This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
We've got just one game on Tuesday's docket, which obviously sets up for multiple lineups to diversify.
While pitching isn't included in your lineup options, it can't be overstated how great an advantage the Astros have on the hill. Justin Verlander, on short rest, will go for Houston, while Tampa Bay will open with Diego Castillo in a bullpen game.
Verlander allowed only one hit while striking out eight over seven innings in Game 1. He did allow three runs in the regular-season finale to the Angels, and allowed two or more runs in three of his final five regular-season outings. It will mark the fourth time in his career he's thrown on short rest, and none have come as a starter. There's no mention of a reduced workload, but the Rays' hope is to work the count until Verlander is pulled.
Castillo has worked more than one frame four times in his last 10 appearances, so maybe the Astros get a little longer look at him. The Rays have not announced who they plan to use afterwards.
It's beyond obvious that Astro bats are going to be the more highly owned side. George Springer ($9,000) is hitless in 13 playoff at-bats, making him an interesting choice for MVP or All-Star as many may hunt for someone with more recent success. Those options include Jose Altuve ($8,500, 4-for-13), Yordan Alvarez ($8,000, 5-for-12), and/or Yuli Gurriel ($6,500, 5-of-12). Michael Brantley ($7,500) is hitless in his last two after two knocks in the series opener, and following an ice-cold September, he'll also have low ownership, likely for good reason. Robinson Chirinos ($4,500) did hit 17 homers during the regular season, and while not an inspiring choice, he offers some salary relief.
Tampa bats are as obvious to fade, or consider as contrarian plays, as Astros are to target. Their hope has to be to work pitch counts deep and get Verlander out as soon as possible, not something the Rays do well, walking only 8.5 percent of the time against righties. Verlander did allow a career-high 1.45 HR/9 during the regular season, 17 to LHB and 19 to RHB, and with Tampa launching four out Monday, there's a chance they can run into a pitch or two. Austin Meadows ($7.000) is the only Ray to take Verlander yard in their career. Avisail Garcia ($7,000) has faced him the most (35 times) thanks to his days with the White Sox, and put it in play 23 times, nine times reaching base. Tommy Pham ($6,500) has a modest eight-game hitting streak going back to the regular season, homering twice in that span and has doubled twice off Verlander in six ABs. Brandon Lowe ($6,000) had the only hit off Verlander in Game 1 and went deep Monday. We're clearly reaching, as there's so little success to go off of against Verlander.
Alex Bregman went 1-for-3 Monday, producing 9.2 FDP, his lowest output of the postseason and a number he's failed to reach only twice in his last 16 games. He'll be highly owned, and the most obvious MVP play for cash purposes.