This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Will the Dodgers see their season end tonight? If they don't win, that will be the case. LA needs to beat Atlanta to force a Game 7. And they'll have to do it without Max Scherzer, who got pulled because of a dead arm. Walker Buehler, who was in line to start a theoretical Game 7, is now the starter with one less day of rest.
Here's how a single-game showdown for DraftKings works. You pick one player to be your captain. They're worth 1.5 times the points, but their salary is also higher. Then you pick five utility players. Here's a lineup I would consider.
Eddie Rosario, ATL vs. LAD ($9,300): To save a bit of salary, I didn't go with a player at the top of the list at captain. However, I also don't feel like I'm missing out on much as Rosario has posted a 1.249 OPS in the postseason. It's a sample size of nine games, but he also managed an OPS of .903 in 33 regular-season contests after being dealt from Cleveland. He's also a lefty and Buehler is a righty, so that also helps.
Walker Buehler, LAD at ATL ($10,200): Picking a starter is sometimes a dicey proposition in the playoffs. Guys get pulled early, often too early, to register a win. And games are often close late, which means a bullpen arm will pick up the victory. However, I wanted to bet on Buehler here considering he produced a 2.47 ERA and 0.97 WHIP this season. He's an elite pitcher who can handle both lefties and righties. The Dodgers have turned to Buehler in an elimination game, and I expect that to pay off. Atlanta ranked eighth in runs scored this season, but that was also the lowest of the four teams to make it to the final four.
Mookie Betts, LAD at ATL ($10,000): Betts has done everything but hit for power this postseason going .349 in 11 games and stealing six bases. We know him for power as he hit 23 homers over 122 games this year and carries a career .518 slugging percentage. Atlanta is starting Ian Anderson, and his 4.11 FIP this season isn't intimidating.
Chris Taylor, LAD at ATL ($7,600): The Dodgers needed somebody to come up big in a must-win Game 5, and Taylor went ahead and hit three homers. He probably won't do that again, but his 1.254 playoff OPS is third-highest of anybody who played more than one game. And even though Taylor wasn't one of the Dodgers' everyday stars, he did rack up 20 home runs and 13 stolen bases across 148 contest along with a .344 OBP.
Joc Pederson, ATL vs. LAD ($6,800): Because of the relatively low salary Pederson commands, I've gone with him a few times in these showdown-type situations. Well, as long as a right-handed pitcher is starting. Pederson is the type who will hit 36 homers in a season, but have literally zero of them come against lefties. He's hit three homers during this postseason, so one swing of the bat could make him a steal.
Cody Bellinger, LAD at ATL ($5,800): It's weird a guy with an MVP to his name would fall to the level of "Hey, at this salary with one swing of the bat in the right matchup, he could pay off", but here we are. That being said, Bellinger has paid off in exactly that way twice this postseason. In fact, he's looked more like his MVP-self in the playoffs hitting .355. Even though Bellinger's regular season was poor, he's still a great value at this salary. I'm happy to fill out a lineup with someone offering tremendous upside.