With the two Wildcard games in the books, we now start the Divisional Series today with two games on the schedule – the Rangers head to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays and the Astros head to Kansas City to take on the Royals.
Now that we are down to such small slates, the emphasis needs to be put on starting pitching. Runs are going to be scored sparingly over the next few weeks so in order to maximize our floor; we should target the top pitching option on FanDuel each night.
David Price: $12300 (2014-15 Stats: SIERA: 2.98 -- Strikeout Rate: 26.2%)
Price comes into today’s start in terrific form. Over the last month of play, he has a 3.06 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 29.6%. He throws as many strikes as just about any starter in baseball, which helps keep his pitch count down and his strikeout rate up. The question here is if he will be able to quiet this Rangers’ offense that went on a tear at the end of the season. Over the last two weeks of play, Texas was ranked third in team wOBA and fourth in strikeout rate. While Price may not provide the salary cap savings that Yordano Ventura does, he has a better chance to pick up the win, as he is currently listed as a -230 favorite over the Rangers on the MLB odds board.
Also in play: Yordano Ventura
Russell Martin: $3200 (2014-15 Stats vs. RH Pitching: wOBA: 0.348 -- ISO: 0.189)
The Blue Jays have the highest team total in this two-game slate, and as you will see throughout these picks, they are my favorite offense to target. They draw a favorable matchup against Yovani Gallardo, who has allowed a .312+ wOBA to both left and right-handed hitters. Martin has fared well against righties, posting a .348 wOBA over the last two seasons.
Also in play: Evan Gattis
Eric Hosmer: $3100 (2014-15 Stats vs. RH Pitching: wOBA: 0.351 -- ISO: 0.163)
Edwin Encarnacion deserves strong consideration here, but if you are going to pay up at pitcher (David Price), you are going to have to take a cheaper route with your hitters. Hosmer is cheap and has an equally favorable matchup against Collin McHugh. Hosmer has fared well against right-handed pitching over the last two seasons, posting a .351 wOBA.
Also in play: Edwin Encarnacion
Jose Altuve: $3400 (2014-15 Stats vs. RH Pitching: wOBA: 0.328 -- ISO: 0.113)
Second base is by far the thinnest position in this two-game slate. It’s basically Altuve and a couple of hitters that may or may not even be in the lineup. Altuve is really the only fantasy option to consider at this position. He draws a favorable matchup against Yordano Ventura, who has allowed a .306 wOBA to right-handed hitters over the last two seasons.
Also in play: N/A
Mike Moustakas: $3100 (2014-15 Stats vs. RH Pitching: wOBA: 0.322 -- ISO: 0.164)
The Blue Jays have the highest team total, but the Royals aren’t far behind, as they host Collin McHugh and the Rangers in Game 1. Moustakas has been red-hot over the last month of the season, posting a .390 wOBA with a .275 ISO. He should be batting in the heart of the Royals’ offense, which should provide him with an opportunity to drive in runs.
Also in play: Luis Valbuena
Carlos Correa: $4000 (2014-15 Stats vs. RH Pitching: wOBA: 0.352 -- ISO: 0.198)
There are actually three viable plays at shortstop. Carlos Correa, Troy Tulowitzki, and Elvis Andrus are all in play at their respective price points. Correa stands out though, as he has the best combination of current form and matchup. As mentioned above, Yordano Ventura has allowed a .306 wOBA to right-handed hitters since the start of last season.
Also in play: Troy Tulowitzki
Jose Bautista: $4400 (2014-15 Stats vs. RH Pitching: wOBA: 0.393 -- ISO: 0.266)
Bautista is the premier hitter at any position in this small two-game slate. He has terrific numbers against right-handed pitching, posting a .393 wOBA and a .266 ISO over the last two seasons. The Blue Jays are the one offense that is expected to score a lot of runs and we should try to get as much exposure to it as possible.
Ben Revere: $2800 (2014-15 Stats vs. RH Pitching: wOBA: 0.308 -- ISO: 0.066)
Revere is basically everyone’s free square on Thursday. He should bat leadoff on the team with the highest team total. He is also priced at a steep discount of only $2,800. He will be one of the most popular hitters at any position, which makes him a very tough fade in cash games.
Alex Gordon: $2700 (2014-15 Stats vs. RH Pitching: wOBA: 0.345 -- ISO: 0.155)
If there is one piece of advice that you should take away from this article, it’s that you should get as much exposure to the Blue Jays and Royals offenses. They are both playing at home and they clearly have the best two matchups on the board. Gordon provides great upside at a price of only $2,700.