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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets for Phillies vs. Astros Showdown on October 31

Zach Thompson gives his top MLB lineup advice for Monday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Phillies and Astros.

The first two games of the World Series have already brought plenty of drama, as the Philadelphia Phillies came out swinging and landed the first punch by winning Game 1 but the Houston Astros counterpunched with a win in Game 2. The stage shifts to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Monday night, and it sets up well for more exciting action as the two teams continue to battle for the 2022 World Series Championship.

The Astros will give the ball to Lance McCullers Jr. ($17,100 CP; $11,400), and the Phillies will turn to Noah Syndergaard ($15,600 CP; $10,400). McCullers will be making his third start of the postseason and has gone 11 innings and allowed three earned runs on 10 hits while striking out 13. On the other side, Syndergaard has appeared in three games with one start, allowing one run on three hits in 5 13 innings while striking out four.

To help make Game 3 even more exciting, DraftKings is bringing some large Showdown contests to give you a chance to grab a piece of some DFS action. As you get your squad assembled for Monday night, check out my favorite options to build around highlighted below.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $150K Game 3 Extravaganza [$50K to 1st] (HOU vs PHI)

For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.

Captain’s Picks

Lance McCullers Jr. ($17,100) – If you’re looking to build around one of the starting pitchers, McCullers is definitely my preference over Syndergaard, even though Thor will be pitching at home. McCullers is a proven postseason commodity, having made 18 postseason appearances. He has only allowed four earned runs in 21 23 innings over the past two years in the playoffs, striking out 22 batters in those matchups.

McCullers actually faced the Phillies in the final week of the regular season and allowed just one run on six hits in six innings of a tough-luck loss. In his first start this postseason, he dominated the Mariners in Seattle, holding the M’s to two hits in six shutout innings with seven strikeouts. He will look to have similar success in this outing. His consistent strikeout upside gives him the higher ceiling of the two SPs in this contest.

Jose Altuve ($13,500) – Altuve started the postseason 0-for-23 and his salary slipped as a result, creating a nice opportunity to buy low. He seems to have turned things back around, though, posting hits in each of his four most recent contests while going 7-for-18 with two doubles, a walk and a stolen base for an average of 9.5 DKFP per contest. He set the tone in Game 2 with his leadoff double on the first pitch and is always a huge part of the Astros’ lineup getting going.

Altuve has a higher ceiling than many people may realize since he brings potential in both speed and power. He hasn’t homered yet this postseason but has a .361 career postseason wOBA with 23 home runs in 88 games. This season, 15 of his 28 homers came on the road and six were in the final month of the season. In his final five starts of the regular season, Syndergaard gave up three home runs, all to right-handed hitters, who posted a .345 wOBA against him. If you’re stacking Houston’s hitters, I would give a slight edge to the right-handed hitters.

Flex Plays

Kyle Schwarber ($9,600) – Schwarber is the only Phillies hitter with a home run against McCullers in their past meetings, going 1-for-2 with a walk. Schwarber has walked and singled in each of the first two games of the series, adding a stolen base in Game 1. This postseason, he has three home runs, three stolen bases and a .342 wOBA. He had a streak of eight straight games with at least 8.0 DKFP snapped in Game 2, when he had 5.0 DKFP. Since he’s facing a righty in McCullers instead of a lefty in Framber Valdez, he moves from my fades in Game 2 into my plays in Game 3.

Alex Bregman ($9,200) – Bregman has gone 12-for-31 (.316) this postseason with a .424 wOBA. He had a double in Game 1 and then homered in Game 2 to help create some separation in the middle innings. He is averaging over 10.8 DKFP in his nine postseason games and is on the side of the splits I’m favoring in this contest.

Value Plays

Jeremy Peña ($8,000) – From the second spot in Houston’s batting order, Peña continues to bring great value and has been another of Houston’s best hitters this postseason. The 25-year-old rookie has gone 12-for-42 (.286) with five doubles, three homers and a .389 wOBA this postseason, averaging 11.0 DKFP per contest.

Bryson Stott ($6,200) – On the other side, the Phillies have their own 25-year-old rookie shortstop, and Stott is expected to be back in the lineup after coming off the bench in Game 2 against the lefty Valdez. Stott went 2-for-2 with a double against McCullers in that September start and went 4-for-11 in the final three games of the NLCS before starting this series 0-for-4 with three walks. He has reached base safely in seven of his past eight games with multiple plate appearances and usually finds a way to contribute something from this affordable price point.


Noah Syndergaard ($10,400) – Syndergaard has had success in the postseason, and I don’t think he’ll be awful in this game. However, he hasn’t been bringing enough strikeout potential to be worth paying over $10K for. In each of his six starts since September 1, he has had three strikeouts or fewer. In his previous playoff start this year, he only went three innings, so it’s also not clear how stretched out he will be since he has been working out of the bullpen as well. Since I’m not sure how deep he can go, and it doesn’t look like he’ll pile up strikeouts, I’d rather invest in big bats than pay up for Thor.

The Outcome

What a series so far! I still think the Astros are a better team overall, but it’s hard to pick against the Phillies, who seem to be the “hot” team this postseason. Philadelphia is excellent at home in front of their raucous crowd, and it wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see them win here. Based on the starting pitching matchup, though, I have to go with Houston to retake home-field advantage by beating Syndergaard behind big games from the top of their lineup.

Final Score: Houston Astros 6, Philadelphia Phillies 5

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $150K Game 3 Extravaganza [$50K to 1st] (HOU vs PHI)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.