4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Stacks for 7/22/15
Each day here on numberFire, we'll be providing you with four potential offenses to stack in your daily fantasy lineups. These are the offenses that provide huge run potential on that given day based on matchups and other factors.
After reading through these suggestions, make sure to check out our daily projections. These can either let you know which players to include in each stack, or which guy best complements said stack.
Another great tool is our custom optimal lineups, which are available for premium subscribers. Within the tool, we've added the option to stack teams -- you choose the team you want to stack, show how many players you want to use within the stack, and the tool will create a lineup based on this that you can then customize.
Now, let's get to the stacks. As a note, these stacks do not include the Rockies and Rangers at Coors. You should probably always try to have ownership in a game there, but both teams are absolutely brutal against left-handed pitching. Stack with caution. Here are the other teams you should be targeting in daily fantasy baseball today.
Tampa Bay Rays
As bad as the Rays have been against right-handed pitchers this year, they have been almost equally as good against lefties. That's bad news for Adam Morgan.
In his first four Major League starts, Morgan has averaged 5.87 strikeouts and 3.13 walks per nine combined with just a 37.7 percent ground-ball rate. Those numbers add up to a 5.05 xFIP, which is absolute stacking gold. The Rays are more than good enough to take advantage of that.
Entering yesterday, the Rays ranked eighth in the league in wOBA against lefties. They have still struggled with the strikeout at a 22.3 percent rate, but Morgan doesn't have that in his arsenal. This brings the strikeout-prone and newly-healthy Steven Souza, Jr., into play. Additionally, both Evan Longoria and Logan Forsythe have had-hit rates north of 40.0 percent against lefties, and they're both $3,500 or less on DraftKings. This probably won't end up as the highest-scoring stack of the day, but it is still my favorite none the less.
Los Angeles Angels
This isn't the type of stack that's going to win you a tourney, but it can provide you with a solid base in cash games. Mike Pelfrey's high ground-ball rate limits the upside, but the total lack of strikeouts within his repertoire means there will be plenty of balls in play to help us rack up the points.
After holding the Milwaukee Brewers to no runs on eight hits over eight innings on June 7th, Pelfrey's ERA on the season was down to 2.28. His 4.31 xFIP said that it was sheer wizardry, however, and not some magic revival. In the six starts since then, he has a 7.59 ERA and a 4.56 xFIP. He also bumped my boo Trevor May out of the rotation, but I'm totally not bitter about that at all.
Pelfrey hasn't been good against either lefties or righties this year, but lefties have been absolutely flooding the basepaths. He has averaged 6.00 walks per nine innings against them this year, leading to a .391 on-base percentage. They've largely fallen short of expectations this year, but don't be surprised if Kole Calhoun and Erick Aybar find themselves with respectable point totals at the end of the night.
Joe Kelly has never been considered as a high-volume strikeout pitcher. He allows contact on 83.5 percent of all swings and only has a swinging-strike rate of 7.0 on the season. That's not a formula that's successful in a date with the Astros.
Over his career, Kelly has seen slightly lower strikeout and higher walk totals against left-handed batters along with similar batted-ball data, which means two things. First, you should favor left-handed batters against Kelly. Second, his numbers aren't good enough against righties to totally discount them from your decision-making process.
If you're looking for high-upside plays with the Astros, you're not going to suffer from a lack of options. They have seven (seven!) separate guys who all have isolated slugging percentages of .200 or higher against righties. I'd be most eager to roster Preston Tucker as he couples his .276/.345/.507 slash with a below-average strikeout rate and a 34.0 percent hard-hit rate. Also, if Jason Castro gets the start, he has a 37.3 percent hard-hit rate against righties this year for the low, low price of $2,800 on DraftKings.
New York Yankees
I waffled back and forth here between the Yankees, Orioles and Tigers for this final slot. That should show you how many solid options there are for both slates today. The Orioles have struggled to post good numbers on the road, and Mike Montgomery has, honestly, been better than I would like for stacking purposes to roll with the Tigers. That brings us to the Yankees against Kevin Gausman, who, more than anything, is just in a bad match-up.
Gausman, like Montgomery, has been more effective than you'd generally want out of a guy against whom you're stacking with his 3.70 SIERA. However, one area in which he has struggled has been against left-handed batters. His strikeout numbers drop to 7.71 per nine along with 3.09 walks per nine. He also allows a line-drive percentage that is twice as high to lefties as to righties with a similar fly-ball rate. Against the Yankees, that's mighty difficult with all of the big-time lefty bats they possess.
Because of the strikeout numbers Gausman shows against righties, I'll want to stack exclusively lefties tonight. The Yankees may be the only team (outside of potentially the Indians) in which that is a realistic proposition. If you're looking to most minimize that risk, Jacoby Ellsbury is an option with his 12.2 percent strikeout rate against righties. He has less extra-base upside, but he makes up for that with his speed. After that, it's all of the usual suspects in the left-handed batter's box for the Yankees, and those usual suspects aren't too shabby at this baseball thing.