postseason batting average over his career, but he’s a lethal option for the Blue Jays on Friday against Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels.

    The 30-year-old Tulowitzki has recorded a .263 career batting average against Hamels with an impressive 1.002 OPS. He has also done particularly well against left-handed pitchers with a .350 batting average against lefties this season.

    Tulowitzki’s past struggles in the postseason may be cause for concern, but he faces a great matchup against Hamels. If the Blue Jays hope to get back on track and even the series with the Rangers, Tulowitzki will need to perform at a high level.

Kyle Schwarber, C, Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($3,900)

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Kyle Schwarber got off to an excellent start to his postseason career Wednesday night, going 2-for-3 with a single and a mammoth home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 22-year-old has a great opportunity to continue his strong postseason start against Cardinals starter John Lackey.

    Lackey has had a solid season for the Cardinals with a 2.77 ERA in 2015. However, he has given up a team-worst 21 home runs this season, which sets up Schwarber for a great night. The former Indiana standout recorded a .487 slugging percentage with 16 home runs through just 69 games played during the regular season.

    This series should be a great one, and don’t be surprised if Schwarber makes a huge impact for the Cubs down the stretch. He is a reliable pickup for Friday, given his favorable matchup with Lackey and should deliver a strong performance at the plate.

Prince Fielder, 1B, Texas Rangers vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($4,300)

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Prince Fielder made a strong case for American League Comeback Player of the Year this season with 23 home runs, 98 RBI and a .305 batting average in 2015. Though he has struggled in the postseason during his career, he has performed admirably against the Blue Jays this season.

    Fielder has recorded a combined .320 batting average against Toronto pitchers this season along with an impressive .480 slugging percentage. On Friday, Fielder will face Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman, who is making his postseason debut.

    Although Fielder hasn’t faced Stroman yet in his career, his success against Toronto combined with the advantage he has with postseason experience gives him an edge. While he is the third-highest valued first baseman for Friday, he is a risk worth taking as the Rangers aim to take control of the series.

    All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Statistics via FanGraphs.com and MLB.com unless otherwise noted.

    Follow Curtis on Twitter: @CalhounCurtis

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