FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 10/18/22
Yesterday's ALDS washout pushes Game 5 to today, giving us a surprise two-game MLB DFS slate. The Guardians and Yankees will finally play their winner-take-all at 4:07 p.m. ET, while the Phillies and Padres will begin the NLCS at 8:03 p.m. ET.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Yu Darvish ($10,500): With both Cleveland and New York likely taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to cover their pitching innings, the National League contest is the safer place to look for pitchers.
Darvish hasn't put up gaudy numbers in his two postseason starts thus far, but he did well enough to earn victories against the Mets and Dodgers, two of the toughest offenses in the league. In the regular season, he posted a 3.39 SIERA, 25.6% strikeout rate, and 4.8% walk rate over 30 starts, and he was remarkably consistent, tied for the league lead in quality starts (26).
On paper, Philadelphia should be an easier test for Darvish. While the Mets and Dodgers were two of the very best offenses against right-handers, the Phillies' active roster is much closer to league average, ranking 15th in wRC+ (104) and 18th in strikeout rate (22.6%).
He produced a 3.19 SIERA, 26.9% strikeout rate, and 5.6% walk rate over 26 regular-season starts. Wheeler has done a good job suppressing home runs over his career, and 2022 was no different, allowing just 0.76 per nine innings.
The Padres present a slightly more difficult matchup than the Phillies do, as San Diego's active roster sports a 113 wRC+ and 20.5% strikeout rate versus righties. While that gives Darvish the slight edge, Wheeler does come at the more appealing salary, so it's arguably a toss-up between the two.
New York Yankees
Aaron Civale ($8,500) is still expected to start for Cleveland today, and he has the weakest credentials of the four starters. But Civale actually pitched quite well down the stretch, recording a 3.01 xFIP, 27.5% strikeout rate, and 4.2% walk rate over his final eight starts, so this may not be a gimme matchup for the Yankees.
Given that Civale hasn't pitched since the final game of the regular season, though, it's hard to say how many innings he'll go. The Guardians will almost certainly have a quick hook if he doesn't have his best stuff, and we could even see someone like Shane Bieber come out of the 'pen on short rest.
That leaves a whole lot of uncertainty, but we would rather take our chances with this situation over attacking someone like Darvish or Wheeler.
This season, Civale got more strikeouts against lefties (28.6%) but also coughed up 1.44 home runs per nine innings. On the other hand, while the right-hander managed only a 20.6% strikeout rate in same-sided matchups, he also allowed just a 27.8% hard-hit rate.
We aren't worried about power suppression when it comes to Aaron Judge ($5,000) and Giancarlo Stanton ($3,300), and the low strikeout rate will be to their benefit. Anthony Rizzo ($3,700) and Oswaldo Cabrera ($2,600) could cash in on Civale's home-run woes to lefties.
The Guardians typically perform poorly against lefties, but Nestor Cortes ($9,700) is pitching on short rest, which opens the door for them.
As is, Cortes struggled against Cleveland in Game 2, too. While he allowed just 2 earned runs in 5 innings, it came alongside a 13.3% strikeout rate and 13.3% walk rate.
Jose Ramirez ($4,100), Amed Rosario ($3,200), and Oscar Gonzalez ($2,500) are the Guardians' best bets against southpaws, but considering we probably won't see Cortes pitch deep into the game, we shouldn't be afraid to roster Cleveland's lefties, as well.
Leadoff man Steven Kwan ($3,200) is having a great series, scoring double-digit FanDuel points in three of the four games, and Josh Naylor ($2,700) and Andres Gimenez ($2,900) are two of the team's better power threats.