This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.
This is going to be a first. Despite being in the MLB playoffs, we have eight games on the schedule Wednesday with every series in action. There will be no shortage of quality pitching options, which could make runs difficult to come by. Let's dive into the main slate on Yahoo and discuss some players to consider for your entry.
The pitcher with the highest salary on the slate is Tyler Glasnow ($52), who had an excellent regular season with a 4.08 ERA and an even better 3.66 FIP. The name of the game for him is strikeouts given his 38.2 percent strikeout. This will mark his first start of the year against the Blue Jays and it's important to note that he could have a significant advantage with the game being played in Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays only had a .721 OPS on the road this season compared to a .823 OPS at their home stadium in Buffalo.
Masahiro Tanaka ($38) has had a history of pitching well in the playoffs, posting a 1.76 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP across eight starts. He's not an overwhelming force by any means, but he was once again able to have a successful regular season in late part because of his 1.17 WHIP. At this salary, he makes for a great budget-friendly option against an Indians team that only averaged 4.1 runs a game during the regular season.
At this point, it's hard to resist rolling with Jose Abreu ($19). He followed up a spectacular regular season that included a 167 wRC+ and a .300 ISO by going 2-for-4 with a home run in Game 1 against the Athletics. Expect him to be a tough out for Chris Bassitt ($39), who doesn't miss many bats given his career 20.2 percent strikeout rate.
Who could have foreseen at the beginning of the season that Kwang Hyun Kim ($34) would be the Cardinals' starting pitcher in Game 1 of the playoffs? He had a spectacular regular season with a 1.62 ERA, but his 3.88 FIP indicates that he didn't pitch nearly that well. He also produced just a 15.6 percent strikeout rate. With the lefty on the mound, this could be an ideal spot for Manny Machado ($17), who has produced a wOBA of at least .400 against left-handed pitchers in back-to-back seasons.
At first glance, Anthony Rizzo ($13) had a bad season with his .326 wOBA. However, he was pretty unlucky given his .218 BABIP, especially when you consider that his barrel rate actually increased compared to 2019. He finished the season by hitting 11-for-37 (.297) with two home runs and two doubles across his final 11 games, which makes him an intriguing option against Sandy Alcantara ($37) and the Marlins.
Injuries held Tommy Pham ($9) to just 31 games during the regular season, which was a tough blow for a Padres team that was counting on him to be a potent hitter in the middle of their lineup. The good news is that they at least have him back for the playoffs. Given his career .385 wOBA against left-handed pitchers, he's arguably the most appealing budget-friendly player on the slate.
Stacks to Consider
If you want to spend big on pitchers, this is a stack to at least consider. Paddack couldn't build on his excellent 2019 rookie campaign, finishing with a 4.73 ERA and an even worse 5.02 FIP in 2020. He was done in by the long ball, allowing 2.1 HR/9. That's good news for Goldschmidt, who has a career .229 ISO. Wong is not much of a power threat, but he doesn't strike out much and his career wOBA is 33 points higher against right-handed pitchers than it is against lefties.
In the words of Yankees' radio broadcaster John Sterling, "you can't predict baseball, Suzyn." The Suzyn he's referring to is Suzyn Waldman, his radio partner, and the inability to predict baseball basically encompasses Game 1 of this series. The Indians had their ace Shane Bieber on the mound, who didn't allow more than three runs in a game this season on his way to a 1.63 ERA. However, the Yankees scored seven runs against him Wednesday. While the Yankees have struggled to hit on the road this season, they certainly have momentum on their side after that performance. LeMahieu carried over his hot hitting into the playoffs, going 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored in Game 1, and Judge started off the scoring with a big two-run homer in the first inning.