4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Stacks for 7/29/20
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.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Rookie Cristian Javier has made one relief appearance for the Houston Astros this year, but tonight will mark his first start for them. He's amassed only 85 innings in the upper minors (Double-A and Triple-A), and all of those innings were totaled last year. He's very green, and he'll be facing a stiff uptick in competition from what he's seen in his professional career tonight against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Last year, the Dodgers ranked first in isolated power (ISO) and second in weighted runs created plus (wRC+) against right-handed pitchers, according to FanGraphs. They didn't rest on their laurels, though, they added Mookie Betts ($4,100) to their terrifyingly good lineup. Betts is a great stack option and is one of three Dodgers who rank top-25 in wRC+ against righties among qualified hitters since 2017, ranking 22nd with a 135 wRC+.
Cody Bellinger ($4,400) and Max Muncy ($3,900) both reside in the top-10 hitters in wRC+ on that leaderboard at eighth and sixth, respectively, with a 148 and 152 wRC+. Both also boast some of the game's best power numbers, with Bellinger checking in tied for fifth in ISO (.294) and Muncy ranking fourth (.302). The trio of Muncy, Betts, and Bellinger will cost you a pretty penny, and make it nearly impossible to flesh out the rest of a usable lineup around Gerrit Cole and his slate-leading salary of $11,700, but dropping one and using some of the other Dodgers such as Joc Pederson ($2,900), Corey Seager ($3,100), or Justin Turner ($3,300) leaves the door open to a Cole plus Dodgers stack. Additionally, using just one of Muncy, Betts, and Bellinger with two of Pederson, Seager, and Turner is very doable. The Dodgers' offense has the upside to push you to the top of a GPP with a non-Cole starter, too.
Daniel Ponce de Leon toes the slab for the St. Louis Cardinals tonight. In 13 appearances (eight starts) for the Cardinals last year spanning 48.2 innings, he recorded a solid 3.70 ERA. Not so fast, though -- his solid ERA looks to be mostly smoke and mirrors and unsustainable. The righty walked an alarming 12.8 percent of the batters he faced, and his 4.74 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) is more representative of the quality of his work.
The Minnesota Twins weren't far behind the Dodgers in offense against righties last year, ranking fourth in wRC+ (112) and second in ISO (.220). They obviously didn't add a Betts to their lineup, but they did add Josh Donaldson ($3,100). While Donaldson's best known for his lefty mashing, he's terrorized righties plenty as well. In 1,058 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers since 2017, he's ripped off a .374 OBP, .253 ISO, and 134 wRC+.
Returning slugger Nelson Cruz is another right-handed thumper in Minnesota's lineup who's most recognized for his excellence against southpaws. However, he's been even more dangerous against righties than Donaldson with a .359 OBP, .271 ISO, and 146 wRC+ in 1,284 plate appearances against them since 2017. Further, the grizzled veteran isn't showing any signs of decline. On the contrary, actually. Last year, Cruz led qualified hitters in barrels per plate appearance percentage and ranked third in fly-ball and line-drive exit velocity (99.2 miles per hour), according to Baseball Savant.
The club's leadoff hitter, Max Kepler ($3,000), is also a great option in this stack and a bargain at just $3,000 to boot! The 27-year-old left-handed hitter's power took off last year. He set new highs in ISO (.281), pulled-ball percentage (54.8 percent), and hard-hit ball percentage (43.9 percent) against right-handed pitchers in 2019. He already has a two-homer game under his belt this year, so that power doesn't appear to have gone anywhere.
While Donaldson, Cruz, and Kepler are my three favorite members of this stack, Minnesota's lineup is truly stackable from top to bottom.
St. Louis Cardinals
Minnesota's opponent, the St. Louis Cardinals, aren't as high-powered or deep, but they're an enticing stack in their own right. Namely, a few righties stand out as strong stacks against lefty Rich Hill. When Hill's healthy, he's been resurrecting his career from the ashes. He's not death on right-handed batters, though. Last year, he allowed a .309 wOBA to them. That's below the league-average of a .320 wOBA sported by hitters in 2019, but it's not a number to run scared from.
As a rookie last year, Tommy Edman ($2,500) went from unheralded prospect to the latest success story from the Red Birds' farm system. The switch-hitting Swiss Army knife, who's outfield eligible on FanDuel, was a punisher of left-handed pitcher offerings last season. In an admittedly small sample of 92 plate appearances against lefties last year, he creamed them to the tune of a .380 OBP, .262 ISO, and 151 wRC+. He also made a great deal of hard contact with a 44.3 percent hard-hit ball percentage. Edelman's scuffled out of the gates this year, but the year's young and the Cards have enough faith in him to use him as number-two hitter -- which is a boost to his scoring upside.
Paul Goldschmidt's ($3,700) first year with the Cardinals wasn't up to his usual standards, but he still pulverized lefties with a .298 ISO and 148 wRC+ against them. Since 2017, he's been one of the game's best against lefties with a .406 OBP, .281 ISO, and 150 wRC+. He's begun this year hitting more like vintage Goldy with a homer and 146 wRC+ thus far, and he's the crown jewel of this stack.
The other Cardinal I'll shine the spotlight on from this stack is Paul DeJong ($3,200). He's actually been a few ticks below average against lefties in his career. In 345 plate appearances against lefties since reaching the Majors in 2017, he owns a 97 wRC+. His .191 ISO against them is solid, however, and he does a fantastic job of getting the ball in the air with a 46.6 percent fly-ball percentage against lefties in his career. His ability to lift the ball and above-average pop makes him a threat to reach the seats. The 26-year-old shortstop's fantasy value also gets a bump from a favorable lineup spot. The Cardinals have faced only right-handed starters through four games and slotted DeJong in the cleanup spot, and he'll likely retain a prominent lineup spot -- perhaps remaining in the cleanup spot -- tonight.
I can't imagine I'm going to suggest stacking the Detroit Tigers often this year, but the conditions are ideal for using them tonight. For starters, as you might have deduced from my mentioning Cole in the Dodgers' write-up above, I'm highly interested in stacking around his cathedral-ceiling high scoring upside tonight. Stacking the Tigers -- even with another of the featured stacks -- allows you to use Cole and cobble together a full lineup with big scoring upside.
There are bargains left and right on the Tigers, but the quartet of hitters who hit in the top-four spots in Detroit's lineup the last time they faced a lefty are the apples of my eye. The Tigers faced lefty Mike Montgomery on Sunday and used Niko Goodrum ($2,500) atop their order, followed by Jonathan Schoop ($2,500), Miguel Cabrera ($2,700), and C.J. Cron ($3,100). Tonight, Danny Duffy opposes the Tigers.
Duffy's coming off of a pair of mediocre or worse seasons. He's started one game this year, firing 4 and 1/3 innings and allowing two earned runs on three hits, zero walks, and two strikeouts. Looking at his PITCHf/x data on his Brooks Baseball player card reveals his velocity has taken a nose dive to open this campaign. Given the unusual circumstances this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, perhaps he'll pick those ticks back up on his heater, but operating just above 90 miles per hour with his four-seamer and 91 miles per hour with his sinker leaves him less room for error presently. Even without depressed velocity last year, he was merely adequate against right-handed batters, yielding a .318 wOBA to them. I'll gladly take aim at Duffy in GPPs tonight with a Goodrum/Schoop/Cabrera/Cron stack.
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.