This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
It's been one of the weirder World Series with home teams winless entering Game 6. If the Astros can buck that trend, they'll take the series and close with four straight wins. They opened as around -180 favorites with an over/under of 7.5 runs.
Justin Verlander ($11,000) is the favored pitcher, but there will be a lot of people who fade him given his World Series struggles, with a 0-5 record and an ERA above five in six starts. To go with that, Verlander hasn't had the best 2019 postseason, losing three of his last four starts, allowing 14 runs and six homers in the process. He had another great regular season, but he's always been prone to allowing runs early and he did that in Game 2. His overall numbers support a captain bid, though he's been slightly worse at home with a .250 wOBA allowed. Unlike when Gerrit Cole is on the mound, there are plenty of builds you can have without captaining Verlander.
The same goes for Stephen Strasburg ($10,800), because even though he was great in that first meeting, the Astros are rolling. That said, there are better reasons to captain Strasburg, especially in tournament play with Houston such a big favorite. Strasburg had 22.7 fantasy points in Game 2, striking out seven in six innings despite allowing two runs in the first inning. Those are enticing numbers, but he was in this same situation against the Dodgers and gave up three runs and two homers in the second matchup. Given Houston's talent, repeating his Game 2 performance is a tough bet and the odds show that. On the season, his worst splits have been on the road against righties, allowing a .286 wOBA and 3.61 xFIP, which is where the Astros can capitalize.
At this point, everyone on the Astros is in play because of what guys like Robinson Chirinos ($6,200), Jake Marisnick ($5,000) and Martin Maldonado ($4,000) have done in recent games. Strasburg has worse numbers against righties for the season, but you can probably throw that number out the window because half of his hits allowed in that first game were to lefty hitters Yordan Alvarez ($8,200) and Michael Brantley ($7,800). It wouldn't be a bad idea to stack lefties as Brantley has been one of the more consistent postseason players with a .386 OBP, while Alvarez broke out of a mini funk and homered last game.
If you don't use Verlander, the other play is to back all of the power bats and ride Jose Altuve ($9,400) in cash games. You know he's going to produce with a .397 OBP and five homers in the playoffs. In fact, he's yet to homer in the World Series and it'd only make sense that he changes that en route to an Astros win. Otherwise, a lot of people will stick with Alex Bregman ($9,200) because he homered in the first matchup with Strasburg. George Springer ($9,600) didn't get a hit in that first meeting, but he's always a threat to unleash with three multi-hit games and four extra-base hits (2 2B, 2 HR) in the series. Those three will be the most popular captain options and will be in the majority of lineups in cash games, though given Brantley's price and success, he's just as likely to make my lineups.
But even though Houston's bats have been better, there are plenty of ways to go for the Nationals, especially with Verlander's struggles. He's slightly worse against righties at home, but his numbers are almost even. If you want to stack guys who had the most success in Game 2, that'd be Anthony Rendon (2B, BB) ($9,800), Juan Soto (2B) ($9,000) and Kurt Suzuki (HR, 1B) ($5,800). The problem is that Suzuki is questionable with a hip injury and Yan Gomes ($4,600) doesn't have the same kind of power. As for Rendon, he's the most expensive bet, yet is 4-for-20 with two doubles in the series.
Soto is a no-brainer if you're stacking the Nationals in cash games and he'll be looking to repeat after homering in the seventh inning last game. Asdrubal Cabrera ($6,600) has a career .345 OBP against Verlander, though he struck out in all three at-bats in the first meeting. Howie Kendrick's ($8,600) price is a bit juiced because of a solid postseason, but he's done little in this series and doesn't have an extra-base hit. Adam Eaton ($7,200) is a better bounce-back candidate who singled against Verlander in Game 2. He had six hits in the first three games of this series and is a wise piece to stack with Soto or Rendon.
The only cheap starting Astros will likely be Chirinos and Josh Reddick ($4,800). Of course, Reddick has one hit in the series and hasn't done much the entire postseason. Chirinos will get more attention with two homers from four hits in his last two starts. You could bank on that happening again and captain Chirinos, but that's an extreme move.
It's a little easier to throw a Washington value player in an Astros stack that features Verlander at captain. Gomes is the cheapest choice and most logical punt, while Ryan Zimmerman ($6,000) already homered in Houston in Game 1. For those who don't captain a pitcher, Cabrera is in the sweet spot in terms of price and while he struggled in that first meeting, his success in the postseason is worth backing.