Joey Ricotta | October 29th, 2019
Heading back to Houston for Game Six of the World Series, the road team has won every game thus far. It’s the first time the road team has won every game through five games of the World Series since 1996. The Washington Nationals look to make it six straight games and force an always exciting, must-see, winner take all, Game Seven. But in order to do so, they’ll need to get a great outing from Stephen Strasburg and be able to put a dent into Justin Verlander.
Let’s get into some strategy and details before we get to the picks. First of all, you’ll notice some oddities about the way this Showdown slate is set up. Wil Crowe, a pitcher who hasn’t made his MLB debut yet, is priced the same as Asdrubal Cabrera. Lance McCullers Jr., who hasn’t pitched in a game all season because of Tommy John surgery, is the fifth-highest priced player. Higher than players like Anthony Rendon and George Springer.
With that said, it doesn’t really matter all that much. We don’t have to worry about the players that aren’t playing. We just have to deal with the prices they gave us for the players that are. You can always use a pitcher at the Captain spot, but I think that severely limits you salary-wise. It’s probably also in better interest to use a hitter that may hit a home run and be lesser owned as a Captain. Unfortunately, spending up for a hitter in the Captain spot will make it difficult to afford to put one of the stud pitchers in as well. I think you need at least one of them, and there’s definitely merit to playing both in the same lineup as it could be a lower scoring game with these two freakishly gifted hurlers.
Disclaimer: Pricing and references included are for DraftKings.
Players to Consider
Asdrubal Cabrera ($9,900 Captain, $6,600 Utility)
Cabrera has the most history against Justin Verlander with having 89 plate-appearances. In those PAs, he’s 21-79 (.266) with three homers, 11 RBIs, and six 2Bs. Cabrera is 5-14 in the World Series and has looked good at the plate. He’s yet to hit a home run in the postseason but hit 18 in the regular season. What better time than tonight for him to get off the schneid?
Yordan Alvarez ($12,300 Captain, $8,200 Utility)
YorDONG Alvarez has gotten his groove back. It’s definitely not unheard of for a young inexperienced player to go missing in the postseason. Fortunately, for the Astros, Alvarez has picked up the pace at the right time, going 6-11 so far in the World Series. In Game Five, Alvarez blasted his first home run of the postseason to give the Astros an early 2-0 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. Facing off against Strasburg is never a good matchup for a hitter, but Alvarez is rolling. The homer off Joe Ross was an opposite-field laser in the second inning off some beer holder’s chest as he pretended to be Happy Gilmore in the batting cage. Alvarez is also smoking line drives straight through the overdramatic shift. I think he continues this recent trend tonight.
Juan Soto ($13,500 Captain, $9,000 Utility)
Kid Soto aka Childish Bambino has taken the baseball world by storm with his unbelievable production. Dominican kids all over are going crazy with joy. In Game Five, he went yard for the second time in the series off Gerrit Cole. Verlander is a similar pitcher as Cole. They are similar to their attack, trying to climb the zone with riding fastballs. Also, Verlander started Game Two and Soto doubled off JV in the third inning.
Other Options: Michael Brantley, Adam Eaton, Yan Gomes/Kurt Suzuki, Ryan Zimmerman
Stephen Strasburg ($16,200 Captain, $10,800 Utility)
Justin Verlander ($16,500 Captain, $11,000 Utility)
Both Stephen Strasburg and Justin Verlander are in play as options. It’s expected to be a low-scoring affair, and these are two of the best in the game. I’m leaning towards fading Verlander, for the most part, and playing more Strasburg. There’s definitely no right way to go about it tonight. The baseball fan in me wants to see this series go seven games. I believe Stras can slam the door shut as he did in Game Two after allowing a first-inning two-run bomb to Alex Bregman. He’s been dominant all postseason with his nasty curve and changeup, going 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 40 strikeouts. Much like Gerrit Cole the other night, this could very well be Stephen Strasburg’s last start as a Washington Nationals.
As I said, I don’t mind using Verlander tonight in the same lineup or even a separate lineup. The 36-year-old ace is just as capable of going seven or eight strong innings with double-digit punch outs and limited damage allowed. If you think this game will be as low-scoring as it looks on paper, going double-barrel pitchers makes sense.
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