4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Stacks for 9/9/15
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.
Toronto Blue Jays
This is a game which has an over/under of 10 with the Blue Jays -110. That's Vegas' way of saying that finna be a whole lotta runs up in this joint, and you best get you some ownership on either side. The weather's hot in Boston, and the baseballs are ready to fly. I'm going with the Jays here, but I wouldn't fault you for siding with the Red Sox, either.
Looking at Joe Kelly's stats, he's really not as bad as people make him sound. The issue he has had has been with issuing too many walks. His walk rate is down to 8.4 percent this year, but that's still above average, and it's difficult to put guys on base that way when you're also a below average strikeout pitcher. If he could cut down on the walks, he'd probably be just fine. Until then, though, the high volume of base runners gives us plenty of run potential to justify a stack.
I can tell you right now, though, that I'm not touching the Jays' bats in tourneys today, unless it's on an individual or two. That over/under of 10 is going to be attractive to pretty much everybody, meaning most people are going to be all about that Jays life. I like the Jays a lot, but I don't think their potential is as high as Vegas would indicate it is. I'm going to fade and look elsewhere, as even if they do bust a move on Kelly, the ownership totals will pretty much nullify any big advantage you'd otherwise gain.
Tampa Bay Rays
I promise that I will stop telling you to stack the Rays once they stop facing left-handed pitchers. Until that point, you are stuck reading about these saucy little individuals on a daily basis.
It's difficult to fully evaluate Kyle Lobstein as he dealt with an injury earlier in the year and has only made one start since coming off of the disabled list. The data we have, though, shows that he has struggled in 2015, clocking with a 4.97 SIERA and just 3.81 strikeouts per nine innings compared to 3.12 walks per nine. Hopefully for his sake, that was linked to the injury and things will tick up. Until we see that, though, we should have ownership in Rays sticks.
Tim Beckham has had a tough road to the big leagues. He had a positive drug test that cost him 50 games back in 2012, and then he tore his ACL before the 2014 season, when he maybe could have had a chance to join the Rays. After spending more time in Triple-A the middle part of this season, he's back in the Majors, and he is turning into a solid play against left-handed pitching. He couples his .250 isolated slugging against lefties with a .266/.314/.516 slash overall in the second half. He hit sixth in the order yesterday, and if he's there again, you can bet I'll have me some ownership as his pricing has (understandably) stayed low throughout the season.
Kansas City Royals
On my desk sits a bobblehead of Jim Kaat, one of the best fielding pitchers in the history of baseball. Kaat played for my beloved Minnesota Twins in their pioneer season back in 1961 after previously throwing for the franchise when they were the Washington Senators. Kaat is now 76 years old, and he seems rather spry for his age.
I would rather see 76-year-old Jim Kaat pitch in this game than Mike Pelfrey.
But, alas, it will indeed be Pelfrey, owner of a 4.57 SIERA and the second-lowest strikeouts per nine innings in the entire league. So, we may as well stack against him and hope to dry my Twins-loving tears with a cushier bankroll.
As a minor note of caution, this game has single-palooza written all over it. The Royals rank 17th in isolated slugging against righties, and Pelfrey does have a very nice ground-ball rate at 51.9 percent. With stacking, though, if the team can push across runs, it will still have high fantasy value, and there are very few situations in which I see that not happening tonight. Additionally, Pelfrey's low strikeout rate provides for a great floor, especially on sites like FanDuel that deduct for outs. He'll be dependent on BABIP skewing his way, and that's a dangerous proposition, friends.
Now that the Pirates are (pretty much) fully healthy, they seem like a much more attractive option in daily fantasy. The lineup has more depth, lending itself to more runs, and runs are what we need in order for the benefits of a stack to apply. With Keyvius Sampson on the mound for the Cincinnati Reds, we should also have the other thing we look for: base runners.
In 2013, Sampson was in the San Diego Padres' minor-league system. He was called up to Triple-A mid-season, where he made nine starts. At every stop he has made in every season since that call-up, Sampson has walked 4.65 batters or more per nine innings. That 4.65 mark is his current landing spot in the majors, so it could be due for even more inflation. When you add in his 40.4 ground-ball percentage, you can see why he could get into trouble rull quick with a base on balls and a blast. He gets strikeouts -- but not enough to curtail our thinking here.
In stacking the Pirates, I want a good mix of the guys who are going to be drawing those walks and the ones who will be driving them in. Both Gregory Polanco and Andrew McCutchen have above-average walk rates, so they're in. With those two guys at the top of the order in this situation, that should leave plenty of RBI opportunities for Aramis Ramirez and Jung Ho Kang, assuming they are both batting fourth and fifth respectively again. I haven't used Ramirez a lot this season because his hard-hit rate against righties has fallen to 29.4 percent, but he doesn't strikeout often, so I could see myself using him tonight simply because he'll be in a good situation.