This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Both Championship Series continue Tuesday with Gerrit Cole looming over the fantasy slate. You can either spend on him or go with a similarly big favorite in Patrick Corbin against a team who hasn't hit all series. Of course, if you play the two-game slate, it may be better to ride one of the underdogs, cash game or not.
If you're okay with the price, there are few reasons not to use Gerrit Cole ($10,200), who has at least 10 strikeouts in his last 11 starts. In his lone matchup against the Yankees this year (and the last five years), he was sub par, yet that came early in the season and he managed to go seven innings despite giving up three runs and three walks. Even with their power, the Yankees closed the last month of the season with a 25.4 K% against righties and that's where Cole will accrue most of his fantasy worth.
On the other side, it's a gamble with Luis Severino ($6,900) after he went four innings against the Twins last series. He started four games this year due to injury and is unlikely to surpass 90 pitches or five innings, limiting his fantasy potential. Combine that with Houston's bats and another four or so innings is likely for Severino with upside sitting around 15 fantasy points. He had four strikeouts against the Twins, and the Astros had the lowest K% in the league (18.5) against righty arms in September.
The better play may be to ride the Nationals and Patrick Corbin ($8,400), mostly because this game has a smaller over/under and the Cardinals have two runs in the series. They'll likely force the issue and that could lead to a few extra Ks for Corbin, who was dominant at home, allowing a .261 OBP and .249 wOBA compared to .323 and .320 on the road, respectively. So while the Cards may have better bats against southpaws, Corbin has been a stud at home. Those numbers also include when he was shelled at home by the Cards for six runs in April, as well as when he had 11 Ks and no earned runs in St. Louis in mid-September. He's also not afraid of the situation after having one earned run and nine strikeouts against the Dodgers last series.
The last choice is Dakota Hudson ($5,600) as more of a tournament play because not many will be using him in cash games. He's had a fine season, but similar to Corbin, his splits point to struggles on the road, allowing a .345 wOBA compared to .292 at home. At home against the Nationals late in the year, he managed one strikeout in seven innings and after two strikeouts in his first postseason start, the lack of upside is a detriment.
There are no numbers supporting the Yankees, but if you don't use Cole, it makes sense to back them, at least in GPPs. The best play may be to go against his 1.39 HR/9 allowed to lefty bats (compared to 1.06 allowed to righties). The Yanks don't have a ton of lefty options, but Didi Gregorius ($3,900) and Brett Gardner ($3,800) both provide solid value for their prices. Gardner is the better pick to get on base with a .353 OBP against righty arms in the final month of the season, but Gregorius was the one who came through against the Twins. If you're going all in, Aaron Judge ($4,700) and Gleyber Torres ($4,400) are the place to start given Judge's six hits and Torres's four doubles and two homers in the playoffs.
Severino hasn't pitched much the last few years, but his career numbers point to more success for lefties with a .317 wOBA and .175 ISO allowed. Again, that lead to a lot of cheaper plays and none of them have had success in the postseason. Yordan Alvarez ($4,600) didn't close the season on a great note and now doesn't have a hit in the last three games, striking out six times in the process. Michael Brantley ($4,300) doesn't have much better numbers, but he doesn't strike out every other at bat. As for Kyle Tucker ($4,400) and Josh Reddick ($3,400), it's unlikely either will stay in the lineup the entire game, making them that much harder to trust. If you use Cole, you'll probably have to go with Reddick, assuming he's in the lineup. If you have money to spend, Jose Altuve ($4,800) is as clutch as it gets with a hit in every postseason game.
In the night game, lefties are again the play against Hudson after allowing a .369 OBP and .347 wOBA this season. The cash play is to ride Juan Soto ($4,800) and Adam Eaton ($4,000), the former with three walks in six career plate appearances against Hudson. As for the righty bats, Howie Kendrick ($4,700) has maybe been most impressive with four doubles this series after closing the final month of the regular season with a .409 OBP against righty hurlers. Anthony Rendon ($5,100) is the other power player who will be in plenty of lineups.
It's a little less certain for which St. Louis players people will be backing in cash lineups. Corbin is better at home, but he's allowing a much higher .300 OBP and .298 wOBA to righty bats. It's a wonder how many will run with Jose Martinez ($4,000) if he starts again after getting two hits Monday. The numbers point to Tommy Edman ($4,500), hence the price, but there are some BVP numbers worth exploring. Matt Carpenter ($3,900) strikes out a ton, but has three doubles and a .421 OBP in 19 PA against Corbin, while Dexter Fowler ($3,500) is 6-for-19 against him in his career. If you want power, Paul Goldschmidt ($4,400) and Paul DeJong ($4,000) may be the best choices, both with ISOs above .240 against righty arms in the last month of the regular season.
Going against Cole, the Yankees have a good portion of the value options with Gregorius and Gardner, as well as Gio Urshela ($3,800) and Gary Sanchez ($3,800). Of course, they're only viable if you fade Cole. The same goes for Fowler in the other game, though I'd rather support the Nationals who have zero pressure with a possible sweep on the line. Michael Taylor ($3,400) could return to the squad after homering in his previous start and he's been solid for Washington with six hits in five postseason starts. If he doesn't get the call, you'll have to spend a little more on Victor Robles ($3,800), who had two hits in his return from a hamstring injury last game.