This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Momentum has completely swung in the series as Houston has taken back homefield advantage and could clinch a World Series title Saturday. They'll throw out Framber Valdez, while the Phillies will turn to Zack Wheeler. That's a relatively even matchup on paper, but Wheeler has battled ongoing shoulder soreness and saw his velocity dip in his last outing. The Phillies seem concerned as they started Noah Syndergaard in a pivotal Game 5 to give Wheeler extra rest – a move that seems very unlikely if they believed he was fully healthy.
Yordan Alvarez ($14,400)
I wanted to go with Framber Valdez in this spot, but budgeting is extremely tight. If you play Valdez as Captain, it's virtually impossible to stack quality Astros hitters behind him even with punt plays like Matt Vierling and Martin Maldonado. Instead, I'm banking on Wheeler not being fully healthy and plugging in an elite Houston hitter. Alvarez is matchup-proof and is capable of homering every time he steps to the plate.
Matt Vierling ($4,400)
Even with Alvarez in place rather than Valdez, we have salary to make up which leaves us with an immediate choice. The first option is to make up all that salary in one player, or try to build a more balanced roster devoid of stars. This article is written with the idea that the Astros will win, so my priority is spending as little as possible on the Phillies while freeing up budget to stack the Astros.
Alec Bohm ($7,400)
Bohm will be our last Philly hitter. Both he and Rhys Hoskins demolished lefties during the regular season, but Bohm checks in $600 lower. In 175 PA with the handedness advantage, he maintained a .398 wOBA and .935 OPS.
Aledmys Diaz ($6,200)
Diaz essentially operates as the placeholder for a value Houston hitter. At least one of Diaz, Trey Mancini or David Hensley – potentially two – will be in the lineup. Diaz lists the largest salary of that group, and still leaves us plenty of funds to work with.
Jose Altuve ($8,600)
Now we can get back to the heavy hitters. Altuve had a slow start to the postseason, but has remained an attractive option due to his status as Houston's leadoff hitter. He's produced a strong World Series by averaging 8.0 DK points per game. Despite the combination of skills and role, Altuve is outvalued by Alvarez and Kyle Tucker.
Kyle Tucker ($9,000)
We have a few interesting choices to make here. I like Tucker in this spot because when Wheeler has struggled this season, it's come against left-handed hitters on the road. Tucker fits both criteria, and he also provides a second ministack as we'll likely be able to roster Houston's 1, 3, 6 and 7 hitters. As was mentioned, I'm bullish on the Astros chances of winning. If you're less confident in that outcome or think Philadelphia can win, we can play with the lineup. For example, paying down for Jeremy Pena ($8,200) rather than Tucker would give us Houston's top three hitters. With the savings, you could upgrade Bohm to Hoskins.