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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Yankees vs. Astros DraftKings MLB DFS Showdown Strategy for October 20

Steve Buchanan preps you for Thursday’s ALCS contest between the Yankees and the Astros with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

After kicking off the ALCS on Wednesday, Game 2 takes place today and is the only game on the MLB schedule. Before these teams head to New York, Luis Severino will take the hill to take on Framber Valdez.

Let’s break down Game 2 from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $100K Relay Throw [$25K to 1st] (NYY vs HOU)


Captain’s Picks

Framber Valdez ($16,500 CP) - Pitchers are usually great captain targets in MLB Showdown contests. However, it’s hard to trust the Yankees staff against the toughest team to strikeout in the league. The Astros posted just a 19.5% K%, which was one of the lowest in the league. However, the Yankees are generous when it comes to strikeouts. Against lefties, they had a 22.3 K%, which ranked 12th in the league. Valdez only faced this team once during the regular season but produced seven strikeouts through six innings. He did allow three runs on two hits but salvaged his day with those strikeouts, giving him 18.5 DKFP. In their series against the Guardians, the Yankees averaged just under 11 strikeouts per game, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Valdez rack them up in this start. He should be worth paying up for in this spot if you have the salary to spare.

Jeremy Pena ($10,800 CP) - If you want to go a bit cheaper at captain, Pena is an interesting option to consider. He’s hit safely in all five postseason games the Astros have played thus far, including an extra-base hit in three straight. Luis Severino ($10,400) is no easy matchup by any means, but he did look shaky in his lone postseason start against the Guardians. It was only the second time this year he allowed at least eight hits, with the only other game coming against the White Sox in May. In his lone start against the Astros, he allowed three runs on five hits and seven strikeouts through six. As for Pena, he posted a .321 wOBA with a 111 wRC+ and a .190 ISO at home. Against righties at home, those numbers jumped up to a .339 wOBA, a 123 wRC+ and a .192 ISO. Hitting second in the order, he’s a solid pick at captain.

UTIL Plays

Harrison Bader ($6,000) - One could argue that Bader has essentially been the Yankees' offense during these playoffs. After homering again in Game 1, Bader has logged four through the Yankees' six postseason games. Oddly enough, the majority of power that Bader has hit for has been against righties. Yet, throughout his career, it’s been the opposite. Bader has a .222 ISO and a 114 wRC+ against lefties compared to a .141 ISO and a 91 wRC+ against righties in his career. He did miss a big chunk of time this season due to injury, so I’m more than willing to ride the hot bat despite his numbers against lefties being well below the norm. At this price point, he’s a steal.

Ryan Pressly ($4,000) - It’s important to construct a lineup that flows with how you think the game will play out. Thus, with me thinking the Astros will win this game, Pressly could be called upon for the save. He was clean in his two appearances during the Divisional series and has been one of their most reliable relievers out of the pen. He converted 33 of the 37 save attempts during the regular season boasting an impressive 12.1 K/9. While taking a reliever always runs the risk of posting a donut, Pressly has one of the higher upsides and will undoubtedly be called upon if the Astros have a small lead.


Jose Altuve ($9,600) -It’s hard to justify paying nearly $10K for a player that is in the midst of a horrible slump. After going hitless in 16 at-bats in the Divisional Series, it’s carried over here in the early games of the Championship series. It’s not going to last forever, especially for someone as talented as Altuve, but he’s provided nothing in these playoffs. Even with the slump, he’s still the fifth-most expensive player on the board. Yet, someone like Bader, who has four home runs since the playoffs began, is $3,600 cheaper. If I lose a contest because Altuve went off, so be it. I simply can’t stomach his salary, especially when he’s sandwiched in between Yordan Alvarez ($9,800) and Giancarlo Stanton ($9,200).

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $100K Relay Throw [$25K to 1st] (NYY vs HOU)

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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.