Welcome back to the MLB Daily Fantasy Stacks article. In this article, I will run you through the best stacks to build your cash and GPP lineups around and narrow down your player pool!
Happy April Fools Day Fansiders! After a weekend away, I am back to bring you a brand new MLB Daily Fantasy Stacks article to kick off the first week of April.
Over the weekend, we saw Christian Yelich tear the cover off of the baseball, while Matt Moore and Lucas Giolito trolled the entire DFS community by flirting with no hitters for more than half of their respective games. It’s safe to say, MLB DFS is back!
As we look towards the slate tonight, it doesn’t take long to realize how abysmal the pitching options on this slate really are. This, in turn, will make the bats all the more attractive from a stacking standpoint.
With that being said, this article will follow the same theme my last few have, highlighting a primary and secondary stack for both cash games and GPPs.
Let’s get to it!
*All stats are 2018 stats unless noted otherwise
MLB Daily Fantasy – Primary Cash Game Stack: Los Angeles Dodgers
There’s hot, and then there’s what the Dodgers are doing. Even after losing Manny Machado, Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, the Dodgers have rattled off 34 runs over their first 3 games. What’s even scarier is the fact that they get to tee off against Drew Pomeranz, who’s numbers are below;
Drew Pomeranz | SFG
K%: 19.2% (down 4.3% from 2017)
SIERA: 5.10 (up 0.79 from 2017)
wOBA: 0.401 vs RHB / 0.318 vs LHB
FB%: 38.9% (up 4% from 2017)
Aside from just about all of his rates worsening over the 2018 season compared to his 2017 numbers, take a look at Pomeranz’s wOBA allowed. Yes, that is a 0.401 wOBA allowed to righties. That spells disaster against a lineup as potent as the Dodgers, starting with the core below;
(1) Kike Hernandez (FD: $3,300 / DK: $4,000)
(2) Justin Turner (FD: $4,000 / DK: $4,200)
(3) David Freese (FD: $2,100 / DK: $3,700)
(4) A.J. Pollock (FD: $3,500 / DK: $4,300)
As you can see, all four of the core pieces of this stack bat from the right side of the plate. Justin Turner is one of the top plays on the slate, as he boasted a 0.433 wOBA and 0.244 ISO against righties last season with an elite 13.8% strikeout rate. Kike Hernandez and David Freese provide some salary relief and are currently projected to hit out of the 1 and 3 holes in the lineup, while AJ Pollock sported a 0.243 ISO against righties last season.
If you want to get deeper with the stack, Cody Bellinger has been red hot out of the game this season and has recorded 7 hits over his last two games with 3 home runs in that span. Max Muncy is another sneaky play in this stack, as he posted a 0.376 wOBA and 0.275 ISO against lefties with a 47% fly-ball rate. There’s a chance one of these guys gets platooned, but if they’re in the lineup, they’re just as viable as the above four.
MLB Daily Fantasy – Secondary Cash Game Stack: Houston Astros
Following the theme of attacking lefties named Drew, the Astros will tee off against Drew Smyly, who hasn’t pitched since 2016 due to a lengthy Tommy John hiatus. His 2016 numbers are below for reference, but I would take them with a grain of salt compared to the other stats in this piece;
Drew Smyly | TEX *2016 numbers
wOBA: 0.328 vs RHB / 0.305 vs LHB
While those are 2016 numbers and hard to gauge how they will translate to his 2019 return, it’s worth noting his high fly-ball percentage and decreasing K-rate, as these are two numbers we could see worsen with his post-TJ surgery approach. This spring, Smyly failed to go more than 4 innings and got lit up in his finale for 3 runs and 6 hits in 3.2 IP. Below are the key cogs to an Astros stack against the returning lefty;
(1) George Springer (FD: $4,400 / DK: $4,800)
(2) Jose Altuve (FD: $4,400 / DK: $5,200)
(3) Alex Bregman (FD: $4,300 / DK: $5,000)
(4) Carlos Correa (FD: $3,400 / DK: $4,800)
Yes, the prices are high and no, I don’t expect to jam all four of these guys in my lineup, but snagging a piece or two for myself is vital. During his breakout in 2018, Alex Bregman posted a 0.409 wOBA and 0.253 ISO against lefties while only striking out at a 10.0% clip. He’s the top option in the stack, followed closely by George Springer and his 0.358 wOBA against lefties.
Jose Altuve is always a phenomenal play at a thin position, but has come out of the gate slow this season. This could, however, be a great spot to get on board and hope for the looming breakthrough. Carlos Correa remains cheaper than he should be on FanDuel, where he sees a $1,400 discount as compared to DraftKings.
If you want some savings that will get you some exposure to this offense, Tyler White (FD: $2,500 / DK: $4,300) is criminally mis-priced on Fanduel (just look at his DK tag), and held a team-high 0.423 wOBA and 0.288 ISO vs lefties last season. Piggy-backing off of White, if you REALLY want some leverage, Robinson Chirinos has made a career out of brutalizing left-handed pitching to the tune of a 0.362 wOBA and 0.226 ISO. He may clock in as 1% owned in cash games and even less in tournaments – he’s worth the punt should he start.
MLB Daily Fantasy – Primary GPP Stack: Chicago Cubs
The high-octane offenses keep coming in this piece, as the Chicago Cubs get to square off with the third-year southpaw Sean Newcomb, who’s 2018 numbers are outlined below;
Sean Newcomb | ATL
wOBA: 0.299 vs RHB / 0.307 vs LHB
There isn’t a ton of data above that would convince you to stack the Cubs, right? Well, let’s take this one step further and look at Newcomb’s command issues. After posting a concerning 11.6% walk rate in 2018, Newcomb posted a disastrous 9:15 K:BB rate in 17 spring innings.
To pile on, Newcomb has totaled 49 PAs against this Cubs lineup, allowing a 0.487 wOBA, 0.268 ISO and 7 walks (14.3% walk rate). If this continues tonight against this Cubs lineup, we could see a short outing. Below are the key pieces to a tournament stack centered around the Cubs;
(2) Kris Bryant (FD: $4,500 / DK: $4,700)
(4) Javy Baez ($4,500 / DK: $5,100)
(5) Willson Contreras ($2,900 / DK: $3,900)
(6) David Bote (FD: $2,700 / DK: $3,900)
The clear top play here is Kris Bryant. He posted an elite 0.461 wOBA, 0.349 ISO and a 41.4% hard%. He costs a pretty penny at a stacked position, which could lead to suppressed ownership in tournaments. Javy Baez clocks in as the 1B to Bryant’s 1A with his 0.269 ISO and the only thing deterring me from going 100% Baez in GPPs is his lack of discipline at the plate. That should, however, be negated by Newcomb’s inability to find the zone.
Luckily, this stack also provides some tremendous value plays that should also come in at minimal ownership. Willson Contreras posted a 0.356 wOBA last season against lefties and has already reached base 5 times in his first 10 PAs this season. Finally, David Bote comes in as my favorite leverage play in this stack. While he had a rather limited sample-size of 63 PAs against lefties last year, he still posted a 0.372 wOBA and a 0.216 ISO with an elite 47.1% hard-contact percentage.
MLB Daily Fantasy – Secondary GPP Stack: Boston Red Sox
This is the second time in the last week that the Red Sox have squared off against a rather unknown arm, as they’ll step into the batter’s box against 28-year-old Aaron Brooks of the Oakland Athletics. Brooks only saw 2.2 innings in the majors last season, while he saw 99.1 innings in AAA in the Brewers’ system. Due to the lack of legitimate MLB experience, I am going to hold off from listing the rates, as a 2.2 inning sample size is far from sufficient.
With that being said, over his 99.1 innings in AAA last season, Brooks only posted a 18.1% strikeout rate. If there’s any offense that can welcome an inexperienced arm to the league, it’s the Red Sox. The only reason they aren’t listed as a primary cash stack is because of the ambiguity surrounding Brooks, but by no means would I talk you off of stacking them in all formats. Below is the core I would target;
(2) Mookie Betts (FD: $4,800 / DK: $5,400)
(3) Rafael Devers (FD: $3,100 / DK: $4,500)
(4) J.D. Martinez (FD: $4,700 / DK: $5,300)
(6) Mitch Moreland (FD: $2,900 / DK: $3,900)
The obvious top choices here are Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, as both absolutely demolished right-handed pitching, posting wOBAs over 0.430 and ISOs over 0.270, while Martinez in particular sported an ISO of 0.315.
Rafael Devers had a bit of a disappointing 2018, posting a 0.324 wOBA against right-handed pitching, but made up for it with his raw power as he held a 0.222 ISO. He’s posted double-digit FD points in three consecutive games and remains affordable at $3,100, a $1,400 discrepancy compared to DraftKings.
Mitch Moreland is the final piece of the stack that I like here, as he posted a 0.334 wOBA, 0.204 ISO and an elite 11.6% walk rate against righties last season and comes at a discounted rate.