The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Welcome to the 2021 World Series! The MLB will, of course, only have showdown slates from here on out. The first pitch tonight is at 8:09 p.m. ET.
We will have Charlie Morton versus Framber Valdez in Game 1 tonight. The Houston Astros are -128 favorites.
Morton is priced much higher than Valdez, which is a little interesting to me. He has been Mr. Consistent in the postseason, giving up two earned runs in all three of his starts. He has also recorded nine, five, and five strikeouts.
Striking out the Astros can be a tough proposition, but it looks like Morton has shown what his floor should be.
He has posted some strong career numbers against the core Astros hitters. The opposing hitter with the most success is Martin Maldonado, who is 7-for-13 lifetime with a double.
For DraftKings, as pitchers are not eligible on FanDuel, Morton is slotted into the CPT role in nearly all of the Lineup Optimizer’s suggested lineups.
Valdez is a tough cookie to figure out right now. He got lit up in his first two postseason starts and proceeded to turn in a gem on last Wednesday against the Red Sox. It was pretty much the best start this postseason. He went eight innings, giving up one earned run with five strikeouts.
Now, we have to determine who is the real Valdez — and the answer is it is somewhere in between those performances.
This concern is baked into the price that DraftKings has set, which is really the only explanation for the large differences in price between the two pitchers.
He has very limited lifetime numbers against the Atlanta Braves, with the team being a combined 3-for-7 off of him.
We are suggesting using Valdez in your lineups too on DraftKings, based on the Lineup Optimizer. In GPPs, I would probably fade one or the other.
Alex Bregman is the person that is dedicated for the MVP role on the Bales Model on FanDuel. He is 11-for-39 in this postseason with a hit in all but two games. He has also worked five walks. He has five World Series home runs to his name already.
I like Jorge Soler quite a bit against a lefty. His OPS on the season is .846 against lefties compared to .711 against righties. If we assume he is the lead-off hitter for the Braves, he should see Valdez at least twice. He has been cold this postseason, but the incorporation of the designated hitter should see him get more regular at-bats in this World Series.
His price is making him tough to work into lineups for tonight, but I would be remiss to not mention Yordan Alvarez. He is probably seeing the ball like a beach ball right now, with nine hits in his last three games. Five of those hits are for extra bases, too. He was 7-for-17 in the 2019 World Series with a home run.
Michael Brantley is actually the best-rated hitter on the Bales Model. I will continue to sing his praises. He is too cheap for the opportunities that he is going to get. While he provides little pop, he is hitting .311 in the postseason and has only not recorded a hit in one game.
Where would this Braves team be without Eddie Rosario? They very well may not be in the World Series. His price is somewhat strangely low for the success he has been having in the postseason. He will have to face a lefty for at least an at-bat or two, but his man is 18-for-38 in the postseason with three home runs. In the last three games, he has recorded multiple hits. He is no doubt worse against lefties, but the Astros are not going to be able to throw a lefty at him every time.
With the numbers that Martin Maldonado has against Morton, I will have a little exposure to him. He has had a horrid 2-for-29 postseason but did record a hit in Game 6 of the ALCS. By no means should every lineup you run out there have him in it, but he is a solid punt play.
There is not a ton of value plays on the Braves because they are priced relatively flat to one another. Joc Pederson is not a bad play, as he is not afraid of hitting lefties. His seasonal OPS is basically flat between lefties and righties. He is 8-for-29 this postseason, with three home runs. This is another man with five World Series home runs to his name. His 2017 and 2020 were strong World Series for Pederson, while he went 1-for-12 in 2018.