This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
While things were looking bleak for the Astros after the first two games of the World Series, they've come roaring back to tie things up at 2-2. It's now essentially a best-of-three series, with home field advantage shifting back in the Astros' favor. Sunday's Game 5 brings another opportunity to play DraftKings' showdown contest, so let's discuss how this one might play out.
This certainly promises a favorable chance to be a pitcher's duel. Taking the mound for the Nationals will be Max Scherzer ($10,600), who allowed two runs across five innings in Game 1. He recorded seven strikeouts in that contest and was once again dominant in that category during the regular season with a 35.1 percent strikeout rate. If there is anything to be concerned about with Scherzer, it's that he's failed to pitch more than five innings in two of his four starts so far in the playoffs.
As appealing as Scherzer is, it's going to be difficult to pass on Gerrit Cole ($11,200). Yes, he was hit hard in Game 1, allowing five runs over seven innings. However, he's logged at least seven innings in all four of his playoff starts, striking out 38 batters across 29.2 innings. Cole was even more prodigious than Scherzer in that category during the regular season with a staggering 39.9 percent strikeout rate. While his price is through the roof, he could carry you into the green out of the captain's spot.
Neither team is all that appealing to stack with how stellar both these pitchers are. Since three of the five most expensive hitters are on the Nationals, rolling with an Astros' stack might work better for your budget. The big name guys like George Springer ($9,600), Jose Altuve ($9,200) and Alex Bregman ($8,800) are all obviously in play. Working our way down the price scale, Michael Brantley ($8,000) is also a deserving candidate. He's been one of their more reliable hitters in the playoffs, hitting .395 with a home run over their last 11 games.
If you want to take a chance on Cole struggling again, there a couple of cheap hitters on the Nationals who you could deploy while putting Scherzer is the captain's spot. Ryan Zimmerman ($6,400) took Cole deep in Game 1 and is 13-for-47 with two home runs and three doubles in the playoffs. With Kurt Suzuki (hip) ailing, Yan Gomes ($5,000) is worth considering in tournament play at his cheap price. He recorded a multi-hit performance against the Cardinals during the NLCS and he's hit at least 11 home runs in six of the last seven seasons.