3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Stacks for Thursday 4/22/21
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 tool is also available to premium members looking for more stacking options. It provides valuable info such as implied total, 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.
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox disappointed in a smash spot last night, but they're in another one tonight. Let's go back to the well against a bad pitcher at hitter-friendly Fenway Park.
Justin Dunn has a 3.72 ERA through two starts spanning only 9 and 2/3 innings, but he's been extremely lucky. He's yielded a microscopic .095 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) and has a 6.81 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA). Most eye-catching, perhaps, is his 23.8% walk rate. Walks and poor peripheral numbers aren't a recent development for Dunn, as he owns an 18.5% walk rate and 6.46 SIERA in 62 innings pitched, dating back to his big-league debut in 2019.
He's playing with fire, and doing so at Fenway Park should result in his ERA getting cooked. Fenway Park has the third-highest park factor for runs (1.103), per the three-year average used at FantasyPros. Unsurprisingly, the Red Sox have the highest implied total on the slate. You'll want exposure to it.
You can stack the Red Sox from top to bottom, but I'll call your attention to my favorite duo in the lineup. The team's number-three hitter, J.D. Martinez ($4,500) and cleanup hitter Xander Bogaerts ($3,000) are the two players in this stack I'll be most exposed to. They rank as the top two hitters on the team in weighted runs created plus (wRC+) against righties since 2018 at 137 and 138, respectively, according to FanGraphs. They're also the team's two most productive hitters this year, with Bogaerts sporting a 183 wRC+ and Martinez leading the way with a 225 wRC+.
The Chicago Cubs hung 16 runs, including six (three earned) on southpaw David Peterson, on the scoreboard last night. They'll likely get a point-chasing boost to the percentage of rosters they're on tonight, but they're a high-upside stack against another lefty, Joey Lucchesi, tonight.
Even without accounting for last night's outburst, the Cubs rank 10th in wRC+ (114) and first in isolated power (ISO) against lefties this year. We're less than a month into the season, so I can forgive you for failing to put too much stock in their early-season success. Fortunately, some of their most integral hitters have track records of annihilating lefties.
Left-handed hitting first baseman Anthony Rizzo ($3,400) isn't one of my favorite stacking options from the team, but his .348 on-base percentage and 102 wRC+ against lefties since 2018 bode for the hitters around him in the lineup. The biggest beneficiary of Rizzo's competence and on-base skills against lefties is cleanup hitter Javier Baez ($3,900). He's one of the best stacking options with a gaudy .275 ISO against lefties since 2018.
My other favorite stacking options from the Cubbies are Willson Contreras ($3,600) and Kris Bryant ($3,800). Contreras has above-average power against lefties with a .223 ISO since 2018. He's also off to a fabulous start to the year with five homers, a .308 ISO, .391 on-base percentage, and 161 wRC+. Bryant's been nearly his equal this year with five homers, a .339 ISO, .373 on-base percentage, and 160 wRC+, and he's been even better since 2018 with a .420 on-base percentage, .336 ISO, and 179 wRC+. These two will be on the bulk of my daily rosters tonight, even those I don't utilize a full Cubs stack on.
San Francisco Giants
The Red Sox and Cubs should be chalky stacks tonight, but that might not be the case for the San Francisco Giants. Their offense lacks star power, but they make up for it with platoon hitters who make the most of their platoon advantage. Further, their most talented lefty-mashers have been at their best when looking at the most recent seasons.
Austin Slater ($2,700) sits atop the order against lefties, and he has a .388 on-base percentage, .254 ISO, and 144 wRC+ against lefties since 2019. Don't dismiss left-handed hitting outfielder Mike Yastrzemski ($2,900) from stacking consideration because of the lefty-lefty matchup; he's terrorized them for a .363 on-base percentage, .247 ISO, and 138 wRC+ since 2019.
Evan Longoria ($3,100) is in the midst of a resurgence this year. According to Baseball Savant, he ranks in the 94th percentile in expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA) and barrel percentage, the 98th percentile in average exit velocity, and the 99th percentile in hard-hit percentage. He's crushing the ball, and he's mashed four taters this year. He's one of my favorite stacking options from the team.
The two others I'm locked in on are more platoon-advantage-specific selections. Darin Ruf ($2,000) is a candidate to be lifted for a pinch-hitter, pinch-runner, or defensive replacement. Still, he has a minimum salary and plus power that's manifested in a .319 ISO in 81 plate appearances against lefties since returning stateside last year following a three-year run in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO).
Wilmer Flores ($2,100) has a far more extensive track record of rocking southpaws than Ruf, and since his down year against them in 2018, he's rebounded in a major way with a .290 ISO and 136 wRC+ in 198 plate appearances since 2019. Rather than run two full stacks together tonight, my favorite strategy is to mix these three stacks together.
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.