4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Stacks for 7/24/20
In the world of daily baseball, stacks are often the backbone of the most successful -- and profitable -- lineups. Correlation is the key.
When an offense hangs runs in bunches, it means hitters are scoring runs and teammates hitting behind them are driving them in. By rostering stacks, you’re maximizing the fantasy scoring by essentially double dipping on a run-scoring event.
This is your daily home for the top stacks on the daily fantasy baseball slate. Whether you’re looking to identify the projected highest-scoring stacks or contrarian stacks that can help you separate from the pack in GPPs when they explode, they’ll be thrown under the spotlight here.
Gamers who are numberFire premium members can throw these highlighted stacks into an optimized lineup using our DFS Sharpstack tool. The tool allows you to select the team and number of players from that team you’d like to include in your lineup. If you’re looking to identify other potentially high-scoring stacks beyond those featured in this space, check out our hitting heat map, a tool that provides valuable info such as implied total, park factor, and stats to identify the quality of the opposing pitcher.
Without further ado, let’s dive into today’s main slate’s featured stacks.
Boston Red Sox
Even on a jam-packed slate featuring 11 games, the Boston Red Sox stand head and shoulders above their stack alternatives. They'll be taking cuts tonight against veteran soft-tossing southpaw Tommy Milone.
Milone owns a career 4.47 ERA and 4.29 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) in 874.2 innings, according to FanGraphs, and he pitched worse than his career marks in 23 appearances (six starts) spanning 111.2 innings last year, posting a 4.76 ERA and 4.30 SIERA. Additionally, he's turned into a fly-ball pitcher in recent years, tallying a 50.0 percent fly-ball percentage in 2018 and 44.8 percent mark last year.
With this game holding the slate's co-highest over/under (9.5 runs) and the Red Sox sitting as sizable -235 moneyline favorites, per FanDuel Sportsbook, the heart of Boston's order is tantalizing for stacking.
Rafael Devers ($3,600), Xander Bogaerts ($3,600), Andrew Benintendi ($2,700) -- especially if he leads off despite the lefty-lefty clash -- and Christian Vazquez ($2,700) are all solid options to mix and match in stacks. However, J.D. Martinez ($3,900) is the key piece who shouldn't be left out of any Red Sox stacks. Further, he's a superb one-off option to use with any other stack.
Among qualified hitters since 2017, no one's been better versus lefties than Martinez. In fact, it hasn't even been close. Martinez's 211 weighted runs created plus (wRC+) is a staggering 25 points higher than the second-highest mark of 186 owned by Nolan Arenado, per FanGraphs. Remarkably, Martinez also leads the way in the split in on-base percentage (OBP) at .449 and isolated power (ISO) at .405.
We could get a great value play atop the order in Kevin Pillar ($2,400) or Jose Peraza ($2,500). They have punt salaries and will make for attractive cap relief options if they lead off, but they're fades otherwise.
Of note for all of Boston's hitters, the sledding might actually get easier after Milone is removed from the game. The Baltimore Orioles' bullpen posted the highest ERA (5.79) and fourth-highest SIERA (4.58) in 2019. After a largely inactive offseason, this remains an awful bullpen that should be knocked around on a nightly basis, starting with this game.
If you're looking for a high-priced, high-upside pivot off of the Red Sox, the Houston Astros make for a superb selection. Last year, Houston's offense led MLB against lefties with a 131 wRC+ and ranked third with a .231 ISO. The Astros' pitching staff lost ace Gerrit Cole, but the lefty-killing lineup remains intact for 2020.
They'll be stepping into the batter's box tonight against pitch-to-contact southpaw Marco Gonzales. Gonzales' 7.9 swinging-strike percentage was tied for the third-lowest mark among qualified pitchers last year. Relying on Houston's potent lineup to hit into outs is a dangerous proposition.
George Springer ($4,000), Jose Altuve ($3,800), Alex Bregman ($4,000), and Carlos Correa ($3,200) make up my preferred Houston quartet with each having standalone value mixed in with another stack. Like the Red Sox stack, the Astros stack will also benefit from facing a bad bullpen. A year ago the Seattle Mariners totaled the ninth-worst bullpen ERA (4.77) and tied for the ninth-worst SIERA (4.40).
Out of the 22 probable starters on tonight's main slate, Danny Duffy's 4.89 SIERA was the fourth-worst in 2019. The veteran lefty's breakout 2016 and stellar 2017 feel like distant memories after back-to-back mediocre-to-poor seasons. He's a fly-ball pitcher (36.0 percent ground-ball percentage and 42.0 percent ground-ball percentage in 2019) who yielded a career-worst 39.1 hard-hit percentage last year.
Additionally, sticking to the theme of bad bullpens, the Kansas City Royals make it three-for-three here. They owned the fourth-highest ERA (5.07) and highest SIERA (4.62) in 2019.
The Cleveland Indians are -200 favorites tonight in a game with an over/under of 8.5 runs. That total is tied with five other games for the third-highest of the slate, but the Indians are the biggest favorites of any team in those contests. They're a decent bet to hang a crooked number tonight, and, as an added bonus, their top stacking options actually mesh nicely with the elite options from the Red Sox.
There is overlap at shortstop between the previously mentioned Bogaerts and Francisco Lindor ($3,800) and at third with Devers and Jose Ramirez ($3,500). Interestingly, the combined salaries of Bogaerts and Devers add up to $7,200 while Lindor's and Ramirez's salaries total just $100 more ($7,300), making them great pivots in GPPs.
Carlos Santana ($3,200) is a key piece either in a contrarian stack including Lindor and Ramirez or in an Indians stack meshed with the Red Sox stack. Since 2017, he owns a .379 OBP, .199 ISO, and 126 wRC+ against lefties. Last year, though, he was even better with a .428 OBP, .227 ISO, and 153 wRC+ in the split.
My other favorite stacking options on the Indians share the common thread of being cheap. Cesar Hernandez ($2,500) is the least exciting of this group, but he's a defensible option if he leads off like he did against left-handed starter Derek Holland in the Spring Training 2.0 game on Wednesday.
The guys I'm enamored with from the cheap group are headlined by Franmil Reyes ($2,700). In addition to slaughtering lefties (.387 OBP, .245 ISO and 148 wRC+ in 238 plate appearances in his career against them), he's a Statcast darling. Out of hitters with the minimum number of qualified batted-ball events, Reyes ranked 14th in barrels per plate appearance percentage (9.3 percent) and fourth in fly-ball and line drive exit velocity (99.2 miles per hour), according to Baseball Savant. Fellow outfielders Domingo Santana ($2,500) and Jordan Luplow ($2,200) also warrant GPP consideration, but both are candidates to get pulled early -- Santana for a superior defensive replacement and Luplow for a pinch-hitter who doesn't struggle with righties.
San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres are the sneakiest of the stacks included in this piece. Madison Bumgarner makes for the toughest starter any of the suggested stacks will face off against, but he's also not the same frontline starter he once was. His 3.90 ERA last year was decent, but it also outpaced his 4.15 SIERA. Additionally, he was tied for the second-highest weighted on-base average (wOBA) allowed to right-handed batters (.318) out of the starters on tonight's main slate. Also, he coughed up the second-highest hard-hit percentage in 2019 among tonight's arms (43.8 percent).
Fernando Tatis Jr. ($3,300) looks like an underpriced option, and he kicks off this stack at the top of San Diego's lineup. His rookie season was cut short due to injury but not before he showed off his loud tools and sensational ability, including mashing lefties. In an admittedly small sample of 83 plate appearances, he tattooed southpaws for a .306 ISO and 223 wRC+ and totaled an eye-popping .542 OBP.
Likely hitting behind him in the order is Manny Machado ($3,000). After beginning his career with a reverse platoon split, things have normalized, and he hammers southpaws now. In 530 plate appearances against lefties since 2017, he's ripped off a .368 OBP, .276 ISO, and 143 wRC+. Hooking the left side of San Diego's infield is solid play if you don't want to invest in the full stack, but their new switch-hitting second baseman and a pair of outfielders provide options for fleshing out a full stack.
Jurickson Profar ($2,400) is coming off of a highly productive season against lefties in which he totaled a .378 OBP, .152 ISO, and 125 wRC+ in 119 plate appearances. Tommy Pham ($2,900) looks like a steal at his bargain price tag with a robust .435 OBP, .181 ISO, and 154 wRC+ in 457 plate appearances against lefties in 2019 -- and that doesn't account for the benefit of likely hitting third in the lineup.
Wil Myers ($2,500) looks like a major beneficiary from MLB implementing a universal designated hitter this year, and I suspect he'll go under the radar Friday, making him a strong GPP option in this stack. Last year was a down year for him overall, but he was a thorn in the side of southpaws with a .365 OBP, .279 ISO, and 130 wRC+ in 104 plate appearances against them. Much like the cheap options in the Cleveland stack, the bargain plays from the Friars can be stacked along with the high-priced Red Sox or Astros.
Joshua Shepardson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Joshua Shepardson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username bchad50. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.