FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: World Series Game 6
There were some unusual twists and turns to get here, but we're nearing the end of the 2020 MLB season, with the Los Angeles Dodgers one win away from a World Series championship over the Tampa Bay Rays. In a must-win Game 6, the Rays will try to extend the series with Blake Snell, while the Dodgers will counter with Tony Gonsolin.
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
In his Game 2 start, Snell cruised through the first the first four innings without allowing a hit, but he would ultimately fail to get out of the fifth, finishing with 2 earned runs, 4 walks, and 9 strikeouts in 4.2 innings.
While the results have been mostly positive, Snell's postseason has been a mixed bag, putting together a 4.30 SIERA, 28.0% strikeout rate, and 14.0% walk rate over five starts. And much like that last outing demonstrated, the Rays have been quick to pull Snell at the first sign of danger, as he's yet to log six full innings even once in 2020.
Home runs have also been an issue for Snell this season, which includes coughing up 5 dingers in his 24.1 postseason innings (1.85 per 9.0 innings). He's still racking up punchouts, but the hope here is that he issues some free passes and LA can cash in with the long ball.
The Dodgers are showing a solid 4.56 implied total, and prioritizing right-handed batters is the logical way to go against the southpaw. Mookie Betts ($9,000) will be the popular and obvious choice at MVP, while Justin Turner ($8,000) and Will Smith ($6,500) are the other top righties in the lineup.
Chris Taylor ($6,000) bats low in the order, but he has one of the cheaper salaries on LA and is a safer play than A.J. Pollock ($5,000) or Enrique Hernandez ($4,000), who are likely to get pinch-hit for once Snell is out. Taylor homered off Snell in Game 2.
Considering Snell will probably go only four or five innings, we shouldn't be shy about rostering the Dodgers' top lefty sticks, too. It's hard to argue against Corey Seager ($9,500), who's slashing .344/.434/.781 in the playoffs with 8 home runs. He's definitely in the mix for the MVP spot. Cody Bellinger ($7,500) and Max Muncy ($7,000) are slightly riskier bets but remain nightly home run threats.
Tampa Bay Rays
Gonsolin logged just 1.1 innings as an opener in Game 2, so it wouldn't be surprising to see a similar approach tonight. Dave Roberts has said only Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Julio Urias won't be available to pitch in Game 6.
However, unlike last time, Gonsolin will be pitching on full rest, so it's possible he's treated more like a traditional starter, or at least gets one turn through the order. And while he performed well in the regular season, the Rays probably wouldn't mind if he sticks around longer this time around.
Over his three playoff appearances (7.2 innings), the right-hander has a 25.0% strikeout rate but has also mustered a rather unsightly 5.94 SIERA and 19.4% walk rate. It's a small sample, of course, but Gonsolin hasn't been effective in any of his outings, giving up a home run in all three appearances.
Gonsolin's regular season splits suggest an advantage to left-handed batters, against whom he put up a less imposing 4.42 xFIP and 22.2% strikeout rate. Brandon Lowe ($7,500) is the logical name to circle, and his power has come alive in this series with three home runs in the last four games. One of those dingers came off Gonsolin, too.
Unless you're mass multi-entering tournaments, Arozarena and Lowe are the only two Rays to seriously consider at MVP.
Beyond Lowe, Ji-Man Choi ($5,000) and Kevin Kiermaier ($6,000) are the other top lefties to include. Choi, like most Rays hitters, is always a risk to get lifted late in the game, but it's hard to argue with the salary out of the cleanup spot. On the other hand, Kiermaier should play the whole game, which has value in and of itself.
Austin Meadows ($6,500) has been brutal in the playoffs (.125/.160/.250) and wasn't really himself in the regular season, either. If he's batting leadoff, he has to be in the mix by default, but it's hard to have much faith in him these days.
If you're going for a full stack on the Rays' side, Manuel Margot ($7,000) is arguably the best of the rest. He's been hitting well in the playoffs, bats in the heart of the order, and has stolen-base upside. Mike Zunino ($4,500) will give you a goose egg on most nights, but he'll launch one into the outfield seats here and there, which isn't the worst gamble at near minimum salary.