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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for Yankees vs. Indians Showdown on September 29

Mike Barner gives his top MLB lineup advice for Tuesday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Yankees and Indians, which starts at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Indians Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

It was a bumpy ride because of COVID-19, but we made it through the baseball regular season and now it’s time for the playoffs. It’s going to be very different this season because of the expanded MLB playoff format. However, that just means even more excitement! Let’s dive into the DraftKings Showdown contest featuring the Cleveland Indians hosting the New York Yankees and discuss some options to consider as you craft your DraftKings lineup.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $60K Primetime Pennant Push [$20K to 1st]


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Gerrit Cole ($17,400 CP) — Cole’s first season with the Yankees had some bumps along the way, but he closed things out by allowing two runs across 21 innings in his last three starts to leave him with a 2.84 ERA. He once again thrived at keeping hitters off base, finishing with a 0.96 WHIP. He also missed plenty of bats with his 32.6 percent strikeout rate. The Indians are in the playoffs because of the strength of their pitching staff, not their hitters. In fact, they had the fourth-lowest OPS (.689) in the league, leaving Cole with an excellent opportunity to shine.

Shane Bieber ($18,000 CP) — It’s going to be difficult to not use one of the two starting pitchers in the Captain’s spot. Bieber was even more dominant than Cole this season, sporting a 1.63 ERA that was supported by a 2.07 FIP. He made strides in the strikeout department last year, but took things to an even higher level with a 41.1 percent strikeout rate in 2020. The Yankees are a lineup that is loaded with power hitters, although that might not be a problem for Bieber since he only allowed 0.8 HR/9.


Value Plays

Gio Urshela ($7,800) — If any hitters on the Yankees are going to have success against Bieber, it might be the ones who are best at avoiding strikeouts. Enter Urshela, who had a 14.4 percent strikeout rate this season and has a 17.6 percent strikeout rate for his career. He also had a career-high 10.3 percent walk rate this season on his way to a .365 wOBA. He’s certainly become much more than a great defensive third baseman since joining the Yankees.

Cesar Hernandez ($7,000) — Hernandez doesn’t hit for much power given his career .106 ISO. However, he does normally occupy the second slot in the Indians’ batting order, which affords him with added opportunities to be productive. He has a career .352 OBP and finished the regular season on a high note by hitting 16-for-43 (.372) with a home run and four doubles across the final 11 games.

Aaron Hicks ($5,600) — As far as punt plays go, few are as appealing as Hicks. Yes, he hit an atrocious .225 this season. However, he had more walks than strikeouts on his way to a .351 wOBA. Unlike Hernandez, he has hit for power, posting an ISO of at least .189 in each of the last four seasons. Going deep against Bieber won’t be an easy feat, but Hicks could at least find himself on base in this contest.


Fades

Aaron Judge ($9,400) — Injuries derailed yet another season for Judge. He was making a case to be included in the AL MVP discussion when he went down with a calf injury that cost more than a month. He hasn’t been the same since returning, hitting 7-for-36 (.194) with no home runs and just one double across 10 games. At this lofty salary, he’s just too risky.


The Outcome

This has all the makings of a low-scoring contest. Bieber and Cole have both been excellent during the regular season and Cole has a lengthy history of pitching well in the playoffs. The Yankees could be in trouble with this series being played in Cleveland since they were only 11-18 on the road during the regular season. Their lack of offense was the main problem, leaving them with a .677 OPS on the road compared to a .892 OPS at home. Look for Bieber to shut them down on the way to a victory.

Final Score: Indians 3, Yankees 2

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $60K Primetime Pennant Push [$20K to 1st]


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mbarner51) 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.