This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
We're again treated to a two-game slate with the Astros and Dodgers fighting off elimination last night. There should be plenty of drama to unfold, starting at 4:38 p.m. ET.
Max Fried, ATL vs. LAD ($9,700): Fried is exactly who the Braves want on the mound today. He's had just two poor starts all season and fanned nine Dodgers in six innings in Game 1. Of a little concern is that he's given up four homers all season, regular and post, and they've come across his last four starts. While the Dodgers will certainly mix up their lineup, it's still a lefty-heavy lineup. They weren't great against same-handed bats, but Fried wasn't either, owning just a 14.6 percent strikeout rate and a 5.35 xFIP. There's no reason to think the pressure gets to him here, he's answered the bell all year. But this author is also an Atlanta fan and knows the team's playoff history too well. Consider me nervous.
Walker Buehler, LAD vs. ATL ($9,100): It's all about efficiency for Buehler, something he hasn't had all season. He fanned seven against Atlanta in Game 1, allowing just one run, but made it through only five innings, the story of his season. That qualified as his longest of the postseason and second longest of the season. That limits his GPP upside, and the real appeal to Buehler is probably just low usage.
Charlie Morton, TAM vs. HOU (unlisted): Morton looks like a stable option even if you consider the Astros ability to blow up at any given moment. The veteran has allowed only one earned run in the postseason across 11.0 innings, including five shut out innings against Houston in Game 2. He fanned five in those five innings, a solid number against a team with just a 19.8 percent K rate. There's a lack of innings upside in Morton, but he hasn't given up more than three runs in any start since his first of the year, suggesting a safe floor.
Lance McCullers, HOU vs. TAM (unlisted): McCullers postseason performance has been a roller coaster. On one hand, he's allowed five homers in 11 innings, an anomaly given his 0.82 HR/9 rate during the regular season. On the other hand, he's fanning 13.1 per nine after just 9.2 during the regular season. Given that he's got experience in this setting, and that the Rays have struck out between nine and 13 times in every game since his Game 2 start, there's certainly upside potential.
George Springer, HOU vs. TAM ($4,400): It's difficult to pick one Astro as a preferred target, as Jose Altuve ($4,000) and Carlos Correa ($3,400) are white hot, the later of whom is a must use for cash lineups. But maybe rolling with Springer and some targets from other lineups works for GPPs. He owned a .392 wOBA, .277 ISO against righties during the regular season, and hitting atop this lineup, he'll have ample run-scoring chances with those hot bats behind him. He has five hits, two homers, five RBI and 11 total bases during the Astros three-game winning streak.
Corey Seager, LAD vs. HOU ($4,200): I could almost rewrite yesterday's blip on Seager, who continues to be at the heart of what the Dodgers are doing offensively. The Braves just can't get him out, as he's collected eight hits and four homers in five games. The LvL matchup isn't ideal, Seager had a .349 wOBA and .232 ISO in this spot during the regular season, but that came with a decent 49.1 hard-hit rate. Fade at your own risk.
Randy Arozarena, TAM vs HOU ($3,600): Arozarena is basically a free square at this price. It's not a particularly favorable spot based on regular-season splits, and he failed to collect a hit Friday for the first time all series. I also assume he'll be a lazy, high-used selection, but that doesn't make it wrong. He singled twice and scored against McCullers in Game 2.
Brandon Lowe, TAM vs. HOU ($3,300): Lowe was heavily involved in what the Rays did during the regular season, and his bat has woken up over the past two games; he's scored three times while garnering five total bases. It's not great, and he was better against lefties than righties during the regular season, but FanDuel dropped his price $100 from Friday, making this more palatable.
Michael Brantley, HOU vs. TAM ($3,200): As noted above, the entire Astros' lineup is raking right now, so there aren't many bad choices. But Brantley could be a contrarian, lower priced buy into the lineup. He's hit safely in every game in October, posting a .347 average and 1.013 OPS. That's on the heels of a team-leading .398 wOBA and 159 wRC+ against righties during the regular season.
A.J. Pollock, LAD vs. ATL ($3,100): Pollack figures to be a popular pay down option as a regular lefty masher who's assured of getting a start here. He posted a .468 wOBA and .473 ISO against them during the regular season. He's been a bit quiet in this series, however, collecting just three singles.
Cristian Pache, ATL vs. LAD ($2,300): The kid continues to perform at an impressive clip for someone with four career regular season at bats. He's collected a hit and an RBI in all four games since taking over for Adam Duvall (oblique), and for some reason, FanDuel lowered his tag $100 here. It's not huge production, but six points is still better than 2x value.
Stack To Consider
You have to get a little creative in stacking these smaller four-team slates, and I think the Braves will be overlooked with the Astros being very popular. Or I'm trying to will myself into confidence my team won't choke away a 3-1 series lead. Freeman posted a .499 wOBA, 216 wRC+ and .360 ISO against righties during the regular season, has hit safely in all five games against the Dodgers, collecting six RBI and 17 total bases. Ozuna has been far more feast or famine, with 11 of his 12 total bases coming in a Game 4 explosion. That clearly gives this stack some upside. The third piece is a little tricky, as some top bats like Ronald Acuna ($4,200) have been ice cold against the Dodgers. d'Arnaud has been, too, with just two singles, but he dominated the Marlins in the division series, hits in a cleanup spot behind these two big bats, and posted a .433 wOBA and 172 wRC+ against righties during the regular season.