For those unfamiliar with the single-game daily fantasy baseball format, scoring is identical to its full roster cousin, except you only roster hitters, and lineups consist of five flex spots. The one twist? One of the five roster spots is your designated "MVP," who receives 2-times his total fantasy points, along with a "STAR" slot that gets 1.5-times the points. Naturally, it's crucial that you choose your MVP and STAR carefully if you want to be at the top of the leaderboards when it's all said and done.
On that note, let's highlight some of the top options for today's FanDuel single-game slate.
Not a whole lot separates these two teams in Game 3, with Boston having a slight edge in implied team totals at 4.59-4.41. Jose Urquidy is taking the mound for the Astros, while Eduardo Rodriguez is getting the ball for the Sox.
This will be Urquidy's first appearance of the postseason -- he last pitched on October 3rd -- so while he'll obviously be well-rested, that's a long time to go in between starts. The right-hander enjoyed positive results in the regular season, which included a solid 4.27 SIERA and pristine 4.5% walk rate, but he also wasn't exactly a swing-and-miss machine, sporting a modest 21.3% strikeout rate.
On the other side, Rodriguez is already making his third start in these playoffs, and in typical fashion, he was knocked out early in one and performed well in the other. But if he's on his game, he's clearly the more imposing of the two starters, as he put up a 3.64 SIERA, 27.4% strikeout rate, and 7.0% walk rate in the regular season. An unlucky .363 BABIP contributed to a poor 4.74 ERA, but there's no question that E-Rod is about as inconsistent as they come.
On paper, the Red Sox have the slightly better matchup against a low-strikeout pitcher, but you never know which Rodriguez is going to show up, so it's a bit of a toss-up -- much like the implied totals would suggest.
All of the usual Boston sluggers are strong options, which include Rafael Devers ($9,000), Xander Bogaerts ($8,000), Enrique Hernandez ($6,500), J.D. Martinez ($7,000), Kyle Schwarber ($6,500), and Hunter Renfroe ($5,500).
No one has been hotter than Hernandez in these playoffs, so I wouldn't fault you for slotting him in as your MVP/STAR, but his recent play will almost certainly boost his popularity. On the other hand, while Renfroe ought to get a lot of attention as a flex play due to his low salary, he might not be a very popular MVP/STAR option due to a relatively quiet postseason to this point.
For Houston, Jose Altuve ($9,500), Carlos Correa ($8,500), and Alex Bregman ($6,500) are the top righties to attack the left-handed Rodriguez. While he hasn't been as unstoppable as Enrique Hernandez, Correa has been crushing it this postseason, as well.
As far as value plays, Michael Brantley ($5,000) will almost certainly be the lowest salaried hitter batting in the top third of either lineup, so he's someone to consider despite the lefty-lefty spot. Jake Meyers ($4,500) could start for Houston, and given his respectable .178 ISO this year, he could be worth a look at near-minimum salary.
On the Boston side, Renfroe is probably the top value as one of their best power hitters (14.4% barrel rate) despite his low spot in the batting order.