FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball World Series Helper: Astros at Phillies, Game 3
The Astros and Phillies split the first two games in Houston and are now in Philadelphia for Game 3. Rain wiped out the originally scheduled game on Monday, pushing it to Tuesday night at 8:03 pm ET.
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.
Houston will hand the ball to Lance McCullers tonight, and he's enjoyed positive results this postseason, posting a 2.85 SIERA, 27.7% strikeout rate, 6.4% walk rate, and 50.0% walk rate in his two starts. The key for McCullers will be whether he can continue to keep free passes at a minimum; he put up a worrisome 11.3% walk rate in his eight regular season outings.
Monday's rainout could prove to be beneficial for the Phillies, as they now avoid a Game 3 bullpen game and will instead opt for a traditional start from left-hander Ranger Suarez. While Suarez has come out of the bullpen in his last two appearances, he went 86 and 68 pitches in his starts, so we can probably expect him to go about five innings or so if he's doing well.
Overall, the southpaw has produced a 4.05 SIERA, 21.4% strikeout rate, and 57.7% ground-ball rate in 9 2/3 postseason innings, which are all marks that closely mirror how he performed in the regular season. He also has an elevated 11.9% walk rate, though, as he handed out five walks in his first playoff start. The good news is he hasn't issued a single free pass in the three appearances since.
With a left-hander now taking the mound against Houston, that shifts the matchup advantage to the right-handed batters. While Suarez has an upside-killing 71.1% ground-ball rate versus lefties, it's a less scary 51.3% clip in same-sided matchups, and that goes along with a somewhat modest 4.03 xFIP, 19.7% strikeout rate, and 9.9% walk rate.
The usual righties in the upper half of the order are possibilities for the multiplier slots between Jose Altuve ($8,500), Jeremy Pena ($6,500), and Alex Bregman ($7,000). Altuve has struggled in the playoffs, but he's coming off a three-hit game and has at least one hit in four straight. Pena will likely be the least popular MVP of the group, making him intriguing for tournaments.
I wouldn't completely write off left-handed batters Yordan Alvarez ($9,000) and Kyle Tucker ($7,500) as MVP candidates, though, as both handle lefties quite well and could take advantage of bullpen arms later in the game. Alvarez should still be pretty popular as one of the series' top overall bats, but Tucker may fly more under the radar.
The rest of the Houston lineup features low salaries to round things out. Chas McCormick ($5,000) is arguably the standout value bat, as he's produced a fantastic .920 OPS this postseason.
Hopping to the other matchup, we don't have a huge sample to work with for McCullers, but he did have a lower strikeout rate versus righties in the regular season (23.2%). That possibly gives a bump to guys like Rhys Hoskins ($7,000) and J.T. Realmuto ($7,500) if you're siding with Philadelphia, but lefties Bryce Harper ($9,500) and Kyle Schwarber ($8,000) remain nightly top options regardless of the pitcher. All four players have hit at least three home runs in the postseason, and of the group, Realmuto ought to be the least popular MVP.
Outside of these four, the rest of the lineup hasn't made a ton of noise, but perhaps they can get in on the fun if McCullers' control is off tonight. Nick Castellanos ($6,500) and Alec Bohm ($6,000) benefit from solid spots in the order if they continue to bat fifth and sixth. Bryson Stott ($4,500) has gotten on base in five straight games, so he could have some value at his near-minimum salary.