We have reached an elimination game. Up 3-2 in the series, the Astros can capture their second World Series in three years with a win over the Nationals. This might seem like an odd question, but does it hurt them being at home? In the first five games of the series, the road team has won in each game. The odds favor Houston (-180) to take this game and win the title in front of the home crowd. Here are my favorite DFS plays for what might be the last MLB slate of the season.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
FIVE BETTING TRENDS
— The ‘Inning 1 OVER 0.5 runs’ market has hit in each of the Nationals’ last five Tuesday games.
— The Astros have led after 3 innings in each of their last three games against the Nationals.
— Each of the Astros’ last six home games against National League opponents have gone OVER the total runs line.
— The Astros have won the first inning in each of their last four Tuesday home games against NL East opponents.
— The Nationals have won each of their last seven Tuesday games against AL West opponents.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
The Nationals’ season is on life support, and it’s on Stephen Strasburg ($10,800) to keep it alive. The good news for Washington: There is no other pitcher it would want out there in this situation. Strasburg has made five postseason appearances, and the Nationals have won all five games. From a fantasy standpoint, he’s been a postseason stud. He’s scored at least 17 DKFP in all of his postseason outings, averaging 26.2 DKFP, and scored 22.7 DKFP in his earlier World Series start against the Astros. Strasburg is in play tonight with the Nationals’ backs against the wall.
Since we likely want to roster both the starting pitchers in this game, the focus has to be finding cheap bats to roster. Hitting near the top of the lineup, Adam Eaton ($7,200) is fairly cheap for his lineup slot. He didn’t play great during the games in Washington, but he was great in Houston during the first two games. Eaton picked up a pair of hits in both of the games played in Houston and averaged 14.5 DKFP.
A situation to keep an eye on is the health of Kurt Suzuki ($5,800). After missing the past two games with a hip injury, he’s hopeful he will be able to play in Game 6. If he’s out, Yan Gomes ($4,600) would start at catcher and be one of the cheapest starters for us to roster. While he doesn’t have the highest ceiling, he can help free up cap space and he’s picked up a hit in both his World Series starts.
With the series going back to Houston, we are likely to see Ryan Zimmerman ($6,000) back in the starting lineup. He didn’t get as many at-bats in his home games because of the lack of the DH. In Houston, Zimmerman found success and was able to make use of the short porch in left field. He hit a homer and averaged 11 DKFP in the two games played in the American League park.
The odds indicate Justin Verlander ($11,000) is expected to close out the series for the Astros. After having one of the best years of his career and potentially winning the AL Cy Young, winning tonight would be quite the cap to his season. Pitching at home, Verlander is the safest choice for the Captain spot at $16,500. In Houston, Verlander had a 2.34 ERA and a 34.2% strikeout rate during the regular season. Even though he’s had some postseason struggles, he’s averaging 21.9 DKFP in three home playoff starts.
Arguably the hottest hitter in this series is Robinson Chirinos ($6,200). He sat last game since Martin Maldonado ($4,000) is the personal catcher for Gerrit Cole, but Chirinos should return behind the dish to catch Verlander. In his past two starts, Chirinos has hit a pair of homers and is averaging 19 DKFP. He also showed plenty of power upside for a catcher in the regular season, hitting 17 homers in 113 games.
If you happen to fade one of the starters or have the salary cap to get an expensive bat, Alex Bregman ($9,200) is the guy to click when building your lineup. After a slow start to the playoffs, he’s homered in two of the past four games. Bregman swinging the bat well has to be somebody to consider. He hit a career-high 41 homers in the regular season and is in the AL MVP discussion.
One final cheap bat to take a look at is Josh Reddick ($4,800), who figures to return to the lineup with the series coming back to the American League. Overall, this season has been a disappointment for Reddick. However, he’s a cheap outfielder with power upside, and we need to save the bucks to fit in the aces. Reddick has reached base the past two times he started in the series.
The total for this game is only 7.5 because of the quality of pitchers on the mound. It’s hard to argue with the DK Sportsbook on this one. Both Verlander and Strasburg ($16,200 CP) have been nearly unhittable for most of the season regardless of who the opponent is. Overall, I think the Astros have the slight advantage everywhere. The Astros’ offense had a 123 wRC+ this season against right-handed pitching compared to a 100 wRC+ for the Nationals. Verlander had a 2.58 ERA and Strasburg had a 3.32 ERA. Add this to Houston having the better bullpen, and everything tilts towards the Astros winning another World Series tonight.
Final Score: Houston 4, Washington 3
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.