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We have just the one-game showdown slate in the American League Championship Series starting at 8:08 p.m. ET.
Nathan Eovaldi will get the ball for the Boston Red Sox. It will be his third appearance in this series. He notched the win in Game 2 for the Sox and came into the 9th inning Tuesday night in a 2-2 game, got a bad strike/ball call, and the game unraveled from there.
I am less concerned that Eovaldi gave up four earned runs the other night in terms of his performance tonight. I just wonder if the 24 pitches he threw had any adverse effects on him.
If we are looking to back a pitcher in our lineups, I will lean heavily toward Eovaldi. In his three postseason starts, he has completed five innings each time and recorded two wins. He also struck out 19 batters in those three starts.
The fear with Eovaldi is if his tendency to get fly-ball outs leads into home runs. He only gave up 15 home runs on the season but has given up two in the postseason.
It is a do-or-die game for the Red Sox, so he could see a really quick hook. I think he sees four to five innings of work.
Luis Garcia is a completely different story. He has thrown 3 2/3 innings this postseason and given up ten earned runs. He has walked six batters to only recording five strikeouts.
His leash will probably be exceptionally short by Dusty Baker, even if Baker does not love his own bullpen. I would be pretty surprised to see him complete four innings.
Garcia was an impressive pitcher in the regular season, so I can see a case to be made for taking a chance on him in GPP lineups. I just would not tie 100% of my success to him tonight.
For most lineups, if you want a pitcher in there, it is Eovaldi, and in cash he is probably your captain.
I will keep touting Michael Brantley. He has come through in the last few games of this series with five hits in three games to go along with four RBIs in that stretch. His price is starting to creep up a bit, but I still think he gives you a lot of flexibility when adding in a top-of-the-lineup bat.
On FanDuel, the Lineup Optimizer suggests to go zero pitching. Kyle Schwarber is in all of the top-end lineups. He does not have a hit in the last two games, but we know that he has the power to break a slate. Batting lead-off only helps his cause, as he may be one of the few batters to see Garcia multiple times.
Jose Altuve is going to become increasingly difficult to put into lineups, as his price is just so high. He does have some interesting numbers off of Eovaldi at 6-for-19 lifetime with three home runs. He is not featured in the Lineup Optimizer for either site, but I felt like he was worth mentioning as he is doing everything for the Astros right now.
Yordan Alvarez has a hit in every game this series, with multiple hits in the last two. It is always nice that a player is not all or nothing in terms of scoring. He went off in Game 5 with a home run and a double. He is 2-for-2 off of Eovaldi lifetime.
A lot of the Red Sox hitters are priced significantly higher than the Astros hitters, which is strange given the closeness of the starting pitchers’ salaries. I think you can work in Xander Bogaerts in some lineups. He has had five hits in this series, all in games 2-4. Three of those went for extra bases. His price on DraftKings is way below Schwarber, Kike Hernandez, and Rafael Devers and that does not necessarily seem justified to me.
You are going to need more value plays on DraftKings, where the Lineup Optimizer is suggesting to have at least one starting pitcher in your lineup. Christian Arroyo is one of the more obvious choices. He has a hit in four out of five games in this series, and that includes a home run and a triple. I also like that he has only lost one at-bat in this series to being subbed for.
On the Astros side, it is again whoever plays center field. That could be Chas McCormick or Jose Siri. They have both been pretty serviceable fill-in’s this series. The only problem is that they both could be subbed out for in tight, late-game situations. They do help bring in a lot of roster flexibility and make for good contrarian plays, especially on FanDuel.
I probably would not roster Kevin Plawecki. He most likely gets subbed out for Christian Vazquez in the middle innings of this game – making them both pretty much impossible to use. On the other side, Martin Maldonado has been pretty much useless at the plate at 0-for-11 with a walk. He gets pinch hit for too in late-game spots, so I am not sure he is worth using either.