The Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves meet up tonight in Game 2, with the first pitch set for 7:38 p.m. EST.
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.
Max Scherzer and Ian Anderson are the scheduled starters, and the implied totals are 3.23 for the Braves and 4.27 for the Dodgers.
Scherzer was excellent all year, and he ended the regular season with a 2.91 SIERA and 34.1% strikeout rate in 179 1/3 innings. He's 37 years old and might be an alien. In 12 1/3 innings in the NLDS, Scherzer fanned 16 while allowing two earned runs.
Needless to say, this is a rough matchup for the Braves. And while it's fair to wonder about Scherzer's workload after he closed out Game 5 with some high-stress pitches, he's one of the few hurlers in the game who probably has a long leash in the postseason. If he's on, LA will likely ride him, and even if the first few innings don't go well, the Dodgers will probably give him a chance to right the ship.
As for Anderson, he's becoming a postseason stud. He was a monster last playoffs, and he tossed five frames of shutout ball in the NLDS.
But the Dodgers' offense is undoubtedly the more appealing one to roster. Even though Anderson is good, he's not Scherzer. Anderson was a tad underwhelming in the regular season, recording a 4.38 SIERA and 23.2% strikeout rate. He doesn't have any noticeable splits, and as we saw in the NLDS, even if he's locked in, he's unlikely to work super deep into this game.
I normally like to go with a 3-2 strategy on single-gamers -- meaning three bats from one team and two from the other. You have to assume the masses will be heavy on the Dodgers' hitters -- the top five bats are all LA sticks, per our projections -- and I could see a lot of people using four of them in an effort to avoid Scherzer as much as possible. While it's hard to argue too much with that, baseball is weird, and I'll stick to mostly 3-2 lineups.
You don't need to worry too much about which players will be popular in the multiplier spots. Because of how many viable options there are for those places in a baseball game and the fact we need just two multipliers (a STAR and MVP), no one is going to be crazy chalky as the MVP -- as opposed to what we see with single-game slates in NBA and NFL.
We're not lacking high-upside options, with Mookie Betts ($9,500), Trea Turner ($8,500), Freddie Freeman ($9,000) and Ozzie Albies ($7,500) all being fantastic players who are superb picks in either of the multiplier spits. Turner and Betts offer a power/speed combo that's easy to like, and I think stacking them in the MVP/STAR slots will be a popular tactic.
Gavin Lux ($4,500), Cody Bellinger ($5,500) and Corey Seager ($7,500) are left-handed bats who will have the platoon advantage versus Anderson.
The slate's top point-per-dollar bats, according to our model, are Justin Turner ($6,500), Will Smith ($6,000) and Dansby Swanson ($5,000).