This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
The players featured in this piece will be building blocks that can work in several lineup configurations (cash and GPP). The Red Sox have a chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Astros in the ALCS on Wednesday, while the Brewers and Dodgers both look to take Game 5 of the NLCS, which is tied at two games apiece. In what could be the final two-game slate of the year, let's examine some options to consider for your FanDuel entry.
Clayton Kershaw, LAD vs. MIL ($9,800): Kershaw couldn't have been any better in Game 2 of the NLDS, pitching eight scoreless innings against the Braves. He only had three strikeouts, but he also only gave up two hits. He couldn't follow it up with a strong performance in Game 1 of the NLCS, allowing five runs – four of which were earned – across three innings. Kershaw was excellent at home this season, posting a 2.58 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and an 8.8 K/9 across 13 starts. His history in the postseason has been spotty, but he still has significant upside Wednesday.
GPP Fade: Rick Porcello, BOS at HOU ($8,000): Porcello has already made three appearances during the playoffs, two of which have come out of the bullpen. He's pitched 6.2 innings in total, allowing just one run. However, he only has three strikeouts across his three outings. He also didn't give the Red Sox much length down the stretch, throwing five innings or fewer in six of his last seven starts at the end of the regular season. It wouldn't be surprising to see him have another short outing in this contest, leaving him with fewer opportunities to provide value.
Cheap GPP Consideration: Wade Miley, MIL at LAD ($6,000): Where would the Brewers be without Miley? He was incredible during the regular season with a 2.57 ERA and 1.22 WHIP across 16 starts. That was especially surprising considering he had a 5.61 ERA and 1.73 WHIP with the Orioles last year. He's carried his success into the playoffs, throwing 10.1 scoreless innings across two starts. Don't expect him to go deep in this game since he is pitching on short rest, but he's priced cheap enough that he still might be worth the risk based on the relief he provides to your budget.
Steve Pearce, BOS at HOU ($3,200): Pearce has proven to be a prudent acquisition by the Red Sox. He posted a .901 OPS after coming over from the Blue Jays and has at least one hit in each game he has started during the playoffs. Given how well the Red Sox have been swinging the bats, he's also scored at least one run in each of those contests. Even though he doesn't have the platoon advantage in this game, he didn't exactly struggle with a .358 wOBA against right-handed pitchers this year.
Jose Altuve, HOU vs. BOS ($3,900): Altuve is having plenty of his own success in the playoffs, logging at least one hit in five of six games. He's also drawn a walk in each game of the ALCS. One of the toughest hitters to retire in the Astros lineup, he has posted an OBP of at least .386 in three straight seasons. With plenty of talented hitters surrounding him in the lineup, the potential is there again Wednesday for Altuve to be productive.
Justin Turner, LAD vs. MIL ($3,800): Turner went 2-for-4 with a home run in Game 2, but has otherwise been quiet in this series. However, he could be one of the tougher outs in the Dodgers' lineup for Miley based on his 179 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers this year.
Xander Bogaerts, BOS at HOU ($3,800): Bogaerts posted a career-high .522 slugging percentage this year, but he has just one extra base hit so far in the playoffs. On the bright side, he does have at least one hit in all seven games. Don't be scared away from the shortstop with right-hander Charlie Morton on the mound for Houston, because Bogaerts actually hit better against righties (.379 wOBA) than he did lefties (.350) this season.
George Springer, HOU vs. BOS ($4,100): Springer has shined in the playoffs during his career. He's been one of the best hitters for the Astros so far, batting 10-for-27 (.370) with three home runs and two doubles across six games in their quest to repeat as champions. There could be more success in the cards for him Wednesday, as he's 7-for-14 with a home run and three doubles against Porcello in his career.
Marwin Gonzalez, HOU vs. BOS ($3,200): A lot went right for the Astros this season, but Gonzalez struggled to build off of his strong performance in 2017. He finished the year with a .318 wOBA and saw his slugging percentage drop by more than 120 points. However, he's picked things up in the playoffs, hitting 9-for-25 (.360) with a home run and two doubles.
Jackie Bradley, BOS at HOU ($2,400): Bradley came through with a grand slam in Game 3 to help the Red Sox win the first game of the series in Houston. Known more for his glove, he already has seven RBI in this series. Left-handed pitchers held Bradley to a .252 wOBA this year, but he was much better against righties with a .329 wOBA.
Orlando Arcia, MIL at LAD ($2,700): The Brewers added some powerful bats to their infield with the trades for Mike Moustakas and Jonathan Schoop, but it's Arcia who is making a name for himself in the playoffs. He has at least one hit in every game that he has started and has already slugged three home runs after hitting just three during the regular season. Facing Kershaw is no easy task, but Arcia might be worth the risk at this price based on his current hot streak.