This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
The Astros will look to close out a championship Saturday evening, while the Phillies will look to regain their mojo and force a Game 7. I'm not sure what the right word is to describe Philadelphia right now, but the wind looks like it's out of their sails. After launching five homers in Game 3, they've scored just twice in the last 18 innings, collecting just six hits. Pitching not withstanding, I assume most lineup builds are going to be heavily Astro focused.
It's a rematch of Game 2 starters, and the Phillies have their best option on the bump in Zack Wheeler, though Houston did get him for four runs across five innings previously. The Astros counter with lefty Framber Valdez, who limited Philadelphia to one run and four hits across 6.1 innings, striking out nine. That's on the heals of striking out 10 across five two-hit, shutout innings during the last week of the regular season against Philly. Valdez has allowed just three runs and 12 hits total this postseason. Philadelphia does have some positive splits we can target against left-handers, but given Valdez' dominance, perhaps not over-aggressively.
As always, this is not a five-man lineup. Of course, it can be, but that's not the purpose of the selections. Rather, it's some different thoughts and/or value that allow you to pay up for the big names.
Finally – this will be my be my final baseball column of the year. Sincerest of thank-yous to everyone who's read at any point this season. See y'all again in the spring!
Alex Bregman, HOU vs. PHI ($7,500): Bregman has only four hits in the series, but all four have gone for extra bases with three doubles and a homer, and he's finding other ways to put up fantasy points, driving in four while walking and scoring three times each, adding a stolen base for good measure. The lack of contact could make him a risky multiplier, as there is a chance at a zero, something he hasn't done in the series. He's averaged 14.3 FanDuel points (FDP) through five games, and with his price $2,000 less than Yordan Alvarez, I see no reason not to take the discount.
Jeremy Pena, HOU vs. PHI ($6,500): If I had a vote for World Series MVP, I'm giving it to Pena through five games. He's hit safely in all five games, including five in the last two as Houston gained control, going 9-for-21 overall with a homer, two doubles, three RBI and four runs scored. He's thriving hitting in the 2-hole between Houston's bigger names, but with a price that hasn't moved the entire series, he's surely going to be heavily targeted. The only way to use him and differentiate too is to toss him into a multiplier spot.
Rhys Hoskins, PHI at HOU ($7,000): Here's the first of our right vs. left splits. Hoskins had a .402 wOBA, 162 wRC+, .272 ISO and .945 OPS against lefties during the regular season, leading Philly regulars. He's just 3-for-21 in the series, thanks to a current 0-for-9 skid, but he does have a homer, which is about what we'd expect from a guy that hit .239 during the regular season but launched 36 bombs.
Alec Bohm, PHI at HOU ($6,000): Here is the other piece of those positive RvL splits. Bohm was just a notch behind Hoskins during the regular season, posting a .398 wOBA, 158 wRC+, .189 ISO and .935 OPS of opposite-handed arms. He's 5-for-18 with a homer in the series, adding a couple of walks and three RBI. I'm absolutely not suggesting using both Hoskins and Bohm simply based on their splits. But it's an angle, and I like using one side in a 4-1 Astro/Philly build. Bohm is cheaper, seemingly in better form and could have an equal ceiling. Hoskins' appeal may come back to lower usage as a less than perfect play.
Christian Vazquez, HOU at PHI ($5,000): This is a complete dart throw. But what do the Astros do if Yuli Gurriel ($5,500) can't play Saturday? Trey Mancini ($6,000) is somehow more expensive despite not having a hit all postseason. This team was already struggling to find any production out of it's DH, and they've been reluctant to use both of their catchers in the starting lineup as they didn't roster a third. But Gurriel's potential absence would leave Houston with two holes in their lineup, potentially giving Vazquez a chance to impact.