This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.
We have another two-game, two-day Yahoo slate on our hands that encompasses Game 5 between the Rays and Astros on Thursday and Game 1 of the NLCS between the Cardinals and Nationals on Friday. Let's discuss the matchups and how each contest might play out.
After being down 2-0 in the series, the Rays will look to pull off the upset of the Astros in what could be a great pitching matchup between Gerrit Cole ($60) and Tyler Glasnow ($41). Cole was absolutely dominant in Game 2, striking out 15 batters across 7.2 scoreless innings. He has recorded at least 10 strikeouts in each of his last 10 starts, leaving him with a tremendously high floor. Glasnow wasn't bad in Game 1, but he also wasn't great, allowing two runs over 4.1 innings. While he can also rack up strikeouts in bunches, he hasn't logged more than 4.1 innings in any of his five appearances since coming off the IL, so don't expect him to pitch too deep into this contest, either.
With both the Cardinals and Nationals having played Wednesday, their starters for Game 1 remain up in the air as of Thursday morning. Stephen Strasburg started and Patrick Corbin was used in relief during Game 5 against the Dodgers, so they aren't options. It will likely come down to throwing Max Scherzer ($53) on short rest or starting Anibal Sanchez ($35). For the Cardinals, Adam Wainwright ($32) seems like the most likely option since he would be pitching on normal rest. He's also been better at home, posting a 4.02 FIP and a 1.29 WHIP there compared to a 4.77 FIP and a 1.59 WHIP on the road.
If Sanchez start for the Nationals, the Cardinals should be one of the more popular teams to stack. He's not an overpowering force, evident by his 18.8 percent strikeout rate during the regular season. A stack of Paul Goldschmidt ($21), Marcell Ozuna ($17) and Yadier Molina ($12) could prove to be profitable. Goldschmidt had a spectacular series against the Braves, hitting 9-for-21 (.429) with two home runs and four doubles. Ozuna was just as deadly, also hitting 9-for-21 with two home runs and three doubles.
Despite Wainwright pitching better at home, he still hasn't been all that great considering his 4.02 FIP there. If he does start, the Nationals should also be a popular team to pursue. Any Nationals stack should be built around Anthony Rendon ($22) and Juan Soto ($24). Howie Kendrick ($12) is also a viable target after recording at least one hit in five of the Nationals' six playoff games so far.
For those thinking the Rays might pull off the upset, rolling with Austin Meadows ($18) might be the best chance for some value against Cole. He's not overly expensive and produced a .380 wOBA during the regular season. The Astros have been stuck in an offensive rut the last couple of games, but they still have a lot of expensive hitters. It's not difficult to make a case for deploying Jose Altuve ($24), who is 5-for-16 (.313) with two home runs and two doubles in this series and recorded a 176 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers during the regular season.