This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
The World Series continues Wednesday, with the Nationals and Astros facing off in Game 2 at 8:07 PM Eastern time in Houston. Read on to see which players are primed for success.
Both of these teams have two aces, so the Game 2 Stephen Strasburg - Justin Verlander matchup doesn't look any more appealing for hitters than the Game 1 Max Scherzer - Gerrit Cole clash did. Verlander owns a 3.26 ERA in 176.2 career playoff innings, while Strasburg has a 1.10 mark in 41.0 postseason frames. Houston has the better bullpen, so the advantage goes to the Astros once the starters get out of the game.
Verlander's weakness has been the long ball — he was tagged for a career-worst 36 home runs in the regular season and gave up two home runs in a four-run first inning to the Yankees before settling down in his ALCS Game 5 loss last time out. It thus makes sense to lock in Washington's top power hitters. Game 1 hero Juan Soto ($8,000) has the platoon advantage against the righty and tied Anthony Rendon ($8,500) for the team lead in regular-season home runs at 34, plus Soto went deep in a three-hit, three-RBI effort in the series opener. NLCS MVP Howie Kendrick ($6,500) hit 17 long balls to go with a .344/.395/.572 line in the regular season, and he's been arguably the hottest hitter for Washington dating back to Game 5 of the NLDS.
The Astros will be looking to respond after dropping the series opener, but they can take solace in the fact that their best players have often come through in the biggest moments. ALCS MVP Jose Altuve ($9,500) didn't do much in Game 1, but he remains a worthy option for your MVP spot after posting a 1.281 OPS in the ALDS and 1.097 OPS in the ALCS. George Springer ($8,500) is no stranger to postseason heroics, and he stepped up in Game 1 with a home run and an RBI double. Yuli Gurriel ($6,500) had been slumping for much of the playoffs after racking up a .376 wOBA in righty-on-righty matchups during the regular season, but he's come alive with a three-run homer in Game 6 of the ALCS and a two-run double in Game 1 of this series.
Ryan Zimmerman ($5,000) went deep in Game 1, and he remains a home run threat here. Kurt Suzuki ($5,500) has spent the majority of his career in the AL, so he's seen plenty of Verlander and is 14-for-42 against him in his career.
Yordan Alvarez ($6,000) has been essentially useless all postseason, but he finally showed signs of life with two hits and a walk in Game 1. This could be a nice buy-low opportunity on the left-handed slugger, who will have the platoon advantage against Strasburg and posted a 1.067 OPS in 87 regular-season contests.