FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball American League Division Series Helper: Yankees at Guardians, Game 4
For those unfamiliar with the single-game daily fantasy baseball format, scoring is identical to its full roster cousin, except you only roster hitters, and lineups consist of five flex spots. The one twist?
One of the five roster spots is your designated "MVP," who receives 2-times his total fantasy points, along with a "STAR" slot that gets 1.5-times the points. Naturally, it's crucial that you choose your MVP and STAR carefully if you want to be at the top of the leaderboards when it's all said and done.
On that note, let's highlight some of the top options for today's FanDuel single-game slate.
After last night's wild comeback victory, the Guardians will have their second opportunity to face New York's ace Gerrit Cole after he recorded 6.1 scoreless innings, a 2.70 expected Fielding Independent Pitching (xFIP) rating, and eight strikeouts during Game One of the American League Division Series.
While Cleveland has produced little success in this particular matchup (2 earned runs allowed in 12.2 innings, 15 strikeouts during regular season), the Yankees' right-hander has displayed some vulnerability against lefties (36.2% hard hit rate, 17.2% fly-ball to home-run ratio) especially when pitching on the road (3.33 xFIP) while also allowing a .291 weighted on-base average to right-handed bats.
To best counter his pitching profile, Cleveland's left-handed bats with high weighted on-base average (wOBA) are the most ideal targets that will likely give Cole the most trouble while right-handed bats with high expected averages and power can also be utilized.
In a must-win situation, the Bronx Bombers will challenge Guardians' right-hander Cal Quantrill for the second time after they produced four earned runs and two home runs versus the 27-year old in Game One.
When analyzing his overall strengths and weaknesses, the best way to attack Quantrill's reliance on ground-balls (42.0% career percentage) and reverse splits (4.52 xFIP, 12.6% K-rate) are with right-handed bats or any hitters with the ability to hit the ball mostly in the air.
At the Top
Aaron Judge ($10,000): Despite his concerning recent form including a 0.138 expected average and a 62% strikeout percentage in 12 postseason at-bats this season, Judge has still been hitting the ball well with a 75% hard hit rate. New York's slugger still leads his team in several key categories including expected average (.305), exit velocity (95.9 mph), barrel rate (26.5%), expected slugging (.706) and expected wOBA (.463).
Jose Ramirez ($8,500): In his most recent 19 at-bats, Ramirez has recorded a .273 expected average including two extra-base hits, while also ranking third among his team with a 6.6% barrel rate and a .320 expected wOBA. Cleveland's third baseman also contains his team's top fantasy projection with 12.1 expected FanDuel points.
Giancarlo Stanton ($8,500): As New York's second best power bat, Stanton profiles well in this matchup with a sizzling 19.3% barrel rate, a .351 expected wOBA, and a .477 expected slugging percentage.
Anthony Rizzo ($8,000): Ranking second among his team in fly-ball percentage (45.5%) and third in barrel rate (10.9%) as well as expected slugging percentage (.454) , the veteran first baseman is an underrated source of power while also rating second overall in tonight's slate with a 13.2 FanDuel point projection.
In the Middle
Amed Rosario ($7,500): With a .276 expected average and a low 16.6% K-rate, Rosario is an intriguing value option with Cleveland's third highest fantasy projection at 10.1 FanDuel points.
Gleyber Torres ($7,500): New York's second baseman offers undervalued potential production in this matchup with a 11.0 fantasy expectation, a 10.7% barrel rate, a .441 expected slugging percentage, and a 38.3% fly-ball rate.
Steven Kwan ($7,000): The Guardians' leadoff hitter has recorded at least one hit in every game this series while also rating third among his team in expected average (.268).
Andres Gimenez ($7,000): Ranking second among Cleveland in expected wOBA (.326) and fifth in expected slugging (.400), the 24-year old is a sneaky option with Cleveland's fourth highest projection at 9.3 FanDuel points.
Oscar Gonzalez ($6,500): Cleveland rookie outfielder has not been intimidated in baseball's top level, offering a complete hitting profile including a 7.3% barrel rate, a stellar .279 expected average, and a .320 expected wOBA.
Josh Naylor ($6,500): In his largest sample size performing in the big leagues, Naylor leads the Guardians in several metrics including barrel rate (8.6%), expected wOBA (.327), and expected slugging (..430). The 25-year old ranks second among Guardians with a 11.2 fantasy expectation.
At the Bottom
Oswaldo Cabrera ($6,000): In his last 29 at-bats, the 23-year old has accounted a 47% hard hit rate and three extra base hits while also producing a 47.8% fly-ball percentage in 171 total plate appearances.
Josh Donaldson ($5,500): With a 38.7% fly-ball percentage and a 9.8% barrel rate, the veteran third baseman is a viable lower salary option especially when considering his 1.79 value rating and personal success versus Quantrill including a .382 expected average and two home runs in 22 career plate appearances.