FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball ALDS Helper: Guardians at Yankees, Game 5
For those unfamiliar with the single-game daily fantasy baseball format, scoring is identical to its full roster cousin, except you only roster hitters, and lineups consist of five flex spots. The one twist? One of the five roster spots is your designated "MVP," who receives 2-times his total fantasy points, along with a "STAR" slot that gets 1.5-times the points. Naturally, it's crucial that you choose your MVP and STAR carefully if you want to be at the top of the leaderboards when it's all said and done.
On that note, let's highlight some of the top options for today's FanDuel single-game slate.
This will be Civale's postseason debut, and while he dealt with multiple injuries and mixed results in the regular season, he performed well in the final months. In the second half, the right-handed produced a 3.01 xFIP, 27.5% strikeout rate, and 4.2% walk rate across eight starts.
The Guardians are surely hoping they get that version of Civale tonight.
Taillon is making his second appearance in these playoffs, and it's his first career postseason start. His first appearance -- in Game 2 -- didn't go swimmingly. Appearing in the 10th inning, Taillon allowed hits to all three batters he faced and gave up two earned runs, ultimately resulting in a Yankees loss.
The righty was generally solid in the regular season, though, compiling a 3.79 xFIP, 20.7% strikeout rate, and 4.4% walk rate.
Unsurprisingly, the Yankees are favored at home, but they arguably have the tougher matchup if the late-season version of Civale shows up.
The Cleveland right-hander has unusual splits, and for the most part, he was actually tougher on left-handed batters this year. When facing lefties, he saw a significant jump in strikeout rate (28.3%) compared to same-sided matchups (20.6%).
The flip side is that he also allowed a 41.9% fly-ball rate and 37.3% hard-hit rate to lefties, leading to 1.44 home runs per nine innings. He was much more successful at suppressing hard contact versus righties (27.8%).
Aaron Judge ($10,000) and Giancarlo Stanton ($8,000) are obvious MVP candidates on any single-game slate, and Civale's lack of punchouts in same-sided matchups only further solidifies it. However, both figure to be immensely popular, so that has to be factored in.
Given the boom-or-bust nature of Civale's lefty splits, it does open the door for Anthony Rizzo ($8,500) as a prime MVP candidate. Perhaps even Oswaldo Cabrera ($7,000) is worth consideration in the multiplier slots, too, as all six of his home runs came against right-handers this season, helping him to a .198 ISO in the split.
Among the rest of the Yankees, Gleyber Torres ($7,000), Josh Donaldson ($5,500), and the suddenly red-hot Harrison Bader ($5,500) can round out things as flex options. It's possible that Bader's recent play bumps up his popularity, though, so you might consider fading him from a game-theory perspective.
For the Guardians, their matchup against Taillon is more straightforward, as the New York righty has pretty even splits.
Jose Ramirez ($9,000) is the clear guy to consider at a multiplier slot, but similar to Judge and Stanton, he'll almost certainly see a high MVP percentage. Josh Naylor ($6,500) could be a way to be more contrarian, though. Naylor posted a .239 ISO and 12.4% strikeout rate against right-handed batters this season and 19 of his 20 bombs came in the split.
Given the lack of power on Cleveland, the rest of the lineup is generally more suitable for your flex spots.
Andres Gimenez ($6,500) and Oscar Gonzalez ($6,000) are probably the only other guys we can reasonably expect to hit a home run, whereas Steven Kwan ($7,500) and Amed Rosario ($7,500) benefit from hitting atop the order. Kwan has cracked 20 FanDuel points twice with multi-hit games in this series, proving that it can't hurt to get a little weird with your multipler slots in large-field tournaments.