This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
While we can absolutely look at two individual showdown slates, we've got a two-game, full roster main slate available for us to win some money. During the third inning of last night's NLCS, the broadcast noted that the Padres were leading the remaining four teams with a .233 batting average. That's how tough things are offensively, and seemingly how easy it is to toss a pitcher in. Writing Friday night doesn't give me the benefit of knowing who won Game 3 in Philadelphia, thus preventing any sort of must-win type narratives. But to build your lineup, you gotta pick your paths and stick with them.
For as much as I want to tell you something different, that's almost impossible in this section. Neither Noah Syndergaard ($7,300) or Mike Clevinger ($8,800) are expected to go deep into the game. And with Clevinger priced up, there's virtually no shot at a return.
So we're choosing between Gerrit Cole ($10,500) or Cristian Javier ($9,200). The Yankees are desperate, and we should expect Cole to be elite. But the discount to Javier is pretty substantial. The Astros aren't striking out often, and I expect they'll make Cole work. The Yankees conversely are fanning liberally, which makes Javier my preferred choice. You have to go back to August 31 to find a start where he allowed more than a run, and July 6 to find more than three runs allowed.
Clevinger has a 5.46 road ERA and 5.16 FIP. That should make Bryce Harper ($4,300) an anchor, and at least as of submission, he didn't come through Friday night. But I prefer Kyle Schwarber ($3,900) regardless. He's put in work during their off time prior to this series, made adjustments, and it's working, turning in five straight double-digit FanDuel points (FDP) performances.
Manny Machado ($4,000) has put this team on his back essentially all season, and it looks like he'll need to do so again Saturday if the Padres want to even things up (Friday evening ambiguity). He's a cool 4-for-9 off of Syndergaard, whom he'll face no more than twice, but he's expected to perform in this spot.
In this area, we're really just looking for guys in the lineup with a puncher's chance at production. Martin Maldonado ($2,300) seems to fit that bill, having caught nightly in the playoffs. He's collected a hit in three straight and is 4-for-12 off of Cole lifetime. If you're a BvP guy in a small sample, Aledmys Diaz ($2,300) is 2-for-7 off of Cole with two doubles.
For as much as I covet Javier on the mound, it's irresponsible to ignore the Yankees' lineup entirely in this column. Harrison Bader ($2,900) will remain chalky given his home run binge and ascension atop the lineup, but there's equal ceilings with similarly low floors in Gleyber Torres ($3,100) and/or Giancarlo Stanton ($3,300), all of whom insulate Aaron Judge ($4,800)
Stack to Consider
Padres at Phillies (Noah Syndergaard): Juan Soto ($3,600), Brandon Drury ($3,500), Ha-Seong Kim ($2,800)
Two things in play here. 1) We build without Machado above, and get all of the pieces around him. And 2) Syndergaard has the lowest innings potential, and the Phillies bullpen that was stretched some last night gets further burned. I continue to be lost by Soto's price and lack of production. Kim gives us a cheap likely leadoff hitter, and Drury some potential pop in a run-producing spot.