4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Stacks for 9/14/15
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.
New York Mets
As you are reading this, it has now been over a week since the Mets scored fewer than five runs in a game. That's each of their past 7 games and 11 of their past 12. They be slangin' it, y'all. Now they face Justin Nicolino, whose 5.15 xFIP seems accommodating to such a streak. You have my attention.
Between Triple-A and the Majors this year, Nicolino has thrown 163 1/3 innings. Over those innings, he has recorded a grand total of 79 strikeouts, which equates to 4.35 per nine innings. When you don't have pinpoint control and a 100.0 ground-ball percentage, that can be problematic. Thus is the case here.
When you think of Wilmer Flores, you probably think of the trade deadline fiasco when he thought he had been traded and got in touch with his emotions on the field. You probably don't think of him as the lefty-killing demon he has been this season. It's a small sample size alert with only 100 plate appearances against southpaws, but Flores has struck out only 14.0 percent of the time while accumulating a 36.3 percent hard-hit rate. The only tears he's making me cry are out of gratitude for his Gucciness.
Tampa Bay Rays
Allow yourself to drift back to 2011 for a second. In that season, CC Sabathia mopped up the league with a 3.00 ERA and a 3.02 xFIP. It was the fifth consecutive season in which he had thrown at least 230 innings and had an ERA of 3.37 or lower. Things were good in CC's world. Unfortunately, that hasn't lasted.
Sabathia started the year with decent peripheral stats, but whether it be because of injuries or ineffectiveness, even the advanced stats aren't predicting his imminent turnaround anymore. His overall xFIP is up to 3.97, and it's at 4.57 over his past 11 outings. It's just not the same CC we had been used to.
Sabathia's main struggles come versus right-handed batters, against whom he has a 4.28 xFIP (as opposed to 2.90 against lefties). The Rays have plenty of righties who can mash southpaws, and they just got another one back in Steven Souza. Souza has drawn walks in 17.8 percent of his plate appearances against lefties this year, and that's coupled with a career .282 isolated slugging percentage off of them. He certainly has his flaws as a player, but facing left-handed pitching is not among them.
Don't ask me how this has happened, but it's September 14th, and the Twins are still only a game out of the playoffs. What. They could find themselves taking one step closer tonight in a matchup against Kyle Lobstein.
Lobstein is a lot like the aforementioned Nicolino in that strikeouts don't come easily for him. He has now made 10 Major League starts, and his strikeouts per nine mark sits at 4.37. He has also averaged 3.12 walks per nine innings, putting his xFIP up at 4.64 despite a mighty fine 52.8 ground-ball percentage. Bad news for him, but good news for Minnesota's playoff aspirations.
Now that Aaron Hicks is back healthy again, will you allow me to drool over him momentarily? Great. Even when Hicks was in his dark days of struggles, dude crushed left-handed pitching. Over 236 career plate appearances, Hicks holds a healthy .277/.364/.471 slash against them and just a 17.0 percent soft-hit rate. All of those numbers are better this year than his career marks. I'd recommend starting him whenever the Twins are in a good matchup with his pricing still a bit low, but that is especially true against lefties.
San Francisco Giants
If not for park factor, this would be my top stack of the day. The Giants rank seventh in the league in wOBA against right-handed pitchers (second in wRC+), and they will face Keyvius Sampson. The place of play is the only thing holding this puppy down.
Sampson has now made eight starts in the big leagues. He has walked multiple batters in each of his last seven, and he has issued three free passes four times. This has jacked his walks per nine up to 4.71, which -- coupled with a 40.8 ground-ball percentage -- is bad news bears. The Giants also rank fifth in strikeout percentage against righties, nullifying the one category in which Sampson is above average.
It's still a small sample size, but the platoon splits on Sampson appear pretty similar with an xFIP of 4.61 against lefties and 4.67 against righties. This gets me even more excited for a Giants stack. Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, Matthew Duffy, and Marlon Byrd are all right-handed batters who hit right-handed pitching fairly well. When you give them a below-average pitcher whose struggles appear to transfer over to right-handed batters, that looks like quite the juicy matchup to me.