This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Saturday brings a pair of Game 2's in the American League playoffs, leaving us with a two-game slate on DraftKings. While we don't have a ton of options, there is still money to be won so let's discuss how these two contests might play out.
Make no mistake about it, Gerrit Cole ($10,800) is the clear top option at starting pitcher. He had yet another stellar regular season, recording a 2.50 ERA that was supported by a 2.64 FIP. He also had a staggering 39.9 percent strikeout rate, leaving him with immense upside. After falling behind with a loss in Game 1, the Rays have their work cut out for them to try and even this series.
While Blake Snell ($7,500) will start for the Rays, don't expect him to last deep into the game, even if he is pitching well. Across three appearances since returning from the IL, he pitched a total of six innings. If there is a silver lining, he did record 11 strikeouts during that stretch.
There has the potential to be a lot of offense between the Yankees and Twins with Masahiro Tanaka ($6,400) and Randy Dobnak ($5,800) on the mound for their respective teams. This is a really tough spot for the youngster Dobnak on the road with the Twins already down a game in the series. Not only has he logged just 28.1 career innings in the majors, but he only pitched 46 total innings at Triple-A during his time in the minors. He hasn't been a strikeout pitcher at any level, so this could get ugly in a hurry if he's not getting ground balls. Tanaka posted a 3.78 FIP and a 1.09 WHIP at home compared to a 4.85 FIP and a 1.42 WHIP on the road, so he might provide the better choice out of these two.
The Yankees are likely going to be the most popular teams to stack. Deploying Aaron Judge ($4,700) at home is usually a safe route to take since he's managed a career 175 wRC+ at Yankee Stadium. Another top-tier option with a high floor is DJ LeMahieu ($4,500), who followed up his stellar regular season with three hits and four RBI in Game 1. Edwin Encarnacion ($4,600) didn't look the worse for wear either, going 2-for-5 with two doubles in his first game back from an oblique injury. As far as cheaper targets, Gleyber Torres ($4,000) and Brett Gardner ($4,200) should be at the top of the list.
Staying in that same series, the Twins also provide a lot of upside with their power-laden lineup. Stacking Jorge Polanco ($4,100), Nelson Cruz ($5,400) and Eddie Rosario ($4,500) brings plenty of upside, which was evident in Game 1 when both Polanco and Cruz went deep. Polanco and Rosario are especially appealing when you consider Tanaka allowed a .349 wOBA to left-handed hitters.
If you want to differentiate yourself in tournament play, taking a chance on a Ray or two against Cole might be the way to go. Austin Meadows ($4,100) enjoyed a breakout campaign with his 142 wRC+ and stands out at this reduced price.
The Astros came through with six runs in Game 1 and sport plenty of dangerous hitters in their lineup. One of them is Jose Altuve ($4,300), who went deep in that contest and boasts a 176 wRC+ against lefties during the regular season. Since he won't destroy your budget, locking him in at second base could be key.