This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
The Astros return home for Tuesday's Game 6, again looking to stave off elimination and force a deciding final game. First pitch is at our traditional 8:09 p.m. EDT start time.
This also puts a bow on my baseball writing season. Some good, plenty of bad... hopefully we were able to navigate you through the grind somewhat successfully. Sincerely appreciate you reading.
Atlanta will turn to Max Fried in an attempt to close things out. After arguably being baseball's best pitcher over the season's final two months by posting a 1.74 ERA, 2.74 FIP and .226 wOBA allowed, Fried has labored in the postseason, particularly his last two starts. The southpaw allowed five runs and eight hits across 4.2 innings against the Dodgers, and then seven hits and six runs across 5.0 innings in Game 2 at Houston. The Astros did that damage in the first two innings before Fried settled down. It's hard to know if he figured something out, or if the stress was gone due to the lopsided contest.
Houston counters with Game 3 starter Luis Garcia on short rest. Garcia surrendered a run on three hits in that outing, striking out six but walking four in 3.2 innings. He was crushed in his first two postseason appearances and has allowed 11 runs, 11 hits and 11 walks in 13.2 innings overall. The off day should allow Houston's bullpen to be fresh(er), and the leash here figures to be short. Garcia was marginally better at home during the regular season, posting a 2.39 ERA and 3.46 xFIP against 4.24/3.79 on the road.
Jose Altuve ($8,500) has recorded a hit just once in any of Houston's postseason losses, so if you're banking on a Game 7, he's where I'd start with my builds. He went 2-for-5 in Game 2, taking Fried deep in the process. Fried had slightly worst stats against same-handed bats during the regular season, which boosts the appeal of Kyle Tucker ($7,500). He earned a .378 wOBA and .292 ISO against southpaws during the regular season and has provided double-digit fantasy points in four of the last five postseason contests. With stability and upside from these two, I see little reason to pay up for Yordan Alvarez, who hasn't had a hit since Game 1. That will make him a little-used GPP option, however. Yuli Gurriel ($6,500) is always an option in RvL spots.
After manufacturing more runs in the NLCS, Atlanta has again gotten home-run happy in the World Series, and with power all through the lineup, it's difficult to guess right. Garcia allowed seven bombs at home to lefties in 159 plate appearances as opposed to one in 154 to righties, so Freddie Freeman ($9,000) becomes the obvious starting point. He's hit safely in every game in the series, including homering in Game 5. Eddie Rosario ($6,500) hasn't been the NLCS MVP version of himself, but he still has five hits and four runs scored, his salary has moved back below $7k and he'll likely move back to the leadoff spot. Garcia allowed only a .248 wOBA to righties, making many Atlanta bats undesirable here. Austin Riley ($7,000) looks like the exception, though. He hasn't hit for much power in the postseason, having not gone deep since October 16, but he is riding a six-game hitting streak with 10 knocks in that span. He also posted a .396 wOBA and .248 ISO against same-handed arms during the year.
After putting together an 11-game hitting streak, Ozzie Albies ($8,000) went 0-for-10 in Atlanta, but his pendulum could swing back on the road. The return to the American League park brings back the DH, meaning Jorge Soler ($6,000) and Joc Pederson ($5,000) will both be in the lineup. The former has been far better than the latter.
Houston used Chas McCormick ($4,500) in Game 1 and Jose Siri ($5,000) in Game 2 as their extra bat. The former has more power, the latter more speed and contact tendencies. That seemingly is the only starting decision we'll be awaiting. Martin Maldonado ($4,500) continues to get run-producing chances at the bottom of the order, and quietly has four hits and four RBI in this series. Houston also changed up their lineup in Game 5, moving Carlos Correa ($7,500) up and Alex Bregman ($7,000) down. It worked for both, firmly putting them on the radar.