This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Showdown slates are a bit different than typical schedules. Building leverage is important for GPP contests, but it's vital to build a narrative about how you believe the game will play out and then select a coherent lineup construction. Using Vegas lines as an example, the Astros are -115 favorites with an O/U of 8.5 at the time of drafting this article. If we use this as the base, we can expect Houston to win a relatively offensive-heavy game. Astros' hitters are likely to be chalk while Framber Valdez and Atlanta bat-heavy offensive builds will be interesting GPP options to consider.
Tonight's pitching matchup suggests we'll see a return to high scoring contests. That makes me less inclined to jam an expensive arm into the captain slot and instead hunt for a hitter.
For cash games, Astros stacks are likely to be the primary build. Jose Altuve ($15,300) should be a popular captain and is a reasonable choice. Yuli Gurriel ($11,400) has been very productive this postseason and was one of the best Houston hitters against left-handed pitching as measured by wRC+ and wOBA during the regular season. He would open up the build from a salary perspective for the rest of the utility slots. Kyle Tucker ($14,700) and Yordan Alvarez ($14,100) may be less rostered because of the tag of a lefty starting for Atlanta, but the Braves could have to dip into their bullpen quickly with Tucker Davidson projected to take the hill. Putting either Alvarez or Tucker in as captain could be a nice contrarian way to start your lineup while still staying within the build suggested by the betting line.
Ozzie Albies ($14,400) is a relatively easy captain for those who want to center lineups around Atlanta. He's relatively softly valued, but would put more of a pinch on the rest the build compared to Gurriel. Jorge Soler ($13,200) represents another captain option. Not only has he succeeded against lefties, but has also hit the ball hard all postseason - and especially during the World Series.
Finally, if you believe Valdez will pitch well, he should be the captain in GPPs with an Astros stack behind him. That will require a lot of value bats, but it's a viable build.
If Gurriel ($7,600) doesn't make the cut as captain, he's an easy choice to slot into any lineup. Michael Brantley ($6,400) is valued way down, but has produced two extra-base hits in the World Series and is another cheap cash game play.
On the Atlanta side, Travis d'Arnaud ($6,800) has been atop hard-hit metrics throughout the World Series without much change to his salary. Eddie Rosario ($6,600) is less appealing with a lefty on the mound, though Framber Valdez has completed fewer than three innings in two of his last three starts. Like Houston, this could chase away roster rate, but the Astros could be into their bullpen quickly.
If you are inclined to roster a pitcher in a UTIL spot, Valdez ($10,400) is a decent cash game option if you believe he'll go deep enough into the contest to earn the win.