4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Stacks for 7/27/20
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.
Kendall Graveman last pitched in a meaningful game in the Majors on May 11, 2018. He underwent Tommy John surgery over that summer, and he made a couple of appearances in the minors last year. Welcome back to the Bigs, and your assignment in your return is to navigate the stacked bats of the Houston Astros. Best of luck.
Perhaps his elbow that later required Tommy John surgery had a hand in his awful work in 2018, but his 7.60 ERA and 4.47 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) in seven starts spanning 34.1 innings for the Oakland Athletics, according to FanGraphs, certainly grab attention as being highly stackable against. The right-handed Graveman was a punching bag for both left-handed and right-handed batters alike that year, with the former knocking him around for a .394 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and the latter flaming him for a .382 wOBA in 2018. For his career, he's yielded a .324 wOBA to lefties and .336 wOBA to righties. Putting that number in perspective, the league average wOBA for hitters was .320 in 2019 and was lower in the preceding season when Graveman last pitched at .315.
The Astros are stackable throughout the entirety of their lineup from leadoff hitter George Springer ($3,900) through the ninth spot. Cleanup hitter Michael Brantley ($3,300) offers the most bang for your buck as well as holding the platoon advantage. Yes, Graveman has been more giving to righties than lefties throughout his career, but the left-handed-hitting Brantley holds a traditional platoon split that favors hitting against the opposite-handed opposing hurler. Since 2017, Brantley owns a .380 OBP, .202 isolated power (ISO), and 139 weighted runs created plus (wRC+) versus righties. Brantley was even better than his cumulative since-2017 marks last year with the rabbit ball, ripping off a .380 OBP, .226 ISO, and 146 wRC+.
Jose Altuve ($4,000), Alex Bregman ($3,900), Yulieski Gurriel ($3,000), and Carlos Correa ($3,300) all rip the cover off of the ball against righties and can be mixed and matched into stacks, too. Slotting all the way down in the eighth spot in the order in Houston's only game against a righty through three regular-season contests was talented youngster Kyle Tucker ($2,500). Tucker was a highly regarded prospect according to multiple reputable prospect evaluating outlets, and he flashed his high-end potential last year for the Astros after taking a blow torch to Triple-A pitching. He's a cheap piece of exposure to the Astros stack, and, if he's in the eighth spot against tonight, can be used in a wrap-around stack or ending a stack including some of the studs ahead of him in the order.
The Milwaukee Brewers will be taking hacks tonight against thoroughly below-average starter Steven Brault. Brault split time between the rotation and bullpen for the Pittsburgh Pirates last year, and in 19 starts totaling 95.2 innings, he was knocked around for a 4.99 ERA and 5.02 SIERA. The southpaw was actually good against left-handed batters, holding them to a .295 wOBA. Right-handed batters, on the other hand, terrorized him and beat him up to the tune of a .351 wOBA.
Despite Brault's success against left-handed batters, I'm of the opinion pivoting off of Christian Yelich ($4,400) and sticking with only Milwaukee's right-handed hitters is a mistake -- especially in GPPs. The lefty-lefty matchup and Yelich's sizable salary could serve to depress his ownership, making him incredibly valuable in GPPs if he has a big hand in the Brewers roughing up Brault.
Lorenzo Cain ($2,900), Keston Hiura ($3,300), Ryan Braun ($3,000) -- assuming yesterday's day on the bench was a product of facing a right-handed pitcher --, and Avisail Garcia ($2,500) are my favorite right-handed-hitting stacking options from the Beer Makers. Don't be dissuaded from using Hiura after his poor showing against southpaws in a small sample of 83 plate appearances against them in the Majors last year. MiLB.com credited Hiura with a gaudy 1.061 on-base plus slugging (OPS) in 62 at-bats against lefties at the Triple-A level last year, and Baseball-Reference credited him with a strong .994 OPS in 137 plate appearances totaled against left-handed pitchers at the High-A and Double-A levels combined in 2018. Consider last year's showing against lefties in the Bigs little more than a hiccup.
Spoiler alert, but I love the stacking options of both participants in this National League Central showdown between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds. Having said that, given the heavy exposure I'm going to advocate for both clubs, it behooves me to also caution The Weather Channel's hourly weather forecast for Cincinnati as of late Sunday night indicates the possibility of rain and, more alarmingly, possible thunderstorms. Keep tabs on the weather, but even if the forecast isn't safe and there's a chance they get this one in, there's ample upside on both sides of the contest to warrant stacking in GPPs.
Let's start with the Cubs. I'm a proponent of ditching Anthony Rizzo ($3,700) from stacks, but I'm enamored with his right-handed teammates with thump, starting with Kris Bryant ($3,700). He has an exemplary track record of pummeling southpaws, and he was especially good against them last year with a .426 OBP, .333 ISO, and 169 wRC+ in 129 plate appearances. Javier Baez ($3,600) hasn't matched Bryant's degree of excellence, but his .355 OBP, .279 ISO, and 139 wRC+ in 392 plate appearances against lefties since 2017 are quite good and nothing to sneeze at. Willson Contreras ($3,000) is the other premium piece of Cubs stack exposure, and he's tattooed southpaws for a .241 ISO and 137 wRC+ since 2017. If manager David Ross inserts Steven Souza ($2,100) into the lineup for the Cubs first game against a left-handed starter this year, Souza's a sneaky GPP option at nearly the minimum salary.
All of the aforementioned right-handed hitters should be licking their chops at the prospect of taking hacks at Great American Ball Park. According to the three-year average used at FantasyPros, Great American Ball Park has the fifth-highest park factor for right-handed homers at 1.162. In other words, the ballpark enhances homers to right-handed hitters by 16.2 percent compared to a neutral setting.
The right-handed homer-friendly park factors at Great American Ball Park also boost the outlook of the right-handed hitters in the Reds lineup. Opposing lefty Jon Lester didn't provide a great deal of resistance to right-handed batters in 2019, ceding a .340 wOBA to them. Lester taking the bump for the Cubs is a plus matchup for the Reds righties.
The guy to own in any Reds stack is Eugenio Suarez ($3,400). He actually trails teammate Nick Castellanos ($3,400) in some key stats against lefties since 2017 such as ISO and wRC+, but it's Suarez's ability to thump left-handed pitchers in his home yard that make him my favorite option on the Red Legs. Suarez has parlayed an otherworldly 56.5 hard-hit percentage in 236 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers at Great American Ball Park since 2017 into a .330 ISO and 168 wRC+ all while reaching base a ton with a silly .428 OBP.
Since this is a stacking piece, I suppose it was unnecessary for me to split hairs and anoint Suarez as the top option from the Reds, because I'm also going to strongly suggest using Castellanos. He owns his own dreamy batted-ball data with a robust 45.9 hard-hit percentage in 432 plate appearances against lefties since 2017. In that time frame, he's tallied a .400 OBP, .273 ISO, and 169 wRC+.
Platoon outfielder Phillip Ervin ($2,600) is worth a look in GPPs with the caveat being he's a candidate to be pulled for a pinch-hitter if the Cubs bring in a right-handed reliever to face his spot in the order. Having said that, he sat in the catbird seat in Cincinnati's opener as the leadoff hitter against lefty Matt Boyd. Presumably, he'll be nestled in the top spot in the order again tonight, putting him in an advantageous spot to pile up fantasy points if the Reds beat up on Lester like I expect them to do.
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.