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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Yankees vs. Rays DraftKings MLB DFS Showdown Strategy on October 5

Steve Buchanan preps you for Monday’s 8:07 p.m. ET baseball contest between the Yankees and Rays with DraftKings lineup strategy and captain’s picks.

MLB: Wild Card-Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Wild Card series concluded on Friday and now begins, what many people believe, is the real start to the playoffs. The American League Division series kicks off with the Astros at Athletics, which you can set your lineups for that game here: MLB Showdown $35K Extra Inning [$10K to 1st].

For this article, I’ll cover my thoughts on Game 1 of the ALDS, which features a stellar matchup between Gerrit Cole and Blake Snell.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $70K Primetime Pennant Push [$20K to 1st] (NYY vs TB)


Captain’s Picks

Blake Snell ($16,200 CP) — Some may instantly run to Gerrit Cole ($17,100 CP) for their captain in this game and I totally get it. After a fairly rough and inconsistent 2020, he ended on a high note with two stellar starts against the Blue Jays and then pitched very well against Cleveland in the Wild Card round. However, I like this spot a bit more for Snell. In two starts through a combined eight innings, Snell allowed three runs on four hits and eight strikeouts. In those starts, he posted a .275 wOBA and a 25.8% K%. The Yankees also were hovering around league average against lefties, posting a .311 wOBA with a .176 ISO and a 22.7% K%. With the slight savings, I like Snell as a captain.

Luke Voit ($13,800 CP) — The two starting pitchers are no doubt going to be the popular captain’s picks in this game. So what if you wanted to mix it up a bit and use a hitter in this spot? I think Voit is a perfect choice for this with his power upside and good numbers against lefties. Voit had a .373 wOBA with a .375 ISO during the regular season. Snell did have some issues against the home run ball in his 11 starts, posting a 1.8 HR/9. Voit remains locked in at the plate, posting double-digit fantasy points in three of his past five games.

Other to consider: Brandon Lowe ($14,400)

Value Plays

Ji-Man Choi ($5,200) — If you’re going to use hitters against Cole, the way to do so is with lefties. Choi can hit from both sides of the plate but has stuck with hitting lefty and the results have followed. When facing righties, Choi has a .330 wOBA and a .181 ISO against righties and a 37.5% hard-hit rate. When healthy —he missed a good chunk of the end of the season with a strained hamstring — Choi is usually slotted in the heart of the Rays’ lineup. With a prime hitting spot in the order at this salary, he would be a great value if active.

Joey Wendle ($6,800) — Wendle is another player that could go overlooked but has some surprising power numbers against lefties. At his salary, you can’t complain much about a .179 ISO and a .340 wOBA against lefties. Let’s not forget, Cole against lefties was his blemish on the season, allowing an overall .319 wOBA, a 5.52 FIP and nine of the 14 home runs he allowed. Cole was worse on the road than he was at Yankee Stadium, as lefties tagged him with a .332 wOBA and a 5.14 FIP on the road.

Aaron Hicks ($6,200) — Hicks’ bat really came alive in the last half of September and it carried over into the series against Cleveland. His numbers from both sides of the plate were nearly identical and he ended with a .350 wOBA and a .178 ISO against lefties with two of his six home runs. If you’re building for a Yankees win, Hicks will certainly help you level off some of the salary burden you’ll take with the more expensive bats while also not skimping out on his spot in the order, as he’s mostly hit third this season.


Aaron Judge ($9,800) — It’s scary to fade Judge, who had a .360 ISO and a .383 wOBA against lefties on the season. However, with a game that has a projected total of seven runs on DraftKings Sportsbook, you’ll likely be looking to play one or potentially even both of the starting pitchers. Using Cole and Judge (both in flex) leaves you with an average of $7,200 remaining while Snell and Judge leaves you with $7,350. If you captain either pitcher, you’re looking between $5,700-$6,000 remaining per player. While his power upside is great, you can find some good power for cheaper salary. Gary Sanchez ($8,000) and Giancarlo Stanton ($8,600) are good examples of that.

The Outcome

I think this game comes down to the bullpens, which is a big advantage for the Rays. The Yankees are -150 favorites and are banking on Cole going deep into this game, as he’s pitched seven innings in four straight games. It’s worth noting though, the Rays have roughed him up this season for nine runs on 20 hits through 16 13 innings. I think the Rays sneak out a win in this one and it’ll be their plethora of lefties that will be the difference maker.

Final Score: Yankees 3, Rays 5

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $70K Primetime Pennant Push [$20K to 1st] (NYY vs TB)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.