FanDuel MLB: Game 1 World Series Recommendations
FanDuel MLB: Game 1 World Series Recommendations

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

As the Fall Classic gets underway Tuesday night, FanDuel is still offering single-game contests for the final MLB series of the season.

If this is the first time you've played the FanDuel single-game contests, here's a quick rundown of how it works.

There are no pitchers in the player pool.

Each roster is comprised of an MVP, whose point total is multiplied by 1.5 to make that selection more valuable than the other four players in that lineup. Teams are required to use one infielder and one outfielder, while the final two roster spots are utility spots, which can be any player from any position.

You must roster at least one player from each of the two teams involved in the matchup.

Other than the MVP multiplier, the scoring system is the same as the other FanDuel baseball contests.

Since three spots can be players from any position, it's reasonably easy to stack any combos you want within the limits of the $35,000 salary cap.

Stacking high-end players typically requires a punt play (possibly two) from the opposing team to obtain the necessary relief to remain under the cap.

Vegas Info

The Red Sox are a -150 favorite and the over/under total for Tuesday's game is 7.5.

The Pitching Matchup

Clayton Kershaw vs. Chris Sale

Sale hasn't pitched since Game 1 of the ALCS, a game in which his average fastball velocity was 92 mph and he topped out at 96. A stomach illness (not caused by frequent removal of a belly-button ring) hospitalized Sale during the series, but the Red Sox's ability to close out the Astros in five games made his availability for Game 6 a moot point. Sale's velocity was down in September as well, which raises legitimate concerns about his overall health, but nine days off between appearances might help.

Kershaw bounced back from a rough outing in Game 1 of the NLCS with an excellent performance in Game 5, firing seven innings of one-run ball and allowing just three hits while piling up nine strikeouts. He also recorded the final three outs in Game 7 to close out the Brewers, fanning a pair of batters in a scoreless frame.

Team Splits

Against left-handed pitching in 2018, the Red Sox have a trio of "elite" hitters based on wRC+.

Mookie Betts - 212
Steve Pearce - 171
J.D. Martinez - 155

Xander Bogaerts (118) and Brock Holt (103) were the only other Red Sox hitters with marks above average (100).

Despite his high placement in the lineup, Andrew Benintendi carried an 84 wRC+ against lefties during the regular season. Ian Kinsler was average or better against lefties every year from 2006 through 2016, but he's fallen to a below-average mark in each of the last two seasons (93 and 87). At third base, the Red Sox haven't got much from right-handed backup Eduardo Nunez (71) or starter Rafael Devers (63). Both catchers struggle in this split as well (Christian Vazquez - 63, Sandy Leon - 26).

The Dodgers have a deeper group of hitters who have posted good numbers against southpaws this season with Justin Turner (179) and Manny Machado (163) leading the way.

If Max Muncy gets the opportunity to start (he started twice against a lefty in the NLCS, but one of those matchups in Game 5 was a one-batter outing for Game 6 starter Wade Miley on his throw day), he's been productive from a power standpoint (.529 SLG) against lefties despite a 30.3% K% this season. His 141 wRC+ is the third highest among Dodgers hitters (min. 50 PA) in 2018.

It will be interesting to see if manager Dave Roberts gives Matt Kemp (124) or Brian Dozier (59) a start Tuesday, though the latter's overall struggles this season might outweigh his high volume of chances to face Sale in the past when both players were in the AL Central.

Enrique Hernandez (113), Chris Taylor (108) and Austin Barnes (101) are all a tick above average against left-handed pitching in 2018, which could send Yasiel Puig (70) to the bench along with Joc Pederson (38), and makes it easier for Roberts to lean on Barnes behind the plate after Yasmani Grandal's defense (106) was a major issue throughout the NLCS. The Dodgers will also get to add one hitter (likely David Freese) to the mix as their DH with the series opening in Boston. Freese had a 140 wRC+ against lefties in 2018, and he's posted a mark at or above 125 in that split in eight of the last nine seasons.

Lineup Construction

MVP placement for those playing the $9.99 tournament, which is capped at 11,916 entries and 150 entries per person, may not require as much of a contrarian approach as it will on other days with two aces taking the ball for their respective clubs.

Maximizing plate appearances with the hope of getting bigger performances from hitters near the top of the order is a priority, and the lineup wrinkle(s) will likely come from a combination of wrapping a stack around the bottom the order your prefer, skipping the correct better within that stack, and filling in with the appropriate cheap bat on the other side with your remaining salary cap.

A four-man Boston stack will require using the starting catcher at the bottom of the order if you are aiming for a Betts-Pearce-Martinez combo. Fortunately, the underpriced Freese ($4,500) fits with this build, and a $4,000 Barnes is a useful pivot with the potential for significantly lower ownership thanks to his low lineup placement.

The prevailing thought here is that Betts and Martinez will be the most heavily-utilized MVP options on the Boston side, making Steve Pearce a somewhat "sneaky" option, and one who fits the bill as a big power bat capable of doing a lot of damage with talented hitters potentially on base in front of him. Xander Bogaerts ($8,000) might be ignored, relatively speaking, for that spot as well, though paying up for him instead of Pearce and keeping Betts and Martinez will limit your lineup to $8,500 for the final two slots.

Given the velocity concerns about Sale, it might be a night where more lineups attempt to build around Dodgers bats, and the aforementioned low price on Freese could make him a frequent stack target if he's positioned in or near the heart of the order with Machado and Turner. The Dodgers' wrap-around stack should be very affordable if Barnes hits ninth, especially if the Dodgers elect to use David Freese as the leadoff hitter as they did against lefty Wade Miley in Game 6 of the NLCS. Keep in mind, however, that Freese leading off will drive up his ownership rate even higher.

Turner vs. Machado for the MVP spot in Dodgers stacks will be the first toss-up, but if you're going to use Freese, you might want to put him in that role to get a leg up on the lineups who simply slot him in as cheap salary relief. The contrarian play of interest here is Chris Taylor, who might be hitting sixth in the order, but using him as the MVP behind a 3-4-5 stack of Dodgers (or even in a 3-4, 3-5 combo) sets up a multi-RBI arrangement where the elite hitters ahead of him might set the table for a big night. Taylor has two games with at least 20 FanDuel points in the postseason, and while he has much less pop than most of the alternatives being considered for the MVP designation, he's among the many righty bats benefiting from a park boost at Fenway in the series, and he brings some speed to the table as well.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Derek VanRiper plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: RotoWireDVR, DraftKings: BentleysChair, Yahoo: d.vanriper,.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Derek VanRiper
Derek is the Director of Media for RotoWire.com, where he's been a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Baseball Writer of the Year award, and winner of the Best Football Article on the Web (2009) and Best Baseball Article on the Web (2010) awards. Derek also co-hosts RotoWire's shows on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (XM 87, Sirius 210).
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