This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
Justin Verlander is getting the chance to close out the series for the Astros, which looks like a tall task given his postseason form. Verlander allowed four runs and seven hits over six innings in Game 2, a pretty standard line over his last four outings. Since seven innings of one-hit ball against Tampa in the ALDS, Verlander has allowed 14 runs and 24 hits across 23.1 innings. The strikeouts have been there (27) but so have home runs, as Verlander has surrendered six long balls.
Stephen Strasburg counters for the Nationals. He's earned wins in four of his five postseason appearances, flashing the dominance that he showed most of the regular season, which included a 3.17 xFIP and 30.4 percent strikeout rate in the second half. He has allowed three long balls in his last three outings, and has surrendered seven runs and 25 hits in five outings during October, fanning 40 across 28.0 innings.
The Astros (-168) are heavy favorites, and we've got a low run total of seven.
Alex Bregman ($9,500) is the highest-priced option, but he has been feast or famine in this series. He's just 4-for-22 through five games, though he's driven in seven thanks to two homers. It's resulted in 60.9 FDP when he's connected, and just three when he hasn't. George Springer ($9,000) has been shut out only once in five games thanks to an ability to walk and steal bases, and is the safer cash game MVP target, as is Jose Altuve ($8,500), who's reached base safely in every postseason game to date. The deep Astro lineup gives us Michael Brantley ($7,500) to consider as well, as he's gone 8-of-20 in the World Series, although he has only has two RBI and three runs scored.
Washington scored only three runs in three games at home, posting 17 hits in the process, so we're not going to find many positive trends. Juan Soto ($8,000) and Anthony Rendon ($8,000) are the obvious targets to build a Nationals-heavy lineup around. Soto has seven hits in five games and double-digit fantasy points in three of five during the Series, while Rendon has only four hits and two RBI. Trea Turner ($7,500), Adam Eaton ($7,000) and Ryan Zimmerman ($6,500) are all hitless in the last two games, making them obvious contrarian/GPP options – or continued non-factors.
I'm not willing to risk Yordan Alvarez ($6,000) for cash lineups despite his 3-for-3 showing in Game 5. Yuli Gurriel ($5,500) is the far better play, having hit safely in every game and going 7-of-22 overall, though the price will lead to very high ownership. Carlos Correa ($7,000) has scored in three straight, averaging 14.5 FDP in the process. Robinson Chirinos ($5,500) figures to return behind the plate after Martin Maldonado ($4,000) caught Game 5, and Josh Reddick ($4,500) is likely to slot into the lineup with the DH spot available, giving the Astros an extra left-handed bat.
Asdrubal Cabrera ($6,000) and Howie Kendrick ($4,500) both figure to find their way into the lineup unless Davy Martinez tries something new to spark the slumping offense. Yan Gomes ($4,000) offers a cheap option if Kurt Suzuki ($5,000) remains sidelined by a hip flexor issue.