This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
The American League division series get going Monday, with familiar foes squaring off beginning at 4:07 p.m. ET, with games being played at neutral sites in Los Angeles and San Diego.
This column has been made increasingly difficult by the Astros, who continue to delay their starting pitching plans, having not announced an option as of 10:00 p.m. ET Sunday night, despite not playing since last Wednesday. I want to target them in spite, and their ambiguity screams they have no plan, but all options should be available given the lead time.
Gerrit Cole, NYY vs. TAM ($10,900): Cole is performing as the Yankees expected when they gave him huge money last offseason. He's now turned in five-straight quality starts, striking out at least seven each time, winning four times and allowing more than one run just once. This streak started following Cole's worst outing of the year, which came against Tampa, allowing four runs and eight hits over five innings, walking a season-high four. Cole hasn't walked more than two in any other start, so we'll trust the current form and the fact that he's fanned 17 rans across just 9.2 innings against Tampa in two starts. He's appealing in cash and GPPs alike.
Blake Snell, TAM vs. NYY ($9,100): Snell may be peaking at the right time, coming off of a season-high 50 FanDuel points (FDP) outing in the Wild Card round against Toronto, and he's now fanned nine in consecutive outings. The Yankees don't swing and miss often, owning just a 22.6 percent K rate against lefties but bring a moderate .313 wOBA and .175 ISO, so shouldn't be feared. But Snell whiffed only three Yankees across eight innings during the regular season and has very limited innings upside, never going more than 5.2 frames to date. I could see him being a GPP pivot, but Snell likely isn't for me Monday.
Lance McCullers, HOU vs. OAK (unlisted): He's unconfirmed, but represents a huge boom or bust option. The home/road splits are eye popping, as McCullers allowed a 1.42 ERA and .221 wOBA at home, and a 7.33 ERA and .401 wOBA outside of his friendly confines. McCullers did crank it up over his last three starts, not allowing an earned run over 18.2 innings, striking out 24, so there is upside. That makes him a GPP option only.
Chris Bassitt, OAK vs. HOU (unlisted): Bassitt should be polarizing. He's allowed two runs over his last five starts, spanning 31.2 frames. He also has a meager 6.4 K/9 rate, so is he smoke and mirrors?
DJ LeMahieu, NYY vs. TAM ($4,000): There's minimal power upside, as LeMahieu hasn't gone deep since September 17 and has a .150 ISO against lefties on the year, but he's just so stable and involved in much of what the Yanks do offensively. LeMahieu has a .432 wOBA and 52.6 percent hard hit rate against lefties, has nine hits in his last four games and is 6-of-14 (.429) against Snell in his career. LeMahieu just makes for a nice anchor from which we can feel safe getting 3x value.
George Springer, HOU vs. OAK ($4,100): Overall, Springer is a bit too feast or famine, but his .392 wOBA, .277 ISO and 155 wRC+ against righties suggests he's worth the price. The numbers speak for themselves; it's a preferred matchup without great form.
Ji-Man Choi, TAM vs. NYY ($2,600): Cole has no real statistical weakness, allowing a .319 wOBA to lefties and a .250 wOBA to righties, so minimal, at best, Ray bats is the obvious strategy. And while BvP is never a favorite for most DFS managers, it's hard to ignore Choi going 8-of-12 with three doubles, three homers and three walks in his career against Cole. Rare upside at this price.
Gary Sanchez, NYY vs. TAM ($3,000): I wanted this price to be lower given Sanchez' woeful season. He's no lock to start, and you're clearly chasing power and nothing else. But Sanchez ran into one against the Indians during the wild card round, and four of his now 11 HRs have come since September 15. BvP rears its head again here, as Sanchez is 6-of-20 (.300) with five homers in his career against Snell. Eleven of his 14 fails have been by strikeout, so it's clearly feast or famine.
Stacks to Consider
We can load up on lefties against McCullers, assuming he's the starter, as he is allowing a .407 wOBA to lefties on the road. Lamb is a known LvR target who just has too small a sample size since joining Oakland to take stock in his .407 wOBA and .310 ISO. Grossman is the complete opposite, as his .370 wOBA and .260 ISO across 168 at bats is stable and appreciative. Olson rounds this out as another left-handed bat with power, as his .242 ISO trails only Grossman's across A's regulars.