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The MLB Yahoo Cup Hot Corner: Round 27

Eric Lindquist

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Best MLB Bets today AL Wild Card betting picks Yankees Red Sox Gerrit Cole over/under total strikeouts Kyle Schwarber player prop picks odds predictions tonight

Welcome to the MLB Yahoo Cup Hot Corner! This free-to-enter, single-entry fantasy baseball contest consists of 27 rounds where the top 1,075 overall entries and the top 70 entries per round share $10,000, with $1,000 to first and $50 to first per round. Scoring will be cumulative across all rounds, with your seven lowest scores dropped at the end. You may join this multi-round MLB DFS contest at any point, but enter today to give yourself the best chance to take home the title. Click here to begin the chase!

We will focus on three players — one pitcher, one infielder and one outfielder — to be MLB DFS picks for tonight’s MLB Yahoo Cup contest.

MLB Yahoo Cup Fantasy Baseball Picks | Round 27

MLB DFS Pitcher: Gerrit Cole — $49

It is time to shoot for the moon in today’s final round of the MLB Yahoo Cup. Every spot in lineups should carry high ceilings, as even the first-place team might as well aim to create a counting score. And despite getting tattooed to the tune of seven earned runs in his last outing, there is no pitcher on the board that comes close to rivaling Gerrit Cole’s ceiling on Friday.

The Yankees are clinging to the second Wild Card spot in the American League, leading the Blue Jays by a single game with nine left to go. In such an important spot, there should be no holding back on Cole’s pitch count against this dangerous Red Sox team that has a league-high .202 ISO versus right-handed pitching. But on the flip side, they also carry a 23.3% strikeout rate against righties that should be bolstered a little extra by the addition of Kyle Schwarber, who gets punched out at a 27.5% clip.

And despite the surprise beatdown in his last start, Cole’s underlying stats on the season are still as elite as it gets, with his 34.2% strikeout rate, .202 xBA, .265 xwOBA and sub-6% walk rate. Plus, Awesemo’s Top Pitchers tool gives Cole a 19.5% chance to finish with a top-two score on tonight’s slate, second best behind Dylan Cease’s 21.5% projected chance. But considering Cole is being rostered substantially less than Cease on this slate, finding the extra $4 to capture Cole’s ceiling feels like the way to go if aiming for the top in tonight’s MLB Yahoo Cup finale.

MLB DFS Infielder: Tommy La Stella — $16

The surprise team of the entire MLB season has been undoubtedly the Giants, who stand atop the NL West with the best record in the majors. However, with just a one-game lead on the preseason favorite Dodgers, they enter a crucial three-game road series against a Rockies team that boasts a stellar 46-29 record at home on the year. Combining the best ballpark for creating runs in Coors Field with a dangerous offense in need of wins does not get a whole lot better for MLB DFS purposes.

Furthering the case to roster them, the Giants draw a matchup against Peter Lambert, who has not made a major league start since 2019. His career 7.25 ERA, 1.74 WHIP and absurdly low 13.6% strikeout rate could spell disaster for him against a Giants offense that sports a .202 ISO against righties on the season, a mark tied with the Red Sox for best in the majors. The Awesemo Top Stacks tool is in full agreement that this could all add up to a Giants smash spot, as their 22.1% top stack odds despite 30 total teams being in play is a remarkable figure and a full 10 points better than the next team on the slate (Dodgers).

So if looking to roster the Giants bats, second baseman Tommy La Stella is a borderline must-play within the stack. At $16 he is the cheapest potential starter and the probable leadoff hitter, making it next to impossible to fit four-plus bats from San Francisco into a lineup without the salary savings he provides. And with a .447 xSLG on the season, there is certainly some pop in his bat that could prove dangerous at elevation. Plus, La Stella only strikes out at a 10.7% clip on the season, making it a foregone conclusion that the ball should be in play repeatedly against Lambert, making him a fantastic play for MLB Yahoo Cup lineups tonight.

MLB DFS Outfielder: Mitch Haniger — $15

The Mariners are another team smack dab in the middle of the AL Wild Card chase, currently just two games back of the Yankees for the final playoff spot. And one of the major reasons why is the resurgence of outfielder Mitch Haniger, who came back as good as new in 2021 after sitting out the 2020 season to recover from a number of injuries. His 34 homers and 81 RBIs sit just behind Kyle Seager for team highs, but that one-two punch could make for an unexpectedly high-upside duo tonight in Anaheim.

Angels starter Jose Suarez has performed way above expectations this season, with a 3.67 ERA and 1.25 WHIP on the season. But Haniger and his .474 xSLG in the platoon advantage could still provide some serious offense in this spot. Plus, as temperatures decrease across the rest of the country in the fall months, Southern California remains relatively warm by comparison, making Anaheim a better hitting environment. And at just $15, it is hard to find comparable upside to Haniger at such a salary, making him an excellent outfield option to round out MLB Yahoo Cup lineups.

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