Entering tonight’s World Series Game 6 from Minute Maid Park in Houston, there’s one thing we do know: at most, there are two MLB DFS slates left in 2019. We have a dynamite pitching matchup on tap with Stephen Strasburg set to collide with Justin Verlander, but with the Astros listed as -180 favorites to win the World Series tonight, there’s a good chance that this is indeed the final MLB slate of the 2019 campaign.
If that’s indeed the case, I just wanted to thank you for following along with my MLB DFS Picks this season. It’s been a real pleasure delivering these picks throughout what can be a long and arduous MLB DFS season, but it’s certainly been a fun and rewarding ride.
Let’s perhaps close out the season on a profitable note!
MVP – Trea Turner (WAS) – $7,500 vs. HOU
For GPP reasons, I am going to be utilizing a four-man Nationals stack tonight in hopes that Washington can find their offense from Games 1 and 2 in Houston, the latter in which they tagged Verlander for four runs in six innings of work, including another home run allowed for the fly-ball-prone Verlander. He’s now allowed six homers in 30.1 postseason innings here in 2019, good for a 1.79 HR/9 clip. While Turner certainly has pop in his bat as he slugged 19 homers with a dead-even .200 ISO in the regular season, I’m more interested in his cross-category production and even more specifically, the stolen base upside. For whatever reason, the Nationals haven’t ran much at all on these Houston starters, but if they want to survive another night I believe they have to get aggressive on force the issue tonight. I mean, Turner swiped 35 bases despite missing significant time early in the season with a thumb injury. He stole 43 last season and 48 in 2017 – a season in which he appeared in just 98 games. This guy can run. He has just one stolen base in these playoffs and zero over his last four games. Furthermore, Astros catcher Robinson Chirinos caught jubst 21% of would-be base stealers this season. Why they haven’t run more is beyond me, but look for that to change tonight and I want to double up on Turner’s fantasy points in this MVP spot as a result.
All-Star – Victor Robles (WAS) – $5,500 vs. HOU
The strategy continues here with Robles while we get a wrap-around stack here as Robles is once against projected hit down in the nine-hole with Turner behind him out of the leadoff spot tonight. Like his teammate above, Robles carries some serious power/speed upside as he hit 17 homers to go along with 28 stolen bases in his rookie season here in 2019. Also like Turner, Robles has just one stolen base in these playoffs – in Game 3 of this World Series. That also went down as his lone stolen base attempt of the postseason. The bat has been solid in these playoffs as well. He’s hitting .242 with a decent .730 OPS to this point with one homer, one double and one triple. Robles has just one multi-hit effort in these playoffs, but he’s also recorded a hit in eight of 10 games as well. He’s striking out a lot and not walking much, but that’s to be expected given his regular season numbers in those departments. That said, I’m here for the home run power in a venue that favors right-handed home runs while I certainly want that stolen base upside. I truly believe the Nationals will put more pressure on the Astros’ defense if they want to survive. For good measure, they ranked third with 116 regular season stolen bases this season, so let’s look for them to use their speed to their advantage in a do-or-die situation this evening.
UTIL – Ryan Zimmerman (WAS) – $6,500 vs. HOU
Ryan Zimmerman was the first draft pick the Washington Nationals used after moving to D.C. from Montreal, so from a nostalgic strandpoint, I think he gets the job done. From a numbers standpoint, I also think he can get the job done against a home-run prone pitcher in Verlander tonight. The veteran first baseman has parked two dingers in these playoffs so far to go along with three doubles. After Game 3 of this Fall Classic, Zimmerman was hitting .302 with an .845 OPS in the playoffs. A couple of hitless efforts later and his .265 average and .757 OPS may not look all that attractive. Still, he’s a .279 hitter with an .802 OPS in his postseason career, so this guy produces when it matters the most. Zimmerman’s regular season was cut significantly short by injury and when he was healthy he hit left-handed pitching much better than he did righties, however let’s keep in mind he also homered off of Gerrit Cole of all people in this series, so I’m okay with throwing regular season splits out the door in this scenario. The moment won’t be too big for Zimmerman tonight and something tells me he could be a big part of a Nationals victory with the pop that remains in his bat.
UTIL – Asdrubal Cabrera (WAS) – $6,000 vs. HOU
The lone left-handed bat in this lineup – at least to start tonight given the right-handed Verlander on the mound as a switch-hitter – Cabrera is the Nationals’ leader in experience facing Verlander and I’m lookin for that to prevail in this one tongiht. Back in the starting lineup with the DH available in Houston, Cabrera will look to turn his fortunes at the plate around in this one tonight. He enters tonight’s Game 6 sporting a .261 average and .584 OPS for these playoffs with just one extra-base hit to his credit – a double in Game 3. In Game 2 – a game started by Verlander – Cabrera went 2 for 5 with three RBI and a run scored – by far his best game at the plate of these playoffs. He’s now stepped to the plate 89 times in his career against the future Hall of Famer, registering 79 at-bats in that time. He’s gone 21 for 79 (.266) with three homers and six doubles against him, good for a nice .190 ISO and .789 OPS. Those are some impressive numbers considering just how dominant Verlander has been throughout a lengthy big league career. Minute Maid Park in Houston isn’t overly friendly to the left-handed home run, but it is spacious out there some extra-base homer is still very much in play for a guy who’s enjoyed extra-base success against his opponent.
UTIL – Alex Bregman (HOU) – $9,500 vs. WAS
Hey, I could afford him, so why not use Bregman who had a huge Game 4 for the Astros in hitting a grand slam – his third homer of the playoffs and now his second over the last four games. Bregman is hitting just .228 for the postseason, but also owns an .801 OPS thanks to a huge OBP and a trio of doubles as well. He’s not exactly known for his speed, but Bregman did steal five bases in the regular season and has one in these playoffs, so we can’t exactly rule that portion of his game out, either. There’s little doubt that the Astros could be in tough tonight against Strasburg who has been brilliant in these playoffs, but we’re also talking about the guy who’s enjoyed the most success against him among all the Astros players. It’s a small sample, but Bregman has gone 3 for 6 with a homer and a double against him, good for a .667 ISO and 1.667 OPS. He’s the only current Astro who has hit a home run off of him. Sure, the regular season splits favored left-handed pitching, but he also posted a .256 ISO and .945 OPS against righties – certainly nothing to sneeze at. Out of the projected cleanup spot tonight, I’ll look for Bregman’s bat to be as dangerous as ever on the cusp of his second World Series in three years.