The end of the daily fantasy baseball season is technically here. There will be no more multi-game slates, as the 2018 World Series blasts off in Boston on Tuesday night and with it come seven (maybe) solo one-game showdown contests at FanDuel.
It’s still daily fantasy baseball, but it’s not quite the same. Regardless, you can compete for cash prizes in every single World Series game and that’s something to get excited about.
As far as the MLB DFS analysis is concerned, it doesn’t get much tougher than game one.
Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale are scheduled to face off, which probably means stick to the power righties and hope you get enough long balls to place. I’ll try my hand at a winning combination for Tuesday’s first game:
MVP (x1.5 points): J.D. Martinez – Boston Red Sox ($9.5k)
Martinez is the most expensive bat in a long line of them for game one, so I have no clue if he’ll be ridiculously chalky or somewhat contrarian.
I don’t really care, as he was a Triple Crown threat for a while there and he’s one of the best mashers in the game. Pivot to Mookie Betts if you want, but Martinez destroys southpaws and he’s the only active Red Sox bat that has donged Kershaw in the past.
Martinez is at home, Boston is favored, Kershaw has not been quite himself this year and he has the splits edge. Everything points to J.D. being a guy worth owning on this one-game slate and I won’t defy all of that logic tonight.
IF: Manny Machado – Los Angeles Dodgers ($9k)
I don’t go too heavy on BvsP data, but when it’s the MLB playoffs you have to take whatever information you can get. We know Machado can wreck left-handed pitching and has enjoyed a solid run in these playoffs, but it’s also worth pointing out that he’s hit Sale (1 HR, .316 BA) pretty well in his career.
OF: Joc Pederson – Los Angeles Dodgers ($6k)
Matt Kemp is a viable option (he wrecks lefties) if he starts, but if he doesn’t I don’t mind crossing my fingers that Pederson gets inserted into the lineup at some point.
There is still going to be game to be played once Sale and Kershaw are done for the night and the second Boston puts a righty on the mound they’ll turn Joc lose.
Even if he starts, I think it’ll be fun to try a lefty versus a lefty, as it simply isn’t something many people will want to do.
You need to consider fun ways to switch things up and with precious few dollars left to spend, I think using a lefty against a lefty and/or a guy who might not even start (but can mash the ball) is a fine try.
UTIL: Brian Dozier – Los Angeles Dodgers ($5.5k)
If you want the best bats, you’re going to need to try to save some cash in some manner. Dozier is far from a lock to start, but he’s dirt cheap, has mashed southpaws throughout his career and is one of the few Dodgers sticks that can say he has a good history against Chris Sale (3 HR).
Dozier might even be worth a shot if he doesn’t start, but given his success versus Sale and edge against lefties, I might need him in the initial lineup to stick with him here.
UTIL: Mitch Moreland – Boston Red Sox ($5k)
Much in the vain of Pederson, I’ll snatch up a likely low-owned Moreland at a discounted price. He’s another guy that will probably not start due to a splits disadvantage, but once Kershaw exits he could be called upon for his power versus right-handed pitchers.
My top bats are Machado and Martinez for this one and you’ll find out in a hurry you really can only afford two of your favorite studs. From there, it gets rather daunting to piece together a team you feel great about.
But this is the World Series. As nasty as the hitting is, the pitching could be even deadlier. That being said, there are two loaded offenses in a hitter’s park. We could easily get fireworks and if that happens, a few of the bats above could be involved.
Make pivots as you deem fine, but hopefully Machado and Martinez can at least get you going in the right direction. Whatever you decide, I wish you luck tonight. Enjoy the game!