This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
The pressure is building, which means if a pitcher gives up a couple early runs that could be the end of his day. I went with one favorite and one underdog, hoping both make it at least five innings. If you still believe in Wade Miley, he's another route to take as the cheapest arm on the slate.
Clayton Kershaw, LAD vs. MIL ($8,700): This is the most logical place to go without any standout pitchers on the slate. Kershaw wasn't great in Game 1, but he's been slightly better at home this year and already beat the Brewers at home in early August, striking out seven while allowing five hits and two runs. More importantly, he had a .266 wOBA and .253 BABIP allowed at home this season compared to .279 and .292, respectively on the road.
GPP Fade: Charlie Morton, HOU vs. BOS ($8,000): Morton costs too much for a guy that hasn't pitched in the postseason and hasn't gone more than three innings since Sept. 15. He was decent in his most recent outing against the Red Sox, but in two starts this season he went a combined 10.1 innings, allowing 16 hits and eight runs. Given those numbers, I don't think he's worse the money even as a favorite.
Cheap GPP Consideration: Rick Porcello, BOS at HOU ($7,300): Porcello's numbers are slightly better than Morton's in this matchup and he costs less. Not that Porcello is easy to trust, but in two starts against the Astros he went 12 innings and gave up just 12 hits and six runs with 11 strikeouts. He's not going to put together a huge outing, but if all goes well, should be slated for five innings. Wade Miley ($6,000) is the other consideration, but I don't trust him on short rest on the road.
Manny Pina, MIL at LAD ($3,500): There hasn't been much production from catchers in the playoffs, but Pina at least got on base twice against Kershaw in the first meeting with a single and walk. Outside of that, there isn't much to like about Pina, though the same can be said for every other catcher on the slate. I'd throw whomever the Red Sox start behind the plate in the discussion, as well.
Steve Pearce, BOS at HOU ($4,400): Pearce doesn't bring the most power, but you know he's going to play the entire game and get on base and that's what you need on small slates. He has a hit in every postseason start and is 4-for-7 in his career against Morton. Throw in Pearce's .204 ISO and .358 wOBA against righties this season and it's a match.
Eduardo Nunez, BOS at HOU ($3,300): If you go cheap somewhere else, Jose Altuve ($4,800) may be the only reasonable play at second base. As for Nunez, he returned to the lineup on Tuesday and could get another start at third. He faced Morton earlier in the season and went 2-for-2 and got hit by a pitch. Nunez doesn't have a great bat, but you have to save money somewhere.
Justin Turner, LAD vs. MIL ($4,700): Turner was one of two players that had a hit against Miley in the first meeting and he now has a .417 OBP in 12 plate appearances against him. Turner also homered in that game and more importantly has a .429 OBP in his last 42 PA against southpaws.
Xander Bogaerts, BOS at HOU ($4,900): The two more expensive shortstops may be more enticing, but it's hard to ignore Bogaerts' career numbers against Morton with a .500 OBP in 12 at-bats and that includes two doubles and a homer. All of Bogaerts's power has come against righties this year with a .260 ISO and .380 wOBA and he's also gotten on base in every postseason game.
George Springer, HOU vs. BOS ($4,900): There haven't been many better than Springer in the postseason with 10 hits and three homers in six games. He's 5-for-12 in his career against Porcello and that includes two doubles and a home run. In the last month (81 PA), Springer has a .392 OBP against righty arms. As for Porcello, he probably won't make it more than five innings and that could lead to shaky bullpen work from Boston in high-pressure situations.
Marwin Gonzalez, HOU vs. BOS ($3,800): Here's another play against Porcello, but Gonzalez is a steal with a RBI in four of the last five games from a couple doubles and homer. He's also had decent success against Porcello with a 4-for-10 career mark that includes a double and home run. Given his price and how he's hit in the playoffs, Gonzalez will be on most rosters.
Chris Taylor, LAD vs. MIL ($4,800): The second player with a hit against Miley in the first meeting was Taylor and that matches up with his .462 OBP in his last 39 plate appearances against lefties. He's been hit-or-miss in the playoffs and that could lead to a low-ownership percentage, making him a better GPP play.