This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
All four division series get underway Tuesday, starting at 1:07 p.m. EDT. It's an interesting mix on the mound, with four teams coming off byes and all having aces in the hole, while the winners of the wild-card series are on third and fourth options. Three of the four series also feature divisional matchups, so there's plenty of familiarity.
I'm personally going to make the effort to find an additional $500-800 to pay up for either Justin Verlander ($11,200) or Gerrit Cole ($10,900) over the next two options in Max Fried at $10,400 or Julio Urias at $10,100, as the top two just have far greater upside. Verlander has 43 Ks in 42.1 innings against Seattle, posting 164 FDP in his last three starts against them. Cole isn't in great form, allowing between two and four runs in each of his last five starts, but is anyone scared of what the Guardians offense did last round?
The most obvious pay-down is Philadelphia's Ranger Suarez ($8,300). Atlanta hits lefties well, but Suarez hasn't had trouble with them, allowing just 10 runs across 28.0 innings (3.21 ERA) while striking out 23 in 28.0 innings. Atlanta has also struggled in day games. Perhaps that can be chalked up to regular-season series being determined earlier in the week, with getaway days approaching. I certainly expect they'll be more interested Tuesday. But the 1:07 p.m. first pitch does them no favors. Logan Gilbert ($9,200) is a bit pricier but surely will be overlooked. He's been solid against the Astros, allowing just seven runs across four starts, with 21 hits and 22 strikeouts across 25.0 innings.
The Dodgers have gotten to Mike Clevinger for 14 runs and 16 hits, including five homers, across 13.0 innings, so they're an obvious building block. Mookie Betts ($4,500) had a strong close to the year and is 7-for-15 off the Padres' starter. Will Smith ($3,200) is your pivot if he's hitting cleanup, giving him run-producing chances behind the Dodgers' big three.
Houston bats should similarly be popular, even if I disagree and think Gilbert is a viable pitching option. The trio of Jose Altuve ($4,200), Yordan Alvarez ($4,200), and Alex Bregman are a combined 20-for-53 (.377) with three homers.
Both of Atlanta's catching options have fared well against lefties. Travis d'Arnaud ($2,800) has a .407 wOBA, 163 wRC+ and .231 ISO off Suarez, but William Contreras ($2,900) sits at .442/187/.242 and is 6-for-14 with two homers against him. The latter looks like a great upside pick in a lineup we know lives on big flys.
Carlos Santana ($2,500) sets up as a low-floor, high-ceiling GPP target. He homered in his last appearance and has nine long balls in his career off Verlander, spanning 95 plate appearances. Roughly a homer every 10 trips to the plate, which when paired with low usage can provide some boom in a GPP setting.
Stack to Consider
We will argue the merits of each individual first. Stanton has homered in three straight, bringing upside. Donaldson is 7-for-15 (.412) with five homers. LeMahieu is hitless in five attempts, but the price point is so low, a zero doesn't sink us. The ultimate plan is to get as many pieces around Aaron Judge as possible rather than paying up for him. We will possibly need to adjust based on the Yankees' lineup, but with this not being the last game of the day, we can at worst pivot to Padres or Dodger secondary options if push comes to shove.