This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.
Since Yahoo doesn't do single-game contests, their Sunday MLB contests involve the game Sunday between the Astros and the Yankees, but also Game 3 between the Nationals and Cardinals on Monday. Of course, you'll still have to get your lineups in before Sunday's game starts at 8:08 PM ET. Your chances to play DFS baseball on Yahoo are dwindling. Let's make the most of it. Here are some tidbits to try and help you on your journey.
Sunday night brings us Game 2 of the ALCS, and the matchup on the mound is between Justin Verlander ($56) and James Paxton ($37). It's the most-expensive starter versus the least expensive. That makes sense. Verlander may win the Cy Young this year while dominating a 2.58 ERA and a 2.34 mark at home. The former Tiger also struck out 12.11 batters per nine innings. His one issue has been homers, and that could be a problem against the Yankees' big bats. Verlander's first start of the playoffs was seven innings of shutout ball. In his second, on short rest, he didn't even make it four innings.
Paxton's first year with the Yankees went fine, compiling a 3.85 FIP and striking out 11.11 batters per nine innings. However, he gave up a career-high 1.37 homers per nine innings, and struggled to a 4.33 road ERA. If I had to choose between these two pitchers, I'll spend the extra money on Verlander. I'll chalk his last start up to being a fluke, and Paxton is on the road against one of the best hitting lineups ever.
The other matchup will be between Stephen Strasburg ($49) and Jack Flaherty ($46). Now that's a pitching matchup! Strasburg was his usual self this year, registering a 3.24 FIP and double-digit strikeouts per nine innings. He has also only allowed four runs through 15 innings of playoff baseball with 21 strikeouts. However, nobody has been as hot as Flaherty of late. From the start of August through the end of the regular season, he sparkled with a 0.77 ERA. In the playoffs, he's allowed four runs over 13 innings with 16 strikeouts over two starts.
The Cardinals have scored one run in this series. They have four hits through two games. St. Louis's offense has lost all its punch. Yes, it's a small-sample size. But with this series moving to Washington, I'd have to lean Strasburg even with how hot Flaherty has been.
There is only one lineup I would consider a stack from, and that's Houston's. Needless to say, I have no faith in St. Louis's offense. Washington may have trouble with Flaherty. There are some Yankees I'd consider, but I like the Astros against Paxton best of all these matchups. You can't feasibly take the full chunk of the lineup hitters two through five. That would consist of Michael Brantley ($13), Jose Altuve ($20), Alex Bregman ($24) and Yordan Alvarez ($18).
I don't really need to justify Bregman and Altuve to you at this point. They are both elite hitters, and Bregman put up MVP-caliber numbers. The last two years, Paxton has looked worse against lefties, which is why I wanted to include Brantley and Alvarez. Alvarez possesses insane power by smashing 27 homers in 87 games along with a 1.140 OPS at home. Lastly, there's Brantley, who excels against righties, and Paxton is a southpaw. However, Brantley still managed a .740 OPS versus lefties this year, and who knows what will happen when the game gets to the bullpen.
Again, I'm steering clear of the Cardinals and Nationals. Any Nat I might be interested in would be a one-off anyway. It'd be somebody like, say, Juan Soto or Anthony Rendon. I'm interested in Brett Gardner ($15), who showed a big increase in power this season by hitting 28 homers to go with a .503 slugging percentage. And he did that while struggling against lefties, but he recorded an .892 OPS versus righties like Verlander and was also better on the road with an .854 OPS. Verlander was homer prone, so maybe the 36-year-old outfielder can take him deep.
Since I don't want to just throw one name out there, dust off my hands, and walk away, I will say that Gio Urshela ($9) is quite cheap. He shockingly slashed .314/.355/.534 this season with 21 home runs and he also went yard in Game 1.