4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Stacks for 8/17/15
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. Here are the teams you should be targeting in daily fantasy baseball today.
The Pirates' offense is just chugging along in a beautiful way right now. Jeremy Hellickson isn't an ideal stack candidate, but the Pirates should be able to post good numbers against him tonight.
Hellickson hasn't been as stackable this year as in the past because he's been able to increase his ground-ball rate. Left-handed batters, however, have hit more fly balls and line drives while also striking out less and walking more. As a result, his xFIP against lefties (4.65) is mighty tempting for this one.
With these lefty struggles in mind, it should be no shock that I'll be targeting Gregory Polanco, Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez. All three not only bat from the left side, but they also have slugging percentages of .485 or higher since the All-Star break. The fact that both Andrew McCutchen and Jung Ho Kang have found success against righties makes the stack just that much easier to build.
New York Yankees
There are only three games on tomorrow's slate in which the over/under is higher than 7.5, and this is one (the other two are referenced below) with the Yankees -155. I don't like stacking against heavy ground-ball pitchers like Kyle Gibson, but Vegas is smarter than me, so I submit.
I'm still a big Gibson believer with his dramatic increase in strikeout percentage since the middle of May. While the strikeout are still up, he has seen his ground-ball rate decrease and his walks go up slightly since the All-Star break. That is a bit concerning for him, but it has to give the Yankees additional hope after they already tattooed him for six runs in 5.1 innings on July 26th.
Looking at the slash lines against Gibson, it would look like he's a reverse-splits platoon pitcher. However, he's actually pretty even against batters of both handedness with a slightly lower ground-ball rate against lefties. Because of this lack of a significant split, I want guys that hit righties hard, and they would be Mark Teixeira (38.9 percent hard-hit rate) and Alex Rodriguez (35.2 percent hard-hit rate) for this one.
The Cleveland offense, quite frankly, sucks right now. I mean, they are really not good. However, as long as Michael Brantley is cleared to return (and especially if Jason Kipnis also returns, though that appears to be less likely), then it's really hard not to target Matt Barnes in some capacity.
A pitcher's transition to the rotation from the bullpen is generally not a friendly one for his statistics. Even while in the pen, Barnes had a 4.45 xFIP thanks to a high fly-ball rate and less than optimal walk numbers. If Barnes sees a downturn in his strikeout numbers (as you would expect in a spot start), then the Indians' offense could wake quickly.
Even with Cleveland's struggles, I've found myself using Francisco Lindor quite a bit. He's slashing at .364/.393/.500 since the All-Star break with a reduced soft-hit rate and a downtick in strikeouts. Hitting second gives him plenty of opportunities to rack up the points, which is another plus. I like him a lot more on FanDuel ($3,100) than DraftKings ($4,300) simply because of price, but I do find him usable at least on both.
My level of comfort with this stack is minimal at best. Some other options to possibly pursue if you feel the same reservations are the Athletics and Padres, but they both have bad offenses. The plus of this stack is that the Rangers' offense isn't terrible. The negative -- and it's a major one -- is Taijuan Walker.
In his 14 starts since May 29th, Walker has a 3.19 xFIP. That's really, really good, and I would avoid him all the way on a full slate. The positive we have going here is that his xFIP on the road (4.30) is much higher than it is at home (3.29). Half of those starts in his good streak have been on the road, so those are included in both samples. It's not great, but it's something with which we can work.
One thing to keep in mind with Walker is that he has (very slightly) reverse platoon splits. This is mostly due to a high fly-ball percentage out of right-handed batters. Because of this, I will be heavily targeting Adrian Beltre ($3,200 on FanDuel and $3,900 on DraftKings). The Rangers' lefty-heavy lineup makes things tough, but I think we can still make this work on a short slate.