The Cubs and Rockies teamed up for an intense game last night, but now it’s the AL’s turn. I get the feeling they won’t let us down, as the Yankees and Athletics are both high-flying offenses in a terrific hitter’s park.
My MLB DFS picks weren’t that bad last night, but these one-game showdowns obviously aren’t the easiest to peg. I’ll try to deliver again tonight before we start getting back to multi-game slates with the Divisional Series starting this week.
Here’s a look at my favorite lineup for tonight’s AL wild card game at Yankee Stadium:
MVP (1.5x points): Giancarlo Stanton – New York Yankees ($9.5k)
The Yanks went out and traded for Stanton for these exact types of games, so I’m going to pay up and bet on him showing up in such a huge contest. He’s certainly been ablaze, as he’s donged thrice over his last three outings and has hit safely in seven consecutive games.
Stanton is a threat to go yard every time out and in an Athletics bullpen game, he’ll face a slew of arms he can potentially take to the stands.
IF: Matt Olson – Oakland Athletics ($7k)
I am Team Yankees as far as MLB DFS goes tonight, as Oakland is not a veteran playoff team and as great as this fly ball offense is, they’ll be on the road against an elite pitcher in Luis Severino.
The good news is you do have to pick at least one Oakland bat and this park shift is drastic. They hit the ball well and they hit it far, while even an arm as good as Sev is still human. A full Athletics stack is a fine strategy in GPPs, but playoff baseball doesn’t normally lead to the weaker team going off against good pitching.
Either way, Olson mashes righties and gets a huge park upgrade. If I have to roll out an A’s bat, he’s my favorite.
OF: Aaron Judge – New York Yankees ($9k)
While I’m confiding in Stanton in the MVP slot, you can certainly consider The Judge there as well. Judge hasn’t been as dialed in as Stanton at the plate, but he can mash it in any matchup and at one point earlier in the year seemed to launch one every three games.
I don’t need much reason to roster Judge, but I get the feeling the Yankees are going to crush the ball in a game they absolutely have to win.
Util: Greg Bird – New York Yankees ($4k)
To load up with my favorite studs, I’ll need to deep dive. I did that with Matt Holliday and Albert Almora yesterday and both guys were able to get hits. In these low-scoring affairs (likely), that can be all you really need.
Bird is an interesting case, though. As I write this, he’s no lock to start. However, he’s dirt cheap, mashes righties and in tense situations moves can be made to the point where guys who didn’t start can come in and pay off.
Even if Bird doesn’t start initially, I might stick with him here and hope he can pinch hit and return amazing value. It’s a risky move, but you’re going to need something weird to go your way to take down a GPP in this type of contest.
Util: Brett Gardner – New York Yankees ($5.5k)
Punting with Bird allows me to choose between two solid Yankees lefties in Gardner and Neil Walker. Walker offers more pop, but Gardner is a veteran who is going to do all he can to win this game. He has a little pop, but can also get timely knocks and even snag some bases. I love the value with him in this setting.
I’m not sure how tourney-centric your build process can really be on a one-game slate. I will admit that going the opposite way and stacking Athletics does seem to be the more contrarian direction and in GPPs, that could be a winner. That being said, I don’t see Severino getting blown up in this one.
I love Olson as my A’s one-off and I’m stacking Yankees in a game I think they ultimately dominate. New York has unfinished business, whether it be taking out the rival Red Sox or getting revenge against the Astros. Oakland’s impressive uprising will have to wait another year.
Whether you are with me on this lineup or not, hopefully I nudge you in the right direction in some way. Good luck tonight and enjoy the game!