This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
The Yankees had their backs up against a wall Friday, facing elimination with Justin Verlander on the mound for the Astros. They jumped out to an early 4-1 thanks to a couple of first inning home runs and James Paxton made them hold up, forcing a Game 6 on Saturday in Houston. We also have another showdown slate on DraftKings as a result, so let's discuss how this contest might play out.
This is going to be a strange game from a playoff perspective with both teams planning to deploy their bullpens. The Yankees could potentially use Chad Green ($6,800) as their opener, something they did many times during the regular season. J.A. Happ ($10,200) could then pitch the bulk of the innings. The reason the Yankees aren't just starting Happ right out of the gate is likely that his first full season with the team did not go well with him posting a 4.91 ERA and an even worse 5.22 FIP. Deploying him in DFS certainly isn't without risk since he allowed 1.9 HR/9 and only managed a 20.7 percent strikeout rate. In terms of other relievers on the Yankees who could pitch multiple innings, Luis Cessa ($5,000) and Jonathan Loaisiga ($10,000) also serve as options.
The Astros could have started Gerrit Cole on short rest, but they will save him for a potential Game 7 with a 3-2 series lead. Jose Urquidy ($8,200) could get the start and has the potential to turn it into a more traditional start if he pitches well. He started in seven of his nine appearances during the regular season, posting a 3.68 FIP and a 1.10 WHIP. Although he doesn't possess the experience that Happ does, Urquidy at least has a little more upside based on his 24 percent strikeout rate and is also significantly cheaper. Brad Peacock ($10,000) pitched Friday, but he too could be called upon for an inning or two in the early going of this contest.
With so much uncertainly around who will pitch when, projecting this out for the hitters won't be easy. The Astros own the edge at home and the Yankees' bullpen has been taxed in this series, so rolling with an Astros' stack figures to be the most popular option. As far as top-tier players go, Jose Altuve ($10,200), Alex Bregman ($10,800) and George Springer ($10,600) stand out.
The Yankees have had their struggles scoring in this series since Game 1, but they have plenty of hitters who look appealing. Right near the top of that list is DJ LeMahieu ($10,400), who has carried over his success from the regular season to hit .343 with two home runs and three doubles in the playoffs. Rolling the trio of him, Gleyber Torres ($9,600) and Aaron Judge ($9,200) presents tremendous upside.
If you're looking to save a little, Carlos Correa ($8,400) should be considered after already hitting two home runs in the series. Also don't sleep on Michael Brantley ($7,600), who is .348 with a home run over his last six playoff games.
On the Yankees side, Aaron Hicks ($6,600) should not be overlooked. He delivered the key blow in Game 5 with a three-run homer in the first inning. He's also shown an excellent eye at the plate, walking two times each in Games 3 and 4. Brett Gardner ($7,400) has gone hitless across the last three games, but he too represents a cost-effective option to at least consider after he recorded a career-high .253 ISO during the regular season.