3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Stacks for 4/9/21
Stacks are the backbone of cashing daily fantasy baseball lineups. Correlation drives upside, creating the potential to place high or even win GPPs when your selected stacks explode offensively.
This column will do the digging and the dirty work to determine which stacks are worth rostering each day. Scoring upside will fuel the stacks that get the nod. Sometimes that will lead to chalky selections, but contrarian stacks will get their fair share of love, too.
In addition to utilizing the touted daily stacks in handbuilt lineups, numberFire premium members can throw these highlighted stacks into an optimized lineup using our DFS Sharpstack tool. Our hitting heat map is also available to premium members looking for more stacking options. It provides valuable info such as implied totals, park factors, and stats for identifying the quality of the opposing pitcher.
Let's take a look at the top stacks on today's main slate.
Taylor Widener has pitched 26 innings in the bigs, so he's in the nascent stages of his big-league career. Having said that, he's also the owner of an 8.10 ERA in 100 innings pitched at the Triple-A level; all pitched in 2019. Make no mistake, the Pacific Coast League he pitched in is a paradise for hitters, but an ERA north of 8.00 in the upper-minors is a number to stack against. Additionally, he lacks prospect fanfare, failing to crack the Arizona Diamondbacks' top-30 prospects, per MLB Pipeline, and earning only a 40 future value grade on the 20-to-80 scouting scale at FanGraphs.
Oddsmakers and bettors also are buying into the Cincinnati Reds scoring runs at a stellar clip tonight. MLB odds lists the Reds as -126 favorites in a game with the highest total (9.5 runs) on the slate.
My favorite stacking options begin, presumably, at the top of the lineup if Jesse Winker ($3,100) returns from illness and is reinserted to his perch atop the order. He owns a .390 on-base percentage, .210 isolated power (ISO), and 134 weighted runs created plus (wRC+) against righties since 2018. Joey Votto ($2,700) isn't the stud he once was, but with a 123 wRC+ against righties since 2018 and a 121 wRC+ against righties last year, we're not talking about an Albert Pujols-like decline. He's a rock-solid stacking option with Winker as another hitter with the platoon advantage.
Mike Moustakas ($3,500) is the other left-handed hitter who warrants stacking consideration, and right-handed sluggers Nick Castellanos ($4,200) and Eugenio Suarez ($3,200) are top options from the Red Legs, as well. Winker and Suarez are the two hitters I'm most passionately committed to including in my Cincy stacks.
Los Angeles Angels
The Toronto Blue Jays haven't officially announced a starting pitcher for today as of early Friday morning. However, it appears T.J. Zeuch is the logical candidate to toe the slab after spinning four scoreless innings last Sunday. The right-handed pitcher is a pitch-to-contact hurler, striking out only 14.9 percent of the batters he's faced in 38 innings for the Blue Jays dating back to his debut in 2019. He didn't strike out many batters in the minors, either, so this doesn't appear to be a small-sample blip on the radar.
Pitching to contact is a dangerous proposition when facing a star-studded lineup like the one boasted by the Los Angeles Angels. Further, Zeuch hasn't demonstrated the ability to limit quality contact, allowing an 8.3 percent barrel rate and 42.1 percent hard-hit rate. The pitching matchup, assuming Zeuch starts, is a plus for the Angels.
The venue for tonight's game adds fuel to the fire for stacking the Angels, too. The Blue Jays are playing home games in Dunedin, Florida, and Baseball America credits the stadium with park factors of 1.116 for runs and 1.215 for homers. The Angels hung seven runs on the Blue Jays in 11 innings yesterday, and I'm expecting them to pile up more runs tonight.
This stack's top dog is the slate's most expensive hitter and the game's best since for a while, Mike Trout ($4,500). He can easily be squeezed into lineups under the salary cap without major roster concessions. He's my favorite hitter on the slate and a must-have option in this stack. He is also a great one-off pick to use with the other stacks should you opt to go that route instead.
Teammates Shohei Ohtani ($3,500) and Anthony Rendon ($3,600) are nice stacking options and should be sandwiching Trout in the order. Ohtani's creamed righties to the tune of a .273 ISO and 139 wRC+ since 2018. Rendon's been even better in the split with a .229 ISO and 146 wRC+.
Jared Walsh ($3,100) erupted for a 161 wRC+ at the Triple-A level in 2019 before scuffling with the Angels in a cup of coffee. He's since made good on the promise he showcased in the upper-minors, and he has a .309 ISO and 131 wRC+ in 165 plate appearances against righties in the majors. Walsh is a great inclusion in stacks.
The possible darkhorse who I love as a stacking option is Justin Upton ($2,700). He was awful early last year before righting the ship with an adjustment at the dish. The results have been underwhelming to start this year, but he hasn't been a disaster. Also, his batted-ball data is promising. I'll jump all over him with Upton at a sub-$3,000 salary and potentially on a low percentage of rosters.
Another day, another lefty squaring off with the Houston Astros. They've faced five left-handed starters through seven games, so they should be in good form picking them up from the batter's box. Not including yesterday's four runs and two homers against lefty Cole Irvin in 5 1/3 innings, the Astros have tormented lefties for a .463 on-base percentage, .245 ISO, and 204 wRC+ in 121 plate appearances.
One of the left-handed pitchers they've tortured, Sean Manaea, gets the ball tonight. The Astros bum-rushed him for five runs on six hits, two homers, three walks, and four strikeouts in 4 and 2/3 innings the first time they faced him this season. I'm expecting more success for Houston tonight.
Houston's offense is filled with lefty-smashing goodness. Five of their regulars who've totaled more than 150 plate appearances against southpaws since 2018 have a wRC+ above 130. Wow. Alex Bregman ($4,300) headlines that group with a .426 on-base percentage, 320 ISO, and 188 wRC+ in the split.
Yulieski Gurriel ($3,000), Carlos Correa ($3,000), and Jose Altuve ($3,700) are three more right-handed bats from the aforementioned collection of hitters with better than a 130 wRC+ against lefties since 2018, and all of them are worthy of using in an Astros stack.
Don't assume lefty Yordan Alvarez ($3,900) is a poor play because of the lefty-lefty matchup. He's terrorized southpaws, recording a .377 on-base percentage, .321 ISO, and 162 wRC+ in 151 plate appearances in the split. Fellow young left-handed hitter Kyle Tucker ($3,300) is another hitter of interest with a .207 ISO against lefties in 132 plate appearances in his career.
My primary daily baseball lineup tonight features a blend of all three stacks featured in this space.
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.