It looked like both the Braves and Red Sox were on their way to commanding leads in their respective series on Tuesday, but the Dodgers and Astros had other plans, flipping the script at the last minute with late-inning comebacks. All four teams are back at it again tonight in what could be the final two-game slate of the year.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Ultimately, none of last night's four starters put up particularly great FanDuel scores, with Charlie Morton topping out at a modest 24 points.
We could see lower scores again tonight between the likes of Julio Urias ($9,000), Chris Sale ($8,600), and Framber Valdez ($8,400). The Braves are planning a bullpen game, effectively taking them out of the mix.
So, yeah, this isn't a lot to work with. Urias might normally be the top pick, but after making a relief appearance in Game 2, it's hard to say how long he'll be out there. That leaves us with Sale and Valdez and... not a lot of confidence.
Dating back to the regular season, Sale has now failed to reach three innings in three straight starts as he struggles to find his form when Boston needs it most. Specifically, he's lacked confidence in his changeup, seldom throwing it and effectively turning him into a two-pitch pitcher.
But Sale did post a 28.4% strikeout rate over his nine regular-season starts, and if he does manage to figure things out at the 11th hour, he easily possesses the most upside of tonight's options.
Meanwhile, Valdez was dispatched after just 2 2/3 innings in Game 1, and he only went 4 1/3 innings in his ALDS start. His 21.9% strikeout rate and 10.1% walk rate don't exactly endear him to MLB DFS, but under these dire circumstances, we can still look at his otherworldly 70.3% ground-ball to potentially quiet the Sox, who finally came back down to earth in Game 4.
Additionally, given how few innings the Astros have gotten out of their starters, you can bet they'll keep Valdez out there for as long as possible if he's doing well.
So, pick your poison between Sale and Valdez, and if you envision a scenario where both fail, then Urias is your de facto third option, with the hopes he's given a longer leash than expected.
It was only a matter of time before Boston's bats cooled off, but it was surprising to see them completely disappear in a matchup with everything pointing in their favor last night. Baseball!
But they once again have the highest implied total on the board (4.87), and we already saw them knock Valdez out early in this series. Boston should be popular again, but perhaps their spectacular flop will make them slightly less chalky, at least.
Against the lefty, we can prioritize Xander Bogaerts ($3,900), J.D. Martinez ($3,600), Enrique Hernandez ($3,800), and Hunter Renfroe ($2,600), but given the shortened outings of these Houston starters, the lefties are fair game, too. Kyle Schwarber ($3,100) is way under-salaried again, and Rafael Devers ($4,200) is always a no-brainer for his power.
The Dodgers are right there with the Sox, though, as they're sporting a solid 4.66 implied total against Atlanta's bullpen. Everyone should be available in the Braves' bullpen, so it's hard to look to any specific matchups, but we know this lineup is viable from top to bottom. You don't need any extra incentive to play Mookie Betts ($4,100) and Corey Seager ($3,700).
There's quite a bit of value here, too, as Trea Turner ($3,400) and Justin Turner ($2,900) have seen their salaries dip in a quiet postseason for both, while Cody Bellinger ($2,400) and Gavin Lux ($2,100) remain straight-up in the bargain bin. Will Smith ($3,200) should also be popular in the heart of the order.
Houston's sluggers finally came alive late on Tuesday, and they could have another strong showing with the way Sale has struggled of late. Similar to the Sox, the core righties of Jose Altuve ($4,100), Carlos Correa ($3,600), and Alex Bregman ($3,000) are a good place to start, but if you're stacking the Astros, you're assuming Sale is out early, so power lefties Kyle Tucker ($3,900) and Yordan Alvarez ($3,500) are just as important.
Lastly, Atlanta has the lowest implied total (3.34), so that theoretically could lower the roster percentages for some/most of their players. Hopefully, that includes Freddie Freeman ($3,600) in his lefty-lefty spot against Urias.
Despite the low total, we shouldn't rule out an overworked Urias having a rough outing, which could make the Braves the closest thing to a contrarian stack. Cheap lower-order power hitters like Adam Duvall ($2,600) and Joc Pederson ($2,500) may somewhat fly under the radar considering all the value on the slate.