3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Stacks for Tuesday 5/18/21

Will the Houston Astros take advantage of their third meeting with left-hander Sean Manaea this season? Which other potential stacks stand out?

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.

Houston Astros

For the third time this year, the Houston Astros will square off with Sean Manaea. The lefty faced them in each of his first two starts, getting hammered the first time for five runs on six hits, two homers, three walks, and four strikeouts in 4 and 2/3 innings. He turned it around in his second start, holding them to only one run on six hits, one walk, and four strikeouts.

Manaea's producing a rollercoaster season in 2021. He's allowed two runs or fewer in five of eight starts. However, he's coughed up four or more runs in the other three, including yielding seven runs on 10 hits, two homers, one walk, and two strikeouts in only two innings pitched in his last start.

The 29-year-old southpaw is below-average against right-handed hitters, giving up a .334 weighted on-base average (wOBA) to them since last year, per FanGraphs. That's less than ideal for him facing Houston's righty-heavy lineup.

Whether you're looking at the since 2018 numbers against lefties or just this year's work against southpaws, Houston's lineup pummels left-handed pitchers. Since 2018, five of their hitters have a weighted runs created plus (wRC+) above 130. This year, six have at least a 120 wRC+, and five are at a 140 wRC+ or higher.

My favorite options in the offense start at the top, including Jose Altuve ($3,900). My top overall pick from the lineup is number-three hitter Alex Bregman ($3,700). He's destroyed lefties for a .421 on-base percentage, .296 isolated power (ISO), and 181 wRC+ in 530 plate appearances against lefties since 2018.

Yulieski Gurriel ($3,300) and Carlos Correa ($3,200) are other excellent stacking options with the platoon advantage. Michael Brantley ($2,900) is a lefty but hitting second is a plus. Further, he's posted a 120 wRC+ against southpaws this year. Yordan Alvarez ($3,600) is another lefty worthy of stacking consideration, torching them for a .301 ISO and 167 wRC+ since debuting in 2019. The Astros are my favorite stack tonight.

Toronto Blue Jays

Eduardo Rodriguez isn't a pitcher who I'd generally go out of my way to stack against. E-Rod's responsible for a 4.15 ERA and 3.37 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) this year. He's been quite good. Regardless, he's pitching in this year's most hitter-friendly ballpark.

TD Ballpark has the highest park factor for runs (1.337), per ESPN. That's not where the park factor goodness ends, either. It has a park factor of 1.369 for homers, 1.184 for hits, 1.216 for doubles, 1.786 for triples, and 1.366 for walks. Surprise, surprise, the Toronto Blue Jays have enjoyed their home cooking. They lead Major League Baseball hitting at home, ranking first with a 132 wRC+ and tied for second in ISO (.221), per FanGraphs.

They also have a predominantly right-handed lineup, which will allow them to exploit the platoon advantage against Rodriguez. E-Rod has allowed a .340 wOBA to the 124 right-handed batters he's faced this year.

My co-favorite stacking options from the lineup are Bo Bichette ($3,900) and Teoscar Hernandez ($3,100). The former has a .246 ISO and 153 wRC+ in 129 plate appearances in his career against lefties. The latter has a .258 ISO and 116 wRC+ against them since 2018.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($4,000) and Randal Grichuk ($3,000) are just behind Bichette and Hernandez in my stacking-options pecking order, and they collectively make up my favorite full-stack. Others to consider include Marcus Semien ($3,500) and Lourdes Gurriel ($2,500).

Chicago Cubs

Has the time to stack against Patrick Corbin surpassed its expiration date? He's made three straight quality starts, allowing two runs in seven innings, followed by three runs in six innings, and only one run in seven innings in his last turn. He's fixed, right? Maybe not.

The lefty struck out nine batters in his last start, but he's struck out five or fewer in his other six starts. He's also still homer prone, even during his three most recent starts, coughing up four homers.

For the year, Corbin's allowed 2.48 homers per nine innings. Since 2020, he's allowed 1.76 homers per nine innings. I'm not yet ready to abandon ship on stacking against Corbin.

It will be the Chicago Cubs' second look at a southpaw starter in as many days after facing Jon Lester last night and hanging five runs on him and seven overall. A few of their right-handed hitters who are lefty-killers are my stacking favorites. As right-handed hitters, they'll take aim at Corbin's .534 slugging percentage and .379 wOBA allowed to 353 right-handed batters faced since 2020.

As for the specific righties I'm locked in on, Kris Bryant ($3,900), Javier Baez ($3,600), and Willson Contreras ($3,000) are my three favorites. All three have an ISO above .225 and a wRC+ above 125 against lefties since 2018. Further, Bryant's one of the game's top lefty-mashers, recording a .428 on-base percentage, .351 ISO, and 187 wRC+ against lefties since 2018.

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.