Saturday's MLB slate features Game 2 of the Nationals-Braves series at 4:08 PM Eastern time followed by Game 1 of Yankees-Astros at 8:08. Read on to see which players are primed for success.
The Nationals have a big edge on paper with Max Scherzer ($58) taking on Adam Wainwright ($34). That advantage decreases considerably when you consider Scherzer went 0-2 with a 5.27 ERA in two starts against the Cardinals while Wainwright posted a 2.56 ERA and .303 wOBA allowed in 95 regular-season innings at Busch Stadium before adding 7.2 shutout innings in Game 3 of the NLDS against Atlanta.
The Astros used aces Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole in the last two games of the ALDS, so New York can boast the better postseason resumes of the Game 1 starters. Masahiro Tanaka ($35) has allowed just six runs in 35 postseason innings, including five innings of one-run ball against the Twins in ALDS Game 2. On the other hand, Zack Greinke's ($38) postseason ERA climbed to 4.58 in 70.2 innings after the Rays tagged him for six runs in 3.2 innings in Game 3 of the ALDS.
Given the pitching matchups, New York's batters promise the highest floor, even when accounting for Houston's dominance at home. Gleyber Torres ($18) and Didi Gregorius ($15) were two of the Yankees' toughest outs in the ALDS as they drove in four and six runs, respectively. Brett Gardner ($15) also enjoys the platoon advantage against Greinke just like Gregorius and managed an RBI in every ALDS game.
Houston's top players carried the team through its five-game battle against the Rays. Jose Altuve ($25) impressed with a 1.281 OPS in the series, while Alex Bregman ($23) came in at 1.097. Catcher Robinson Chirinos ($14) also held his own with a .920 mark.
Pretty much all the Cardinals are having a strong postseason after padding their stats in a Game 5 blowout of Atlanta, but they'll need to rely on their top hitters after mustering only one hit collectively in Game 1. Those top hitters have been Paul Goldschmidt ($21) and Marcell Ozuna ($18), who recorded a 1.383 and 1.335 OPS to pace St. Louis in the NLDS.
The Nationals were also carried by their best players in the NLDS, as Anthony Rendon ($22) posted a 1.220 OPS and Juan Soto ($23) ranked just below with a 1.020 OPS. Rendon got on base three times in Game 1, and Soto will have the platoon advantage against Wainwright.
The Yankees mentioned above were far from the only ones who saw the ball well in the ALDS following a strong regular season. DJ LeMahieu ($18), Aaron Judge ($20) and Edwin Encarnacion ($21) could all form quality parts of a Yankees' stack after each exceeded a 1.000 OPS in the ALDS.
Astros' outfielder Michael Brantley ($13) came alive in Game 5 with a home run among his two hits, and the left-handed slugger's a nice value play after posting a .385 wOBA against righties in the regular season.
If you believe in being hot, that's exactly what Howie Kendrick ($11) is for Washington. After breaking a 3-3 tie against the Dodgers with a 10th-inning grand slam in Game 5 of the NLDS, Kendrick then went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI single in Game 1 of the NLCS.
Cardinals' third baseman Matt Carpenter ($8) could be a nice cheap filler if he earns another start after starting Game 5 of the NLDS and Game 1 of the NLCS. He's coming off a down year but owns the platoon advantage against Scherzer and has proven himself as a playoff performer.