4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Stacks for 4/6/15
This winter was rough. I tried doing some daily fantasy basketball for a bit, but after getting burned by Monta Ellis for the 50th time, I decided my computer was better served swimming in acid. I may have temper issues.
Now, after 159 days, baseball is back. I haven't been dreaming of Mark Melancon for nothing, y'all. This is not a drill.
With daily fantasy baseball, it's always smart to look for an offense with which to flood your roster. Stacks win stacks. Obviously, you're going to swing and miss sometimes, but the upside associated with stacking far outweighs the risk.
If you plan on stacking -- perhaps over on DraftKings.com -- you probs want to pick a team that isn't about to feel the wrath of a Clayton Kershaw afternoon delight special. So let's take a look at some teams that aren't facing said impending doom that you may want to consider on opening day.
Plenty of teams today will be facing one of the league's best pitchers. Kyle Kendrick is not on that list.
Kendrick has never had a FIP nor an xFIP lower than 4.00 in a season in which he has thrown at least 30 innings. And he, Rockies fans, is your opening day starter. It's going to be a great season.
It's not just the matchup for the Brew Crew, though. They provide plenty of reason for optimism with the sticks in their lineup, especially at the top.
With Jonathan Lucroy batting second, Carlos Gomez's value goes up, as does that of Ryan Braun. You're not wasting the two-hole with token-dude-who-can-bunt, so the outside-dependent stats of the players in front of and behind that second spot increase a considerable amount.
There's also value lower in the order. Adam Lind, who costs $4,100 on DraftKings, hit .354/.409/.533 against right-handers last year. Scooter Gennett was at .307/.338/.464 against righties and will only run you $3,700. The Brewers will be a decent stack option plenty this year when they are facing right-handers, especially when those right-handers are named Kyle Kendrick.
Toronto Blue Jays
There's totally a possibility that this one could blow the heck up. Masahiro Tanaka could pull off a three-hit shutout and give this whole idea a big, gloved middle finger. But I, personally, think it's worth a shot.
Yankee Stadium only ranked 20th in ESPN's Park Factor in runs scored last year. That would seem to skew against stacking. In 50/50's, sure, that makes sense. But when you're searching for home runs, Yankee Stadium is still a paradise.
In that same Park Factor, Yankee Stadium produced the most home runs above expectation of any park last year. If you're looking for straight tankers, this is the right place to do so, and this is the right team to do so. Even with the risk of facing Tanaka, I think I'm in on pulling a Blue Jays stack in at least one lineup today.
There are two reasons I didn't go with the Yankees against Drew Hutchison here in a game with an over/under of eight. First, the price tag on a bunch of the Yankees was mildly startling considering a bunch of them are banking on bounce-back seasons. Second, many of those same players are far better plays against left-handed pitching, and Hutchison is a righty. Give me the Jays, or give me debt.
San Francisco Giants
I am wholly unoptomistic about the Giants' offense this year. Without Pablo Sandoval and with Hunter Pence starting the year on the disabled list, the offense is unappealing. But the pricing at the top of their order combined with facing Josh Collmenter in zero-gravity Chase Field is enough for me to want to take a chance on them.
If you were to stack Nori Aoki, Joe Panik, Angel Pagan, Buster Posey, and Brandon Belt, that would leave you $29,800 to fill five spots on DraftKings. I wouldn't necessarily recommend including each of those guys as Panik was brutal against right-handers last year, but it's a cheap stack regardless.
The other plus side of this stack, outside of the leftover cash afterwards, is that you can probably exploit the lack of optimism around this team. While in a vacuum situation this lineup would probably suck, the outside factors (aka the opponent and opponent's place of residence) should help them exceed that expectation. The over/under is 7.5, which is the second highest total behind an over/under of 8 for both the Brewers/Rockies game and the Yankees/Blue Jays game.
The Nationals pass pretty much every check on the list for a solid stack: decent temperatures for opening day, a matchup to make your mouth water, and a more-than-competent offense. I dig.
Despite this, the Nationals barely make this list because their lineup construction is bordering upon nonsensical. If they use the lineup they had on April 1st, in which all of their regulars started, they will be batting Dan Uggla fifth, ahead of Ian Desmond. Their top two batters would be Michael Taylor and Yunel Escobar. Taylor is a top-notch prospect, but he only has 43 career plate appearances. Escobar had a .299 wOBA last year.
The problem that this creates is that, if you want to stack Nationals and not roster Uggla, you will have to pay good money for a person who is hitting lower in the order. That's largely unappealing.
So, if you do decide that the matchup with Bartolo Colon is just too tasty to pass up, a stack of Taylor-Escobar-Harper-Ryan Zimmerman will cost you $13,300 on FanDuel. Taylor's $2,500 price tag at the top of the order is friendly, even if having Escobar and Uggla batting second and fifth is kind of a buzzkill. Unfortunately, this Michael Taylor is not yet in DraftKings' system. Sad face. I'm still in on stacking the Nats, but just very much less so with their potential lineup construction.