MLB Stacks: April 9th 2018
If you’re ever played 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.
In this article, I’ll list the teams who are in the best spot overall and which batters to target in those lineups, as well as some underpriced stacks and/or “HULO” (High Upside, Low Ownership) stacks that could fly under the radar but have the potential to put up some big numbers.
Washington Nationals (vs Atlanta) – Opposing Pitcher –Julio Teheran (RHP) Vegas: 4.7
Julio Teheran has had a rough start to the year. His pitch velocity is down, and his recent statcast data is downright ATROCIOUS. He’s currently allowing a batted ball distance of 252ft (!!!), a hard hit % of 44%, and an average exit velocity of 94mph. All of that spells trouble vs the Nationals tonight. I don’t have to mention Bryce Harper, who not only murders RHP but in particularly demolishes Julio Teheran, having gone 18-39 with 8 HRs vs him in his career. Harper will likely be the highest owned player, batter or pitcher, on the night, and it’s scary as hell to fade him right now. To round out the stack, I would include Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon, Howie Kendrick and Brian Goodwin. Only Goodwin is on the positive side of his splits, but Rendon has stellar wOBA and ISO vs RHP (.384/.201), and Turner and Kendrick both have positive recent batted ball profiles via statcast data. Turner also provides stolen base upside any time he gets on, which is a source of fantasy points that can pile up quickly.
Colorado Rockies (vs San Diego) – Opposing Pitcher – Clayton Richard (LHP) Vegas: 5.5
Any time the Rockies are at home, they have to be considered as a potential stack. When they face a LHP especially, it’s game on. Clayton Richard isn’t exactly awful, as he is a groundball pitcher who doesn’t get rocked all that often because of it, but all bets are off in Coors. The play I’d recommend here is a straight 1-5 stack of the Rockies – Blackmon, Lemahieu, Arenado, Story and Desmond. Other than Blackmon, the rest of the Rockies bats listed are on the positive side of their splits, and Richard himself has some pretty extreme splits vs RHBs too. In addition, Lemahieu/Arenado/Story all do well at lifting the ball when they make contact, something Richard gives up quite a bit. And while Blackmon is the most expensive hitter on the slate, he has been absolutely MASHING the ball this season and should not be left off this stack for any reason. Besides that, he still has ELITE numbers vs LHP, sporting a wOBA and ISO of .398/.223. If the Rockies get to Richard quickly, Blackmon will have the chance to go wild against the Pads bullpen and put up crooked numbers at a fraction of the ownership of Bryce Harper.
Philadelphia Phillies (Vs Cincy) – Opposing Pitcher – Cody Reed (LHP) Vegas: 4.9
The Phillies are at home for a tilt vs the Cincinnati Reds and young lefty Cody Reed. The way to target Reed is from the right side of the plate, as he demonstrates noticeable splits and is much worse vs righties. Rhys Hoskins has been tearing the cover off the ball so far this season with a batted ball profile of 257ft, 90mph avEV & 63% flyball ratio, and is a borderline must-play vs any LHP with splits of .394/.395, especially an inexperienced one such as Reed. The stack I’d recommend here is a 1-2-4-5 stack of Cesar Hernandez, Carlos Santana, Rhys Hoskins and Maikel Franco. Santana in particular is intriguing, as he is a switch-hitter who actually hits RHPs better but recently has put up a 241ft batted ball distance to go with 46% HH%.
Los Angeles Angels (@ Texas) – Opposing pitcher – Doug Fister (RHP) Vegas: 4.8
The Angels see a favorable ballpark shift and get to take on Doug Fister tonight. First off, I have to note how incredible of a start to the season that Shohei Ohtani has had so far. It’s just ridiculous, and it’s a GD crime that he isn’t able to be in the lineup tonight vs Fister because he pitched yesterday. I expect the Angels to get some decent ownership tonight (with good reason), which is why I’m recommending an unconventional wraparound stack of 1-2-3-5-9 (Cozart-Trout-Upton-Calhoun-Ryan Schimpf). I don’t need to say anything about Mike Trout, who is just bar none the best player in the game. Cozart (.370/.227) has really been hitting the ball well since moving from the Reds to the Angels, even though the results haven’t quite come as much as we’d like yet. Justin Upton is the protection that Mike Trout has always needed in that Angels lineup and hits RHP well too (.351/.237), and Calhoun is certainly always in play vs a RHP as well, being on the positive side of his splits. The last batter I want to mention is Ryan Schimpf, who homered yesterday and historically mashes RHP. He’s at the end of the lineup, so including him in an Angels stack will likely help differentiate you. He K’s a lot, but against a pitcher in Fister who doesn’t miss many bats, he should be able to get a hold of one and take it for a ride. At only 2.5K on DK and with 2b/3b eligibility, I’m even considering using him as a one-off in a couple lineups.
Atlanta Braves – Opposing Pitcher – Max Scherzer (RHP) Vegas: 2.9
Much like standing in the batter’s box facing Max Scherzer, this stack is not for the faint of heart. We know that Scherzer is one of THE top arms in the league, but he’s not infallible and if he isn’t missing bats, he can get knocked around a bit. While I wouldn’t go crazy with Braves bats, lefties can get to Max sometimes, so a mini-stack of Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman, or a 2-3-4 of Albies, Freeman and Nick Markakis will be super low-owned and would be the guys to get to Max if anyone does. All 3 of those guys have swung the bat well this year. Freeman’s performance against RHPs is well known (.439 wOBA/ .297 ISO), while Albies and Markakis are no slouches either (.331/.184 and .327/.100 respectively). Again, this one takes stones to play, and you’ve got to be ok with risking donuts across the board, but if they put up some crooked numbers, you’ll be way ahead of the field.