This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.
With their backs up against the wall, the Rays, Cardinals and Nationals all won Monday to extend their respective series. Yahoo provides us with a three-game DFS slate that stretches from Tuesday into Wednesday, so let's break down the matchups and discuss how things might play out.
The Astros aren't messing around and will bring Justin Verlander ($53) back on short rest to start Tuesday in Game 4. He was excellent in Game 1, striking out eight batters over seven scoreless innings. If he wasn't going on short rest, he'd be a lock for the top starting pitcher for this slate. Even taking that into consideration, his strikeout prowess makes him difficult to pass up.
As far as pitcher's duels go, it doesn't get much better than Stephen Strasburg ($49) facing Walker Buehler ($46) in a winner-take-all Game 5 between the Nationals and Dodgers. Strasburg was lights out in Game 2, recording 10 strikeouts over six shutout innings. Buehler was magnificent in Game 1 with eight strikeouts across six shutout innings of his own. With this game being played in Los Angeles and Buehler priced three dollars cheaper, he might be the better option of the two, but it's really just splitting hairs as they both carry tremendous upside.
The Cardinals had to start Jack Flaherty ($46) during the final weekend of the regular season in an effort to stave off the Brewers and win the NL Central. While that left him unavailable to start Game 1, he did start Game 2 and the Cardinals will now have their ace on the mound again for the deciding Game 5. The Braves were able to score three runs off of him in his first start, but he still had eight strikeouts over seven innings. Some people might shy away from him due to the Braves' potent lineup, making Flaherty an option to potentially target in tournament play.
With a lack of quality starting pitchers at their disposal, the Rays will use Diego Castillo to open Game 4. That sets up the Astros to take their hacks against the Rays' bullpen and probably be one of the more popular teams to stack. Jose Altuve ($23) and Alex Bregman ($23) are two players to build around while Michael Brantley ($12) might be worth taking a chance on at a reduced price. Although he's hitless over the last two games, he did recorded two singles in Game 1 and finished with a .367 wOBA during the regular season.
Mike Foltynewicz certainly pitched well in Game 2 by recording seven strikeouts over seven scoreless innings. Still, with the likes of Verlander, Strasburg, Buehler and Flaherty included in this slate, he's one of the more underwhelming pitchers, so expect to see plenty of Cardinals' hitters included in entries. Paul Goldschmidt ($22), Marcell Ozuna ($17) and Tommy Edman ($18) provide a dangerous trio while Yadier Molina ($13) presents a viable target behind the plate after delivering two key RBI in Game 4.
If you want to operate under the assumption that Verlander might have an off performance because he is pitching on short rest, then rolling with a Ray or two could be worth the risk. Austin Meadows ($18) has a hit in each of the first three games and had a 142 wRC+ during the regular season, so he arguably presents the highest upside on the team.
Even with Strasburg on the mound, Max Muncy ($23) could be a popular one-off since he is 4-for-14 with two home runs in this series. Staying in that same game, Anthony Rendon ($18) also makes a lot of sense at his reasonable price. He's 6-for-17 with three doubles in this series and finished the regular season with a career-high 154 wRC+.