This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.
The American League takes center stage Thursday with Game 2 of both Division Series. The day will start off with the Astros hosting the Mariners, who couldn't hold a late lead in Game 1. The Mariners will try to even things up behind Luis Castillo, who was their main addition at the trade deadline. The second game of the night has the potential to be a great pitching matchup between Nestor Cortes Jr. and Shane Bieber when the Yankees look to go up 2-0 on the Guardians. However, there is rain in the forecast, which could impact the game. Let's dive into the Yahoo slate and highlight some players to consider for your lineups.
Cortes ($44) had a breakout season for the Yankees, recording a 2.44 ERA and a 3.13 FIP. Opponents had just a 5.3 percent barrel rate against him, which was the lowest mark of his career. To finish the regular season, he allowed two or fewer runs in six straight starts. He could dominate the Guardians, who had a .646 OPS versus left-handed pitchers during the regular season.
The Astros will try to gain a commanding 2-0 lead over the Mariners with Framber Valdez ($42) on the mound. He's coming off of a regular season in which he posted a 2.82 ERA, 3.06 FIP and a 1.16 WHIP. One of the biggest reasons for his success is keeping hitters inside the ballpark. For his career, he's allowed just 0.7 HR/9. He made two starts against the Mariners in the regular season, allowing six runs and recording 15 strikeouts over 13.2 innings.
Yordan Alvarez ($23) played the hero in Game 1 with a walk-off three-run homer. He also had a double in the game, finishing with three total hits. Coming off a regular season in which he finished with a .306 ISO and a .427 wOBA, Alvarez is a great option, despite having to face Castillo ($36).
For those who decide to fade Valdez, Julio Rodriguez ($21) becomes a great hitting option. In Game 1, he went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, three runs scored and two RBI. He also finished the regular season on a high note, hitting 25-for-58 (.431) with six home runs and four doubles over his final 17 games.
Facing Bieber ($49) is an uphill battle. It's part of the reason why so many prominent Yankees' hitters have cheap salaries. With that in mind, taking a chance on them could be worth it at the minimal impact it will have on your budget. Two Yankees to specifically target are Anthony Rizzo ($12) and Giancarlo Stanton ($9). They both bring plenty of power to the plate, and Rizzo has already had an impact on this series by hitting a home run in Game 1. Stanton has generally performed well in the playoffs, posting a 180 wRC+ over 19 games.