The Atlanta Braves got out to an early lead and never looked back to get a 6-2 win over the Houston Astros in Game 1.
While the contest lacked drama in terms of the final score, Atlanta starter Charlie Morton was the big story, as he was injured on a comebacker and ultimately threw 16 pitches on a broken leg before exiting in the third inning. Morton has been ruled out for the rest of the series.
Tonight's Game 2 festivities get underway at 8:09 pm ET again.
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.
As of this writing, there's next to nothing separating tonight's implied totals, with Houston getting the minuscule nod at 4.29-4.21.
Still, the starting pitching matchup arguably works in Atlanta's favor. Left-hander Max Fried will be the Braves' champion tonight, and he comes in with an excellent 2.99 SIERA, 24.3% strikeout rate, 2.9% walk rate, and 44.0% ground-ball rate over his three postseason outings, though he did stumble in his most recent start in Game 5 of the NLCS.
Fried produced a 23.7% strikeout rate in the regular season and also exhibited a low 6.1% walk rate, so his postseason marks aren't far off from what we would expect. He did induce more grounders prior to the playoffs (51.8%), though, so it's possible he improves in that area.
On the other hand, Houston's Jose Urquidy enters with more question marks. He's made only one appearance in the playoffs, and it was a forgettable one, lasting just 1 2/3 innings while coughing up 5 earned runs in the ALCS.
He performed pretty well in the regular season, though, recording a 4.27 SIERA, 21.3% strikeout rate, and 4.5% walk rate. The modest strikeout rate suggests that he won't exactly be blowing by the Braves' hitters even if he's in good form.
As for the bullpens, the only guys who may not be available are A.J. Minter (Braves) and Jake Odorizzi (Astros), who both logged over 40 pitches on Tuesday.
Last night's game once again proved that fading the big stars in your multiplier slots can go a long way on these single-game slates.
While Yordan Alvarez ($9,500), Freddie Freeman ($9,000), and Jose Altuve ($8,500) were among the most popular MVPs, it was instead Jorge Soler ($6,000) and Adam Duvall ($5,500) who would slug the game's two dingers.
While Duvall was a popular flex play at his salary, both Braves players were mostly afterthoughts in the multiplier slots, so those who put their faith in Soler and Duvall as an MVP/STAR pairing were greatly rewarded.
Perhaps the chalky plays win out this time around, but don't be afraid to get a little weird in your lineup builds.
Regarding matchups, despite pitching right-handed, Urquidy has been much more susceptible to home runs against right-handed batters this season (1.82 per nine innings), and that's actually been the case throughout his young career. This is due in no small part to giving up a massive 50.3% fly-ball rate this season.
That gives us more incentive to go back to Soler and Duvall, and Austin Riley ($6,500) would be the other notable righty to prop up.
Recency bias could see Soler and Duvall get a slight boost in popularity tonight, but I'm guessing Riley will still be the one with the highest MVP roster percentage of that trio. That will especially be the case if Soler is dropped in the order due to a right-hander being on the mound.
Otherwise, Freeman is always a top play and should be the public's favorite Brave at MVP again. Eddie Rosario ($7,000) should also see a bump in popularity if he's back batting leadoff, and Ozzie Albies ($7,500) is the other obvious top Atlanta option.
If you're looking for an under-the-radar MVP, rostering Joc Pederson ($5,500) could be similar to using Duvall last night. He has three dingers in the postseason and will enjoy the platoon advantage tonight.
The Astros have the less inviting matchup, but it likely won't affect their roster percentages a whole lot, so play them as you normally would. The left-handed Fried is tougher on lefties with a 26.5% strikeout rate, but he still has a 52.9% ground-ball rate versus right-handed bats, too.
Alvarez should still get loads of attention despite the lefty-lefty spot, though Kyle Tucker ($7,500) could see a slight dip. Altuve should also be popular again, and Carlos Correa ($8,000) could see a rise in roster percentage with the platoon advantage. It's worth noting that Correa wasn't especially popular as an MVP last night, though.
Alex Bregman ($7,000) went hitless on Tuesday, so he remains an intriguing contrarian MVP play.