We enjoyed a real nice night with our most recent edition of my FanDuel MLB DFS Picks as we got some serious production out of some low-owned Nationals bats.
I had a gut feeling that Kurt Suzuki’s power from the regular season that seemed to be evading him in the postseason would show up against the home run-prone Justin Verlander on Wednesday, and that was indeed the case as Suzuki parked a solo homer as part of the Nats’ Game 2 route of the Astros. He added single in that one as well out of our All-Star spot.
Our captain, Juan Soto, stayed red-hot at the plate with another double while he added a pair of walks and a pair of runs out of the MVP spot of our lineup.
Like Suzuki, Asdrubal Cabrera did some damage at low ownership as he singled twice, knocked in three runs and scored a run himself to give us fantastic value.
The reliable Jose Altuve enjoyed a three-hit night that included a double while Yordan Alvarez singled and walked in that one.
It was a real nice night on Wednesday and we’ll look to keep it going on tonight’s Game 3 World Series slate!
MVP – Alex Bregman (HOU) – $8,500 vs. WAS
Alex Bregman admitted that he was terrible in Game 1 of the World Series and vowed to rake in Game 2, and rake he did as he hit a two-run homer in his first at-bat of the game to temporarily draw the Astros even in that contest, although the long ball would go down as his lone hit of the night. That said, that homer marked the first long ball for the AL MVP candidate since Game 2 of the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays, and something tells me he might have caught fire in Game 2 of this one and go on a little bit of a tear as the series switches to Nationals Park tonight in Washington. Bregman and the Astros will take on right-hander Anibal Sanchez who has been legitimately almost unhittable in these playoffs, however Bregman has simply raked all season long regardless of who is on the mound or what arm they’re throwing with. His numbers were superior against lefties, but I’m not about to sneeze at Bregman’s .256 ISO, .945 OPS, .397 wOBA and 154 wRC+ on the season against righties, either. He also hit righties to the tune of a .307 ISO, 1.044 OPS, .430 wOBA and 176 wRC+ on the road in the regular season as well. I am feeling a big night for Bregman in this Game 3 when his team needs him the most.
All-Star – Michael Brantley (HOU) – $6,500 vs. WAS
For whatever reason, Brantley’s power has evaded him in the playoffs so far as an ALDS home run against the Rays has gone down as his lone extra-base hit in the postseason to this point, but he’s certainly due to hit for some power in the very near future and his bat has been a reliable one nonetheless in these playoffs and in this series as well. His slugging percentage is down at just .340 for the postseason, but Brantley is hitting .280 with a .357 OBP in the playoffs and is coming off another two-hit effort from Game 2 while he scored a run in that one as well. The multi-hit effort was the fifth time he’s done so in these playoffs across 13 games. The lefty-swinging Brantley of course did his best work against right-handed pitching in the regular season as he posted a .323 average, .226 ISO, .928 OPS, .385 wOBA and 146 wRC+ on the season against righties while his numbers ticked up every so slightly on the road against righties. Minute Maid Park in Houston is an unfavorable venue for left-handed home run hitting, so perhaps the park shift to Nationals Park tonight can net Brantley his second home run of the postseason in this one tonight.
UTIL – Yuli Gurriel (HOU) – $7,000 vs. WAS
With this three-man Astros stack it appears we will get the three, four and five-hole hitters in the lineup tonight off of Anibal Sanchez. I mentioned during the Astros’ ALCS battle with the Yankees that Gurriel was due for some better fortune at the plate as he was hitting the ball extremely hard but continued to hit his line drives right at outfielders. Gurriel enjoyed a two-hit night in the Astros’ Game 6 clincher over the Yankees before notching a two-hit night in Game 1 of this series including a double. Gurriel added another double in Wednesday night’s Game 2 as well, keeping his playoff OPS on the rise. The overall slash line in these playoffs still leaves a lot to be desired despite a quality hard-hit rate, however I like the reverse-splits matchup we’re getting with Gurriel in this one tonight, the same reverse-splits that netted him two doubles over his last two games. The righty-swinging Gurriel posted a .244 ISO, .916 OPS, .376 wOBA and 140 wRC+ against right-handers this season, the latter three of which are notably higher than his marks against lefties. He’s swinging the bat with plenty of confidence and I’ll look for the extra-base-hit train to continue to chug along in this one tonight.
UTIL – Adam Eaton (WAS) – $7,000 vs. HOU
The Nationals have an opportunity to put a big-time stranglehold on the World Series tonight with a victory, and they’ll take on right-hander Zack Greinke in attempting to do so tonight. Greinke is coming off his best outing of the playoffs in Game 4 against the Yankees in the ALCS, however it was a short one as he pitched 4.1 innings of one-run ball, although he walked four in that one as well. Still, the right-hander owns a career 6.43 ERA in these playoffs and allowed five home run in his first two starts of the playoffs. Speaking of home runs, Eaton hit his first of the postseason in Wednesday’s Game 2 win, a two-run shot into the right field seats. It was just the fourth extra-base hit of the playoffs for Eaton who also brings some stolen base potential into this one to go along with his pop. Eaton hit 15 home runs and stole another 15 bases in the regular season His lefty/righty splits were actually fairly even from the regular season, but his best work came at home against righties where he hit them for a .175 ISO, .862 OPS, .371 wOBA and 127 wRC+. He also swiped 11 of his 15 bases against right-handed pitching as well, so I’ll take Eaton out of the two-hole to provide more spark to the Nats’ offense tonight.
UTIL – Howie Kendrick (WAS) – $6,000 vs. HOU
Hey, remember this guy? You know, the guy who sent the Nationals into the NLCS before winning the NLCS MVP award? Kendrick went two games without a hit leading up to Game 2 of the World Series, but got back on the right track with a two-hit effort that included an RBI and a run scored as part of that Nats route of the Astros. He’s now posted a solid .277 average and .746 OPS for these playoffs, with a homer and four doubles to his credit. Kendrick hit lefties better than he did righties in the regular season, but I think his .327 average, .221 ISO, .930 OPS, .385 wOBA and 136 wRC+ against righties is just fine for this matchup with Greinke tonight. Furthermore, Kendrick’s best work this regular season came at home. He posted a .264 ISO, 1.068 OPS, .442 wOBA and 171 wRC+ at home this season as well as a .233 ISO, 1.032 OPS, .431 wOBA and 166 wRC+ at home against right-handed pitching. His three-double game at home in Game 3 of the NLCS against the Cardinals earned him that NLCS MVP award. He’s recorded a multi-hit game in four of his last eight contests and I’ll be looking for him to keep his excellent postseason going in this one tonight.