This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
The Nationals and Brewers kick off the postseason Tuesday. This column will have a little bit of a different look throughout the postseason, as we'll often be presented with single-game slates rather than traditional full roster contests.
Max Scherzer will face off with Brandon Woodruff, though most/all hands figure to be on deck in the win-or-go-home scenario, with the Nationals stating Patrick Corbin and Stephen Strasburg are available out of the bullpen.
Scherzer's form isn't inspiring confidence. He's surrendered two homers in each of his last two outings and has allowed at least one long ball in six of his seven starts since returning from the IL on August 22. His strikeouts have come back up over the his last two outings, as has his pitch count, but his struggles against lefties remain. All eight long balls he's allowed in this stretch have come off opposite-handed bats, whom he's allowing a .409 wOBA and 1.023 OPS to.
Woodruff has been brilliant in two appearances since missing almost two months due to an oblique strain, not allowing a hit while fanning seven over 4.0 innings. He's had a 55-pitch limit however, and it's unlikely the Brewers will let him stretch out dramatically here. Milwaukee hasn't been as forthcoming on their intentions behind Woodruff, but after seeing their bullpen give up 17 runs in a three-game sweep at Colorado to close the regular season, you'd expect Chase Anderson and Zach Davies, their most rested starters, to get the initial chances before Josh Hader factors in.
Given the encouraging splits, and paired with the fact that four Nationals bats are as expensive or more so than the first Brewer (Keston Hiura, $8,000), Milwaukee's offense may have gone from the obvious contrarian play to an obviously popular play instead. They're priced to stack, and there's decent left-handed options in Mike Moustakas ($7,500), Yasmani Grandal ($7,000) and Eric Thames ($6,000), the latter of whom has gone deep four times in the last week. He's had some success against Scherzer in the past, though Grandal and Moustakas are a combined 7-of-49 with 18 Ks against him. We won't lean too heavily on BvP numbers, but while there, Ryan Braun ($6,500) and Lorenzo Cain ($5,000), neither certain to play, are a combined 0-for-29 with 12 Ks against Scherzer. Should either Cain or Braun sit, Ben Gamel's ($4,000) left-handed bat could find his way into the lineup.
With more ambiguity on the mound for Milwaukee, a Joes and schmoes approach to the Nationals' offense looks to make sense, with Anthony Rendon ($9,000) or Juan Soto ($8,500) easily complemented by Ryan Zimmerman ($6,000), Matt Adams ($4,500), Kurt Suzuki and/or Howie Kendrick ($4,000), giving some clear pivots once lineups are released.
Trea Turner ($9,500) was intentionally omitted above. He's rightfully the highest-priced bat here, bringing a 12-game hitting streak into the postseason. He's hitting .352 since September 17, launching five homers in that stretch, giving him more upside than his usual upside as he typically relies on contact, speed and run scoring for points. He's failed to reach 12.5 FDP just three times during this stretch, and is an obvious target for MVP selection in cash formats.
For completely different reasons, the most obvious Brewer I expect to pop up in lineups regularly is Trent Grisham ($4,500). He hasn't been great, posting only a .311 wOBA and 89 wRC+ in 95 plate appearances in September as a leadoff man, but for this price and spot atop the lineup, just the potential for extra at-bats suggests he'll be a trendy value choice. Being a lefty with Scherzer's splits doesn't hurt his cause. There's no must-play in the Brewers lineup when thinking about your MVP slot. If I'm making a hunch play there for GPPs, I like the aforementioned Thames.