FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: World Series Game 3
We could have a pretty good pitching duel on tap for Game 3, which will pit Walker Buehler against Charlie Morton. As was the case in the first two games, the implied totals are low for both teams, with the Dodgers getting a slight edge (4.08).
For those unfamiliar with the single-game daily fantasy baseball format, scoring is identical to its full roster cousin, except you only roster hitters, and lineups consist of five flex spots. The one twist? One of the five roster spots is your designated "MVP," who receives 2-times his total fantasy points, along with a "STAR" slot that gets 1.5-times the points. Naturally, it's crucial that you choose your MVP and STAR carefully if you want to be at the top of the leaderboards when it's all said and done.
On that note, let's highlight some of the top options for today's FanDuel single-game slate.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Morton uncharacteristically posted a 4.74 ERA across nine starts during the regular season, but he maintained solid peripheral numbers through a 3.97 SIERA, 24.7% strikeout rate, and 5.9% walk rate, so he probably deserved better than that mark.
His fortunes have turned around at the right time, as he's allowed just one earned run over 15.2 innings this postseason while maintaining a 26.6% strikeout rate and 6.3% walk rate.
Historically, he's tough on both sides of the plate, too, as he gets more strikeouts versus lefties while he almost never gives up home runs to righties. The Dodgers figure to have their work cut out for them.
But if we're going to take stab here, Morton posted a less imposing 4.40 xFIP versus left-handed batters in the regular season, and three of the four dingers he gave up came off lefties. The batted-ball numbers also reflect a greater likelihood of getting a home run, as he allowed a 35.7% hard-hit rate and 43.9% fly-ball rate to lefties.
That should push us towards Corey Seager ($8,500), Cody Bellinger ($9,000), and Max Muncy ($7,500) as top MVP candidates. The matchup will be tougher for Mookie Betts ($9,500), but you know he's in the nightly MVP conversation regardless of who's on the mound.
Like Betts, Will Smith ($6,500) may not have an advantageous matchup against Morton, but he's always worth including in the mix for his home run power.
Tampa Bay Rays
Like Morton, Buehler has enjoyed positive results in these playoffs, posting a 3.49 SIERA and 34.9% strikeout rate over four starts. Walks have been an issue at times (13.3%), but he was lights out in his last start against the Braves, logging 6.0 scoreless innings with 6 punchouts and no walks.
Getting to Buehler will be no easy task for an offense that's largely struggled in the postseason, collectively slashing .213/.249/.408 across 16 games.
However, the young Dodgers right-hander performed worse in same-sided matchups this season (4.56 xFIP), which could be a good sign for Randy Arozarena ($8,000), one of the few Rays to hit with any consistency in the playoffs.
Brandon Lowe ($7,000) has generally struggled lately, but he busted out in a big way with two dingers in Game 2. It's a reminder of the fantastic power he has -- just look at his barrel rate -- which keeps him in play with Arozarena as MVP options.
Beyond those two, it's tough to get super excited about Tampa Bay, but stacking them up figures to be the contrarian way to go in tournaments. Austin Meadows ($7,000) is better than he's shown, potentially making him an intriguing play at a lower roster percentage. Ji-Man Choi ($5,000) is a nice value if he's batting cleanup.