MLB Stacks: April 26

If you’re familiar with MLB DFS, then you know that scoring and fantasy production among any one team are highly correlated, so in order to maximize the upside of your lineups, it’s beneficial to stack batters of teams that are in good spots or that you believe will pop off. Since the majority of your lineup’s scoring usually comes from the batters, the key to those big scores and taking down a GPP is hitting on your stack or stacks of choice. This article is designed to help you do that, and in it I will highlight the top 2 overall stacks of the day, a value stack that is underpriced for the matchup and expected production, and also a HULO (High Upside, Low Ownership) stack that should go under-owned on the slate but has the potential to explode.

Top Stacks

Coors Field Game Stack  – Opposing Pitchers – Tanner Roark (RHP) / Tyler Chatwood (RHP)

So tonight is one of those interesting spots where stats lead in two different directions and we have to decide which stat is going to win out.  Vegas has this game at a 11.5 o/u and anywhere from a pick-em to a slight favorite for Colorado.  The two biggest things I see right now in this game are one, that the bullpens are completely zapped, meaning if these starters get rocked they may be forced to ride it out.  Two, both these pitchers are decent ground ball pitchers, which do tend to lead to better performances at Coors.

In his two games at Coors this year, Chatwood faced the Padres, and the Giants, not exactly deadly offenses, and he gave up 4 earned runs in each outing.  He gave up 2 Home runs to the pads and 1 to the Giants for a HR/9 of 2.88.   His regression numbers are pretty even, so regression is not really a factor, but he goes up against a volatile Nats offense that just hung 15 on them yesterday.

Roark is a pitcher who has consistently struggled against left handers, while shutting down right handers.   On the season he has a .326 wOBA against lefties with a 1.69 HR/9 and a whip of 1.31, up significantly from his career numbers of .306 / .93 / 1.26.  His regression numbers lean towards slight negative regression, so his increase against lefties is certainly likely to be sustained.

So how do we approach this game?  Our Vibe ratings that measure popularity have the Nats as the top stack of the day, and the rockies as the 18th ranked stack, despite the fact that the Rockies have the highest implied total on the day.   The problem is the way that Roark pitches,  he is likely to have a lot of his damage from the lefties in the lineup, and the Nats are likely to be over owned.

So my recommendation for the day is actually to game stack this game to allow you exposure to both sides and separate yourself from the field a bit in terms of ownership and combinations.   On the Rockies side of the ball the plays are obvious.  Charlie Blackmon ($10,800), Carlos Gonzalez($10,000) at the high end,  Gerardo Parra($8,000), and Tony Wolters($6,300) keep your salary down and are viable lefties.  From there I would mix or match with 3-4 Nationals depending on how low you are willing to gamble on pitching.   Bryce Harper will obviously rate out as the top Nat, but will cost you $12,000.  Trey Turner is all the way up to $10,500 after his monster performance yesterday.  If you want both with the top Rockies you will need to be prepared to look at the Mat Latos and Trevor Cahill type pitching today to pull it off.

If you can live with fading one or both of the top guys we get some nice hitters at more realistic salaries.  The rest of the Nats are all in play.  Adam Eaton($10,200), Ryan Zimmermann($9,600), Anthony Rendon($9,200), Jayson Werth($8,800) and Matt Wieters($8,100) make great options.  If you look at the teams who put up monster scores, you will notice plenty of production from the 6-9 hitters.  Often times too in blowout situations, the stars are the ones pulled first for extra rest.  So if you are banking on another 12-15 run performance it doesn’t hurt to take some of these later order Nats hitters to fill in your game stack.   Their numbers are solid 1-8.

Arizona (vs San Diego) – Opposing Pitcher – Trevor Cahill (RHP)

Arizona has come alive the last 5 games, averaging 8.4 runs per game over their last 5.  A nice home stand will do that for you. After a really slow start to the season, these hitters seem locked in and they get another nice matchup at home tonight against Trevor Cahill.   If this game were in another park I think I would definitely be more hesitant with the DBacks.  I don’t think Cahill is an awful pitcher, and his numbers this season have been good, just a .203 wOBA to lefties, and a .308 wOBA to righties.   But in the same tone he has given up a 2.16 HR/9 to righties, and with a BABIP of only .233 we are expecting some negative regression.  Oh yeah, the game is also in Arizona, where the team right now is hitting a .432 wOBA.   The Diamondbacks are the 3rd highest implied total on the slate behind Coors, and I think this game could go either way with the DBacks crushing or putting up a dud, but right now I am going with the crush given how they have played recently.

Against Righties the Diamondbacks have a core 4 you can auto plug in.  David Peralta($8,000), Paul Goldschmidt($9,600), Jake Lamb($7,800), and Yasmany Tomas($7,500) are just too cheap, and if they were not a top stack I would have them as my value stack today.   Beyond that if you want to full stack, A.J. Pollock($8,000) and Brandon Drury($6,600) are worth a look.   Chris Owings ($6,800) has been hot but as the worst numbers against Righties in the starting lineup.  So if you trust recent performance fire him up, if you trust the career numbers fade him.  He also carries a ton more value if he is slotted 2nd in the lineup vs 7th or 8th, so be sure to check the DBacks lineup when it is released.

Value Stack

St. Louis Cardinals (vs Toronto Blue Jays) – Opposing Pitcher – Mat Latos (RHP)

There are some weather concerns in this one so be sure to check the forecast closer to lineup lock.  The Cardinals come pretty cheap thanks to their awful start to the season.  they get to face Mat Latos, who gave up 6 hits, and 4 earned runs to the Angels in his one start, and while the sample size is small has negative regression numbers to go with it.   Again with a small sample size, his velocity was down anywhere from 4 – 8 mph in his start this season compared to his numbers last year.

Don’t take my word for it though, Vegas has the Cards as the 6th highest team on the slate, and popularity rankings have them as the second highest, so everyone seems to be on board.  On Fantasy Draft specifically you have to get some exposure if you are playing multiple lineups because the prices are just too cheap.

The most expensive players in your Cardinals stack will be a stout Matt Carpenter($8,000), and Dexter Fowler($8,000).  After that,  Stephen Piscotty($7,800), Aledmys Diaz($7,600), Randal Grichuk($7,200), Jedd Gyorko($6,600) and Yadier Molina($6,400) are all in play and allow to reach into the upper echelon of nice pitching on the slate tonight, as we have a couple aces in good spots.  Molina,  is 12-25 against Latos lifetime, and makes a great punt play in stacks or as a one off.  Don’t forget to get some exposure to Carlos Martinez($17,400) with your Cards stack, he has as much upside as anyone on the slate.

 

HULO Stack

Texas Rangers (vs. Minnesota) – Opposing Pitcher – Hector Santiago (LHP)

At the time of this article, the Rangers have the 4th highest implied Vegas total, and the 23rd highest popularity rating.   This is the time of year where regression numbers start to get just enough sample size to have merit, especially when there is major regression projected.  It allows you to get teams in good spots at a low ownership.  Hector Santiago has fared well this season, with a 2-1 record and a 2.19 ERA.  Yet he is almost a full run underdog against Hamels in a game with a 9 o/u.

Now Texas is a hitters park and that contributes some, but the bigger reason for the high o/u is that both pitchers have almost identical stats and have serious negative regression coming.   Santiago has a BABIP of just .247, with an ERA of 2.19 but an xFIP of 4.74.  Same story for Hamels, a .203 BABIP with a 2.77 ERA and a 5.01 xFIP.   These numbers put both these teams in play, but given that Vegas favors the Rangers by a full run, but both teams are tied for 23rd on the popularity scale, I am going to side with Vegas and the Rangers.

This leads us to the challenge of who to target for the Rangers.  Here is how I am building my stack.  Carlos Gomez($7,800) hits for power against Lefties and Righties and is an auto lock for me any time Is tack the Rangers.   Nomar Mazara($7,800) has not had great splits in his tiny sample size against lefties, but we know he is talented, and he is 2-6 against Santiago, which is obviously a small sample size but simply tells us he is capable of getting hits off Santiago.   Mike Napoli($7,600) is another staple for his power against lefties.   Rougned Odor($8,400) has not been good against Lefties, but he is 11-26 with a home run lifetime against Santiago, and that is a good enough sample size to lock and load him.   Ryan Rua($5,700) also has decent stats against Santiago at 6-13 and hits lefties for some solid power.   If you need a 6th, Jonathan Lucroy($7,600) has been bad all season, but career wise does crush left handed pitching, or Joey Gallo($7,200) has a .237 ISO against lefties.  As for me I am loading up my core 5 in GPPs.

Evan Burgmeier

Evan Burgmeier

Evan Burgmeier (@BurgsTheWord1) is the Podcast Host and MLB analyst for DFSDatalytics.com and DFSDash.com

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