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.
Game 3 technically presents us with an all-rookie starting matchup between Luis Garcia and Ian Anderson, though both also pitched in last year's postseason. In particular, Anderson played a pivotal role in the Braves' 2020 playoff run with four starts.
Like prior playoff games, the implied totals suggest a close one, with the teams having nearly identical implied totals at 4.33 and 4.17 in slight favor of the hometown Braves.
Starting with Garcia, he stunk it up in his first two starts this postseason, but he finally bounced back in Game 6 of the ALCS, pitching 5 2/3 scoreless innings against Boston with seven strikeouts. The right-hander put up solid numbers in the regular season, owning a 3.91 SIERA, 26.4% strikeout rate, and 7.9% walk rate.
Left-handed batters should have a better chance of doing damage versus the Houston starter. Against lefties, Garcia's strikeout rate dipped to 23.7% and he gave up 1.61 home runs per nine innings.
Anderson has mostly performed well in his three playoff starts, though the Braves have been quick to pull him in his last two. Over 12 innings, he's posted a 3.86 SIERA, 24.0% strikeout rate, and 8.0% walk rate -- slightly better marks than the regular season but around what we would expect. He typically induces grounders around half the time, too, but he's only produced a 39.4% ground-ball rate so far.
Similar to Garcia, the right-handed Anderson allowed dingers at a higher rate to lefties this year (1.44 per nine innings), allowing more fly balls in the split (35.8%).
With the travel day giving everyone some extra rest, both bullpens should be well-rested, as well.
The Astros' bats rebounded in Game 2, with a popular Jose Altuve ($8,000) proving to be a difference-maker on the slate by going 2-for-5 with a home run and a double.
However, we also got a surprise high-scoring night from Atlanta's Travis d'Arnaud ($5,000) of all people, who was the only other hitter on either side to also homer. It definitely can pay dividends to go off the board on these single-game offerings.
As noted in the pitching section, the lefties on both sides should have the advantage to start the game, so that means Yordan Alvarez ($9,500), Kyle Tucker ($8,500), and Michael Brantley ($6,000) for Houston and then Freddie Freeman ($9,000), Ozzie Albies ($7,500), Eddie Rosario ($7,000), and Joc Pederson ($5,500) for Atlanta. Note that we lose the designated hitter tonight, though, so Pederson could be out of the lineup.
Alvarez and Freeman ought to be two of the most popular MVP/STAR options on the slate, so if you're rostering them in a multiplier slot, it might be wise to throw someone more contrarian in the other. On the other hand, guys like Tucker and Pederson (if he starts) aren't likely to get as much attention and are fully capable of MVP-worthy performances.
Outside of the lefties, it's the usual suspects on both sides, and Altuve will almost certainly be popular again after Wednesday's performance.
Keep in mind that the middle-to-lower order bats are getting rostered less often in the multiplier slots, so guys with home run power like Carlos Correa ($8,000), Austin Riley ($6,000), and Adam Duvall ($5,500) stand out in that regard.
Alex Bregman ($7,000) isn't quite as exciting from a power perspective, but he's still a quality bat, and his quiet postseason continues to keep him off the radar as an MVP candidate.