Tonight's Game 1 of the 114th World Series features two of the best starting pitchers in Major League Baseball. My first step in building a line-up is to determine if I'll take a Starting Pitcher, and tonight's no different. The real question is, which one?
Both Aces have had their recent issues. Kershaw had a tough outing in Game 1 of the NLCS, but bounced back nicely to win Game 4, and to close out the clinching Game 5.
Chris Sale has battled shoulder inflammation over the last month, or so, of the regular season. And after a short start in Game 1 of the ALCS, Sale was not seen again, battling illness that is still not crystal clear. Word is, however, that he's good to go. And Manager Alex Cora would not send Sale to the hill if he wasn't absolutely sure his Ace was 100%, would he. Would he?
I'm going with Sale. That ALCS start wasn't horrific although is was certainly far below expectations for a Cy Young winning pitcher. Like the Red Sox, I'm turning to the Ace to put in a Quality Start and win the first game of the series.
Using my normal routine, I've identified whom I believe to be the best core hitters versus tonights hurlers. Without a lot of previous match-up history for most other hitters than J.D. Martinez, Manny Machado, and David Freese, I'm left to pick the best of the rest and come in under the salary cap. Steve Pearce has been red hot, and at $6200, looks to be a value, so I slotted him into the fifth spot.
With just $2600 worth of salary left, I'm taking a calculated flier. Anticipating a close, low scoring game (in American League standards) I'll pick up reliever Alex Wood, hoping he comes on in relief late in the game and strikes a few batters out.
I generally avoid multi-entry tournaments, and I'm mainly a cash game player. With that, I'm entering Draft King's $5 MLB Showdown, Single Entry Double Up.
Good luck with your bets and favorite teams!