FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: World Series Game 5
Clayton Kershaw and Tyler Glasnow meet up in Game 5 on Sunday in a rematch of the Game 1 pitching matchup. Per FanDuel Sportsbook, the Los Angeles Dodgers are 1.5-run favorites over the Tampa Bay Rays with a total at 8.0 runs -- implying a 4.75-3.25 win for the Dodgers. Our model has LA winning 4.00-3.75.
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.
Tampa Bay Rays
For the second straight day, the Rays are expected to see a lefty, and this was a good spot for Tampa Bay in the regular season as they held the sixth best wOBA in the split (.343). Obviously, Kershaw isn't your average left-hander, and he got the best of the Rays in the series opener, holding Tampa Bay to one run and three baserunners while fanning eight across six strong innings.
In Game 1, the Rays sat Austin Meadows ($6,500) and packed four right-handed bats into the first five spots in the order, and they did the same last night against Julio Urias. In Game 1, those top-of-the-order righties mustered two total hits as only Kevin Kiermaier ($5,500) -- who hit eighth -- had a noteworthy day, smacking a tater off Kershaw as part of a 2-for-3 game.
Brandon Lowe ($7,500) was the lone Rays left-handed hitter in the meat of the lineup (second) in Game 1, and he hit fifth last night. Lowe had no trouble in lefty-lefty spots in 2020, racking up a .467 wOBA, 50.0% hard-hit rate and 47.2% fly-ball rate in the split. He's a top talent and probably won't get much MVP consideration versus Kershaw.
Yandy Diaz ($5,500) and Randy Arozarena ($8,000) hit leadoff and third, respectively, in Game 1, and they held the top two spots last night. There's been gobs of digital ink spilled on Arozarena this October after what he's done (.519 wOBA and nine home runs), and he'll be a chalk pick tonight. Diaz had a .356 wOBA against lefties in 2020 and was even better versus righties (.372 wOBA), so he should play the whole game. Hitting atop the order would be an obvious boost to his stock.
Hunter Renfroe ($5,000) and Michael Brosseau ($4,500) were two guys who got a lot of their playing time against lefties in the regular season. Brosseau didn't start in Game 1 but came off the bench to record a hit and drive in a run. He started on Saturday versus Urias started and got two plate appearances. Clearly Brosseau is a pinch-hit risk if he starts. The same can be said for Renfroe, who is basically a dart throw at a homer. He did pop five jacks in 51 plate appearances versus southpaws in the regular season, but there's a slim chance he plays the whole game (and he may not be in the lineup anyway).
Mike Zunino ($4,500) was downright miserable against lefties this past regular season (.164 wOBA), but he did have a 72.7% fly-ball rate in the split. Maybe he barrels one, and he is a safe bet to play all game.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers tagged Glasnow for six runs in 4 1/3 innings in Game 1. LA had only three hits as Glasnow was undone by six walks. Since the start of 2019, Glasnow has a 7.7% walk rate, so the control issues were a little flukey. Glasnow has no meaningful splits of note.
Mookie Betts ($9,500), Corey Seager ($8.500), Justin Turner ($8,000) and Max Muncy ($7,000) will likely occupy the first four spots in the order (in that order), and all of them are viable MVP picks. It's easy to make a case for each of them. Of the four, I like Muncy most when factoring in likely draft percentages. A year ago Muncy had a .372 wOBA against righties, and he's pretty good against lefties, too, if that situation arises later in the game.
Cody Bellinger ($9,000) has had a down year in 2020 after his breakout season a campaign ago, but he's capable of having a monster game. He's launched four homers in 69 plate appearances in the playoffs, and he put up a .423 wOBA with the platoon advantage last season.
Austin Barnes ($4,000) and Will Smith ($6,000) were both in the lineup in Game 1 so Barnes could catch Kershaw. Chris Taylor ($6,000) is the final Dodger who isn't a pinch-hit risk. Smith has struggled in the playoffs (.272 wOBA), but he was outstanding in the regular season (.411 wOBA).
Joc Pederson ($5,500) will almost surely get pinch-hit for if he sees a lefty, so there's a lot of risk here. He can do damage against right-handers, though, posting a .377 wOBA in the split in 2019.