This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.
The playoffs are here. All four Wild Card series will begin Friday, leaving us with a full day of baseball to enjoy. The day will start off with the Guardians hosting the Rays, and end with the Padres taking on the Mets. With all teams having already secured playoff spots before the last day of the regular season, they've had time to line up their starting rotations, which means we'll see plenty of aces on the mound. Let's dive into the Yahoo slate and highlight some players to consider for your lineups.
Among the eight teams that will be in action, the Rays scored the fewest runs during the regular season. In fact, they finished inside the bottom-10 in baseball in runs scored. That means this could be an opportune time to roll with Shane Bieber ($49) in DFS. Although his strikeout rate dropped to 25.0 percent this season, he was still excellent, posting a 2.88 ERA, 2.87 FIP and a 1.04 WHIP.
In terms of the pitchers with the highest strikeout upside for this slate, Max Scherzer ($49) stands out. He finished the regular season with a 30.6 percent strikeout rate, marking his eighth straight season with a rate of at least 30.0 percent. This game being played at Citi Field is also noteworthy because Scherzer had a 1.67 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP at home this season. As good as Manny Machado and Juan Soto are, runs could be difficult to come by for the Padres.
With so many aces set to start, it's not as if any team will have an easy time scoring runs. Still, one player who stands out to target is Jose Ramirez ($19). He generally does a great job of making contact, posting just a 12.2 percent strikeout rate for his career. He had a .363 wOBA and a .235 ISO this season, and he could be a tough out for Shane McClanahan ($32). As good as his overall numbers were, McClanahan had a 4.44 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP over his final nine starts.
Julio Rodriguez ($21) couldn't have looked much better in his rookie season, hitting 28 home runs and stealing 25 bases on his way to a 146 wRC+. At just 21 years old, he has the potential to be a fantasy monster for years to come. He comes into the playoffs on a hot streak, hitting 25-for-58 (.431) with six home runs and four doubles over his last 17 games. Facing Alek Manoah ($46) won't be easy, but Rodriguez is still very appealing.
It's not often that you see Paul Goldschmidt ($12) with a salary this low. A matchup with Zack Wheeler ($38) is certainly a tall order, and part of the reason for that inexpensive figure. However, Goldschmidt has as high of an upside as any player on this slate. He's firmly in the NL MVP debate, finishing the regular season with a .260 ISO and a .419 wOBA. The limited risk based on his low salary could be well worth the potential reward.
As hot as Rodriguez was down the stretch, his teammate Ty France ($10) was also giving plenty of problems to opposing pitchers. Over his last 12 games, France went 18-for-51 (.353) with a home run and three doubles. He had a career-low 15.3 percent strikeout rate during the regular season, so his contact skills make him appealing at such a cheap salary.