FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 10/19/22
With the Yankees vanquishing the Guardians on Tuesday, the final four teams are set. The Phillies and Padres continue the NLCS at 4:35 pm ET, and that's followed by Game 1 of the ALCS at 7:37 pm ET between the Yankees and Astros.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Justin Verlander ($10,600): While we know it doesn't always work out that way, the Astros theoretically have an advantage over the Yankees as the far more rested team. Not only did New York get pushed to five games against Cleveland, but weather forced them to lose yesterday's scheduled off day, giving them no time to regroup for the next series.
That presents a good opportunity for Verlander to bounce back after struggling in his first postseason start against Seattle. In that outing, Verlander uncharacteristically gave up 6 earned runs in 4 innings and logged just a 14.3% strikeout rate. He did get hit with a .563 BABIP, though, so some poor luck may have also factored in.
Perhaps that outing ends up being a blip on the radar. In the regular season, the right-hander produced a 3.09 SIERA, 27.8% strikeout rate, and 4.4% walk rate. He was also excellent in his final four regular-season starts coming off the injured list, posting a 36.9% strikeout rate.
The Yankees have the day's lowest implied total (2.96).
Nola has been lights out since the calendar turned to October, allowing zero earned runs over his last 19 1/3 innings while scoring 57, 48, and 46 FanDuel points. Those performances all came against worthy opponents in the Astros, Cardinals, and Braves, too. He was a rock for the Phillies all year with a 2.80 SIERA, 29.1% strikeout rate, and 3.6% walk rate, and he could very well be the slate's safest choice.
On the other hand, Snell remains a boom-or-bust play as always, but the booms are what we're most interested in for tournaments. There's no denying that the Phillies have come alive at just the right time in this postseason, so he'll certainly have his work cut out for him.
The southpaw's predictably had mixed results in his first two playoff starts, but he wrapped up the regular season in top-notch form, rattling off a 2.73 xFIP, 33.8% strikeout rate, and 6.4% walk rate in the second half. If he can dial back the walks today, he's the most likely candidate to come away with double-digit strikeouts.
I only listed three pitchers above, so it stands to reason that the fourth one will be the popular one to attack on this slate. That would be Jameson Taillon, who is quite clearly the weak link of this group.
Taillon was solid in the regular season, but a 3.85 SIERA and 20.7% strikeout rate pales in comparison to the other three. He also flopped in his lone postseason appearance, failing to get an out against three batters faced in Game 2 of the ALDS.
It remains to be seen how long Taillon will be out there, but the Yankees are presumably hoping to get some innings out of him to avoid dipping into their bullpen too quickly following a long series.
After that, Jose Altuve ($3,900) and Alex Bregman ($3,300) are always welcome additions, and then Jeremy Pena ($2,900) and Trey Mancini ($2,600) are top value plays -- though the latter has been marred in a rough slump.
The only thing to consider is that the Astros will be incredibly popular on a two-game slate, so it could be worth it to try to be different by including weaker Houston hitters and/or getting a little weird with the rest of your lineup.
If we get the bad version of Snell, we could be seeing the Phillies go up 2-0 in this series quickly. The wild lefty handed out six walks in his wild-card start against the Mets, and that's what we're hoping for in a Philadelphia stack.
Both Bryce Harper ($4,300) and Kyle Schwarber ($3,800) have hit for power against lefties this season, so we shouldn't hesitate to roster them, and Harper has been absolutely lethal in these playoffs. Plus, if Snell is doling out walks left and right, he'll see a quick exit, allowing Harper and Schwarber to potentially face right-handers from the bullpen.
We otherwise have no shortage of righties to choose from between Rhys Hoskins ($3,100), J.T. Realmuto ($3,400), Nick Castellanos ($2,700), Alec Bohm ($2,800), and Jean Segura ($2,700), and these are some rather appealing salaries.
For a more contrarian stack, you might also consider the Yankees. Between the lack of rest and Verlander being on the mound, they may get written off tonight, and we've seen that extra time off can sometimes be overrated in the playoffs. Despite all the success this season, Verlander did allow a 43.6% fly-ball rate and was fortunate to not allow more home runs due to an unsustainable 6.2% homer-to-fly-ball rate.