FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: World Series Game 1
Despite having a 16-team playoff format that was ripe for upsets in this abridged season, we naturally end up with the two number one seeds in the World Series. Game 1 will feature Tyler Glasnow versus Clayton Kershaw with a modest 7.5 over/under.
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
Glasnow posted an excellent 3.04 SIERA, 38.2% strikeout rate, and 9.2% walk rate during the regular season and has put up similarly strong peripherals numbers in the postseason. But he's also been prone to giving up home runs in 2020, allowing 1.73 per 9.0 innings prior to the playoffs and then coughing up six in his four postseason starts (19.1 innings).
Surprisingly, most of the home runs have come against right-handed batters, but that actually falls under his career norms, as Glasnow tends to induce more grounders to lefty sticks. This season, he's given up a 35.9% hard-hit rate and 49.2% fly-ball rate in same-sided matchups.
Mookie Betts ($9,000) is an obvious top candidate for the MVP slot in general, but this should push us even more towards him. This also gives us added incentive to roster guys like Justin Turner ($7,000), Will Smith ($6,500), A.J. Pollock ($5,000), and Chris Taylor ($4,500).
Smith hasn't had a great postseason, but with a career .306 ISO over the past two seasons, he works as a potential contrarian MVP choice in what could be a low-scoring game where solo shots rule the day. Pollock and Taylor are obvious salary-savers in the lineup, so they ought to be popular from that perspective.
And while the matchup doesn't favor them, Corey Seager ($9,500), Cody Bellinger ($8,000), and Max Muncy ($7,500) all need to be mixed in, as all three have the power to put forward an MVP-level performance. Just know that they might be riskier than usual against Glasnow.
Tampa Bay Rays
Kershaw obviously makes for a difficult matchup on paper, but he struggled in Game 4 of the NLCS after getting scratched with a back issue in Game 2. It's entirely possible he's less than 100%. Still, he's otherwise performed well in these playoffs and owned a 3.22 SIERA, 28.1% strikeout rate, and 3.6% walk rate during the regular season.
Arozarena leads the postseason with seven dingers, so expect him to have one of the highest roster percentages in the MVP slot, but it's also hard to argue against having exposure.
After him, things get a little more tricky as Michael Brosseau ($4,500) and Hunter Renfroe ($6,000) have excellent power against lefties but could be removed for a pinch-hitter late, while Brandon Lowe ($7,500) gets a less-than-ideal lefty-lefty matchup. The good news is that this is a far cheaper lineup overall than that Dodgers.
In general, this feels like a spot where you either go all-in and stack up the Rays in different combinations and hope Kershaw gets shelled, or you go light on them with Arozarena or a cheap Rays bat as a one-off.